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Things to do in Lyon

Lyon is the third largest city in France that has been regarded as the commercial, banking and industrial powerhouse of the region for over 500 years. Historic sites, the active clubbing and drinking scene, and diverse cultural life, make this city one of the most visited places in France, since there are so many things to do in Lyon. The place invites tourists to explore its gorgeous landscape, historic landmarks and enjoy the many fun-filled activities here like Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon, Vieux Lyon, Fourvière, Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière and Parc de la Tête d'Or, to name only a few.

Lyon tourism

Lyon is a city which is located in the central region of France and lies between Paris and Marseilles. The municipality of Lyon has a population of over 500,000 which turns it into the third largest city in France. It is a capital of the Rhone Department of the country. One of the best things to do in Lyon is to visit its many historical landmarks as the city is ranked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area was historically important for the production of silk in the ancient times. During the last century, it has gained popularity as the culinary center of the country and has garnered international recognition in this regard. One of the things to do in Lyon is to enjoy the beautiful food that the city has to offer in its many famous restaurants. The city has also been an important factor in the evolution of cinema as the cinematograph was invented in Lyon. It is famous for the light festival of Fête des Lumières which has given the name of the Capital of Lights to Lyon. The city is also famous for its banks and also hosts a lot of important industries. It is the international headquarters of the Interpol and Euro News.


Lyon France


Lyon is an important cultural city as well and it is one of the most desirable cities in Europe due to many factors. There are many important places in Lyon such as Lyon Cathedral, Ancient Theatre of Fourvière, Musée Gadagne, Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls and Montée de la Grande Côte just to present a few. The city is home to many museums and contains a lot of infrastructure that represents the ancient Roman civilization. The city also has many places of religious importance. The Cathedral of St. John was an important religious structure in the city just a few centuries ago. The city is also quite famous for its cultural heritage of cinemas and operas. Lyon is served by an international airport. It also has a train station that connects it to the TGV train network. The city is also served by a smaller airport that primarily serves helicopters. Lyon has two major train stations. The first one serves the TGV and the old railway station is a hub for regional rail services. The city is also the center of many road networks that are going towards other major cities in the country such as Paris, Marseilles and Genève. Lyon has a very effective public transport system which can be used to view all the major landmarks of the city.

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Fourvière

Fourvière

Fourvière is a hilly district west of the old town in Lyon, France. Fourvière is the site of the Lugdunum settlement by the Romans in 43 BC and is gently sloping down from north to west. Today the Fourvière is synonymous with the Catholic Basilica of Fourvière. The Fourvière is home to various religious buildings and is affectionately known by the natives as the ‘hill that prays’. It is a designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Taking guided tours of the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, the Ancient Theatre of Fourvière, and the various ancient ruins are some of the best things to do in Fourvière. The Roman Baths are situated to the south side of the hill, close to the Roman Theatre that was built in 15 BC and the Roman Odeon that is now a museum. The Roman Odeon is also a sight of summer operas and concerts. Amongst the top things to do in Fourvière is to attend the Festival of Lights which is held annually on the 8th of December across the district. Watch thousands of citizens display candles at their windows and flock the grounds of the basilica, which is a sight that alone ensures that you check out the things to do in Lyon.

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Parc de la Tête d'Or

Parc de la Tête d'Or

The Parc de la Tête d'Or is an urban park in the city of Lyon in France. Based on 290 acres of land, the Park of the Golden Head features a large lake, a small zoo, various sports facilities, and other key points of interest. Today, the Parc de la Tête d'Or is the most visited park in Lyon that opened its gates in 1857. For the better part of the past century it has been the top recreational destination in Lyon.

Boating during the summers in the lake is one of the most popular things to do in Parc de la Tête d'Or. Water activities are available from mid-spring until mid-autumn, allowing visitors to engage in canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and much more. The mini zoo is closely located to the lake and houses reptiles, deer, elephants, giraffes, and various other animals.

Cycling is also amongst the top things to do in Parc de la Tête d'Or. If you don’t have one you can always rent different types of cycles from the entrance on hourly rates. Serene during the winters and lively in the summers, the Parc de la Tête d'Or is one of the best recreational spots, as there are so many incredible things to do in Lyon.

