Known for its gastronomy, cuisine, and architecture, Lyon is favourite among travellers looking to experience authentic French culture. With each season offering their own take on these cultural wonders, there's never a bad time to visit Lyon.
Lyon in the winter draws visitors from around the world
Unlike a lot of European cities, Lyon actually experiences a bit of an upsurge in visitors during the winter. Each December, the magnificent Festival of Lights illuminates the city, attracting people from all of the world. First celebrated in 1852, the festival is marked by spectacular sound and light shows throughout the city, while the residents of Lyon create a hauntingly beautiful atmosphere by placing candles outside the windows of their homes. Elegant, mysterious and truly inspiring, it’s the highlight of a beautiful season in a beautiful city.
The city's architecture is best seen when spring is in bloom
Lyon is a beautiful city at any time of year, but when spring is in full bloom you’re looking at some serious spectacle The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière has never looked prettier than in the bright light of a May morning, and if the tower is open to visitors then head up to enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city. And that’s just the start. The architectural marvels of Lyon – from preserved Renaissance alleyways to contemporary concert halls – just keep on coming, and the lengthening days and warmer weather create the perfect environment to discover them.
Explore the city during the long, warm summer days
Whether you’re gently cruising down the Rhone, discovering some wonderful architecture or scouring the shops of Presqu’île for some chic haute couture, Lyon in the summer is a sensation. The weather’s often balmy and it’s perfect weather for cycling – a great way to see the city! You’ll also be able to catch the Nuits de Fourvière festival, where a programme of theatre, dance and music is staged in the city’s Roman Theatre. And don’t forget Lyon is often seen as France’s culinary capital. What could be better than enjoying some of the city’s renowned gastronomic delights while sitting on a terrace in the sunshine?
Stroll through the city during the relaxing fall days**
It’s not just the changing colour of the leaves and the lazy meandering of the Rhone that make Lyon in the autumn feel so relaxing. Though you’ll have an abundance of things to do, it pays to take your time and absorb the atmosphere as much as the sights. There are countless museums and galleries to explore, architectural delights just waiting to be discovered and plate upon plate of Lyon’s celebrated cuisine to savour – and who would want to rush all that?