When one hears about France they immediately think about Paris. However, Lyon is arguably the second most important city in the country, and a destination that’s becoming very popular among travellers.
Being the 3rd biggest city of France, Lyon is also the center of Rhone-Alpes area. It's one of the areas of France that is worth seeing with its gastronomic and historical richness that has been shaped in hundreds of years. Lyon, which has witnessed the birth of cinema, protects its cultural structure. In the city, where another value is hidden in every street and every building has been constructed with an elegant architectural taste, areas that date back to Roman times and have been protected by UNESCO may create the feeling that you're in an open-air museum. The statement that water brings life to wherever it goes is quite true for Lyon. The city that has been shaped by Rhone and Saone rivers, has been extended around them. You'll follow the trails of cultures that go beyond time in Lyon, which has 4 regions in UNESCO World Heritage List as Vieux (Old) Lyon, that dates back to Renaissance, Presqu’ile the heart of the city, Fourviere Hill the spiritual center and Croix-Rousse the residential area of silk workers in the 19th century. In Lyon, the weather varies according to seasons. Even though winters are cold, it rarely goes below -3 °C. If you're going to visit Lyon in summer, be prepared for the heat that reaches 35°C in July and August.
Top Landmarks in Lyon
- With a history dating back to ancient Roman times, Lyon has earned a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It has it all: from historic monuments (including fountains and churches) to Roman ruins.
- The Musée des Beaux-Arts is considered the next-best fine arts museum after the Louvre, and is definitely a must-see landmark in Lyon.
- Another popular destination is the Presqu'ile District. Stroll through this gorgeous square, admire the architecture, and stop at a local coffee shop for a cup of delicious French espresso.
Landscape in Lyon
Lyon's distinctive skyline is crammed full of landmarks and monuments. It represents the perfect mix of a little French town, with very modern and grandiose architecture, full of art and culture. You must ensure to cover both the Old Town and the modern part of the city, where you will have very different experiences.
What to Eat in Lyon
- The main reason why travellers (including the French themselves) visit Lyon is for the food. The traditional cuisine of Lyon is something that really worth the trip. Paul Bocuse, originally from Lyon, is one of France’s most renowned chefs.
- The most unique culinary specialty is something known as quenelles, a type of dumpling in a rich cream sauce.When you visit, look for places called Bouchons Lyonnais. These are brasseries that are found all over town and offer traditional fine dining at good prices
Transportation in Lyon
When it comes to transportation, there are very good and affordable options in Lyon. Buses, trams, a four-line metro and two funiculars are operated by the TCL, which has information maps throughout the city. Tickets are valid for all forms of public transport, so you don’t have to do much thinking. If the weather allows it, walking short distances is also an excellent option
Lyon Airports Served
- Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport (LYS)
More information about Lyon
Food and Drink
More Places to Visit
You can fly to Lyon Saint-Exupery Airport or Saint-Etienne Airport with Pegasus' cheap flights to Lyon. Lyon Saint-Exupery Airport is 25 km away from the city. Many transportation alternatives between the city center and the airport will be waiting for you. If you're looking for a fast and comfortable trip, you can be in the city center in 30 minutes by using the train line called Rhonexpress. This line, which is mostly used by people on business trips, is a bit more expensive than other options. Go Airport shuttles is another affrodable alternative for transportation to the Lyon city center from the airport. You can go to the city center once you arrive at Meyzieu tramway station. For flights to Saint-Etienne Ariport, you can use shuttle services that go to Lyon. Also, you can choose a comfortable transportation from both airports by renting a car on flypgs.com
You can easily visit places by walking since Lyon city center does not cover a wide area. Bicycle roads that are upgraded every day a bit more and rental bike opportunities point out to another fun alternative. You can reach anyway without any problems in Lyon with its metro, tramway and more than a hundred bus lines.
From big shopping centers to boutique shops, antique shops to small street markets... There are many alternatives to experience all kinds of shopping in the sweet city atmosphere of Lyon.
