Location > Turism

 

UNESCO world heritage

Lyon is a two-thousand-year-old city, capital of the Gauls during the Roman Empire, located between the hills of Fourvière and Croix-Rousse, at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers.

Its centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998, and offers a unique journey through time and cultures.

Must-see sites:

  • The ‘Vieux Lyon’ (old Lyon) district:
  • Fourvière Hill (the ‘praying hill’) and its basilica (19th century)
  • Saint-Jean Cathedral, Saint-Georges and Saint-Paul churches
  • the charm of narrow renaissance streets, courtyards and traboules (hidden passageways through buildings connecting streets)
  • The ‘Croix-Rousse’ district: the ‘working hill’, home to the silk-workers (‘canuts’) of Lyon in the nineteenth century
  • Traboules and stairs in the ‘pentes’ (slopes of the hill)
  • Silk-weaving workshops (30.000 silk weavers used to live in Lyon the 19th century)
  • Ruins of the ‘Trois-Gaules‘ amphitheater
  • The ‘Presqu’île’ district: beating heart of Lyon that lies between the Rhône and Saône rivers, where the city’s main restaurants, theaters, shopping streets
  • Place des Terreaux
  • Opéra of Lyon 
  • Mural of the famous Lyonnais
  • Passage de l’Argue
  • Place des Jacobins
  • Grand Hôtel-Dieu

 

Gastronomy

Thanks to its cultural heritage, the Capital of the Gauls has kept strong culinary traditions that make it a reference in gastronomy. It is also the city that has one of the highest concentrations of restaurants per inhabitant in France!

Since 1935, the city has been called the ‘world capital of gastronomy’. Today, the city offers the choice between the gourmet charm of its famous ‘bouchons’ (typical restaurant where one eats specialities), the refined atmosphere of its great starred tables and the conviviality of its markets. It would be a shame not to taste the specialities that have made it famous during your stay!

Lyon's gastronomy is above all:

  • 4,300 restaurants including 14 starred restaurants
  • Great Chefs: Paul Bocuse, Georges Blanc, Christian Têtedoie, Pierre Orsi, Guy Lassausaie, Mathieu Viannay
  • World-famous vineyards: Beaujolais, Rhone Valley (Saint-Joseph, Côte Rôtie, Condrieu...)
  • Numerous specialities: tablier de sapeur, andouillette lyonnaise, tripes, pieds de cochon, grattons, saucissons de Lyon, cardons à la moelle, quenelles, salade lyonnaise, cervelle de Canut, saint-Marcellin tartes à la praline, bugnes...
  • Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse : an incredible concentration of the culinary know-how of the region! 48 shopkeepers (cheese makers, bakers, pastry chefs, market gardeners, butchers, fishmongers, caterers, wine merchants) who wish above all to honor the gastronomic excellence of the region. 
  • The Grand Hôtel Dieu, city of Lyon's Gastronomy: a Taste Trail of nearly 15,000 m² including 4,900 m² of restaurants, 2,700 m² of shops and a 900 m² local market.
  • The SIRHA, the world exhibition for the hotel and catering industry
  • The International Biennial of Taste with 1.7 km of the soft mode tunnel transformed into a gigantic table for the occasion. On the Saône side, the Grande Tablée; on the Rhône side, the Marché BIG with its producers.

 

Museums

Top 15 museums in Lyon:

