Travel guide - Lyon

In addition to being charming, Lyon is also a stylish city bursting with culture. This city, which rivals Paris in size and population, is built on a human scale and offers the best of what France is famous for. Cultural events are the lifeblood of the city’s heart, the Confluence neighbourhood. Lyon’s many museums and architectural sites reflect the city’s past and its rich heritage. Lyon is also known around the world for its gastronomy based on regional products, which can be tasted in its many forms in the city’s traditional bouchons. You’re sure to be well fed during your stay in Lyon.

Diversity of architecture and neighbourhoods: a walk through the heart of the city

Lyon’s identity is expressed through its streets and neighbourhoods. Its sometimes-bourgeois architecture, influenced by both Italy and Paris, transports you from one style to another. The medieval quarter of vieux Lyon is a mix of 15th century and Renaissance styles: travel back in time. The city proudly displays its architecture inspired by the Second Empire, with the rue de la République as one of its favourites: the city’s framework can be seen more clearly from this main thoroughfare.
Boasting more than 2,000 years of history, Lyon displays its treasures that have been conserved thanks to the preservation plan, the city benefits from this due to its listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998. Prepare for a voyage through time and space, from the slopes of Croix-Rousse to the place des Terreaux, by way of the modern Confluence neighbourhood: several different eras are all present on the same peninsula.

An art and design revival, from galleries to boutiques

Lyon is a city of the arts. You can find both works of street art, with painted walls like the Mur des Canuts, and many independent galleries throughout the city. Art lovers gather in Lyon, and the many cultural spaces are a valuable complement to the exceptional Musée des Beaux-Arts, the city’s “Little Louvre”. The 70-some rooms of the sublime Palais Saint-Pierre also let you travel from Antiquity to Modern Art in a space where Veronese, Rubens and Rembrandt rub elbows with Ancient Egypt. Lyon brings art to life, making it accessible to all. Boutiques and galleries cater to contemporary trends, displaying current pieces in their windows. Between photography, sculpture and a variety of art installations, you can easily take advantage of your strolls through town to discover a range of contemporary artists and designers. After watching the play of light on the water of the Saône for a few minutes, head into the Galerie Estades for a pleasant stroll through an exposition under the archways of Saint-Vincent quay.

The gastronomy of Lyon: a delicious inheritance

Lyon has a taste for fine things. The specialities of this gastronomic capital are best appreciated in the city’s bouchons, small taverns where cooking is an art that uses only the highest quality ingredients. Here you can taste local products, traditional dishes and updated classics! From the refined quenelle to rosette de Lyon, a traditional local sausage, Lyon’s inhabitants make sure their visitors enjoy their flavourful gastronomic heritage. The city’s many establishments offer authentic cuisine in a friendly atmosphere, where specialities like sausage brioche and pork scratchings are given top billing. You will be welcomed in friendly settings with wooden tables and checked tablecloths as a perfect backdrop for sumptuous wines from the nearby Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône and Bourgogne regions.

A lively cultural scene and a city in motion

Lyon always has something to say. It’s as dynamic as a capital city and its festivals, based on themes ranging from artistic culture to night life, make the city a popular place for people to gather with old friends and make new ones. The city’s streets, facades and balconies are illuminated during the Fête des Lumières. From the Biennale de la danse to the Biennale d’art contemporain, from one year to the next, Lyon transforms itself into a place of experimentation for both artists and audiences, who fill cultural centres like the Sucrière, the Musée d’Art Contemporain and the Confluences neighbourhood. With its festival Les Nuits Sonores, Lyon is at the forefront of France’s electronic music scene, and concerts can be heard in the city’s bars and night clubs year round. The hip Confluence neighbourhood has dusted off immense industrial spaces, transforming them into places that host concerts and trendy cultural events.
In Lyon, the streets of the old town and the modern Confluence neighbourhood meet on the peninsula, with the Saône and the Rhone on either side, a testimony to the city’s multifaceted identity. Lyon, a true bridge between eras, is modern and authentic, just like its inhabitants.

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