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Lyon: the city's best neighbourhoods

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About Lyon

Including tips for the best time to visit Lyon

Founded by the Romans in 43 BCE, Lyon holds its own as France's third-largest city with a buzzing cultural and gastronomic scene. It's also the birthplace of cinema, with a popular museum dedicated to the Lumière brothers' groundbreaking invention, now located in their former house. The city sits at the confluence of the Rhône and the Saône rivers and is the capital of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

The undeniable centrepiece is the UNESCO-listed Renaissance old town, known as Vieux Lyon. Here you can wander through secluded passageways called 'traboules', originally designed to let people pass discreetly from street to street without leaving the building. It's a great place for map-free stroll, but be sure to make stops at Rue Saint-Jean to see the stunning Gothic cathedral, and Rue du Bœuf for its designer stores and Michelin-starred restaurants.

Other main attractions include the Parc de la Tête d'Or, the Fourvière basilica and a huge number of museums including the eye-catching Musée des Confluences, Musée des Beaux-Arts and Musées Gadagne. Add to that a thriving nightlife and shopping scene, and you'll see why Lyon is a city that has it all.

Planes and trains are the easiest ways to reach the city, with Eurostar services arriving at Part-Dieu station and flights touching down at Saint-Exupéry Airport, 25 km east of Lyon.

Tonight

From £52 per night

This weekend

From £81 per night

Next weekend

From £78 per night

Most popular time to visit July–September
Cheapest time to visit January–March
Local currency € 10 = £8.83
Language French
Average weekend price £82 per night
Average weekday price £87 per night
Typical stay 1 night

Points of interest in Lyon

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Lyon reviews

What other travellers say about Lyon

10

Good to walk around, Vieux-Lyon should not be missed.

25 May 2019

Good to walk around, Vieux-Lyon should not be missed. Eating at a bouchon was a very enjoyable experience, but make sure you book in advance. Excellent local food in general. Notre Dame de Fourvière viewed from Place Bellecour is a sight begging for a photo. The Part-Dieu railway station will not win any awards for aesthetic glory. A good bookshop (Decitre) on Place Bellecour has books in several languages. The Resistance and Deportation History Centre is worth a very sober visit, especially for the documentary on the 1987 trial of Klaus Barbie, who was head of the Gestapo in Lyon.

Peter
Peter Australia
10

Pleasantly surprised by this city!

24 May 2019

Pleasantly surprised by this city! Really loved the gourmet food culture. Make sure to do some research before you go and make table reservations (all easily done online). Not all of the restaurants in Vieux Lyon are worth going to - look out for tourist traps but make sure you try out a "bouchon lyonnais" while you're in Lyon for traditional food. Many excellent quality and cool restaurants in the Croix Rousse area. Best tip for gourmet food/haute cuisine/Michelin star: make lunch time reservations. The gourmet food culture really is the heart of this city and it is clear why Lyon is known as the gastronomical capital of France. Many haute cuisine restaurants are unaffordable for those on budgets. BUT lunch time set menus are a lot cheaper than dinner menus and by doing it this way, we were able to try out more higher quality restaurants. Our favourite experience by far was at Monsieur P (Chef Florent Poulard). Highly recommend it.

Stephanie
Stephanie Austria
10

The surprise of four weeks in Italy and France.

23 May 2019

The surprise of four weeks in Italy and France. Cosmopolitan, in places it looks like Paris but without the grit. Amazing food, markets, art galleries and warm happy, friendly people. And how can you go wrong with Beaujolais and Burgundy to the north and The Rhône Valley to the south. The perfect junction.

Anthony
Anthony Australia
10

The food and wine was amazing, you will be spoil for choice...

23 May 2019

The food and wine was amazing, you will be spoil for choice while deciding where to eat! The old town has so much character and as you walk around, you discover so many different parts and history of the city!

Mangala
Mangala Malaysia
10

Lyon is one of the top gastronomic places in the world with...

22 May 2019

Lyon is one of the top gastronomic places in the world with lots of wonderful restaurants. The Sofitel Bellecoeur hotel where we stayed was perfectly positioned and the staff were extremely charming and helpful. Lyon has a beautiful old town and a lovely art gallery as well as some wonderful churches and cathedral. The two rivers provide lots of scenic views. The Parc de la Tete d'Or is gorgeous. Lyon has a very interesting past with the silk industry and its part in World War II. There are excellent trams and buses to use to get around. All the people are extremely friendly and helpful and speak good English.

Malcolm
Malcolm United Kingdom
4.0

Don’t know why some reviews say Lyon is a romantic city.

21 May 2019

Don’t know why some reviews say Lyon is a romantic city. OK for a few days but we wouldn’t be keen to return. Dirty and dilapidated in places, lots of graffiti, beggars, and areas under repair. Didn’t feel safe in smaller alleyways. Saw yellow vest demo which reportedly later turned violent. Saw a fight break out among immigrants at a main tram stop. Good side: Musee de beaux arts is excellent as is Gallo Roman museum, Confluence area architecture interesting, and Vieux Lyon has character. Lyon card worth getting but transport very crowded.

David
David New Zealand

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