Considered the gourmet capital of France, Lyon is a feast for the senses with its picturesque position on the Rhone and Saone rivers, dynamic foodie culture and historic landmarks. With a World Heritage-listed old city and a collection of lively bars, nightclubs and shopping centres, Lyon proves that old and new mix perfectly.
Things to do in Lyon
Let Lyon’s array of centuries-old structures whisk you away to yesteryear, including the 19th-century Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, which houses a gallery of religious art and features four iconic octagonal towers. Head further back in time at the Ancient Theatre of Fourvière, which comprises the ruins of two Roman amphitheatres. You can still see open-air concerts and festivals there today.
Combine history with natural serenity at the 19th-century Parc de la Tête d'or, where you can wander shaded paths while passing historic statues, tranquil water fountains and sprawling rose gardens. Place Bellecour isn’t far away and is also adorned with leafy trees. This popular public square often hosts flower stalls and has an ice-skating rink during winter.
Get your fix of local cuisine at fine-dining restaurants around Saint-Georges, where you can soak up city vistas while enjoying French delicacies and cocktails at Restaurant Tetedoie. Don’t forget about La Cuisinerie, a hip tapas restaurant, or Mouss'tache, perfect for late-night eats in a rustic brick building.
If you're artistically inclined, head to the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon to explore an impressive collection of modern and ancient paintings, artefacts and sculptures. Afterwards, head to the hilltop district of La Croix-Rousse, which features regular markets, street art and jazz performances.
Getting around Lyon
Lyon is easily reached by flying into Lyon-St-Exupéry Airport, which is 25 kilometres from the city centre. You can also catch buses and trains into the city, which is serviced by public buses, trams, two funiculars and a four-line metro. Taxis and bicycle hire are also available.