Skip to Content

25 Fun & Best Things to Do in Lyon, France

25 Fun & Best Things to Do in Lyon, France

Lyon is a charming, medieval city situated at the junction of the Rhône and Saône rivers in France. Being the second-largest metropolitan area in the country, Lyon offers an endless array of activities to suit any budget or interest.

This French city is full of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, delicious food, and Renaissance architecture. From Parc de la Tête d’Or to the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière to the old town, Lyon is sure to grab your attention – and heart – in just a couple of days. Move aside, Paris – we have a new favorite French city!

Lyon is a student city home to over 30 post-secondary schools with so many fun things to do around every corner. One of the major French cities to visit, Lyon offers lively nightlife, affordable food and drink, and excellent public transportation. Ideal for any traveler, there are so many things to do in Lyon.

Lyon Food Tour
1. Lyon Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience Top Recommendation

Do Eat Better Experience is a food tour in Old Lyon, the heart of gastronomic life in Lyon, to discover the culinary traditions of this city: gourmet shops, street food stalls, bouchons (typical Lyonnais restaurants) and even some secret places. A passionate local guide will take you around on a journey through the city’s history and culture while discovering its gastronomy.

Lyon 2 Hour Electric Bike Tour
2. Lyon: 2-Hour Electric Bike Tour with a Local Guide

Lyon is a unique blend of a modern city and an old medieval town. Where else can you enjoy such a peaceful ride alongside the river with all its parks, bridges, and monuments? On this 2-hour guided tour by e-bike, you’ll discover all that's hidden in the heart of Lyon, from Notre-Dame de Fourvière Basilica to Vieux Lyon.

Lyon City Hop on Hop off Sightseeing Bus Tour
3. Lyon City Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Lyon City Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour is the best way to discover Lyon. The local bus tour takes you to all the key attractions of this beautiful city and offers a great view of Lyon and its most iconic monuments such as Basilica Notre Dame de Fourvière, Place Bellecour and Vieux Lyon, with 12 stops along the route.

TLDR

  • Most significant landmark – Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière
  • Best park – Parc de la Tête d’Or
  • Best free activity – Exploring Vieux Lyon
  • Best activity for kids – Zoo de Lyon
  • Best activity for adults – Gastronomy Tour of Lyon
  • Best food – Les Halles de Paul Bocuse
  • Best nightlife – Presqu’île Area
  • Best all-around accommodation – Warwick Reine Astrid – Lyon

Fun & Best Things to Do in Lyon, France

1. Visit the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière

Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière in Lyon
image by Kyle

Address: 8 Pl. de Fourvière, 69005 Lyon, France

The Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Lyon, France, and for a good reason. The beautiful building, visible from many places in the city, was built between 1872 and 1896 to honor the Virgin Mary, who protected the city from numerous plagues and wars.

It is situated on Fourvière Hill, locally known as “the praying hill.” You can take a lift from the funicular to the top of the basilica for an incredible view of Lyon. You will love the inside of the church with its exquisite decoration. The site also offers a museum of sacred art and a crypt open to the public.

One of the most popular things to do in Lyon, the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière will amaze you with its beautiful interior and exterior designs. The view from the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière is one of the best in Lyon – on a clear day, you can see all the way to the Alps!

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Nice, France

2. Spend the Day at Parc de la Tête d’Or

Parc de la Tête d'Or Entrance
photravel_ru / Shutterstock.com

Location: 69006 Lyon, France

Parc de la Tête d’Or is Lyon’s largest park and a great place to relax and soak up the sun. The park has over 100 acres of green space and is home to an aquarium, zoo, and plenty of other fun things. You can rent a paddle boat, go for a walk or jog around the park, or relax on the grass and enjoy the nice weather with good company.

There is also a rose garden with over 8,000 roses and a beautiful fountain that was built in 1878. If you’re visiting Lyon with kids, they’ll love the pony rides and playgrounds in the park. And if you get hungry, there are plenty of food vendors selling snacks and drinks.

