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Five Festive Days in Lyon, France

Destination(s): Lyon

This is a fun five day festive trip, taking-in all the major tourist sights of Lyon, a few off-the-beaten-path points of interest, run-up to Christmas shopping locations and the not to be missed bars, bistros and restaurants of France’s gastronomic capital. Day One: Starting your trip from the centrally located Mercure Lyon Plaza Républic (a medium range hotel on the famous Rue de la Républic), day one includes visits to the cultural sights of the surrounding Presquîle, including the vast royal square Place Bellecour and further attractions located around Place des Terreaux. Day one is completed with a night at opera (Opéra National de Lyon) and drinks at the Opus bar, located at Place des Terreaux. Day Two: Day two begins with a relaxing walk around Lyon’s largest public park (Parc de la Tête d’Or), which includes a visit to Zoo Garden (Jardin Zoologique de la Tête d’Or), located on the park’s grounds. The park is followed by a dose of modern art from the nearby Institute d’Art Contemporain and Musée d’Art Contemporain. After all that art, a bit of fun and a light flutter can be had at the Casino Le Pharaon, before enjoying a walk along the banks of the Rhone River and dinner at L’Entrecote.Day Three:Through a maze of historic narrow streets known as the Traboules de la Croix-Rousse, the third day starts with a walk around Croix-Rousse. Sightseeing in the Croix-Rousse will include the Jarin Rosa Mir gardens, the Galerie Vrais Rêves and a trip to the theatre at Théâtre de la Croix-Rousse. All of this is of course accompanied by stop-offs at a few of Croix-Rousse’s famous cafés and restaurants. Day Four: Have your walking shoes on for day four when Fourviére hill is ascended and descended, with stop-offs at the immense and beautiful Basilique de Fourviére, the Gallo-Roman archaeological site (Amphithéâtre Gallo-Romain) and the neoclassic church Saint-Just. Back down the hill and we arrive at the attraction located on the historic Rue du Boeuf.Day Five: Just in time for Christmas - and before the end of the trip - a day of shopping in Part-Dieu will include visits to; Place du Maréchal Lyautey (a wonderful book market located next to the river), the Christmas market at Quai Général Sarrail and shopping at a variety of food markets including Place Guichard and Place Louis. Finishing the final day, the trip is concluded with dinner at one of Lyon’s famous restaurants, Boutique Pignol Printemps Gourmand. Bon appétit! read more about Five Festive Days in Lyon, France

Mercure Lyon Plaza République

Mercure Lyon Plaza République

The Mercure Lyon Plaza République is situated in a uniquely central location within the city of Lyon. Sited on the narrowest part of the Presqu'île (peninsular), the river Rhône is a few minute walk to the west and the Saone; a few minute to the east. In addition, the hotel is five minutes' away from Place Bellecour (north) and Place Terreaux (south). From the Hotel you can also walk easily to the historic area of Lyon Vieux (Old Lyon) and Fourvière, or use the nearby underground station (Cordeliérs) to access other areas of the city. The pedestrian shopping area of Rue de la République is right on your doorstep, where - in addition to high street stores - you can also find many of Lyon's must-visit cafés, bars and restaurants.

The exterior of the hotel exhibits the characteristics of a classic 19th century edifice, which is standard of the architecture in the area. While Rue de la République is a pedestrian only area, the Mercure Lyon Plaza République is physically located on Rue Stella, which sees quite a lot of traffic during the day. The hotel has a total of 78 rooms ranging from standard to privilege. All rooms provide simple but comfortable furnishings; however, the standard rooms may prove to be a bit on the small side for some guests.

Other amenities of the Mercure Lyon Plaza République include a small bar and restaurant area, which offers breakfast in the morning and drinks and light snacks between twelve midday and twelve midnight. The hotel staff are friendly and speak a wide variety of languages and are keen to assist you with any tours you want to make in the city. read more about Mercure Lyon Plaza République

Parc de la Tête d'Or

Parc de la Tête d'Or

  • Boulevard des Belges
  • tel:+33 4 7889 0203
  • Lyon, 69006

Visitors entering the lovely Parc de la Tête d'Or may find it reminiscent of locations used in a multitude of English period dramas; in fact, the park design was inspired by traditional English gardens, but landscaped on a very grandiose scale.  Covering 105 hectares, the park includes a large man-made boating lake, which covers roughly one quarter of the park area. The lake features an enigmatic island area which can be accessed using an underground tunnel (closed after 5pm), or used as a landing spot for boaters. The rest of the park includes large green spaces with mature flora, a zoo, botanic gardens and tropical greenhouses. Access to the park and all mentioned attractions (excluding boat hire) are provided free of charge. To experience the most enchanted entrance to Parc de la Tete d'Or, take a walk along the tree lined river Rhône and enter the park through the 'Enfant du Rhône' gate. read more about Parc de la Tête d'Or

Croix-Rousse

Croix-Rousse

  • Croix Rousse
  • tel:+33 4 7277 6969 (Tourist Information)
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69004
Traboules St-Jean

Traboules St-Jean

  • rue St-Jean
  • tel:+33 4 7277 6969 (Information Touristique)
  • Lyon, 69005

Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon) is the largest Renaissance quarter in all of France, measuring 35 hectares in an area that comprises Saint Georges, Saint Jean and Saint Paul. Saint Jean includes the greatest number of tourist attractions, including the famous 'traboules'  of Saint Jean. The word 'traboule' comes from the Latin meaning 'to go through', but the 'traboules' are more than just practical passageways connecting buildings together. The 'traboules' are unique architecturally in that their design was inspired by the romantic and artistic persuasions of the Renaissance period, and their romance can still be felt today while wandering - often getting lost -  from one building to the next.

