Hello and welcome back to all travelers, after a short stop we are ready to start again. Are you with us?
The city we are going to visit today is a big city (so we want you super ready!). Now we are going to reveal the name of the destination where we are heading and it is Lyon. As always, let’s start with the presentation.
Lyon is a city in southeastern France and is the third most populous city in France (after Paris and Marseille). It rises at the confluence of the Rhone and Saone rivers (both navigable). The city is made up of the historic center (Vieux-Lyon), a more commercial center with the Place des terreaux or Rue de la République and the river port of Lyon, the Port Édouard Herriot, located in the Gerland area. Its position favors communication and consequently its constant development. Lyon is a very important city economically and technologically speaking. But these are not the only sectors that the city masters, there are others, including mechanical, textile, chemical, pharmaceutical sector and health care. It is also home to Euronews (an information television channel which broadcasts almost all over Europe). Then we want to talk about the various activities, beacuse there are lots of them: bike sharing, these are bikes made available to go around the city, or if you want, you can participate in the various events that the city welcomes such as: the Festival of Lights (Fête des Lumières), the Biennial of contemporary dance, cinematographic events (Lyon being the site of the photographic workshops of the Lumières brothers). Ok, we have already revealed too much so we conclude with the motto of the city “Avant, Avant, Lion le melhor” (Go, go, Lyon the best).
To know more (what to eat, where to eat, where to have fun, things to visit…) continue to read.
Yes, it’s time to get to the heart of this adventure and we can sa that Lyon has a lot to share!
PLACES TO VISIT (MUSEUMS/THEATERS…)
- Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste: the cathedral of Saint John and Saint Stephen, classified as a historical monument of France, is located in the medieval and Renaissance part of the city. Its style is Romanesque and Gothic and is clearly visible from its external facade. Continuing with the exterior we see that the structure consisting of small and low bell towers and three entrances on the sides. The interior of the church, on the other hand, houses magnificent stained glass windows and an automatic 14th century astronomical clock, that it sets in motion several times a day. The scenes represented are some animals and the scene of the Annunciation. The beautiful square in which it is located is also beautiful.
- Eglise Saint Nizier: is a parish church located in Presqu’île (an area of the city), classified as a historical monument in France. Also this church is in Gothic style with the external facade consisting of two lateral bell towers. The interior houses several sculptures and it is slightly darker than the previous one but this is due to the color of the stone with which it was built.
If you want to continue, another church you could visit is the Notre Dame de Fourvière basilica, also very beautiful and moreover located on a high part of the city from which you can admire a pleasant view.
- Musée des Beaux-Arts: it is the main museum in the city, so much so that it is considered the second most important after the Louvre. It is located in the ancient palais Saint-Pierre, former convent at place des Terraux, and for this reason some rooms such as the refectory or the chapel have kept the original decoration. The museum presents collections of painting (impressionist art of the most famous artists, such as Matisse, Gauguin, Picasso…), sculpture, ancient art (Egyptian, Greek, Roman), art objects, coins, prints, medals, graphic art (drawings made with watercolors or pastels). Magnificent inside and outside!
- Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine: this museum, located on the Fourvière hill, is divided by an external part that shows the still intact remains of the Theater and the Odeon (it is the name of some buildings of ancient Greece used to sing) and from an internal part that regularly hosts temporary exhibitions, archaeological finds, a model of the ancient city, mosaics, handicrafts, sarcophagi and ancient treasures (rings and earrings). An atmosphere and a view to be experienced and admired.
- Musée des Confluences: is a museum of science and anthropology. Its modern architecture deserves a visit as well as the scenery as it is located at the foot of the Rhone river and previously in the Presqu’île area. The museum includes collections of natural sciences, anthropology and earth sciences. These collections are divided into specific sections and with different names that explain some of the history of the universe, others the birth of life and the evolution of humans, the link between man and animal and some questions about the meaning of life, all made still more interesting by models and the use of digital.
- Institut Lumière: it is a center for the promotion and conservation of aspects concerning french cinema. It is nothing more than a museum that honors what the contribution of the Lumière brothers has been in the world of cinema, those who were the true founding fathers. The museum is located right inside the house of the Lumière family, where, among other things, in the neighborhood, one of the first films to be made was shot near the building. Going into the details of what is available inside the museum we find various tools, some of the brothers’ inventions, their history, that of cinema, experiments and how the brothers managed to achieve all this. In addition, the visit also includes numerous screenings of historical films. And if all this is not enough for you and you are a cinema lover and you love its history, it has not ended here, we still have another museum to visit, the Musée Miniature et Cinéma.