The Zoo de Lyon is located within the park and is one of the best things to do in Lyon with kids. They can see over 350 animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and penguins. The zoo also has a petting zoo, where kids can interact with certain animals.

Parc de la Tête d’Or is open every day from 6 am to 9 pm (10 pm in the summer) and is accessible by public transportation. For a great and comfortable stay near the park, we recommend the Warwick Reine Astrid – Lyon.

3. The Presqu’île Area

Presqu'île Area and Skyline

Location: 69002 Lyon, France

This vibrant district is the city center of Lyon, located between the Rhône River and the Saône. The area is full of shops, restaurants, bars, and museums. In the evening, the area comes alive with people enjoying the nightlife. This area is known for its cultured and refined establishments. 

The sprawling Place des Terreaux is located to the north, though not as much as its southern neighbor, Place de Bellecour, is still a beautiful area to sit and catch up with friends over one of the many cafes or make a wish at the Bartholdi Fountain. The Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon is nearby, where you can marvel at the extensive collection of French and international art.

One of the most popular things to do in this area is to check out the Hotel de Ville, the gorgeous city hall dating back to the 17th century. The grey square is lined with many cafés, bars, and boutiques.

Close to here, you’ll find the Opéra de Lyon, also known for its prominent architecture. Though shows can be on the more expensive side, the city offers guided tours of the lyrical establishment. 

To gain more insight into this historic and beautiful area, many visitors prefer a main sights walking tour to highlight some of the can’t-miss spots in Presqu’île and beyond.

See Related: Best & Most Beautiful Cities in Europe to Visit

4. Explore Vieux Lyon

Vieux Lyon Scenery
image by Kyle

Location: 69005 Lyon, France

Vieux Lyon is the city’s well-preserved old town. Vieux Lyon, meaning “Old Lyon” is the historic center of the city, located at the foot of the Fourvière Hill and across the Saône River from the Presqu’île district.

A protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vieux Lyon is famous for its charming Renaissance-style architecture dating back to the 15th century! The old town was known for its silk industry, bringing in merchants from all over Europe, including Spain, Germany, and Italy. The terracotta-roofed houses of these wealthy immigrants are still admired today. 

A once bustling center for trade, Old Lyon is now known for its endless restaurants, quaint boutiques, and many tourist attractions. While making your way down the cobblestone streets, try sneaking through one of the traboules – an old, secret passageway used to get around.

From admiring the St. Jean Cathedral, to dining on Rue du Boeuf, to exploring one of the many museums, there is something for everyone in the charming, old town.

Old Lyon is meant to be explored – sometimes, you just need some direction. We recommend going on a guided walking tour around the medieval old town.

5. The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon Scenery
Pierre Jean Durieu / Shutterstock.com

Address: 20 Pl. des Terreaux, 69001 Lyon, France

The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, or Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon, is one of the largest art museums in France and houses over 5,000 paintings and sculptures.

Located near Place des Terreaux, the artistic institution was originally a convent before transforming into a museum in the 17th century. In the museum, you can delve into the works of Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, Rodin, and more. The museum offers one of Europe’s largest collections of paintings, sculptures, metalwork, and more, including contemporary pieces to antiquities from ancient Egypt.

A special section of the museum is the médallier collection, with nearly 50,000 medals, coins, seals, and other metal objects. The museum displays both permanent and temporary exhibitions, and also has workshops and activities that fit any age group.

This fine arts museum offers a beautiful and peaceful courtyard where you can sit and contemplate the pieces. The best part? You don’t need a ticket for the gardens – it is entirely free to enter this little spot of zen. This museum is covered with your Lyon City Card.

See Related: Best Military Museums in Europe

6. Eat at Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse 

Crowd in Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse 
ColorMaker / Shutterstock.com

Address: 102 Cr Lafayette F, 69003 Lyon, France

Paul Bocuse is the most well-known chef from Lyon. His cooking has greatly impacted and shaped French cuisine as a whole.

Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, named after the late chef, is a food market boasting nearly 50 stalls. From fresh produce to cheese, to meats and seafood, Les Halles is where you’ll find both professionals and kitchen enthusiasts picking up ingredients for their weekly shops.

Not only can you come here to check items off your grocery list, but you can sit down at one of the many stands to enjoy your meal. Many locals come here for their “Mâchon Lyonnais,” a hearty breakfast meal!

Most locals come on Sundays to enjoy an array of bread and cheeses while sipping a glass of wine. If the space is tight, why not try taking it to go?

You will surely find something you like at Les Halles Paul Bocuse regardless of your taste buds. Not sure about buying something? Many stalls offer small tasters before purchase. Whether wandering around the hall or coming with a distinct list, Les Halles Paul Bocuse is the perfect place to sample some of Lyon’s best delicacies.

Not sure which stalls to visit? Try booking a private tour of the food market.

7. Get Lost in the Traboules of Lyon

Traboules of Lyon Stairs

Address: 9 Pl. Colbert, 69001 Lyon, France

Located in the districts of Vieux-Lyon, Croix Rousse, and Presqu’île, the traboules are the city’s secret passageways. What is a traboule, you may ask? It comes from the Latin word trabulare, meaning to cross.

They were initially used as a means of transporting water from the Sâone to the buildings, especially in the old town where most streets run parallel to the river. Then, during the Second World War, the passageways transformed into having an entirely different use: a way of crossing from one building to another without ever being seen.

Although many are located in private residences, some inhabitants have graciously opened the courtyards of their homes so the public can see the traboules firsthand. In fact, in 1990, the city of Lyon and its residents signed an agreement stating that the city would maintain the property in exchange for a public right of way through the courtyard and passageways. 

A significant one to check out is “Traboule et Cour des Voraces,” a landmark of rebellion dating back to the 1830s. There are over 500 secret passageways still standing in Lyon – though only 80 are open to the public. For a guaranteed way to see the best ones, we recommend booking an exclusive tour of the secret passages for an even more discreet and informing experience.

8. Walk Around Place Bellecour

Place Bellecour Scenery
image by Kyle

Address: Pl. Bellecour, 69002 Lyon, France

Sandwiched between the Rhône and Sâone rivers, Place Bellecour is situated in the very heart of the Prequ’ile district. Place Bellecour is the largest pedestrian square in all of Europe, known for its dusty red grounds, which tourists and locals alike use as their central meeting spot.

In the square, you can take pictures of the mounted King Louis XIV statue riding his steed, take a ride on the Ferris wheel, or simply sit at a café and watch the world go by. A protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll be in awe taking in the views of the surrounding Lyonnais landmarks.

Another infamous statue in the square is that of the famous Lyonnais Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of the Little Prince, sitting in the southwest corner of the place. 

Considered kilometer zero of Lyon, Place Bellecour is a convenient place to stay in Lyon as the many streets take you directly to other monuments in the city. Rue de la République takes you to Hôtel de Ville and the Opéra de Lyon; Rue Victor Hugo and Rue du Plat both lead you to the Perrache district; and luxury-shop lined Rue du Président Édouard Herriot leads you to Place des Terreaux. For a comfortable stay nearby, we recommend the Sofitel Lyon Bellecour.

9. Have a Drink on a Peniche

Peniche
Obatala-photography / Shutterstock.com

Address: 84 Quai Perrache, 69002 Lyon, France

A peniche is a traditional flat-bottomed canal barge that was once used to transport goods on the canals of Lyon. However, as time has passed and technologies have advanced, the peniche has become somewhat of a floating bar.

Head to the Presqu’île area of Lyon, and you will find many peniches open to the public. Each with a unique atmosphere and style, these barges are the perfect places to enjoy a summer sunset with a cocktail in hand.

Some of our favorites include, Le Bateau Bellona, a fun and relaxed barge with a large dancefloor. Bellona is perfect for those who want to let loose and have a good time, and Le Sirius, which offers live music, a large terrace, and a fun atmosphere. Le Sirius is one of the best places to enjoy a drink on a peniche in Lyon.

