Things to do in

Lyon

Founded by the Romans, this French city combines UNESCO-listed districts, gourmet food, and lively nightlife.

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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

    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.

  • Notre Dame de Fourviere

    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.

  • Parc de la Tête d'Or

    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.

  • Lyon Cathedral

    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.

  • Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon

    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.

  • Ancient Theatre of Fourvière

    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.

  • Place Bellecour

    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.

  • Gallo-Roman Museum, Lyon

    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.

  • Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls

    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.

  • Croix Rousseau

    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.

Frequently asked questions about Lyon

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

  • 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.

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

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2,666 reviews

Vincent told enthusiastically, with a great sense of humor, about the treasures of Lyon, in the field of gastronomy, drink and historical anecdotes. The secret passages, the delicious Jesus sausage, always adapted to the questions of the participants, who came from America, Germany/Switzerland and (we) from the Netherlands. Very varied, a lot of information. It was a party in the old town of Lyon. Thank you Vincent! Regards, Ruud and Maaike

The audio guide was really good. Much less stressful for mom than walking around with a guidebook & map trying to direct everyone and read out the info all at the same time. We lost connection a few times inside the traboules, so might be better to listen before you go inside (if possible) so that you know how you are meant to exit. I would really recommend and look forward to doing another soon.

Brilliant experience and a great way to see Lyon and get your bearings. Our guide was fantastic and gave us lots of local info and recommendations. She tailored the tour to suit our interests and we enjoyed two hours seeing various sites. Definitely recommend to anyone visiting Lyon.

The local guide, Enric, took plenty of time to give us explanations of the city. He is a "open book". The ebikes were simple and easy going to go for a ride. The day was perfect.

First stay in Lyon is a pleasant way to get around the city, a personalized and very interesting guided tour. Thank you, we had a great time.