- Rue de la Republique - There is a great variety of options on the main shopping street in the city center from French brands to local stores and international brands. Make sure that you'll spend an afternoon for a walk here. Address: 69002 Lyon
- La Part-Dieu - La Part-Dieu, which holds the title of being the biggest shopping center located in a city center in Europe, is home to the most famous fashion brands. Address: Boulevard Vivier-Merle, 69003
- Rue du President Edouard Herriot, Rue Gasparin, Rue Emile Zola, rRue des Archers - The most luxurious square of Lyon is hidden in the middle of these streets. Even though you don't shop there, it's an ideal exploration stop to see clothing and decoration collections of the most distinguished brands. Address: 69002 Bellecour
- Rue Victor Hugo - There are many restaurants, cafes and shopping centers in this street which goes from Place Bellecour to Place Carno and is closed to traffic. You can experience the daily French life. Address: 69002 Lyon
- Rue Auguste Comte - Auguste Comte, which is parallel to Victor Hugo Street, is famous for its antique shops. Make sure you stop by here to feel a nostalgia of the French culture. Address: 69002 Lyon
Food and Drink in Lyon
Welcome to the gastronomical center of France! A foody tour you have in Lyon definitely won't be an ordinary eating out activity. Many new tastes are waiting in line to be explored with Lyon's famous Michelin star restaurants and traditional dishes. Stopping by a "bouchon", which is a kind of restaurant that is special to Lyon, and meeting traditional dishes are especially very enjoyable. Many tastes that used to be a part of daily foods of workers who worked here have enriched with the French touch in time and many unique recipes have emerged. We should remind you that lunch hours are between 12 pm - 2 am and dinners are served between 7.30 pm - 10 pm in Lyon.
- La Mere Brazier - The French Revolution was done and many female chefs have started to open their own restaurants. La Mer Brazier is a historical restaurant that has reached our times from those days and it's the work of Eugenie Brazier who is the first woman to earn 3 Michelin stars. It's definitely a privilege to taste Lyon's classical foods among colorful rays of lights that come through the stained glasses in eating rooms decorated with artworks. Address: 12 rue Royale, 69001 Lyon
- L’Abbaye de Collonges - Worldwide famous Paul Bocuse's Michelin star restaurant... A taste stop that dazzles us with its elegant design and surprisingly rich cheese and dessert menus. Address: Quai de la jonchere 69660 Collonges au Mont d'Or
- Le Bec et Taka - No doubt, one of the most creatve restaurants of Lyon is Le Bec et Taka. It feels really privileged to eat the most delicious combinations of the modern world cuisine among silver sculptures lined side by side all around the restaurant. Address: 69 - Rhone
- Le Layon - If you're looking for French cuisine's classic tastes for lunch and dinner, visit Le Layon. Grenouilles (frog) is the most extraordinary taste you need to try in the menu of the restaurant which serves from noon till midnight. Address: 52 rue Mercière
- Boulangerie du Palais - We're witnessing one of the sweetest sides of Lyon. Leave yourself to the tempting smell that surrounds you the moment you step inside and taste the specially produced sugared almonds of this patisserie. Address: 8 Rue du Palais de Justice, 69005
Accommodation in Lyon
In addition to being the 3rd biggest city of France, Lyon is a center of attraction for many local and foreign people thanks to its activities, old houses and unique view that is created by its two rivers. Since most places are in walking distance and you can easily use public transportation until midnight, any hotel located at the city center will be suitable. A luxurious hotel by the calmly flowing River Rhone with rooms that have panoramic views or a history filled housing in a building that dates back to the Middle Ages... Many accommodation options are waiting for you in Lyon.
