Lyon travel guide

Lyon in France

Lyon spreads over the narrow peninsula formed between the River Rhône and the River Saône, with the industrial regions and residential areas being located in the city's suburbs. Vieux Lyon (Lyon's old town), which is located in the right hand side of the River Saône, boasts an exceptional architecture of the Renaissance era. Nowadays, this peninsula has become the centre of the commercial district. The quarter of Brotteaux, at the east side of the River Rhône, features wealthy districts and region for the factories. These factories stretch out the village until the outskirts of the city.


Places to visit

  • the Municipal Library (french: bibliothèque municipale de Lyon) has printings dating from the first 50 years from the invention of press, and several rare books.
  • Place Bellecour, is a historic square built in the seventeenth century, and it is located in the centre of Lyon. This spacious square serves as a resting place for the citizens and tourists. There are lots of cafes and restaurants nearby.
  • the Musée Historique des Tissus is a textile museum, where Lyon's famous fabric characteristics can be seen. Italian and Spanish fabrics dating from the sixteenth to eighteenth century and some oriental textiles are also displayed in the museum. Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 until 17:30.
  • the Hôtel de Ville, Lyon's city hall, built in the mid-seventeenth century, is regarded as one of France's most beautiful buildings. Surrounded by statues and fountains, the city hall gives a graceful and elegant scenery. Place des Terreaux on the left side of the city hall is popular as a place to rest for locals, as well as visitors.
  • the Théâtres Romains de Fourvière Basillica are consisted of an ancient roman theatre and a smaller music hall (odeum), and are located on the western slope of the hill in downtown Lyon. This theatre complex is also used for Lyon's festival.
  • the Musée des Beaux-Arts, is a museum boasting a vast exhibition with over two hundred pieces of furniture and porcelain from the seventeenth and eighteenth century. During the eighteenth century the building served as a residence for the noblesse of the region and later it was converted to a museum.

Events to attend

  • the Fête des Lumières, is Lyon's festival of lights. Every year in December, shows of spotlights projected to buildings, bonfires, and lantern parades, all accompanied by music, are taking place in the city of Lyon, while locals illuminate their window sills with candles and lanterns.
  • Les Nuits de Fourvière, is Lyon's music festival. Open-air concerts are held in Fourvière's Roman amphitheatre from early June to late July.
  • Biennale de la Danse, is a dance festival taking place in Lyon from early September to early October in even years.

Food to taste

  • the Saint-Marcellin is a soft cheese made of cow milk.
  • the Cervelle de Canut is a dip with creamy cheese, white wine, shallots and chives.
  • the Poulet Célestine is a pan-fried chicken with mushrooms and tomatoes.
  • the Andouillette is a sausage, which is stewed with red wine (Andouillette Beaujolaise) or with Moutarde de Dijon (mustard).
  • the Kir is an aperitif with black currant liquor and white wine. The Communard is the one with red wine.
  • the Beaujolais nouveau is the first wine just after vinification. It is well-known and celebrated all over the world on the third thursday of November.

Map of Lyon with accommodations

The blue markers shows the location of various accommodations in Lyon. The letter in the marker describes the accommodation types: H for Hotel, A for Apartment, R for Resort, B for Bed & Breakfast and O for Other (e.g. pension, villa). Click on the blue marker for more information on the accommodation.