- Musée Gadagne: it is a museum located in the historic center of Lyon in the Saint-Jean district and is classified as a historical monument. The building is made up of the Lyon history museum (with sculptures, paintings, furniture, ceramics from the Middle Ages up to the 19th century and more than the maps that follow the evolutionary history of the city) and that of puppets. In addition, the third houses a small theater. You will see that it is very particular as a building, it will immediately bring you back to ancient times.
- Maison des Canuts: it is a small museum (just a small room) but with a world inside. Not only does it deal with the history of the neighborhood in which it is located (Croix Rousse which seems to be a small town in its own right) but above all with the history of weavers with a vision of an old hand loom. In addition to these, there are other objects that testify to the whole. There is a pleasant atmosphere here that is worth breathing. Plus there is also a shop where you can buy silk items (a perfect souvenir).
- Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon: is a museum dedicated to contemporary art, located right in front of the Parc de la Tête d’Or. Its permanent collection alternates with that of temporary exhibitions. Inside there is also an area dedicated to graffiti. The museum is very original and particular but very interesting. You have to “understand” it to really appreciate it. Another super original and truly extreme contemporary art museum is the Demeure du Chaos. Amazing!
- Cour des Voraces : it is an ancient palace, famous above all for its huge six-storey staircase and is a historical monument. Lyon’s symbol, it is a fine example of popular architecture. It is also a place that symbolizes some great moments in the history of Lyon (such as that of the resistance), after some sources, in fact, this palace served as a refuge. We are sure it will leave you surprised and more aware of the history of the city.
- Palais de la Bourse: is a building located in the Les Cordeliers district. It is currently the seat of the city’s Chamber of Commerce. The building consists of four pavilions and a main room called “Salle de la Corbeille”. Beautiful internally (with the magical paintings) but also its architecture is exceptional, not to mention the various statutes, all of which symbolize something. There is the statue of justice, temperance, agriculture, commerce and industry, then the main one, near the stairs, with its arms placed in a certain pose that indicates the future.
- Musée de l’Imprimerie: is a museum in Lyon with the mission of conserving, documenting and enhancing the heritage of printed books and graphic arts. It is a museum very visited by tourists as it is so fascinating. There are many collections and themed objects. The creation of this museum is due to the fact that the city had been a center of printing and book trade.
As for the theaters, there are many of them such as: Théâtre des Célestins, Théâtre Tête d’or, Opéra de Lyon, Salle Molière, Théâtre Le point du jour.
Palais de la Bourse
Montée de la Grande-Côte
We continue through the streets of fun!
- Parc de la Tete d’Or: it is a large urban park, the largest in France. The entrance is a whole beauty, the gate that marks the entrance already marks its predominance on the city scene. It is a place very popular, especially for those who want to play sports. The parc includes a velodrome, a bowling green, a mini-golf. In addition, it has a large lake on which you can take a boat ride. But it’s not over, the park has several areas consisting of a botanical garden, rose garden and a zoo. We close with a curiosity about the park, its particular name derives from a legend where a golden head would be buried in this land.
Other green areas to visit are: the Jardin du Rosaire heritage and botanical discovery (wonderful place), the Parc de la Feyssine a very wild but always well-kept green space and the Parc de Parilly an immense park.
- Now we will see more in detail the various streets and squares that the city offers: Place Bellecour is the main square of the city classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The heart of Lyon, not only because it is the center of the main streets but also because here are held various events. The square is really huge and houses an important statue, the Equestrian statue and a ferris wheel. Around there are many bars, clubs and shops. Fourvière Hill is the hill overlooking the historic center of Lyon located at the foot of the Saone river bank. Needless to say, the view from up there is a sight to see (there are various belvedere on the site). You can reach the hill by funicular and going up you will see the growth of the magnificent view that includes the beautiful Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere. Place des Jacobins, a square very famous in particular for its architecture and the fountain is an example. Place des Terreaux another main square in Lyon, at the foot of the Croix-Rousse hill. It houses important buildings such as the hotel de ville (the town hall which has one of the most impressive buildings in the city) and the musée des beaux-arts as well as a large fountain with a sculpture inside. Croix-Rousse is a hill that wanted it to be the international center of the silk processing industry. It is full of archaeological sites, various monuments and many other things to visit, such as the Jardin Rosa Mir; the underground Croix-Rousse is also interesting. Furthermore, in one of the main streets of the area is held the Marché de la Croix-Rousse, a market of fruit, vegetables, cheeses but also flowers… well, there is everything and more. Two other nice and peaceful mountains to visit are Montée du Gourguillon and Mont Cindre.
There are three streets where you can go around shops and clubs: rue de la Ré, rue Saint-Jean and rue du Boeuf, for something more artisanal.
