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Lyon Travel Guide, France

Lyon is the third largest city in France and, when taken together with the outlying suburbs and municipalities, the second largest metropolitan area. It is often underrated, due to a considerable amount of urban sprawl, but it is a lovely city to visit and, as the official capital of French Gastronomy, an absolute must visit for the Michelin crowd.

Lyon is located in rolling countryside near the Rhone Alps in Southeastern France. It has a nearby airport and two major train stations, Lyon Part Dieux and Perrache. There is a modern, clean subway system that interconnects with many bus lines for efficient transport throughout the city and suburban areas. Day and 3 hour passes can be purchased for additional savings to tickets that are already reasonably priced.

There are many museums in Lyon; one, the Lumiere Museum, is dedicated to the Lumiere brothers who pioneered photography and films. There are several art museums and the fascinating Centre d'Histoire de la Resistance et de la Deportation, which chronicles the activities of the Resistance movement during WWII. Other museums dedicated to miniatures, silk and lace textile industry are located here.

Lyon is divided by th Rhone and Saine rivers and a new museum dedicated to the history of these rivers and Lyon is being built at the convergence of them. Most of historic Lyon lies on the Peninsula formed by the rivers and on the hills that flank the rivers on both sides. The western side is named Fourviere, or 'the hill that prays', where you can find the Notre-Dame de Fourviere basilica and a funicular that services it, a lovely hillside rose garden and the Tour metallique and a TV tower replica of the Eiffel Tower.

Like most French cities, Lyon is a composite of neighborhoods. The Northernmost Croix-Rousse, or 'the hill that works', is a lovely neighborhood that grew around the historical silk and lace workshops. Vieux Lyon, the medieval city, is on the west bank of the Saine, beneath Fourviere hill. Across the bridge is the presqu'iele. On the presqu'ile you will find the Place Bellecour, one of the largest squares in Europe and the site of many markets and festival thought the year.

A pedestrian street, the Rue de la Republique leads north and another goes south to the Perrache Train Station. East of the Rhone from the presqu'ile is a large flat area which houses the Part Dieux Train Station, most of the modern housing, the thriving biotech industry and much of the urban sprawl.

Nevertheless, there are also lovely neighborhoods lined with cafes like the neighborhood that surrounds the treasury, and the North African Neighborhood. Both are located between the train station and the river.

The skyscraper that houses the Radisson Hotel and the wonderful Les Halles Market offering all kinds of local products, are just to the west of the train station and the adjoining, very large, shopping center.

Several beautiful parks and botanical gardens dot Lyon and are the site of puppet theaters. There are lovely, well lighted pathways lining the rivers, some parts have sculptures and fountains. There is the best market to be imagined on Saturdays located along the river opposite the Basilica with the finest produce, cheese, meat and seafood on offer. Many small cafes that serve mostly champagne and the freshest oysters line this section of the river.

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Read our members' reviews about Lyon


  • WazlingA couple of days in Lyon
    review by Wazling posted more then 30 days ago
    Nice city with some good restaurants where you can taste the real french high quality food. Also cultural the town can offer you something, including a good archaeological museum, with a large part of an preserved roman city, for those who like old history. The town lies beautiful at the...
  • WazlingShort trip in Lyon
    review by Wazling posted more then 30 days ago
    It was a really interesting trip to Lyon. Several reenactment groups have been hired for showing the visitors of the museum of ancient rome the live of an roman soldier and the gauls. More than hundred people were disguised as soldiers and Gauls, useing costumes, that were as clos as possible to...
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Read our members' travel tips about Lyon


  • eratoSilk workshop
    travel tip by erato posted more then 30 days ago
    Silk is manufactured in Lyon since the 16th century. They make beautiful things of skill, it must be one of the best jobs. :) The workshop can be visited only by groups of 40-50 people, but if you have the chance to get into a group,...
  • eratoPlace Bellecour
    travel tip by erato posted more then 30 days ago
    Place Bellecour is one of the largest squares in Europe. It is located between the rivers Rhone and Saone and it's really huge. Right in the center of the square you will find the statue of King Luis XIV on horseback created by the...
  • stefMusee Historique des Tissus
    travel tip by stef posted more then 30 days ago
    The most important museum shows pieces of textil art. Besides modern pieces are a lot of hundreds of years old exemplars too.
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  • $982Swiss International Air Lines flight Swiss International Air Lines 
    FromToDepartureTime
    Calgary, AB (YYC)Lyon, FR (LYS)11/11/201406:30 am
    Lyon, FR (LYS)Calgary, AB (YYC)11/25/201410:20 am
    flightnetwork.com check price
  • $989Multiple Airlines flight Multiple Airlines 
    FromToDepartureTime
    Calgary, AB (YYC)Lyon, FR (LYS)11/11/201406:40 pm
    Lyon, FR (LYS)Calgary, AB (YYC)11/25/201410:45 am
    flightnetwork.com check price
  • $1098Air France flight Air France 
    FromToDepartureTime
    Calgary, AB (YYC)Lyon, FR (XYD)11/11/201412:20 pm
    Lyon, FR (XYD)Calgary, AB (YYC)11/25/201406:50 am
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