old lyon

Exploring Lovely Lyon, France

It is always a pleasure to spend time in France. John and I had not visited the country since 2005, which is way too long. So we were delighted to have four wonderful days to explore Lyon last week.

lyon france rhone river view

old lyon

Streets of Old Lyon

lyon france statue
Lyon is a historic city, with 2,000 years under its belt and a dramatic range of architecture, historical sites and cultural attractions as a result. It is also a gastronomic powerhouse, which is what drew us to the city to begin with. We were so pleased to learn that there is so much more to Lyon than just its cuisine (although a visit for the food alone will not disappoint you). We encountered friendly people, fascinating neighbourhoods, a variety of excellent museums and a shopper's paradise.

lyon bouchon traditional restaurant

Inside a bouchon, the traditional restaurants of Lyon

lyon mural

One of Lyon's many murals

lyon farmers market

Sunday farmer's market in Lyon

The city centre of Lyon is made up of nine different districts, or arrondissements as they are known in French. 500 hectares have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1998 and four of the districts are of particular interest. These are Fourvière hill, with its Gallo-Roman heritage, mediaeval and Renaissance Old Lyon ('Vieux-Lyon'), the Presqu'île (which means 'peninsula'), and the Croix-Rousse, which is famous for its historical importance in the silk trade. We found that we could have easily explored the city for weeks because Lyon has plenty of other neighbourhoods of interest in addition to these.

fourviere hill lyon

Fourviere  hill

vieux lyon shopkeeper

lyon traboule

Lyon's famous traboules

roman ruins lyon

Roman ruins in Lyon

river soane lyon

At night, 325 sites and monuments are lit up, which makes it just as nice a time to explore the city as during the day. We enjoyed a number of fine meals across all price ranges and made new discoveries at every turn. Lyon is one of France's largest cities yet it feels quite small. That said, there are heaps of events to be experienced across the city and throughout the year and the many university students add a fantastic vibe.

lyon girls school

lyon statue

lyon france skate park

croix-rousse lyon street

These photos are just a preview of what's to come as we explore Lyon in-depth over our next several posts.

Many thanks to Rhône-Alpes Tourisme and ONLYLYON Tourisme et Congrès for hosting us during our time in Lyon.

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30 Comments on "Exploring Lovely Lyon, France"

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Scott

Lyon is without a doubt at the top of my list of cities to get to in Europe. It just seems like the perfect mix of big city and small town and the food of course as you have detailed in your other post, looks amazing. Just seems a more “real” France than Paris, maybe that doesn’t make sense, but maybe you know what I mean.

Inspiring Travellers

It is all those things and I do know what you mean. Highly recommend it. One must, of course, visit Paris, but I really feel that visiting several parts of France is necessary to really get a feel for the country. The regions are all so different…

Karla

Great photos!

I’ve never been to Lyon but I’d love to after reading more & seeing what a charming city it is!

Merci de partager avec nous, thanks for sharing 😉

Inspiring Travellers

Thanks, Karla – definitely a great city for travelling!

TammyOnTheMove

Lovely photos! Never been to Lyon, but wherever I go in France I am never disappointed.

Inspiring Travellers

I agree, Tammy – France always delivers!

Jess @UsedYorkCity

I love the mini Eiffel Tower, so cute! Never been to Lyon, but as I’m obsessed with all things French, it’s certainly on my list!

Mike Carlson

France is one of the best countries anyone could visit. The place is not just beautiful but is also famous of its rich history and heritage.

Inspiring Travellers

I agree, Mike – we LOVE France =)

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