Lyon Attractions

Even if you’re a seasoned visitor to Lyon, chances are there is still an abundance of ‘things to do’ that you haven’t been able to tick off your list yet, and for first time visitors, the list can seem so lengthy , you might not know where to begin. When visiting Lyon it’s always good to start with the myriad of must-see attractions on offer; the iconic sights that will give you a feel for the city, while helping you to get orientated. Once you’ve discovered the best of Lyon’s tourist hotspots, you’ll be geared up and ready to uncover the city’s multitude of lesser known - but highly prized – things to see and do.

Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage city, many activities in Lyon revolve around heritage and culture. The World Heritage terrain covers an area of 500 hectares and incorporates Vieux Lyon (old Lyon), part of the Presqu’Île (peninsula between the rivers Saône and Rhône), Fourvière hill and the slopes Croix-Rousse hill. All of the World Heritage neighbourhoods are contained in one central area of the city, which makes walking through Lyon’s 2000 years of physical history a real pleasure. In addition, the four neighbourhoods included in the World Heritage zone are all distinctive in character and historical significance, so you can expect to find something new and inspiring at every turn.

Walking is really the best way to discover Lyon’s World Heritage zone, and because the terrain includes two hills, biking is an option reserved for those with legs of steel. But biking is a great way to experience other parts of the city, particularly the areas along the banks of the rivers Saône and the Rhône. Both rivers take in some of the World Heritage terrain, but the real beauty of riverside biking in Lyon is delivered via the lengths of purpose laid bikeways that run for kilometres along both rivers, and you won’t have any problem finding a bike in Lyon; just look out for a Velo’v bike station and you can rent a bike for as long as you want.

With heritage and culture abound, museums are a big draw card in Lyon, and with good reason; there are dozens of word class museums in the city, with exhibits that showcase a legacy of Lyon’s cultural heritage. Art, cinema, silk, remains from the Gallo-Roman period and printing take prime position in Lyon’s museums, but there are also many small – sometimes quite curious - museums to discover. The big wig museums include Musée des Beaux-Arts (the fine arts museum) Musée des Tissus & Arts Décoratifs (textile museum) Musée de l’Imprimerie de Lyon (printing museum), Institute Lumière (museum of cinema) and Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romain. Here's a top-tip for museum hopping in Lyon: get a Lyon City Card and make massive savings on museum entrance fees.

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Traboules de la Croix-Rousse

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9 Place Colbert

Passageways of the Croix-Rousse silk workers...
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Centre d'Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation

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14 Avenue Berthelot

Humanitarian lessons to be remembered... read more

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Institut Lumière

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25 rue du Premier Film

Where cinema was born... read more

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Musée Historique de Lyon

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1 place du Petit-Collège

Renaissance architecture, local history and puppets... read more

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Traboules St-Jean

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rue St-Jean

The romance of the Renaissance 'traboules'...
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Parc de la Tête d'Or

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Boulevard des Belges

Large and lovely nostalgic park... read more

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Basilique de Fourvière

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Place de Fourvière

The centrepiece of Lyon's glory... read more

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Halle de Lyon Paul Bocuse

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102 Cours Lafayette

Pride of Lyon's Gastronomy... read more

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Musée des Marionnette du Monde

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1 Place du Petit-Collège

The art of French and international puppetry...
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Amphithéâtre Gallo-Romain

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17 rue Cléberg
Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilisation

Gallo-Roman Amphitheatre, Outdoor Concerts...
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Musée des Miniatures et décors de Cinéma, Maison des Avocats

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60 rue Saint-Jean

A miniature world in a grand historic building...
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Lyon City of Lights Tour

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Place Bellecour

Lyon City of Lights Tour... read more

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Centre Commercial Part-Dieu

17 Rue Docteur Bouchut

Vast shopping centre... read more

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Homme de la Roche (L')

60 Quai Pierre-Scize

'Man of the Rock' on the bank of the Rive Soane...
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Promenades Navig'inter

13 bis Quai Rimbaud

Boat trips along the Rhône and Saône rivers...
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Église Saint-Bruno-des-Chartreux

7 Impasse des Chartreux

Unique Baroque church on Croix-Rousse hill...
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Musée des Beaux-Arts

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20 place des Terreaux

Fine arts on a grand scale... read more

Place Bellecour

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1 Place Bellecour
(Lyon Center exit)

Largest public square in Europe... read more

Croix-Rousse

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Croix Rousse

World Heritage Croix-Rousse... read more

Musée des Automates

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100 rue St-Georges

Automated puppets and dolls... read more
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