COVID-19: Stay up to date with our coverage on the coronavirus pandemic. Read more >



What to see in Lyon

Lyon Attractions

Attractions in Lyon will delight visitors. This charming city is still not nearly as touristy as Paris, despite its rich heritage, but as a result it is less crowded and less expensive and still feels authentic. The majority of things to see and do in Lyon revolve around the city's magnificent Romanesque, medieval and Renaissance architecture, as well as its famous gastronomic offerings.

The ideal starting point for a trip to Lyon is a stroll around Vieux Lyon, the old part of town, where many of the most beautiful buildings can be found. Visitors will stumble across gems such as the 15th-century Hôtel du Chamarier, and the breathtaking Cathedral Saint Jean Baptiste, a 12th-century Gothic cathedral. Another popular attraction in Vieux Lyon is the 200-year-old Lyon National Opera House, a magnificent place to catch a ballet or opera. This area is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is full of quaint courtyards and lovely outdoor restaurants.

Another area that must be explored is Fourviere Hill. One of Lyon's most famous attractions is the ancient Roman theatre of Fourviere, which dates back to 15 BC, making it the oldest theatre in France. The preservation of the site is astounding and it is a fascinating place to visit, stroll around and picnic with stunning views of the city. The Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere, a wonderful 19th-century church, can also be found on this lovely hill, as can the interesting Musee de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine.

Lyon has three large city parks. The best of them is the Parc de la Tete d'Or, which is spacious and has a lovely rose garden, an ornamental lake, a small zoo, walking and running trails, and even a playground for children. The city also boasts some incredible museums such as the Musee des Miniatures et Decors de Cinema and the The Historical Museum, guaranteed to keep the whole family occupied.

Ancient Theatre of Fourvière

The ancient theatre in Lyon is the oldest in France, dating back to the year 17 BC. Built by the Emperor Augustus, it was originally used for theatre, pageants, musical shows, and poetry competitions.…

read more

Historical Museum of Lyon and International Puppet Museum

To the right of the river Saône lies the Hôtel Gadagne, one of the most prestigious Renaissance mansions in Lyon. It was built between 1511 and 1527 for the two sons of a spice merchant…

read more

Lyon National Opera House

This 300-year old structure's glass dome has become a landmark attraction in Lyon, situated between the City Hall and the Rhone River. The first five levels of the Lyon Opera House are underground…

read more


Become our Lyon Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our Lyon travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Lyon or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.