The 'traboules' of Saint Jean vary in length and interest. Some 'traboules' form one simple passageway from one road or square, to a parallel road on the other side of a building, while other 'traboules' have multiple passageways that connect internal courts of great Renaissance beauty. For example, the 'traboule' which connects 54 Rue Saint Jean to 27 Rue du Boeuf, passes by a number of cascading spiral staircases, through four buildings and crosses four beautifully designed and preserved  courts. Additional 'traboules' of Saint Jean can be accessed at 2 place du Gouvernement, 3 place du Gouvernement, 10 Rue Saint Jean,  9 Rue des Trois Maries, 13 Rue des Trois Maries,  24 Rue Saint Jean and 40 Rue Saint Jean.

It's worth noting that, while the public are encouraged to access the 'traboules', the doorways are not always left open by the occupants of what is still a residential area. If you arrive at the entrance to a 'traboule' and find the door locked, try again later and chances are you will find it open. Visitors should also keep in mind that the 'traboules' are open to the public by virtue of the residents of Saint Jean, so do respect the space, keep the noise down and hopefully visitors won't find too many locked passageways in the future.  
read more about Traboules St-Jean

Place Bellecour

Place Bellecour

  • 1 Place Bellecour
  • (Lyon Center exit)
  • tel:+33 4 7837 4452
  • Lyon, 69002

Bellecour is one of the largest public squares in Europe and is a great place to start any tours around the city of Lyon. Situated on the Presqu'île - within the UNESCO World Heritage area - the square provides great views of Basilique de Fouviére, on top of the nearby Fouviére hill. If the square could speak, it would talk of a turbulent and often bloody history; revolutionary battles and public executions all took place on the Place Bellecour of latter days. Today you won't see any guillotines on the square, but Bellecour does somehow speak its history and it's not hard to imagine all that has passed over this iconic location. read more about Place Bellecour

Jardin Zoologique de la Tête d'Or

Jardin Zoologique de la Tête d'Or

  • Boulevard des Belges
  • tel:+33 4 7269 4760
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69006
Café Chantecler

Café Chantecler

  • 151 Boulevard de la Croix-Rousse
  • tel:+33 4 7828 1369
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69004
Fourvière

Fourvière

  • Place de Fourvière
  • tel:+33 4 7825 8619 / +33 4 7825 1301
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69005
Place du Maréchal Lyautey

Place du Maréchal Lyautey

  • Place du Maréchal Lyautey
  • tel:+33 4 7277 7250(Tourist Information)
  • Lyon, 69006
Presqu'île

Presqu'île

  • Rue Mercière
  • tel:+33 4 7277 6969 (Tourist Information)
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69002
Saint Polycarpe

Saint Polycarpe

  • 25 rue René Leynaud
  • Lyon, 69001
Basilique de Fourvière

Basilique de Fourvière

  • Place de Fourvière
  • tel:+33 4 7825 1301 / +33 4 7825 8619 (Reservations)
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69005
Grand Café de Genève (Le)

Grand Café de Genève (Le)

  • 10 Avenue du Maréchal de Saxe
  • tel:+33 4 7852 1896
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69006
Eglise Saint-Bonaventure

Eglise Saint-Bonaventure

  • 26 rue de la République
  • tel:+33 4 7837 8355
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69002
Musée d'Art Contemporain

Musée d'Art Contemporain

  • 81 Quai Charles de Gaulle
  • Cité Internationale
  • tel:+33 4 7269 1717 / +33 4 7269 1718
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69463
Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine

Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine

Quai Général Sarrail

Quai Général Sarrail

  • Quai Général Sarrail
  • tel:+33 4 7277 7250(Tourist Information)
  • Lyon, 69006
Place Louis Pradel

Place Louis Pradel

  • Place Louis Pradel
  • Lyon, 69001
Musée des Confluences

Musée des Confluences

  • 28 Boulevard des Belges
  • tel:+33 4 7269 0500
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69006
Traboules de la Croix-Rousse

Traboules de la Croix-Rousse

  • 9 Place Colbert
  • Lyon, 69001
Amphithéâtre Gallo-Romain

Amphithéâtre Gallo-Romain

  • 17 rue Cléberg
  • Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilisation
  • tel:+33 4 7238 8190
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69005
Quai Victor Augagneur

Quai Victor Augagneur

  • Quai Victor Augagneur
  • tel:+33 4 7277 7250(Tourist Information)
  • Lyon, 69003
Place des Terreaux