- Cour des Loges - Cour des Loges, which has been created in a historical building from the 14th century in the city center, pushes the boundaries of the glamourous French life. Address: 2-8 rue du Boeuf, 69005
- Hotel Sofitel - Being especially ideal for big business meetings, Hotel Sofitel very well deserves to be called "luxurious". Its location that is close to famous Place Bellecour also adds up to its charm. Address: 20, quai Gailleton
- LaTour-Lyon - The answer to the question "How would it be to stay in a Renaissance tower in Vieux Lyon?" is hidden in LaTour. It lays Lyon with all its beauty in front of you with a panoramic view. Address: 21 rue Juiverie
- Appart'Ambiance - If you get moved by the charm of Lyon and decide to extend your stay, these apartments should be your first choice. You can stay for a couple of months or just a couple of day if you want to have the experience of an apartment hotel in Lyon. Its high quality service is quite satisfying. Address: 24 rue Desaix
- Auberge de Jeunesse de Vieux Lyon - In addition to being affordable and high quality, this hostel also have an amazing view. Although it mostly offers accommodation in dorms, it's also possible to find private rooms. Address: Place des Minimes
Places to Visit in Lyon
Maybe there is no Eiffel Tower in Lyon but you won't have to go far for places to see in Lyon thanks to its neighbourhoods of which history goes back to Middle Ages, cultural past and enjoyable city life. It makes transportation easier that the centers are close to each other. You can walk around in the colorful architecture of the city or take bicycle tours to explore the city.
- Parc de la Tete d’Or - Get on your bike and set out to this huge park. Being one of the biggest parks on France, Tete d’Or has a big botanical garden and zoo inside. Giraffes, flamingos... Moreover, once you've reached the park, you don't pay for a fee to get in the zoo. Address: 69006 Lyon
- Institut Lumière - We're paying respects to the place where cinema has been invented, in the memory of Lumiere Brothers who lived in Lyon. Make sure you see exhibitions, guided tours and movie screenings in Institut Lumière, which is a cultural center with a museum inside. It's an amazing opportunity for cinephiles! Address: 25 Rue du 1er Film, 69008
- Fourviére Cathedral - Either walk or take the funicular if you'd like. The panoramic view of this cathedral, which has been constructed to pay respects to Virgin Mary, is worth seeing. Address: 8 Place de Fourvière, 69005
- Vieux Lyon - Vieux Lyon, meaning the old Lyon, is an attraction point on its own. Its buildings that keep their states as historical pieces and St. Jean Cathedral definitely deserve a walk around.
- St. Bruno Church - St. Bruno Church, which has been dedicated to Saint Bruno, offers a different experience as the only Baroque church in the city. Address: 9 Impasse des Chartreux, 69001 Lyon
Lyon is very French and very international at the same time. We observe it best when we go out to see its nightlife. There are places where many music lovers can feel comfortable with alternatives from classic music to jazz, French classics to pop and rock. Get ready to take part in Lyon's entertainments that go on until the first lights of the day.
- Auditorium - Would you like to listen to a glamourous classical music concert? Then get your first ticket from this modern concert hall, where Lyon National Orchestra frequently takes the stage. It also hosts important perfromances of jazz and world music. Address: 84 rue de Bonnel
- Le Bec de Jazz - A comfortable atmosphere and enjoyable jazz performances that continue until 5 am... It's a club where all jazz lovers need to stop by to see live performances that take place every night from Wednesday to Saturday. Address: 19 rue Burdeau
- L'Abreuvoir - Promising endless fun with wild French music every day of the week, L'Abreuvoir is a bar you need to see for the complete French experience. Address: 18 rue Ste Catherine, 69001
- Kelly's Irish Pub - An entertainment spot not to miss for Irish pub enthusiasts! It hosts another activity every day of the week. There is live music on Saturdays. It's a different pleasure to listen to a concert while playing darts. Address: 12 quai Romain Rolland
- Sirius - It doesn't matter what you wear because formality has no importance in Sirius. You can enjoy live music almost every day. On weekends, you may have a hard time making a choice between its two dancefloors. Address: 21 quai Augagneur
- Country Code: +33
- Ambulance: 15
- Fire: 18
- Police: 17
- Emergency Line For Cellphones: 112
- Saint-Exupery Airport: +33 826 80 08 26
- Saint-Etienne Airport: +33 4 77 55 71 71