Lyon Travel Guide

France's third-largest city, Lyon is best known for its culinary prowess and its lively cultural scene. A metropolis with a vibrant ambience, Lyons takes advantage of its strategic location between the north and south of Europe to welcome travelers from all over the continent.

 

Sights

Lyon does not have the grand landmarks -- the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Champs Elysees -- but it does have its share of historic architecture. The city was founded by Romans in 43 BC and was the empire's capital of Gaul. There are several Roman sites worth a visit, including the oldest Roman theater in France. There is also a mediaeval quarter near the city center with charming, cobbled pedestrian streets and the most Italian Renaissance architecture in France. Many of the buildings here date to the 15th century and most have now been refurbished and painted in the pastel hues of Tuscany. For a panoramic view over the city, take the funicular up Fourviere Hill, where you'll also find the Fourviere Basilica, built between 1872 and 1896.

 

Lyon has cultural events happening almost every week and you can easily find a show by checking the local dailies for music, opera and dance performances. There are plenty of theaters and cafe-theaters in the city where you can catch anything from avant-garde productions to comedy to the classics.

 

Shopping

Lyon was once the center of the European silk industry and this legacy lives on in La Croix-Rousse, where there are still many local artisans and craftsmen selling beautiful silk creations. If you're looking for antique pieces, head for the narrow streets of Rue Auguste Comte. If you're in the market for branded luxury goods, try the Place des Jacobins or the Place Bellecour (the largest "clear square" in Europe), as well as the trendy boutiques along Rue Emile Zola, Rue Gasparin and Rue President Herriot. Also check out the very French department store Printemps and the lovely glass-roofed Galeries Lafayette Part Dieu.

 

Dining

Lyon claims the title of France's gastronomic capital -- and those who think French food is the best go one step further and call the city the culinary center of the world. Lyon is full of high-end dining but eating on a budget is also possible, particularly at the Croix-Rousse Market, Lyon's biggest and busiest. Here you'll find vendors selling fresh bread, roasted chickens, pastries, sausages and many different cheeses. St. Antoine market is another option for eating on a budget, though it is slightly pricier than Croix-Rousse. For upscale dining, Lyons has plenty of bistros, wine shops and restaurants to please the pickiest palates. Definitely reserve a night to eat in one of the city's many vibrant, no-frills bouchons, where you'll find traditional Lyonnaise dishes like sausages, roast pork and pates. There is a wide variety in the neighborhood around city hall.

Where to Go in Lyon

TOP PICKS BY OUR LOCAL EXPERTS

Salle De Seminaire Lyon - La Tour Rose

user rating

expert pick

22 Rue du Boeuf 69005 LYON

A Renaissance rose in the heart of Old Lyon

Traboules de la Croix-Rousse

user rating

expert pick

9 Place Colbert

Passageways of the Croix-Rousse silk workers

Brasserie Georges 1836

user rating

expert pick

30 Cours de Verdun
Perrache

The daddy of Lyonnais brasseries

Q-Boat

user rating

expert pick

17 Quai Augagneur

Swanky dance club boat on the river Rhône

Lyon Blog Posts

UPDATES FROM OUR TRAVEL TEAM

Free Events This Weekend In Lyon: February, Fri 11th – Sat 12th, 2011
Spending The Weekend In Lyon, Without Spending Your Money! Free Events This Weekend In Lyon: February, Fri. 11th – Sat. 12th, 2011 (Psst! Click on the highlighted links to get a venue description and map for each event location.) Friday, February 11th , 2011 Event: Joachim Expert Description... Read more

Valentines Day In Lyon
Being the romantic city that it is, visitors to Lyon can expect to find lots of smoochy Valentines day activities in and around the city. And just to prove the city's romance potential, we've created a top ten list for Lyon's Top Ten Romantic Restaurants and Lyon's Top Ten Romantic Things to do. Just... Read more

Big White Balloons in Lyon's Place Des Terreaux
Anyone walking through Lyon's central Place des Terreaux might be wondering what all those big white balloons are all about (see photo). I certainly wondered when I saw them there last week; filling up the square like big white beach balls floating out at sea. The artist probably wouldn't appreciate... Read more


© 2014 NileGuide.com   ·   Blog   ·   Facebook   ·   Contact Us   ·   About Us   ·   Privacy Policy   ·   Terms & Conditions