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Lyon Cathedral

Lyon Cathedral

Lyon Cathedral is dedicated to the infamous Saint John the Baptist. It is a Roman Catholic Cathedral which also houses the seat of the Archbishop of Lyon. One of the top things to do in France is to visit amazing cathedrals in the country such as the Lyon Cathedral. The cathedral had a lot of importance as the Pope made it a center of all churches in the kingdom of Gaul in the 11th Century. The church is located in the old town area. One of the best things to do in Lyon Cathedral is to enjoy the large plaza in front of it.

The cathedral is just a few minutes’ away from the Saone River. A metro station nearby makes it easier for tourists to visit this place while moving about efficiently in the city to visit other places of interest as well. The visit to Lyon Cathedral is one of the first things to do in France when traveling to Lyon. The modern cathedral was established on the ruins of an ancient church and was completed in 1476. The cathedral organ was installed in the 19th Century and it was rebuilt in 187 to have 30 stops. It functioned as the most important church in Lyon for a long time.

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Bellecour square

Bellecour square

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Ancient Theatre of Fourvière, Odeon of Lyon

Ancient Theatre of Fourvière, Odeon of Lyon

The Ancient Theatre of Fourvière is a unique structure of Roman heritage. It was built on a hill in the center of the Roman city. Visiting this place is one of the best things to do in France if you are interested in Roman structures and are a history enthusiast. The main theater was established in around 15 BC and had a diameter of 90 meters. The structure was widened a few centuries later to accommodate around 10,000 people for the shows.

One of the best things to do in Ancient Theatre of Fourvière is to enjoy the famous festival of Nuits de Fourvière which takes place each year at the theater. The Ancient Theatre of Fourvière is a popular tourist site and it is among the things to do in France list of most travelers. The site is also a famous cultural center as well. It also has some other Roman structures which are in a poor condition now and cannot be recognized properly. There is also a smaller theater close to the original theater known as the Odeon of Lyon. The site still shows the foundations of a proper stage and stone seating galleries for people who would have come to watch the show.

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Boat trip over the Saône river

Boat trip over the Saône river

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Musée Gadagne

Musée Gadagne

The Musée Gadagne is a famous museum, which is located in the center of old Lyon. It is situated in the Saint-Jean quarter of the Vieux Lyon. It houses a Museum of World Puppets and a Museum of Lyon History. One of the best things to do in France certainly is to visit this amazing museum.

The building of the Musée Gadagne was classified as a national historical monument in 1920. But it was found that the place had become dormant and did not attract visitors. This is why it underwent a major overhaul and was then reopened in 2009. The museum is housed in a famous building constructed in the early sixteenth century. It was created as a house for a very rich Florentine family that lived in Lyon.

Amongst the best things to do in Musée Gadagne is to enjoy its beautiful courtyard that connects the two buildings that form the structure. The museum has now been reopened with a lot of vigor and contains many elements with the focus on archaeological finds. The modern upgrade has also greatly increased the overall area of the museum buildings and the size of the museums has now doubled and houses many important exhibits. The visiting of Musée Gadagne is now amongst the most important things to do in France for all visitors.

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Pont de l'Universite, Lyon

Pont de l'Universite, Lyon

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Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls

Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls

The Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls is a famous sanctuary which was dedicated to the cult of Augustus and Rome. It was celebrated by many Gallic tribes who had gathered at Lugdunum, the Roman name of the region of Lyon in ancient times. There are many things to do in France as a tourist which must include seeing all the designated historical monuments such as the Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls. The amphitheatre was built at the foot of a hill which was then placed at a point where the two rivers of Rhone and Saone met. A recent expedition in 1957 allowed the origins of this place to be confirmed as part of the sanctuary of Rome and Augustus.

The recent find dates the building to g=have been built around 19 AD. The Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls was financed by an old Gallic family that held Roman citizenship. Some of the things to do in the Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls include a look at the stones which have ancient markings as well as viewing the many architectural elements still surviving in modern times from a very old construction. There are many fine things to do in France, which certainly include viewing this fine amphitheatre which could house 1,800 royal guests in its glory days.

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Opéra Nouvel

Opéra Nouvel