Whether you are looking for a fun night out or a casual drink with friends, visiting a peniche is a must-do when in Lyon.

10. Marvel at the Contemporary Art Museum

Museum of Contemporary Art
ricochet64 / Shutterstock.com

Address: Cité Internationale, 81 Quai Charles de Gaulle, 69006 Lyon, France

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon is a must-see for anyone visiting the city, whether you’re an art lover or not. The museum is located in the Cité Internationale on the edge of the Rhône, and houses one of Europe’s most important collections of contemporary art.

The museum was founded in 1984 and has been housed in its current building since 1995. The collection includes works by major international artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Jackson Pollock.

There are also temporary exhibitions that change regularly, so there is always something new. The museum is a haven for all quirky and eccentric pieces. Past exhibitions ran from an indoor swimming pool to a rollercoaster and everything in between.

The museum is sure to capture your eye! The museum is open every day except Mondays, and admission is free with your Lyon City Card. If you’re interested in contemporary art, this is definitely the place to be!

See Related: Best Warm Winter Destinations in Europe

11. Check Out the Lyon Lights Festival

Lights Festival in Lyon

The Lyon Lights Festival is a must-see if you’re visiting Lyon in December! The festival runs for four weeks and features over 60 light displays throughout the city. The displays are all made by French and international artists and range from traditional Christmas lights to more modern, abstract designs. A religious festival once created to restore the independence of the Lyonnais, now the Fête des Lumières has become an emblem of the city and a community event.

During the festival, the people of Lyon light candles in the windowsills of their homes to show their solidarity with one another. Streets, shops, squares, and façades of buildings all light up with installations created by both emerging and established artists. December in Lyon is not to be missed!

The best part? Wandering about these brilliant phenomena is completely free to do! The whole city is quite literally lit up, so no matter the location, you are sure to be immersed in the dazzling winter days. 

12. The Cinema and Miniature Museum

Cinema and Miniature Museum

Address: 60 Rue Saint-Jean, 69005 Lyon, France

For a fun and unique experience, be sure to visit the Cinema and Miniature Museum. This museum is dedicated to the history of cinema, and features over 3,000 miniature models of sets and scenes from famous films. Visitors can also see how these models are made, and learn about the different techniques used in filmmaking. Some of the props and pieces have been taken directly from their original film set!

Carpenter and artist Dan Ohlmann, the creator of these collections, offers a microrealistic experience on some of the most beloved movies with the help of artists from around the world. Be aware – some collections are less appropriate for children and contain some graphic imagery. This one-of-a-kind experience is fun for the whole family, and is a great way to learn about the history of cinema.

13. Eat at a Bouchon Lyonnais

Plate of Bouchon Lyonnais

A bouchon is a traditional Lyonnais restaurant, and many are scattered throughout the city. Bouchons serve typical Lyonnais dishes such as quenelles (a dish made with flour, eggs, and cream), sausages, and duck confit. The history of the bouchon dates back to the 19th century when they were created as simple, cheap places for workers to eat.

The word derives from the word “bousche,” meaning a bundle of straw. Owners would hang straw from their roofs to attract the horses of passersby, showing that they were open for business.

Nowadays, bouchons are a bit more upscale but still serve traditional dishes. If you’re looking for a good meal and local flavor, check out a bouchon! They are still usually relatively small and cozy and have a very authentic atmosphere.

The restaurants are so well respected that the city even started an organization, the Association of Lyonnaise Bouchons, to ensure the quality of the food is consistently maintained. A bouchon is not just a restaurant but a cultural establishment enjoyed by all.

Though the city is filled with these traditional restaurants, the best way to taste and experience the best is through a guided tour of the city’s top bouchons.

See Related: South of France Itinerary: 10 Days in the French Riviera & Provence

14. Explore Lugdunum, the Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon

Lugdunum
Pierre Jean Durieu / Shutterstock.com

Address: 17 Rue Cleberg, 69005 Lyon, France

The museum and Roman ruins are located in the Fourvière district of the city. They sit atop the slopes where the Roman city of Lugdunum was established in 43 B.C.. Only from the outside can you see the theatre and odeon, while the museum lies hidden underground.

