Lyon is the third largest city in France and the second richest after Paris. It has an exciting past (for instance it is where the cinema was born) and it is famously renowned for its gastronomy. Economically Lyon is a major centre for chemical, pharmaceutical and biotech industries as well as it being a main hub for banking. In more recent year it has fostered a growing local start-up sector. In 2014 Lyon had a population of 506,615. Historically it is one of the most interesting cities in France and boasts many historical buildings and monuments.
Things to do in Lyon
Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon (Museum of Fine Arts)
Located in a 17th century Benedectine convent close by the Place des Terreaux, the Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon was restored about 20 years ago and contains artwork from ancient Egypt clear through the postmodern art of today. It is also host to a variety of exhibitions each year and offers paintings by Van Gogh, Renoir, Cezanne and Degas.
Opéra Nouvel (Nouvel Opera House)
Refurbished several times since its inception in the 1700s, Lyon’s Nouvel Opera House was originally designed by the same architect who created the Pantheon in Paris–Jacques-Germain Soufflot. With its auditorium shaped liked a horseshoe and many tiers, the Nouvel Opera House has a seating capacity of 1100 seats and has hosted director Serge Dorny for over a decade.
The old part of Lyon called Vieux Lyon
Lyon has an amazing and beautiful well-preserved Old Town known as “Vieux Lyon”. Vieux Lyon is the largest district of Lyon situated in the 5th arrondissement. Many houses built by the brokers and bankers are found there. This is a good place to wander with great architecture, lots of interesting little shops and full of the typical restaurants of Lyon. As a matter of fact, you can walk through the lanes of the old city of Lyon and explore its historic beauty. Besides, the most famous sites in Lyon can be seen there like St Jean Baptiste Cathedral; St Paul known for its bell tower and traboules; as well as the Gothic St Georges.
The Park de la Tete d’Or
Basilique de Notre Dame de Fourvière
This church dominates the city of Lyon, which is located high on the hill. Why not visit this gorgeous cathedral? The Basilica is a must see in Lyon. The cathedral itself is very impressive from outside and within with great architecture. For instance, you can appreciate the lovely stained glass windows inside, the fabulous mosaics on the walls or the magnificent ceiling. You can take your time to walk all around the grounds. In addition, you can have the views of Lyon from this place that are very stunning. You can see the white Alps and the White Mount. Don’t miss out the second floor inside the Cathedral. After, if you want to bring souvenirs, there is a wide space with a few souvenir shops outside the church. And when you walk down the hill, you can visit the gardens near this Basilica. There are so much to see at this Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere.
When to travel to Lyon?
July is the hottest month in Lyon with an average temperature of 22°C (71°F) and the coldest is January at 3°C (37°F) with the most daily sunshine hours of 13 hours in August. The wettest month is April with an average of 60mm of rain. See below for a highlight in December …
Fête des Lumières
Lyon’s remarkable “Festival of Lights” occurs every December 8 and was originally created to give thanks to Jesus’ mother Mary for sparing the town of Lyon from the Black Death during the 1600s. Today, residents place candles on the outside of all windowsills to create a magically illuminating effect that attracts millions of tourists every year.
Discover more of Lyon
Lyon Tourism Facts
Lyon Tourism – official site
Lyon Tourism and Conventions Bureau of Greater Lyon
Place Bellecour – BP 2254
69214 Lyon Cedex 02
Telephone: +33(0)4 72 77 69 69 – email@example.com
Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport is the international airport
Lyon France Map – Places to go in Lyon
What is Lyon famous for?
1. World Heritage Site
2. Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights) on December 8th
3. Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls
4. Cathedral of St. John
5. Historical residents:Roman emperors Claudius and Caracalla, poet Louise Labé, scientist André-Marie Ampère and chef Paul Bocuse.
7. Interpol HQ
8. Euronews HQ
9. Renowned for its architecture, which is heavily influenced by the ancient Romans
10 Gastronomy – described as the “world capital of gastronomy.”
Lyon – World Capital of Gastronomy
Apart from the world famous chefs and restaurants – you can also visit Les Halles de Lyon: Lyon’s famed indoor food market has nearly five-dozen stalls selling countless gourmet delights. On Sundays local families congregate for shellfish and white-wine brunches. Lyon is also well known for its plentiful outdoor markets. These markets are a great alternative to Les Halle de Lyon. One of the best is on Boulevard de la Croix-Rousse. Another favourite market is Saint Antoine Farmers Market.
No visit Lyon is complete without enjoying the cuisine! Lyon is famous world-wide for its Gastronomy. Here are the top 10 restaurants (2017) as voted on Trip Advisor
- Au 14 Fevrier Vieux Lyon
- le Neuvieme Art
- Takao Takano
- Guy Lassausaie
- Burgundy Lounge
- Jeremy Galvan Restaurant
- La Mere Brazier
- L’Institut Restaurant
- Le Gourmet de Seze
More Facts about French Cities: