Top attractions in Lyon
A visit to Lyon puts you in a hub of culture, tourism, great food and nightlife. This ever-changing city has, in the last few decades, become a destination favored by Europeans looking for the full, stylish French lifestyle experience.
The city is split into quarters; this is the old town and the most picturesque. Wander around, taking in the old buildings and atmosphere. There are lots of things to do and see.
This intricate basilica is as impressive inside as out. The gilded arches and atriums, tableaus and amazing acoustics make it a moving excursion. It's particularly pretty at night.
Located in the 6th arrondissement, this large park is a great place to escape the tourists and while away an afternoon. Attractions include the small zoo and botanical gardens.
This welcoming cathedral is situated on a bustling square in the Vieux Lyon district. Entrance is free - drop by the treasury to see impressive artifacts owned by the church.
Seven rooms of exhibits make this an immersive attraction. Be sure to leave a whole day if you want tour it all, although the audio guide of highlights takes 90 minutes.
For a step right back in time, visit this original Roman theater, built into the hill. Marvel at the natural acoustics, perhaps at the annual Nuits de Fourvière festival.
The largest pedestrian square in Europe, this is where the tourist information center and many large hotels are based. Good for shopping and eating out.
Learn about the Roman influence on Lyon and the rest of France at this hillside attraction, located near an archeological dig. Highlights include the vibrant Circus Mosaic.
Further evidence of the Roman impact on Lyon lies at this amphitheater. Visit the museum to understand the relevance of the ancient site, which once seated 26,000 citizens.
This elevated district offers amazing views across the red rooftops of Lyon to the hills beyond the city. Expect a steep walk with plenty of steps, but this vista is worth it.
Lyon is well serviced by train from across Europe, and also benefits from many budget airlines operating out of Saint Exupéry.
It's easy to see why Lyon is known as the food capital of France. The city earned the moniker in 1935 but it's arguably still relevant, with world-class restaurants, cafes and food markets throughout the city. It's a jewel in France's gastronomical crown, where lunch - cheap, simple, well-executed and indulgent - is possibly the daily highlight. Eat anywhere, as much as possible, then walk it off in the winding streets.
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- Best time to visit
- June and September tend to be the best months to visit Lyon, because the temperatures are comfortably warm, the days are longer, and there are fewer tourists also visiting.
Things to Do in Lyon
Top Attractions in Lyon
Cities in France
Other Sightseeing Options in Lyon
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What people are saying about Lyon
We took the two hour tour and saw just about all we needed to see of Lyon. There were only four of us on the tour as we took it on an overcast day. This was good as it meant it remained cool. I was not sure about the lectric bikes at first as I had never ridden one, but by the end of the tour we were all converts. The make the ride so much easier. We covered all the banks of the rivers. Started around the pool area of the Rhone, down to "The Conjucture", the meeting of the rivers. Then up and over the Saome, past the original town area for Lyon until we crossed it again up near the tunnel that takes you under the hill on the middle peninsular to the Rhone again. We crossed back to the side we started riding down to the pool area again then back to the office on the other side. All up around 2.5 hours. We saw a lot and it would have been nice to do it a little slower so photos could be taken. But it was well worth it. I would recommend it as a tour most could do.
I found city pass to be particularly helpful for organizing. We activated our cards, which we picked up from the info office, at around 1pm to take a river boat trip to Barber Island, then squeezed in the Museum of Fine Arts before taking transport to see a game at Lyonnaise Olympic Stadium, and to our AIRBNB, after. In the morning we hit the Lumiere Museum, and the subway to Vieux-Lyon. We happened upon the museum of cinema and miniatures, and that was a pleasant treat to unexpectantly arrive at, before our 24 hours ended.
A good way to see the heart of Lyon, but not a huge amount to see. The commentary was very useful though. Booking a specific time is really useful as you have priority over all other ticket types and are guaranteed a seat. Instructions to find the start point need to reflect the fact you need to go into shop by the bus stop and have tickets validated before getting on.
Marie was our beautiful bike tour guide! She was very knowledgeable and knew the history of Lyon! She made it interesting and leaving us eager to come back one day to see more of this beautiful country! We would have paid triple! Thank you Marie ! Love your Utah friends!
This tour brought Lyon to life to me in a way that my own wandering and researching simply would not. The knowledge of a local with a passion for sharing this city was valuable beyond and tip given for this Free Tour. Bravo!