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Lyon Travel Guide

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Rhône river bank at sunset. © Vincent Formica – Lyon Tourist Office

Lyon is a city synonymous with the silk industry, the French Resistance and a reputation as the 'gastronomic capital of the world', and is located between the Rhone and the Saône rivers in the southwest of France. Lyon is home to some of the finest restaurants and chefs in the country and forms the second largest metropolitan area in France, after Paris.

Besides the many restaurants, bistros and cafés that entice people to this endearing city, Lyon boasts three large city parks, some 30 museums and countless monuments symbolising Lyon's development through the ages. It is home to the world famous Lyon Opera House, whose orchestra's reputation has travelled far beyond French borders.

UNESCO lists Lyon as a World Heritage site due to its rich and diverse 2,000 year history, evident in the awe-inspiring Romanesque architecture and medieval buildings in Old Lyon, including the Primatiale St-Jean cathedral, and the 16th century Hôtel du Chamarier.

To the west, Fourviere Hill offers panoramic views of the city, and its own attractions include the Ancient Theatre of Fourvière, and the Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine.

By day Lyon can be viewed by boat on a trip down its rivers, and at night dinner cruises add an element of fantasy to the city. Lyon is a city rich in food, history and culture, making it a hidden treasure in the French landscape; it certainly lives up to its Roman name, Lugdunum, meaning 'the hill of light'.

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