Bonjour, Lyon! Charming and metropolitan: Lyon is the second largest city in France (situated in the southeast, in the region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpe). It was founded over 2000 years ago by the Romans as Lugdunum. A walk through the picturesque and lovely Vieux Lyon, the old town, (and/or the quarters Croix-Rousse and Fourvière) is simply enchanting and entertaining – and just right for a one-day stay. Here are just a few suggestions of what to do and see and experience.


The medieval old town and its hidden corridors

The medieval old town is idyllically situated at the foot of the hill Fourvière and on the banks of the River Saône. The old town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998. Cobbled narrow streets and Renaissance mansions, with terracotta roofs, characterize this beautiful quarter, which is easy to explore on foot. The cathedral of Lyon, Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste, built between the 12th and 15th centuries, combines elements of the Romanesque and Gothic styles. It is the heart of the old town and an absolute must! It houses some historically valuable works of art – such as the famous astronomical clock and an impressive 19th-century organ.

From there you can simply drift through the old town and let yourself be surprised – and see what’s on your mind. You should definitely pass some so-called Traboules. The Traboules are hidden corridors and passages that connect alleys and buildings with each other, remnants of the past. Each Traboules is a little different. Some of these paths take you through hallways, courtyards, and stairwells, all of which are interconnected – there is so much to discover here.

The Old Town district is also home to some special museums, for example, the “Gadagne Museum“, which is devoted to the art of puppetry and reveals a world of performance, illusion, and emotions, or the „Musee du Cinema et de la Miniature“, with movie props and miniatures.

For lunch or a snack in between, you might stop at one of the typical Lyon restaurants, the “Bouchons“ – or you can just buy a crepe or a galette „to go“.


The hill Fourvière

The hill Fourvière rises above the old town. Visible even from afar is the gleaming white Catholic basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière, which towers above the hill. From here you have a wonderful panoramic view over Lyon.

In ancient times there was a Roman settlement on the hill – the well-preserved and accessible Roman amphitheater still bears witness to this today. An impressive testimony from ancient times.

Two of the oldest funiculars in the world leading up to this hill, but you can also walk the path.



Musée Lumière – the birthplace of cinema

The “Musée Lumière“ is historically very interesting (and also a must for true cineastes!), located about 4 kilometers southeast of the old town in the street „Rue du Premiere Film“ (“street of the first film“). Here in the family home of the Lumières, a stately villa from the 19th century, the brothers Lumière invented the cinematograph in 1895 and developed new techniques of photography and displaying moving images. It is the birthplace of cinema. Here, as a visitor, you can learn more about the first steps in the development of this technology, which turned out to be one of the most important inventions of the 19th century, still affecting our lives today.


Temple for gourmets

Lyon is also considered France’s gastronomic capital. In the market halls “Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse“ you can experience this practically and sensually. Here you will find an impressive selection of stalls and restaurants, that are just waiting for gourmets. Visitors can look forward to a culinary journey at its finest. The selection and quality of the local products and dishes is absolutely first class: special delicatessen, fresh seafood, exquisite pies and cheese – and many other famous French dishes are offered here. The prices are not cheap, but worth your money.


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