Wandering the streets of Lyon, the city’s incredible murals are difficult to miss. These huge, beautiful paintings adorn buildings and walls, capturing the essence of life in this vibrant city.

La Fresque des Lyonnais

The La Fresque des Lyonnais captures the images of all of Lyon’s most famous residents from ancient times to the present day.

The frescoes have been created by many different artists, including Cité Création, which is also responsible for murals in many other cities. Along with Berlin, Lyon is one of Europe’s most famous mural cities.

mural in croix-rousse lyon

small murals Lyon

Photo by John Spirov

It’s easy to see the murals with or without a guide. Turn a few corners and you’ll likely encounter one – Lyon has around 100! If you don’t want to leave it to chance, it’s possible to take a guided tour by bus or to use the new Lyon Tourism and Conventions iPhone app (look for “Murs Peints”).

mur de canuts lyon

The Mur de Canuts (or “Silk Weavers’ Wall”) was the first to be painted in Lyon. This 1200 square metre painting tells the story of the Croix-Rousse district and is updated every decade.

lyon mural with plants For a museum of murals, head out to the Tony Garnier Urban Museum, which is an open-air museum dedicated to this iconic architect that will help you learn more about the city of Lyon as well. More on this in our next post.

lyon mural building

bottom mural lyon

Our time in Lyon was hosted by Rhône-Alpes Tourisme and ONLYLYON Tourisme et Congrès. All opinions, however, are always our own.

 

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22 comments

  1. Comment by nicole | the wondernuts

    nicole | the wondernuts Reply April 17, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Those murals are intense! That first photo, I was all: “wow, all those people sure love schmoozing on their balconies…” I love public art (that’s tasteful, although I kinda dig the LA River), it really brings vibrancy to a city.

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers April 19, 2013 at 3:13 pm

      Hahaha – I know, wouldn’t it be great to live in a building like that if they were real? What a party!

  2. Comment by Sophie

    Sophie Reply April 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Never seen anything like this, not even in Brussels. Love it! My fave Lyon inspiration of yours yet.

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers April 19, 2013 at 3:13 pm

      Does Brussels have a lot of street art? I have not been…

  3. Comment by Ali

    Ali Reply April 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Wow, these are really elaborate and so well done! Not what I normally expect from street art.

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers April 19, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      My understanding is that these are commissioned, so I guess the standards are a little higher. The process of who decides what goes where and why must be so interesting…

  4. Comment by Jess @UsedYorkCity

    Jess @UsedYorkCity Reply April 19, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Ahh, the best form of street art! I love murals, they add such a unique flare to outdoor spaces in a city. Also love the realistic murals presented here…!

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers April 19, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      I agree! This is the first time I came across so many in one city…really livens things up!

  5. Comment by Ray @Stingytraveller

    Ray @Stingytraveller Reply April 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    You really captured some great murals throughout the city.

  6. Comment by Mary R

    Mary R Reply April 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    You captured so many great images! I love to find murals when I travel. I especially like the one of the staircase. I actually thought that was a real staircase for a moment.

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers April 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Me too – even face to face on the street these murals are so realistic!

  7. Comment by Krista

    Krista Reply April 20, 2013 at 3:45 am

    Oh wow! Those murals are brilliant. :-) I would wander happily from mural to mural taking in all the details. Fantastic. :-)

  8. Pingback: Tony Garnier Urban Museum And the Etats-Unis District, Lyon :: InspiringTravellers.com - Travel the World

  9. Comment by Mike Carlson

    Mike Carlson Reply April 21, 2013 at 4:06 am

    The murals are all amazing. I was even deceived at first.

  10. Comment by Cam @ Traveling Canucks

    Cam @ Traveling Canucks Reply April 22, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Cool photos! Lucerne Switzerland has similar murals on its buildings. Love the creativity

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers April 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      Oh cool – have not been to Lucerne but it’s on my list!

  11. Comment by Jennifer

    Jennifer Reply April 23, 2013 at 3:26 am

    Great photos of the murals! Those are so interesting and I would love to see them!

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers April 23, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      They really are – so detailed!

  12. Comment by Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    Stephanie - The Travel Chica Reply April 23, 2013 at 3:59 am

    I have to admit these are better than the ones I just posted about in Columbus, Ohio :-)

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers April 23, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      Ah, will head over and check those out soon…cool!

  13. Pingback: 15 Things To Do In Lyon, France

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