The city between two rivers, full of charm
Located at the confluence of the Saône and Rhône rivers, Lyon is a beautiful and lively city at the crossroads of central-eastern France, rich in monuments. The oldest part of the city, known as Vieux-Lyon, which includes the medieval and Renaissance districts, can be found on the right bank of the Saône, at the foot of Fourvière hill.
The city center of Lyon. Photo: Copyright © / Shutterstock 
Here you will find the cathedral, splendid palaces, charming alleys and the Saint Jean Cathedral, which was built between the 12th and 15th centuries with a strong Gothic influence. At the top of the hill, reachable by cable car, there are the Roman Theater and the Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilization, offering stunning views of the city of Lyon.
Notre-Dame de Fourvière in Lyon. Photo: Copyright © / Shutterstock 
The central part of Lyon is the Peninsula, nestled between the two rivers, with elegant streets, 19th century monuments and a series of highly interesting museums, such as the Museum of Textiles, recalling Lyon's centuries-old history as the capital of silk.
The characteristic district of Croix-Rousse, where silk artisans once worked, stands out for its typical architectural feature, the traboules, covered passages that connect buildings. Lyon has 320 traboules, some of which are authentic works of art. The owners of some properties with traboules have signed a convention with the municipality to allow visitors to pass through.
Il Museo della Civiltà Gallo-romana a Lione
The Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilization in Lyon. Photo: Copyright © / Shutterstock
Beyond the Rhône lies the modern part of Lyon, including the Part Dieu district with its skyscrapers, and the Lumière Brothers Museum-House, which is dedicated to the invention of cinema.
The Two Rivers of Lyon
Il lungo fiume a Lione
The riverfront in Lyon. Photo: Copyright © / Shutterstock
The Saône and Rhône rivers, the latter much wider and illuminated, invite you to pleasant walks. The Parc de la Tête d'Or, a large green lung with a lake, botanical garden and zoo, is also a popular spot for a stroll.
500 hectares of Lyon's urban fabric are inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Every evening at sunset, beams of light are lit in as many sites and twenty city streets, adding to the charm of Lyon's architectural heritage. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th is dedicated to light, a tradition that dates back over 150 years, when the people of Lyon lit thousands of small lights on their windowsills. The festival takes place for more nights, in December.
As the second-largest city in France, Lyon is home to three universities, has a strong industrial sector, is an important transportation and communication hub, and boasts a rich cultural scene.
LyonThe University of Lyon overlooking the river. Photo: Copyright © / Shutterstock 

The Museum of Fine Arts is second only to the Louvre in Paris, while the Opera and the National Orchestra of Lyon are among the foremost expressions of symphonic music, and the Maison de la Danse is a prestigious ballet school.


Lyon's Traditional Dishes
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Foto: Copyright © / Shutterstock
Formaggio locale
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Cuisine is a dominant aspect of Lyon's culture, with famous restaurants and chefs such as the renowned Paul Bocuse, who has recently ventured into a new type of fast food. Traditional breweries are also found throughout the city. The efficient metropolitan transportation network makes it easy to move around Lyon.
Text by Luca Lembi
Updated by Alisè Vitri
Avion Tourism Magazine
Photo: Copyright ©, Shutterstock
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Where to sleep in Lyon
Lyon Lyon. Photo: Copyright © / Shutterstock
Lyon is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.
To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks
Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
Tourist attractions in Lyon
Basilica di Notre-Dame de Fourvière
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Basilica di Notre-Dame de Fourvière
It is one of the most emblematic monuments of Lyon. The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière is located on the Fourvière hill which offers a panoramic view of the city. The construction of the basilica began in 1872 and was completed in 1896. The basilica is famous for its mosaics and stained glass windows and is considered an important example of Neo-Byzantine architecture in France.
Cattedrale di Saint-Jean
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Cathedral of Saint-Jean
Located in the heart of Lyon's historic district, the Cathedral of Saint-Jean dates back to the 12th century and is one of the most important monuments in the city. The cathedral is known for its astronomical clock, which is one of the largest in the world. The Cathedral of Saint-Jean in Lyon is also one of the few buildings in Europe to have a crypt still visible to the public.
Teatro romano di Fourvière
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Roman Theatre of Fourvière
The Roman Theatre of Fourvière dates back to the 1st century AD and is one of the largest Roman theatres still in existence in Europe. The theatre is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site that protects Lyon's historic center. It is located on the same site as the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.
La Place des Terreaux
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La Place des Terreaux
The square is located in the historic center of Lyon and is surrounded by some of the city's most important monuments, including the City Hall and the Museum of Fine Arts. The square is dominated by the Bartholdi Fountain, which represents the Saône River that flows through Lyon.
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Parc de la Tête d'Or
Lyon's Parc de la Tête d'Or is a large public park that covers 117 hectares and is one of the largest urban parks in Europe. Inside the park, there is an artificial lake, a botanical garden, a zoo, and many other points of interest.
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Vieux Lyon
Vieux Lyon is Lyon's historic district, known for its medieval streets, Renaissance buildings, and traboules (covered passageways that connect streets). It is one of the city's most picturesque neighborhoods, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Museums in Lyon
Musée des Confluences
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Musée des Confluences
The Musée des Confluences is a natural history and anthropology museum located at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. The museum explores the connections between natural sciences, human sciences, and the history of the Earth, with a vast collection of objects that include fossils, minerals, archaeological finds, and anthropological artifacts. The building itself is an architectural wonder, with its glass and steel façade appearing to float over the water.
Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine
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Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine
The Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilization is located on the banks of the Saône River, in the heart of Lyon's old quarter. The museum offers an overview of life and culture in the region during the Roman era, with a vast collection of objects that include mosaics, sculptures, coins, and utensils. There are also reconstructions of buildings and environments from the period, such as a Roman citizen's house.
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon
The Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon is one of the most important museums in France. Founded in 1801, it contains a vast collection of works of art ranging from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and decorative arts. Among the masterpieces present are works by artists such as Rubens, Rembrandt, Delacroix, and Monet.
Musée de l'Imprimerie et de la Communication Graphique
The Museum of Printing and Graphic Communication is dedicated to the history of printing and communication, with a vast collection of printing molds, machinery, and tools. The museum provides an overview of the history of printing, from the first handwritten books to modern newspapers. There are also exhibitions on printing techniques such as woodcutting, lithography, and movable type printing.
Excursions in Lyon and its surroundings
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River cruise in Lyon
Interesting river cruise in Lyon to admire the city's monuments from the water with the Renaissance buildings of the old city of Lyon. The navigation along the Saona lasts 1 hour and includes a guide with explanations about the city. Bilingual guide in Italian and French. Further information: River cruise in Lyon.
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Gastronomic tour in Lyon
Four-hour tour of Vieux Lyon with a local guide to discover the oldest district of Lyon with the traboules (secret passageways used by silk merchants and weavers in the past), medieval streets and the St. Jean Cathedral. Several tasting stops to taste typical dishes. Further information: Gastronomic tour in Lyon.
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Wine tour from Lyon to Beaujolais
Half day Lyon wine region tour in southern Beaujolais. Famous for Beaujolais Nouveau, the region also offers beautiful villages. Departure from Lyon with guide and driver. Wine tasting, walk in the medieval golden stone village of Oingt, visit a cellar to learn about French wines. Further information: Wine tour from Lyon to Beaujolais.
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