Lugdunum has one of the largest Gallo-Roman collections in France, spanning over 4,000-meters squared. The museum documents some of the first settlers in Lyon through protected archaeological discoveries, including ancient urban layouts and administration, currency and trade, religions, games, and even military objects.

An artifact that can’t be missed on the grounds is the Lyon Tablet, a replicate stone of the speech that Lyonnais Emperor Claudius gave to support the foundation of Gaul. Not only this, but you can find more ancient statues and an enigmatic old Gallic calendar. The ruins are the perfect place to immerse yourself in the ancient history this city offers.

Lugdunum is perfect for children, with an area for young ones to learn about the lives of gods and goddesses and daily activities in Roman times. Admissions to the ruins cost between 4 and 7 euros, though it is included in the Lyon City Card.

15. Visit Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste

Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste Architecture
image by Kyle

Address: Pl. Saint-Jean, 69005 Lyon, France

Lyon is home to many beautiful cathedrals, but the Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste is definitely one of the most impressive. This Gothic cathedral was built in the 12th century, and is one of the largest in France. The church finished its completion in 1476.

The exterior of the cathedral is covered in intricate sculptures, and the interior is just as impressive, with beautiful stained glass windows and high ceilings. Visitors can also climb to the top of one of the towers for a panoramic view of the city.

The Saint Jean Baptiste Cathedral is home to the Astronomical Clock, which is one of the oldest in the world. This clock was built in the 14th century, and still works today! The clock tells the time, the day of the week, the month, and the position of the sun, moon, Earth, and the stars. Not bad for ancient technology!

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Colmar, France

16. The Musée des Confluences

Musée des Confluences Building
JK – stock.adobe.com

Address: 86 Quai Perrache, 69002 Lyon, France

The Museum of Confluences is one of the newest museums in Lyon and is dedicated to anthropology and sociology. The museum explores the meeting of cultures, peoples, and civilizations. The museum is located in the Confluence district, where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet.

The museum has three floors of exhibits, as well as a library and cafe. The displays are interactive and engaging and cover topics such as human evolution, migrations, religion, and death. The museum is a great place to learn about the history and cultures of Lyon and the world.

There are four distinct permanent exhibitions at the museum: “Origins – Stories of the World”- This exhibit delves into questions of how the world came to be; “Species – the Web of Life” connects humans to other animals; “Societies – Human theatre” – This exhibit explores the meeting of cultures, peoples, and civilizations; and “Eternities – Visions of the beyond” – This answers questions about death, the afterlife, and beliefs about what lies beyond.

Admission is free with your Lyon City Card.

17. Explore the Croix-Rousse Area

Croix-Rousse Area

Address: Croix-Rousse, 69004 Lyon, France

The Croix-Rousse is the name of the slope the whole neighborhood is situated on. Once a working area of the city, it’s now known as the bohemian spot. The vibe here is extremely laid back and open-minded, where you’ll find plenty of hipsters.

The bobo (bourgeois-bohemian) neighborhood is known for its vintage boutiques, quirky coffee shops, and vibrant street art. Do as the locals do and sit on a terrasse sprawling into the sun while drinking a café from one of our favorite spots, Mokxa.

When in Croix-Rousse, check out the La Maison des Canuts, a museum documenting the history of the revolts and riots of the city’s silk workers.

Croix-Rousse is also known to be the creative spot of the city, where many artists live and work. The neighborhood has its own creative, charming, and vibrant atmosphere – you’ll have to check it out for yourself! To learn more about this funky area, try taking a guided tour of the best spots.

See Related: Best Gardens in Europe to Visit

18. Visit the Musée Gadagne

Musée Gadagne
Pierre Jean Durieu / Shutterstock.com

Address: 1 Pl. du Petit Collège, 69005 Lyon, France

The Musee Gadagne is not one, but two museums located in beautiful Renaissance buildings in the heart of Lyon. The collection is made up of the Musée d’Histoire de Lyon, which tells the story of Lyon through the ages, and the Musée des Arts de la Marionnette, which houses a collection of over 500 marionettes.

