Lyon is a sprawling World Heritage Site with a sizable Renaissance old town, Roman ruins, medieval industrial areas, and the opulent Presqu'île district from the 19th century. At the meeting of the Saône and Rhône Rivers, the city was established 2,000 years ago and made its wealth in the silk trade.

In Vieux Lyon, whose courtyards are connected to the Saône by semi-secret passages known as Traboules, this industry provided it with stunning Renaissance architecture. Lyon is the food capital of the world, according to gourmets, thus you can't talk about Lyon without bringing up the cuisine. Paul Bocuse, a chef who is regarded as a god of French cuisine, was born in this city.

Traboules are charming Renaissance corridors that run beneath buildings in the direction of the Saône River, and there are about 40 of them that are available to the public. They are only found in Vieux Lyon and La Croix-Rousse Saône. They provided direct access to the riverbed for the city's silk weavers, allowing for rapid and simple transportation of textiles as well as protection from the elements.

One of several distinctive hilltop churches constructed in significant French cities in the late 19th century, this majestic church is always visible on the Fourvière hill to the west of the city. The basilica is located in Lyon's oldest neighborhood, a place of pilgrimage and the location of several recently discovered Roman sites.

One of the country's biggest urban parks, which includes France's top botanical garden and a zoo, is located a short distance north of the city center. One of your first stops in the city if you're visiting in the spring is the rose garden.

The Musée des Beaux-Arts, located in a former monastery from the 1600s, is France's second-largest museum of fine art after the Louvre in Paris. There are 70 rooms containing sculptures, Egyptian and Oriental art displays, paintings from the 1300s to the 1900s, and more.

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Helpful tips for Lyon

  • Late in the evening, the only available mode of transport is a taxi. It has to be called by phone or taken on special parking.
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