Top 10 Things to do in Lyon, France

February 4, 2018 Kiesha Cripe

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lyon has 2,000 years of history imprinted on its streets (yes, the cobblestone kind). Explore this history in Vieux Lyon (one of Europe's most extensive Renaissance neighborhoods) and Lyon's two Roman amphitheatres, which still stage rock concerts today. It's no wonder Lyon is a popular area for travelers, with its dynamic university, first-class shopping, antique markets, vibrant theatre and music festivals, and a range of interesting museums, such as the International Puppet Museum and the Museum of Miniatures and Film Sets. (When we say "interesting," we mean it.)
Restaurants in Lyon

1. Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere

8 Place de Fourviere, 69005, Lyon, France +33 4 78 25 13 01
Excellent
68%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 8 reviews

Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere

Standing atop Fourvière Hill, this basilica, constructed in the late 19th century, has an ornate interior to contrast its grave exterior.

Reviewed By Alex W - Singapore, Singapore

This is an architecturally interesting church. The tower over which the golden image of the Virgin Mary stands is 17th century (though the golden statue dates from 1832), but the main church was built in 1870, and it is interesting to see how different the building styles are.
Inside the main church, there is extensive use of mosaics and stained glass. It’s somewhat overdone, giving, as first impression, a rather baroque interior, but in fact it’s a post-Baroque church.
Most people are naturally attracted to the terraces which give wonderful views over Lyon.
Normally, you can get up to the top of the hill where the basilica stands by using the funicular. However this line is not operating until the end of May 2018 at least. It is under maintenance. You will need to take the other funicular railway to its midstation “Minimes” -- close to where the ruins of the two Roman ampitheatres are -- and continue walking upwards from there. It’s not too far or too steep.

2. Musee Miniature et Cinema

60 rue Saint Jean, 69005, Lyon, France +33 6 16 40 53 26
Excellent
64%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

Musee Miniature et Cinema

This stately old building is located in Vieux Lyon.

Reviewed By Diane K - Chicago, Illinois

When we visited they had a special miniature room exhibit by Charles Matton. It was interesting how he used mirrors to enlarge the miniature room exhibits. The cinema section was also intesting of you are into movies. They explained how special effects were done. We spent about 1 and a half hours here. There's an elevator available too since the stairs are somewhat uneven.

3. Vieux Lyon

69005, Lyon, France +33 6 08 76 94 34
Excellent
64%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

Vieux Lyon

Lyon's historic section is full of old buildings and a traditional old French atmosphere.

Reviewed By Asilux

This place is usually a bit crowded, especially during weekends, but for good reasons !
"Le Vieux Lyon" is one of the old historical parts of the city (together with "La Croix Rousse" on the other hill) and certainly contributed to Lyon being awarded UNSECO status.
Enjoy the tour of this medieval/renaissance town, which is even more pleasant thanks to the pedestrian situation of this area (with cobble stone streets). The whole place is quite charming, quaint, and the history of its development (linked to the development of trades, banking institutions and the silk production that developed in Lyon).
Try to get inside some of the famous "Traboules" which are passage ways through the houses, allowing at the time the merchants and inhabitants to circulate vertically while most of the streets are "horizontal", i.e. parallel to the river. But please be quiet and respectful of locals when crossing through those hidden alleys.
This area is also full of bars and restaurants, some of them quite good, some other not so much so rely on Tripadvisor or our travel guide to select the best ones.
To avoid crowds, try to schedule the visit during week days rather than weekends if you have a choice, and start early. It is however also nice to visit again in the late evening.
Don't miss the Cathedrale !
After your visit you can take the cable car up the Fourvière hill, from where you can walk back down to the Vieux Lyon afterward.

4. Fourviere Hill

Lyon, France +33 4 72 57 15 40
Excellent
60%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Fourviere Hill

This hill was the location of Lyon's original Roman settlement and still is home to ancient ruins from that era.

Reviewed By PRSRJS - Arvada, Colorado

You can get to the top of the hill by various forms of public transportation. We took the funicular part way up and walked the rest of the way. There are stunning views of the City from the top.

