Lyon Travel Guide: 10 Top Things to do in Lyon, France🇫🇷
Lyon is the third largest city in France and the capital city in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Lyon's centre reflects 2,000 years of history from the Roman Amphithéâtre des Trois Gaules, medieval and Renaissance architecture in Vieux Lyon, to the modern Confluence district on Presqu'île peninsula. I visited Lyon to simply visit a friend, but I didn't expect that I would enjoy it so much.
Check 10 Top Things to Know Before Traveling to France + Cultural Do’s & Don’ts
How to Get Your Visa for France
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How to Get to Lyon
It is easy to get to Lyon by plane at the Lyons Saint-Exupery Airport, there are flights from all over Europe nearly everyday, so depending on where you are, it might be easy to get there.
Check Why You Should Visit France: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit France
If you are looking for an easy, quick, and reliable way to reach Lyon by plane, train, or bus, then Omio is your best option! Omio are my favourite app/website to move around Europe, and they have been changing the world of travel by empowering customers to go on journeys that move them. Their pioneering and practical platform helps travellers worldwide explore Europe, the United States and Canada via train, bus, flight and ferry. Choosing them means saving time and money while loving the journey you’re on.
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If you are looking for an easy, quick and reliable way to get from the airport to your accommodation, then Welcome Pickups are the best way to arrive in Lyon! Welcome Pickups are the safest way to travel as they provide airport and port transfer, sightseeing rides, and in-city rides. Welcome Pickups are one of the best, most trustworthy and convenient 5-star airport taxi companies for your airport transfer based on user reviews across various platforms such as Google, Tripadvisor and Trustpilot.
Welcome Pickups offers a great experience and safety to its travellers such as:
Local english-speaking drivers
Flat, pre-paid fee
Flight monitoring for delays
24/7 customer support
Here’s why you should choose Welcome Pickups:
20 minute gap between transfers - After each ride, their drivers have 20 minutes to clean the car and ventilate the cabin.
Contactless ride - You can request to have zero contact with the driver during the transfer with just one click.
Regular Car Sanitisation - They provide hand sanitisers and hand wipes for all their travellers and drivers.
How to Move Around Lyon
Once you reach Lyon, the airport is connected to a train station so it easy to get into the city from there. When moving around the city you can get the metro or the tram, you can buy tickets from any metro station or from a tram stop, you will find ticket machines at each stop.
Best Time to visit Lyon
You can visit Lyon all year long, during the summer it is hot and you can go canoeing or go on a boat rides. During winter it is also nice since the Alps are nearby as well as the attractions within the city, and also during winter you can witness the Festival of Lights (Fête des Lumière) in December.
The best time to visit Lyon is in September & October. At this time, all the summer tourists would have left the city and it won't be as crowded as it normally would be, and also the weather would be nice, not too hot and not too cold. If you are looking for the best prices, then you would have to visit between November & April, but be aware that it would be cold during that time.
Accommodation in Lyon
The best area for tourists to stay in is Presqu'île, this area occupies the land between the Rhône and Saône rivers and comprises the 1st, 2nd and 4th arrondissements. You can find hotels and Airbnbs in that area easily.
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Best Cafes & Restaurants in Lyon
Slake (Gluten-free options, vegan friendly, French cuisine)
Diploid (Gluten-free options, vegan friendly, French cuisine)
Akle - Le Comptoir A Mezzes (Vegan friendly, Lebanese cuisine)
Sabai Sabai (Gluten-freen options, vegan friendly, Asian)
Le Roi Falafel (Vegan friendly, Lebanese cuisine)
Check Lyon Travel Guide: The Best 2 Days Travel Itinerary
10 Top Things to Do in Lyon
1. La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière (The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière)
La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière is a minor basilica in Lyon that was built between 1872 and 1896. The basilica is situated in a great position overlooking the city. It is open everyday from 07:00 until 20:00. This should take you about 15 minutes.
Check My 3 Days Solo Trip to Lyon, France
2. Musée des Confluences (Confluence Museum)
Musée des Confluences is a science centre and anthropology museum, it was opened back in 2014 and it is located in the 2nd arrondissement. The museum is closed on Tuesday, and it is open the rest of the days from 10:30 until 18:30. It is better to buy tickets online prior to your visit to avoid queues, but you can buy tickets once you arrive at the museum, the ticket costs €9. This should take you between 1 and 2 hours.
Check Lyon Travel Guide: 24 Hours in Lyon, France - A Complete 1 Day Itinerary
3. Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste (Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral)
Lyon Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church that is located on Place Saint-Jean in central Lyon. This church is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and is the seat of the Archbishop of Lyon, and the construction of this church was completed in 1476. The church is open on weekdays from 08:15 until 19:45, and on Saturday from 08:15 until 19:00, and on Sunday from 08:00 until 19:45. This should take you about 15 minutes.
Check Why You Should Visit Lyon: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Lyon, France
4. Place Bellecour (Bellecour Square)
Place Bellecour is a large square located in the centre of Lyon, this is one of the largest open squares in Europe and the third largest in France. This can take as long as you want, you can stay at a cafe or a restaurant near and enjoy a meal or a drink.
5. Teatro Galo-Romano (Ancient Theatre of Fourvière)
The Ancient theatre of Fourvière is a Roman theatre, it was built on the hill of Fourvière that is located in the centre of the Roman City. This theatre is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is open everyday from 07:00 until 19:00, but the museum is open from Tuesday to Friday from 11:00 until 18:00, on weekends from 10:00 until 18:00, and the library is open from Tuesday to Friday from 13:00 until 17:00. The museum ticket costs €4, but entrance is free on first Sunday of every month. You can purchase tickets while there or you can save time and purchase them online. This should take you about 30 minutes.
6. Musée des Beaux Arts (Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon)
The Museum of Fine Arts is filled with ancient and modern paintings, sculptures, and artefacts. The museum is closed on Tuesdays, and open the rest of the days from 10:00 until 18:00, expect Friday it is open from 10:30. You can buy tickets at the museum or you can save time and buy them online. The ticket costs €8 for collections, and €12 for exhibitions. This should take you about 1 hour.
7. Musée Cinéma et Miniature (Museum of Cinema Miniature)
This is the Museum of hyper-realistic, miniature everyday scenes, plus movie props & special effects exhibits. This is one of my favourite places in Lyon, I enjoyed it so much and I feel like not many people know about it, I have a friend who lived in Lyon and didn't know about this museum, so this is a must when visiting Lyon. This should take between 1 and 2 hours.
8. Place des Terreaux (Terreaux Square)
This is another square located in the center of the Lyon on the Presqu'île between the Rhône and the Saône. It is located at the foot of the hill of La Croix- Rousse in the 1st arrondissement. This square belongs to the zone classified as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This can take as long as you want, you can stay at a cafe or a restaurant near and enjoy a meal or a drink.
9. Mur des Canuts (Canuts Mural)
This is a gigantic mural depicting ordinary life in the La Croix-Rousse, it is painted on a huge wall and it was created in 1987. This can take as long as you want, you can stay at a cafe or a restaurant near and enjoy a meal or a drink.
10. Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon)
This is the largest Renaissance district in Lyon and the city's oldest one as well. Taking a walk around this district is nice and calming, I enjoyed taking a walk there, you will also find a variety of cafés and restaurants. This can take as long as you want, so you can stay at a cafe or a restaurant near and enjoy a meal or a drink.