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Lyon from above

- © prochasson frederic / Shutterstock
Lyon
Lyon

Gastronomic, architectural and cultural excellence

Lyon in short

Often cited as one of the most pleasant cities to live in or visit, Lyon is renowned for its tourist and cultural appeal. The Parc de la Tête d'Or, the view from the Basilique de Fourvière, Place Bellecour, the banks of the Rhône and the Saône... these are just some of the attractions that attract people from all over the workd to this city. You must visit Lyon at least once in your life. Long live the bouchons lyonnais, the quenelles and the rosette!

Lyon's Dock

- © Dudlajzov / 123RF

Situated between the sea and the mountains, the city also offers many opportunities for leisure and relaxation, not to mention its many green spaces and stretches of water with its two rivers, the Rhône and the Saône. Lyon is also a French cultural city with a rich history and heritage. The city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998. The city has preserved the memory of its historic eras through the districts of Vieux Lyon, Fourvière hill, Croix-Rousse and Presqu'île.

The Bellecour Place

- © Frederic Prochasson / 123RF

Architecture enthusiasts will have the chance to broaden their knowledge of the subject by exploring the history of the discipline at the same time as the city. From the remains of Lugdunum, such as the Odeon and the ancient theatre, to the evolution of religious architecture with theAbbey of Saint-Martin d'Ainay (a jewel in Lyon's Romanesque crown) and the Cathedral of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, the elegance of the Renaissance style with the town houses of Vieux Lyon, the classical style with theHôtel de Ville and the modern style with the Cité Internationale, budding architects will have plenty to learn.

Saint-Jean Cathedral in the Old Lyon

- © Bastien Nvs / Shutterstock

Considered to be the Capital of Gastronomy, the city of Lyon boasts a rich terroir. With its bouchons lyonnais and its many world-renowned chefs, there's no shortage of good places to eat. After a visit to Les Halles de Lyon - Paul Bocuse, tourists should pack a sausage or two to make their stay last, even when they get home.

Window display of pink praline pastries in Lyon

- © ElisabettaCavagnino / Shutterstock

Also the capital of silk, Lyon has built its worldwide reputation and its history on this know-how, which has been passed down and evolved over the centuries, as can be seen at the Musée des Tissus et des Arts Décoratifs. The city also has a long tradition of fashion designers (Nathalie Chaize, Millesia-Nina Ricci and Max Chaoul), who can be seen at the Village des Créateurs in Passage Thiaffait, in the Croix Rousse district.

Croix-Rousse district, Lyon

- © Lamax / Shutterstock

Lyon combines a number of factors that make it one of the most desirable cities in which to live, such as economic dynamism and quality of life. In terms of sustainability, Lyon is concerned about the well-being of its residents and is developing a number of sustainable aspects, such as soft mobility schemes with its self-service bicycle system (Vélo'v) or the tramway and electric cars.

Greenhouse at the Parc de la Tête d'Or in Lyon

- © J. Photos / Shutterstock

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The must-sees

All the must-sees

How to get there?

Lyon has excellent rail, air and road links. If you're coming by car, the Autoroute du Soleil passes through part of the city. By train, there are many direct lines that will take you quickly and easily across France to Lyon. From Gare de Lyon in Paris, it doesn't even take two hours to get to the capital of gastronomy! If you're travelling by plane, you'll find the airport to the east of the city.

Lyon

✈️ Flights to Lyon

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Where to stay?

Lyon has a wide range of accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes. Hotels, rentals, youth hostels, unusual accommodation or luxury rooms, the choice is yours! In Vieux-Lyon, on the Presqu'île or in Croix-Rousse, spend an unforgettable night in the heart of Lyon's atmosphere.

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Practical information

👉 Visitor pass

Lyon is very easy to discover on foot and thanks to the strong public transport network, and there is a great deal of cultural life. The tourist office offers the Lyon City Card, which gives free access to many attractions and museums as well as the city's public transport. It also offers guided tours, cruises and even discounts in certain shops. The card costs €24.90 for 24 hours, €33.90 for 2 days, €42.90 for 3 days and €51.90 for 4 days. The perfect compromise for making the most of your Lyon break, without depriving yourself or spending too much!

For more information on the Lyon City Card: click here

🚌 Public transport

Getting around Lyon is child's play: the metro, tramway, bus and funicular serve thewhole city. Depending on the length of your trip, opt for*long-term tickets** rather than single tickets, which are generally cheaper after 2 or 3 journeys. Taking the funicular is not just a means of transport but also a real attraction, for €3 each way. No need for an additional season ticket if you've opted for the Lyon City Card!

For more information on the public transport network: click here

☀️ Ideal period

A spring or summertrip is the ideal way to visit Lyon for a weekend or more! June is the perfect time to take advantage of the hot weather and enjoy the city's bustle from morning to night. In summer, as in Paris, the city is emptied of its inhabitants, so you can enjoy quieter times and fewer crowds at the most popular sites. To enjoy the famous Fête des Lumières, the date is always the same: early December.

🛒 What to bring back?

The capital of gastronomy doesn't get its name by chance! Don't leave with your suitcases too full, and save some room to bring back a few specialities. Sunday cooks can try their hand at the recipe for praline tart, by buying a bag of pink pralines. For fans of charcuterie, rosettes and sausages are the perfect thing to pack. On the sweet side, bugnes, which are eaten during Lent, were originally made from flour and brewer's yeast mixed with water and then fried in oil. Nowadays, we add butter, eggs and lots of secrets to the basic recipe. A delicious treat!

🚨 Safety

Lyon is a large, very touristy city. As in Paris, don't leave your belongings lying around and make sure your bags are securely fastened. Also be careful with mobile phones, especially on public transport. Lyon is a great place to live, but some areas such as La Guillotière are not ideal for a solo visit or an evening out.

🏞️ The surrounding area

A slightly longer stay will take you away from Lyon, towards the Beaujolais region. There are many wine cellars to explore, and charming villages such as the medieval town of Oingt, the Couvent de la Tourette, the Hameau du Vin and the Monts d'Or in the north are not to be missed if time permits. If you have to make a choice, head for the pearl of the Pierres Dorées region: Oingt. A former Roman camp, the village is famous for its chapel, its gates and its dungeon, which can be visited and offers a breathtaking view over the Beaujolais vineyards. It certainly deserves its place among the Most Beautiful Villages in France!

lightbulb_outline Editor's tip

Don't use your car all the time, the streets of Lyon are made for strolling. Old Lyon is a little paradise for strolling around, so take advantage of the Parcs Relais on the outskirts of the city to leave your car.

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