5. Le Mur Des Canuts

Boulevard des Canuts, 69004, Lyon, France
Excellent
63%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Le Mur Des Canuts

Reviewed By Sarah B - Guildford, United Kingdom

Reading through the boards close by explaining the evolution of this magnificent work helps to explain how it all came to be what it is today
Taking photos of each other against the background tricks friends and family into believing that it is all genuine
Great fun!

6. Fresque des Lyonnais

Cnr 2 Rue de la Martiniere and the 49 Quai Saint Vincent, Lyon, France
Excellent
61%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 759 reviews

Fresque des Lyonnais

Reviewed By Sue M - Williamsburg, Virginia

Our Lyon tour included a stop of this trompe l'oeil facade of this building. Here it is essential to have a tour guide to describe and identify all the famous persons that appear on this mural. Our understanding is that the murals are re-done every ten years with new famous figures. And that there a a number of these murals throughout Lyon. We did view another one but this was far superior. This is a must see in Lyon - the artistry is incredible! If you found this review helpful, please click on the thank button below.

7. Lyon Tourist Office

Place Bellecour, 69002, Lyon, France +33 4 72 77 69 69
Excellent
64%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 602 reviews

Lyon Tourist Office

Lyon Tourist Office accompanies you while you discover Lyon. We provide personalised advice, we sell the Lyon City Card, guided tours of various themes, tourism leisure activities, and hotel Reservations allowing you to organise your stay in Lyon.

Reviewed By lolinlala - New York

We were fortunate to be attended by Fatma this December 2017. She gave us pointers of what to do and visit. Made restaurant resrvations and went out of her way to make us feel welcome.

8. Mini World Lyon

3 avenue de Bohlen, 69120 Vaulx en Velin, Lyon, France +33 4 28 29 09 19
Excellent
61%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 994 reviews

Mini World Lyon

Mini World Lyon is the biggest animated miniature park in France. Over 3000m2, 3 worlds (city, mountain, campaign) full of enchantment, interaction and humor welcome you for an immersive experience at 1/87 scale. Ticket also gives you access to our 3D cinema and our temporary exhibitons (LEGO®, Disney, Playmobil...). Our restaurant "La Place" is on free access. A visit here will take you in a typical french village's main square and immerse in the atmospheres of our worlds thanks to high definiton projections on our walls.

Reviewed By SammalHB - Tartu, Estonia

Mini World Lyon is not a park like Madurodam or Miniatürk, but a model railway attraction, as they call it. The exhibition emphasis is not only on the accurate buildings and surroundings, but as well on scenes with people. Look very closely and you find...MoreThank you very much for your comment ! We're really happy that you enjoyed your visit ! See you soon in Mini World Lyon :)

9. quartier Renaissance Saint Jean

Lyon 5er, Lyon, France
Excellent
58%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 533 reviews

quartier Renaissance Saint Jean

Reviewed By Sue M - Williamsburg, Virginia

Definitely helps to have a tour guide to walk around the historic part of Lyon to discuss the architecture and life in the medieval times. Lots of shops selling silk, chocolates, pastries, etc. What the jewel to explore in Lyon is the interior corridors and courtyards. You access the courtyards by opening a door and stepping through the passage (first turn on the corridor light since it is dark) and then you are in the interior courtyard and you see some very interesting architecture - like a staircase turret to move between the floors. I think most tourists miss the courtyards if they are just walking around. Apparently during the Occupation, many of the French resistance used these passages to avoid the Nazi and to hid from the Nazi. This is a must do in Lyon. If you found this review helpful, please click on the thank button below.

10. Traboules - Hotel Cour des Loges

6 rue du Boeuf, 69005, Lyon, France +33 4 72 77 44 44
Excellent
60%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 194 reviews

Traboules - Hotel Cour des Loges

Reviewed By Dorvic - Carnoustie, United Kingdom

We used a paid guide to explore these totally unique passageways in Vieux Lyon and we found ourselves in passageways which we didn't even know existed and heard stories of the past from a very informative guide. Amazing what you can find behind these amazing huge wooden doors.

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