The Museum of Lyon History is located in the Hotel de Gadagne, a beautiful Renaissance building. The museum covers the history of Lyon from the Roman period to the present day.

The museum has an extensive collection of artifacts, documents, and films. It features collections that were previously stored at the city hall.

The Marionette Museum is located in the Hotel de la Charité, another beautiful Renaissance building. The museum houses a collection of over 500 marionettes from all over the world.

The marionettes are used in performances, workshops, and demonstrations. The museum also has a performance theatre and a lovely garden.

The Musee Gadagne is one of the best museums in Lyon. A great place to take the kids! Admission to the Musée Gadagne is free with the Lyon City Card.

19. Go on a Gastronomy Tour

Gastronomy in Lyon
Pierre Jean Durieu / Shutterstock.com

Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital of France. Many consider France to have one of the best cuisines in the world. That being said, Lyon can only be deemed as having one of the best gastronomy scenes in the world! No trip to Lyon is complete without tasting all of the delicious food.

From salade Lyonnaise to Tarte à la Praline, some of France’s best dishes have originated in this thriving foodie city. For a snack in between meals, Lyon is known for their charcuterie, featuring the infamous Rosette de Lyon.

This saucisson sec is one of the city’s most iconic dried delicacies. If meat’s not your thing, we highly recommend eating cervelle de canut, a cheesy dish made with garlic, shallots, and chives, served with boiled potatoes or bread.

Needing something sweet? Finish it off with a coussin de Lyon – a typically sweet treat that takes almost four days to make. You could say it’s made with lots of love!

The region is known for its lavish food, and Lyon is situated in the Rhone valley wine region. What’s more, the Beaujolais region is right next door. Although you can’t go wrong dining in Lyon, we recommend treating yourself even further to a wine-and-dine tour of the city’s best bites.

20. Go on a River Cruise

Lyon River Cruise Scenery
image by Kyle

Lyon is a city situated around two main rivers in France: the Sâone and the Rhône. We believe the best way to admire this medieval city is not by foot, but by boat!

A boat cruise is the best way to get a quick grasp of the city’s most historical monuments and UNESCO-protected sites. Most tours offered start along the Saône River and finish on the Rhône. Along the way, you’re sure to pass Île Barbe, an island that once hosted an old abbey. To this day, some people live on the island!

As the city can be pretty compact, hopping on a guided sightseeing boat tour gives a more spacious view of the city, and also highlights (from a distance) the best places to check out.

See Related: Best Day Trips from Paris, France

21. The Institut Lumière

Institut Lumière
Bagrin Egor / Shutterstock.com

Address: Rue du Premier Film, 69008 Lyon, France

Another significant aspect of Lyon is that it is essential for French cinema. Lyon is home to Auguste and Louis Lumière, the “fathers” of French cinema. The two brothers invented the cinematographand other audio-visual equipment still helpful today.

The Institut Lumière is a French institution and organization dedicated to preserving and promoting filmmaking in France. Set up as a museum, the institute both documents and acknowledges the contributions the Lumière brothers made in their lifetime.

Founded in 1982, the museum is situated within the old house of the Lumière family. One of the oldest motion pictures ever made, La Sortie de l’usine Lumière à Lyon was filmed in the house.

A home full of history, the museum displays some of the oldest pieces of equipment used in the development of motion pictures. There is an onsite cinema where a collection of films, both old and new, are shown almost daily – except Mondays when the establishment is closed.

For cinephiles, this is a must-see! The Lyon City Card covers the Institut Lumière.

22. Marvel at Street Art

Lyon Street Scenery

Address: 2 Rue de la Martinière, 69001 Lyon, France

Tired of the lack of art education, a group of individuals banded together in the 1980s to form Cité Création. The organization promotes the beautification of cities and art in low socio-economic areas, with over 40 years, and 100 murals, of experience in Lyon. 

