Lyon
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Top attractions in Lyon

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Lyon's 10 top sightseeing spots

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.

Vieux Lyon

Vieux Lyon

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.

Notre Dame de Fourviere

Notre Dame de Fourviere

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.

Parc de la Tête d'Or

Parc de la Tête d'Or

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.

Lyon Cathedral

Lyon Cathedral

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.

Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon

Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon

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.

Ancient Theatre of Fourvière

Ancient Theatre of Fourvière

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.

Place Bellecour

Place Bellecour

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.

Gallo-Roman Museum, Lyon
Photo: Carole Raddato@Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Gallo-Roman Museum, Lyon

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.

Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls

Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls

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.

Croix Rousseau

Croix Rousseau

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.

Planning Your Lyon Visit

How to get there

Lyon is well serviced by train from across Europe, and also benefits from many budget airlines operating out of Saint Exupéry.

What to eat

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.

Good to know

  • Language
    French
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +33
  • 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

Great way to see a lot of Lyon really quickly.

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.

Lyon: 2-Hour Highlights E-Bike Tour Reviewed by Anonymous, 24/04/2019

Easy to use, and great with a 24 hr plan

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.

An quick an interesting insight to historic Lyon

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.

Lyon: 1-Hour City Tram Audio-Guided Tour Reviewed by Anonymous, 15/08/2019

Marie ! Marie ! She was amazing! We loved her !

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!

Lyon: 1.5-Hour E-Bike Tour Reviewed by Jodi, 09/07/2019

Get an insiders view of all the things you would probably miss.

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!

Lyon: Guided Sightseeing Cruise Reviewed by Virginia, 09/08/2019