- Montée de la Grande-Côte: it is a long uphill road alternating with steps that allows you to reach the Croix-Rousse hill on foot if you don’t want to use the funicular. The area belongs to the UNESCO heritage list. It is beautiful to see slowly that you go up the walk away and everything becomes small behind you. The climb is not very tiring, it certainly requires a little more effort therefore more energy, however considering that you have all the time and everyone can go with its rhythm, it can be done.
- Fresque des Lyonnais: it is a mural that takes the whole building on which 24 historical figures of Lyon and 6 contemporary characters are represented, everyone on its own balcony. It’s such a strange feeling because it really seems all real! Another (according to our opinion) even more beautiful is Le Mur Des Canuts. What a show. This represents a daily scene, people on the street, on the stairs, on the balconies, everything is so true as to be confused with the real passers-by and therefore, the only warning is to be careful, it is not real haha!
- One of the many things to do absolutely is a walk along Quais de Saône, a place along the banks of the river. You can also decide to visit the city from another point of view by taking a ferry ride (Embarquement Vaporetto Confluence).
And still the Pont de l’Ile Barbe, this bridge is very suggestive to cross, perfect for those who want to do it on foot or by bike.
- Mini World Lyon: a miniature Lyon with lots of beautiful details to admire and with sections dedicated to cineme and other sectors. Nice to look at (especially for the little ones).
- And yet there are still many fun activities for all tastes, including: Aquavert (outdoor and indoor pools for the little ones), Grand parc de Miribel-Jonage (perfect swimming lake on hot days), I-Scape (escape game), SENSAS Lyon (a truly unique and unrepeatable sensory experience!), I-Reality Réalité Virtuelle Collaborative Lyon (to venture into a virtual reality), France Aventures Lyon (adventure park). As an alternative to all this fun, you can have a nice walk at Réservoir du Grand-Large, a nature reserve where is located an artificial lake.
Mur Des Canuts
Lyon nightlife is very lively and cheerful and never gets tired! Among the liveliest places we find: the area that goes from Place des Terreaux and goes up to the Croix Russe full of places to have a drink or dance until late at night or listen to jazz. In addition we find the historic center of Lyon with its three districts of Saint-Paul, Saint-Jean and Saint-Georges and the river area for an aperitif on the water (Ayers Rock Boat).
To be specific let’s see now some places where you can go:
- L’Ambassade: nightclub
- Terminal Club: disco
- F&K Bistroclub: disco
- Red Bar Lounge
- Au petit salon
Not everyone knows, but Lyon has one of the best gastronomy in France, so we are no longer in the skin of knowing the typical dishes.
Let’s start by saying that the best and most famous places to taste the typical dishes are the Bouchons (trattorias, osterias) recognizable by their external brand. Here the meat is the protagonist.
- Sabodet: is a large sausage made from a head and a pig’s tongue. It is served in fairly thick slices. Don’t turn up your nose, try before to judge!
- Saucisson chaud à la lyonnaise: it will seem like a normal cotechino, but this is THE Cotechino.
- Lyonnaise salad: this is a very fresh salad but with the addition of poached eggs, bacon, onions au gratin and sometimes addition of various cheeses.
- Praluline: it is a typical Lyon dessert. It is a type of brioche bread that contains fragmented pink pralines and hazelnuts inside. A bomb of taste!
- Coussin de Lyon: it is a sweet pastry included in the list of the National Heritage of French specialties and is composed of almond paste, chocolate and curaçao (liqueur). You can enjoy it in a famous Lyon chocolate factory, Bernachon.
- Not only food but also wine; the city is also famous for this. One of these is the Rhone coast.
Coussin de Lyon
WHERE TO EAT (RESTAURANTS/CAFE’…)
We are looking for some place to taste the typical delicacies just mentioned.
- Le Comptoir des Cousins: French, European, vegetarian cuisine.
- Bouchon Tupin: French, European cuisine.
- Court Bouillon: French, contemporary cuisine.
- Cercle Rouge: French, international, European cuisine.
- Traboule kitchen: French, vegetarian, vegan options.
- Creperie La Marie Morgane: French, vegetarian cuisine.
- Jumble: French, European, vegetarian cuisine.
- La Table de Max: French, European cuisine.
So our trip in Lyon is ended while continuing our adventure in France. We are going to leave the city heading for a new destination which we will explore soon.
Let us know your opinions about this place. If you liked it or not, if you’ve been there or you’re going to go there? What you liked the most or least? We’re curious to read your opinions.
A big kiss to everyone.
Below we will list the accommodations that you can find in Lyon.