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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, and as a result it is less crowded and less expensive and still feels very 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 to 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, including gems like the 16th century Hôtel du Chamarier, and the breathtaking Cathedral Saint Jean Baptiste, a 12th century Gothic cathedral. Another popular attraction in Vieux Lyon is the 300-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. It also boasts some of Lyon's best museums. The Musee des Miniatures et Decors de Cinema is a captivating museum showcasing the miniatures and various other props used in filmmaking (a must for Star Wars fans!). The Historical Museum and the International Puppet Museum are both housed in the Hôtel Gadagne, one of Lyon's most famous Renaissance mansions.

Another area which must be explored is Fourviere Hill. One of Lyon's most famous attractions is the ancient Roman theatre of Fourviere which dates back to 17 BC, making it the oldest theatre in France. The preservation of the site is astounding and this 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 and 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.


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…

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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…

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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…

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