Check out Place des Tapis in the 4th arrondissement of Lyon, a wall dedicated entirely to temporary and changing street art. 

You can’t explore street art here without checking out “La Fresque des Lyonnais” – the Mural of Lyonnais – featuring 30 well-known people from Lyon spanning over an entire building front. The optical illusion gives the impression that the individuals standing on the painted balconies are real – and to scale! 

Other popular urban art pieces include the “flacking” tracks, which are cracks or potholes painted or covered to beautify infrastructures needing to be repaired.

The aforementioned Croix-Rousse district is one of the best areas to check out street art in this creative city, with endless pieces around every corner. Though the art can be quite spread out, we recommend going on a self-guided tour highlighting some of the city’s most captivating frescoes.

23. Visit La Maison des Canuts

La Maison des Canuts Exhibit
image by Mdclyon4 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Address: 10 Rue d’Ivry, 69004 Lyon, France

Another can’t-miss museum unique to Lyon is the Maison des Canuts. The canuts, as discussed, were the infamous silk workers of the cities. The Maison des Canuts offers the history of silk making and the textile industry in Lyon.

The museum is located in the Croix-Rousse district, the historic home of the city’s silk workers. The museum covers three floors and includes interactive exhibits as well as a collection of restored looms from the 19th century. Tours are offered Tuesday-Saturday, weaving demonstrations included!

For those interested in getting hands-on experience, the Maison des Canuts also offers workshops. These include demonstrations and lessons on how to weave silk on a loom and make various types of fabric. The workshop lasts about 2 hours and is available in English upon request.

The museum offers a great way to learn about Lyon’s unique fabric history and see how the city has changed over time. If you’re interested in fashion or textile design, this is the place for you!

See Related: Most Beautiful Small Towns in France

24. Explore Lyon by Bike

Lyon Bike Tour
image by GetYourGuide

Lyon is a great city to explore by bike! There are many bike paths throughout the city, and it’s a great way to see everything at your own pace. You can either rent a bike for the day or join a guided tour. Guided bike tours are a great way to learn about the city and its history and get some exercise!

In small groups, with an expert guide, you will learn all about Lyon’s Roman past, its development through the centuries, and all the secrets of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Cruise down the quays of the Rhone and Saone Rivers while making your way to Parc de la Tête d’Or.

All this moving around might make you thirsty, which is why we recommend pairing your cycling with the region’s best wines on a 3-hour guided e-bike tour with a tasting break.

25. Have a Drink at One of the Hippest Bars!

L Bar Food and Drink Store Front
image by Management/TripAdvisor

The best place for nightlife in Lyon is undoubtedly the Presqu’île, located between the two rivers running through the city. This area is full of bars and nightclubs and is the perfect place to start (or end) your night. No matter your budget or taste, you’ll find a great bar or club in the Presqu’île!

We recommend L Bar Food & Drink, Black Forest Society, Bar la Linotte, L’Officine, SkyBar, and the Boston Tavern. L’antiquaire is another great place to have a drink in Lyon.

This hidden gem is located in an old house in the 1st arrondissement. The house has been converted into a bar, and the different rooms each have their own unique atmosphere.

FAQ

Is Lyon, France, worth visiting?

Yes, Lyon is definitely worth visiting. We can’t recommend this charming city enough. There is something for everyone in Lyon, from its delicious food to its rich history and culture. We hope you enjoy your time in this wonderful city.

What is the best thing to do with kids in Lyon, France?

There are plenty of activities to keep kids entertained in Lyon. Some of the best options include visiting the Parc de la Tete d’Or, exploring the Lyon Zoo, and using your Lyon City Card to visit any of the cities great museums.

What is Lyon, France, known for?

Lyon is known for being a gastronomic hotspot, with many excellent restaurants and cafes. The city is also home to a number of historical landmarks and museums, making it an ideal destination for culture lovers. The city is also known for its UNSECO World Heritage Sites and Renaissance architecture.

Related Resources