Top attractions in Lyon
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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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 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
- Euro (€)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+01:00)
- Country Code
- 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.
Other Sightseeing Options in Lyon
Want to discover all there is to do in Lyon? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Lyon
The guide has very good knowledge in the history of Lyon, France and Europe. She was able to explain very single place, events and monuments with a great in depth information. Being in the same city and heard several versions of various events, but she cleared all the doubts and was able to inform us which really a stories and which is true.
Me and mu sister realle enjoyed the tour, we learned kitchen culture of Lyon, went to five shop/restaurant, met local shop keepers, got trustworthy recommendations, visited traubueles. Food was delicious. It was a introductory tour into the Lyonnaise cuisine. We are glad to participate.
Trip was very good and food could not be faulted, the commentary was not very good as everyone was making a noise and the speakers were not loud enough. It was a cold day and the heating was turned up far too high, it was like a Sauna when the sun shone.
The trip was shortened because of high water levels in the river. The food, though, was very good and the staff were all very friendly. The shortened trip seemed to throw the timing off, but it was otherwise a really good experience.
This was a very interesting guided tour. Sylvie was very helpful, told us about the history of Lyon and we walked together mainly to vieux Lyon which was for us the place to be . Thank you Sylvie you one more time..