  • Musée de la miniature et du Cinéma (the Miniature and Cinema Museum): The museum holds two permanent collections, one devoted to the art of miniature and the other devoted to special effect techniques used in films.
  • Musée des Confluences: The museum is a science centre (natural sciences, Earth sciences) and an anthropology museum.
  • Musée des Beaux-arts (The Museum of Fine Arts): one of the largest art museums in France (from Egypt antiquities to modern art), this museum is housed in a former Benedictine convent of the 17th and 18th century.
  • Musée Lumière: This museum is devoted to Auguste and Louis Lumière, inventors of the cinématographe and fathers of the cinema.
  • Musée gallo-romain de Fourvière (The Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon-Fourvière): This museum holds a collection of Roman, Celtic and pre-Roman material.
  • Musée des Tissus et des Arts décoratifs: Housed in two 18th century hôtels particuliers, it consists of two museums: the Museum of Textiles (Musée des Tissus) and the Decorative Arts Museum (Musée des arts décoratifs).
  • Musée de la Résistance (museum of the Resistance): The Center for the History of the Resistance and Deportation illustrates the French Resistance and the Jewish deportation during the Second World War.
  • Maison des Canuts (The House of the Canuts) / Soirie vivante : This museum collects and exhibits traces of Lyon's industrial development based on silk / In the Soierie Vivante museum, it is possible to learn and experience the weaving techniques.
  • Musée Gadagne (the history museum of Lyon): This museum houses the historic collections of the city and illustrates the cultural history of Lyon since the Middle Ages.
  • Musée de l'imprimerie (The museum of Printing and Graphic Communication): This museum is dedicated to the heritage of printed books and graphic arts.
  • Musée d'Art contemporain (MAC): The contemporary art museum presents the largest European artistic group installations ever assembled in a museum.
  • Musée des automates (the Automatons Museum): This museum holds a collection of 250 automatic puppets.
  • Musée Urbain Tony Garnier (The Tony-Garnier urban museum): This open-air museum explains the architectural contribution of the architect and city planner Tony Garnier, who is considered the forerunner of 20th century French architects.
  • Le petit musée de Guignol: This museum shows world's puppets and explains the history of our Guignol (puppet representing workers in the silk industry of France).
  • Musée africain (The African Museum of Lyon): This museum is the oldest museum in France that is dedicated to Africa.

 

Nature 

If you want to relax, there are numerous places where you can enjoy nature in the city:

  • The Parc de la tête d'or (Park of the 'Golden Head') is a large urban park with an area of approximately 117 hectares (290 acres). It harbors remarkable trees (cypress, ginkgo, giant sequoia), most of which are over a hundred years old, a roseray with 10,500 roses (the great rose garden), a botanical garden and an alpine garden. The park homes an African plain in the heart of the Zoological Garden, where several animal species living in the African savannah (giraffes, antelopes, watusis and other animals of the same biotope) cohabit. The park also features a lake of 17 ha, home to an extremely rich plant and animal life, on which boating takes place during the summer months.
  • The Rosa Mir garden: It is one of the most beautiful examples of so-called "raw" art (created by a person devoid of artistic culture), and combines colonnades decorated with shells and Mediterranean vegetation.
  • Le jardin du Palais Saint-Pierre: the former cloister of the Abbey of the 'Dames de Saint Pierre' (founded in the 5th century) is part of the Fine Arts Museum and now houses a garden with hundred-year-old oaks and statues by Rodin, Carpeaux and Bourdelle.
  • Les jardins des plantes et des Chartreux: Created in 1796, the Jardin des Plantes is the ancestor of the current Botanical Garden of the Parc de la Tête d'Or. It presents a wide variety of remarkable species.
  • Le parc Blandan: The Sergent Blandan Park, former Fort Lamothe is the latest of Lyon's major parks. It is a very original green space, both for its military remains (place d'armes, ramparts and castle) and for its abundant nature (forest front, 1.5 ha meadow, gardens of the reconquest).
  • Les berges du Rhône (banks of the Rhône river) : This promenade offers 5 km of urban leisure activities in the centre of Lyon. From the Tête d'Or Park to the Gerland Park, the site advantageously mixes mineral and vegetal elements to adapt to the constraints of the Rhône floods. They are punctuated by 8 landscape sequences to offer as many varied atmospheres with multiple uses: football, rollerblading, petanque ground, children's playgrounds, deckchairs and slides.
  • Les berges de Saône (banks of the Saône river): This pedestrian promenade where urban and bucolic atmospheres alternate spread along the river for 15 km from the confluence, through the town centre, the Vaise district, Ile Barbe and the towns further north. Several contemporary artists have animated the banks of the river with their works and installations. The project enhances and preserves the ecological heritage, the buildings along the Saône and related activities such as rowing, fishing or walking.





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