Capital of the region, Lyon oozes atmosphere at every corner. Enjoy 2000 years of UNESCO-listed heritage as well as stylish shops, fabulous restaurants, and urban illuminations. But don’t forget the stunning countryside outside the city too.
Lyon was just made for walking. Soak up the atmosphere of the boulevards on the Presqu’Ile, the narrow alleys of Vieux Lyon, and the old silk district of Croix Rousse. And if you do get tired, just hop on the Metro or pick up a Vélo’v city bike.
Want a stylish French outfit? Browse the designer labels of the Carré d’Or or the high street names at Part Dieu, the fashion boutiques of Cours Vitton or the young designers of Passage Thiaffait. Lyon caters for every kind of fashion taste.
Shops close on Sundays, so head to the quaysides of the Saône to browse the craft and artists’ markets. Booksellers line Quai St.Antoine opposite, scene of the Monday to Saturday produce market, and stamp sellers gather in Place Bellecour.
The Romans founded Lugdunum in 43AD and nearly 2000 years later, their twin hillside theatres above the rivers still pack a punch. Walk the smooth flagstones, visit the museum and book seats for the annual summer festival, Les Nuits de Fourvière.
Experience the magic of Vieux Lyon, a Renaissance district of Tuscan-style facades in shades of rose and ochre. Explore the maze of hidden passageways and surprising courtyards that link the narrow pedestrian streets, the relax at a café table.
Movie lovers shouldn’t miss the Cinema Museum dedicated to the Lumière brothers, inventors of cinema and natives of the city. Look out for them on the huge painted wall – one of many in the city – that depicts famous Lyonnais from across the ages.
Lyon loves a party, especially the December Light Festival when buildings dance and shimmer in an extravaganza of visual effects. Other hot tickets include the Nuits Sonores Electro and Indie festival and the Dance and Contemporary Arts biennial.
Capital of gastronomy
Michelin stars twinkle over Lyon, a city renowned as the capital of French gastronomy thanks to chefs such as Paul Bocuse. Browse nearly 60 produce stalls in the Halles Paul Bocuse and to try the hearty fare of a traditional Lyonnais bouchon.