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

A great short break in the countryside near Lyon

Vladimir, our guide took our small group of 8 for a half day tour in his van. He provide interesting information about the area, vineyards and wines and tastings were great. I can definitely recommended this tour for seniors as well as there is very little walking and it was perfect for my parents.

Tour was excellent. Typical, organic sustainable local food.

I loved the historical and food information given by the tour guide. The food that was given was very good and the tour knew a lot of Lyon. She was very friendly.

Lyon Terreaux Food Tour with a Local Guide Reviewed by Jessica, 02/17/2019

Excellent friendly host with detailed explanations of everything!

I was hesitant at first to considering the price for a walking based tour, but the history and small nuances provided by the host were second to none. She was extremely friendly and very accommodating. The food (and wine) were brilliant, and the tour shows you parts of Lyon Old Town that you might not otherwise see. We were also able to see a silk trader at work, and were explained the history of silk, Lyon, and the Traboules, and how they co-existed. Overall, very excellent! P.s. the first stop with the cheese was very tasty! We went back and bought more!

Vieux Lyon 4-Hour Food Tasting Tour Reviewed by Chris, 01/13/2019

A nice way for a short stay to see the city in an other manner.

We had just short stay and used this to say a bit more of the city. It has been a very nice way to see and learn something more about the city.

Lyon: Guided Sightseeing Cruise Reviewed by Jos, 08/09/2018

Great insight to the food in the old town

We had an enjoyable experience learning not only the food and wine but also fascinating local history with an insight as to how the city and the food are inter woven. Surprisingly a highlight of the tour was not of a culinary nature but of a local artisan who specialised in the weaving of extremely beautiful hand woven silk. The whole experience was definitely enhanced by our knowledgeable and extremely enthusiastic guide Oliver.

Vieux Lyon 4-Hour Food Tasting Tour Reviewed by Sharon, 05/25/2018