Place des Terreaux

  • 1-25 Place des Terreaux
  • (Rue d'Algerie)
  • tel:+33 4 7277 6969 (Tourist Information)
  • Lyon, 69001
Casino Le Pharaon

Casino Le Pharaon

  • 70 Quai Charles de Gaulle
  • tel:+33 4 7817 5353
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69006
Saint-Just

Saint-Just

  • 21 rue des Farges
  • tel:+33 4 7277 6969 (Tourist information)
  • Lyon, 69005
Place Guichard

Place Guichard

  • Place Guichard
  • tel:+33 4 7277 6969 (Tourist Information)
  • Lyon, 69003
Café Leffe

Café Leffe

  • 1 Place des Terreaux
  • tel:+33 4 78 27 2707
  • Lyon, 69001
Rhône (Le)

Rhône (Le)

  • Pont de la Guillotière
  • tel:+33 4 7277 6969 (Tourist Information)
  • Lyon, 69007
Brasserie des Ecoles (La)

Brasserie des Ecoles (La)

  • 27 Place de la Croix-Rousse
  • tel:+33 4 7828 1255
  • Lyon, 69004
Tour Rose (La)

Tour Rose (La)

  • 16 rue du Boeuf
  • tel:+33 4 7842 0432 (Tourist Information)
  • Lyon, 69005
Place Saint Louis

Place Saint Louis

  • rue Du Beguin
  • tel:+33 4 7277 7250(Tourist Information)
  • Lyon, 69007
Hôtel de Ville de Lyon

Hôtel de Ville de Lyon

  • 1 Place de la Comédie
  • tel:+33 4 7210 3030
  • Lyon, 69001
Bar panoramique Sofitel

Bar panoramique Sofitel

  • 20 Quai du docteur-Gailleton
  • tel:+33 4 7241 2020
  • Lyon, 69002
Galerie Vrais Rêves

Galerie Vrais Rêves

Le Cercle Verre

Le Cercle Verre

Boutique Pignol Printemps Gourmand

Boutique Pignol Printemps Gourmand

  • 42 rue de la république
  • 4ème étage
  • tel:+33 4 7256 0362
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69002
Brasserie 3 Rivières

Brasserie 3 Rivières

  • 2 Place des Terreaux
  • tel:+33 4 7828 4220
  • Lyon, 69001
Q-Boat

Q-Boat

  • 17 Quai Augagneur
  • tel:+33 4 7284 9898
  • Lyon, 69003

Moored on the bank of the river Rhône, at the smartly renovated Quai Victor Augagneur, the Q-boat is in a prime location for getting noticed. Quai Victor Augagneur, which begins under the central Pont de la Guillotiére, is a hotspot for riverside activity, particularly in the spring and summer months when the place comes alive with outdoor musical performances, street art and even the odd public film viewing. The Q-boat, formerly called 'The Fish', provides a swanky terraced area during the day when the weather is good. This is a great place to sit back and watch the action of the quay while enjoying a drink or a light meal. By night, the Q-boat opens its spacious interior and turns up the volume attracting Lyon's young clubbers, who come to dance the night away to house and techno music. Entrance is free, but the bar is a bit pricey. read more about Q-Boat

Jardin Rosa Mir

Jardin Rosa Mir

  • 83 Grande rue de la Croix Rousse
  • tel:+33 4 7277 6969(Tourist Information)
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69001
Adrets (Les)

Adrets (Les)

  • 30 rue du Boeuf
  • tel:+33 4 7838 2430
  • Lyon, 69005
Musée des Beaux-Arts

Musée des Beaux-Arts

  • 20 place des Terreaux
  • tel:+33 4 7210 1740
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69001

Previously a Benedictine Abbey, Musee des Beaux-Arts has housed France's second largest collection of fine arts since 1803. The museum's collections include paintings from 14th to the 20th century (including works by Manet, Monet and Matisse), 19th century sculptures, a large collection of Egyptian antiques (displayed in 9 separate rooms!), antiques from ancient Greece and Italy and artefacts from the Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian civilisations. The museum also houses France's second largest collection of coins and medals. With so much to see, you really need to leave a few hours free to take it all in, after which, you can enjoy a coffee and take in the sights of the grand Place des Terreaux, located on the doorstep of the museum. read more about Musée des Beaux-Arts

Entrecôte (L')

Entrecôte (L')

  • 10 rue de la République
  • tel:+33 4 7828 1664
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69001
Gros Caillou (Le)

Gros Caillou (Le)

  • Place Bellevue
  • tel:+33 4 7277 6969 (Tourist Information)
  • Lyon, 69001
Opéra National de Lyon

Opéra National de Lyon

  • Place de la Comédie 1
  • tel:+33 4 7200 4700 / +33 8 2630 5325
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69001
Théâtre de la Croix-Rousse

Théâtre de la Croix-Rousse

  • Place Joannès-Ambre
  • tel:+33 4 7207 4949
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69317
Opus

Opus

  • 7 Place des Terreaux
  • tel:+33 4 7828 6371
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69001
Maison Villemanzy (La)

Maison Villemanzy (La)

  • 25 Montée St-Sébastien
  • tel:+33 4 7298 2121
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69001