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First time in Lyon, France

Destination(s): Lyon

Reflected in the city’s architectural prowess, Lyon’s rich historical roots tell the story of a city that continually endeavours to maintain and enrich its proud cultural legacy. From UNESCO World Heritage architecture to the delicacies of a world renowned gastronomic tradition, the Lyonnais have infused their city with a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’, resulting that the city has become one of France’s top tourist destinations.

Lyon’s physical geography is defined by two hilled areas and two rivers. The Saône and the Rhône rivers converge in the southern part of the city, forming the ‘presqu’île’ or peninsula where the famous Place Bellecour – the largest pedestrian square in Europe – lies roughly central on the presqu’île. West of Place Bellecour, the first of the two hills (Fourvière hill) is adorned by the Romanesque Basilique de Fourvière, which can be viewed clearly from Place Bellecour. To the north, Croix-Rouse hill, famous for its rambling traboules (covered passageways from the Renaissance period), is one area of the city listed by UNESCO due to its outstanding architectural and cultural heritage.

Lyon is a city that is best discovered on foot or, when necessary, via the public transport system, which is extensive and incredibly reliable. For those visits which do require public transport, visitors can choose between the tramway, the underground, buses or the vélo (stations of bicycles located in abundance around the city that can be rented for a minimal fee using a credit card). For public transport –excluding the vélo – a single hourly ticket can be purchased and used on any or all of the transport services. read more about First time in Lyon, France

Institut Lumière

Institut Lumière

  • 25 rue du Premier Film
  • tel:+33 4 7878 1895
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69352

In 1895 the Lyonnaise inventor Louis Lumiére patented a device which he called the 'cinématographe', and thus, the world of cinema was born! The Institut Lumiére pays tribute to this achievement and the development of cinematography since its birth.

The institute is located on the grounds of the former Lumiére family residence (Lumiére Villa) and the Lumiére factory, which provided the set for the world's first ever film footage.  The institute includes a museum dedicated to the lives of the Lumiére family and the world of cinema, a cinema theatre, a library and a gift shop. Don't miss the 'filmmaker's wall', which includes comments from international directors who have made the pilgrimage to the birthplace of cinema. read more about Institut Lumière

Café des Fédérations (Le)

Café des Fédérations (Le)

  • 8 rue Major-Martin
  • tel:+33 4 7828 2600
  • Visit website
  • 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

Place Commandant Arnaud

Place Commandant Arnaud

  • Place du Commandant Arnaud
  • tel:+33 4 7277 6969 (Tourist Information)
  • Lyon, 69004
Traboules de la Croix-Rousse

Traboules de la Croix-Rousse

  • 9 Place Colbert
  • Lyon, 69001
Café du Soleil

Café du Soleil

  • 2 rue St-Georges
  • tel:+33 4 7837 6002
  • Lyon, 69005

Café du Soleil is situated on the historic Rue Saint George in a quieter area of the UNESCO World Heritage zone. Having resided on the premises for over a hundred years, this established Lyonnaise bouchon is proud of its heritage, and is equally proud that the Café du Soleil kitchen supplies most local restaurants with the Lyonnaise speciality 'quenelle' (pike dumpling).

In true bouchon style, the interior of Café du Soleil is characterised by homey intimate surrounding. Be ready to have a conversation with your neighbour, as the tables are grouped together in a fashion that promotes a collective dining experience. Adding to the collective dining experience, the staff at Café du Soleil tend to float from table to table, sharing jokes and good humour, while treating all diners as guests in their home. The atmosphere is full of jovial banter; don't ask for an English menu if you don't want to be heckled (in a friendly way), but do ask the accommodating waiters to help you if you're unsure of the menu.

The menu at Café du Soleil consists of Lyonnaise specialities including the prized 'quenelle', Lyonnaise tripe, terrine de foie gra (liver of duck or goose that has been specially fattened), poulet au vinaigre (chicken in vinegar) and Lyonnaise salade, to name a few choices from the menu. The restaurant offers a selection from three set menus priced at 23 and 32 euros for three courses and a 'menu quenelle', which is priced at 19 euros. House wines include the regional Cote du Rhone and a selection from other regional vintages. In addition to wines, the restaurant has a wide selection of aperitifs and digestives. read more about Café du Soleil

Grand Café des Négociants (Le)

Grand Café des Négociants (Le)

  • 1 Place Francis-Régaud
  • tel:+33 4 7842 5005
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69002
Place du Maréchal Lyautey

Place du Maréchal Lyautey

  • Place du Maréchal Lyautey
  • tel:+33 4 7277 7250(Tourist Information)
  • Lyon, 69006
Croix-Rousse

Croix-Rousse

  • Croix Rousse
  • tel:+33 4 7277 6969 (Tourist Information)
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69004
Ninkasi Kao

Ninkasi Kao

  • 267 rue Marcel Merieux
  • tel:+33 4 7276 1878 (reservations) +33 4 7276 8900
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69007

Located in Gerland - not far from the Olympic Statuim - Ninkasi Kao is the original of an ever growing family of Ninkasi creations, which keep popping up all over Lyon and beyond. Gerland is home to Ninkasi Kao and the Ninkasi Kafe, both of which are located on the same premises. Ninkasi Kao is the place to be for live entertainment. The venue holds a capacity of 600 and opens the stage with live music from France and beyond. Recent concerts have included blues, reggae, electro and rock bands of both little and well known names. There are generally five or six concerts per month and some DJing tours offering electro break, drum'n'base, house and disco pop. Ticket prices range from 13€ to 25€ (depending on the gig) and student discount is available on some, but not all events. Ninkasi Kao is also famous for the grand selection of beers they have on offer, all of which are brewed on the premises in Gerland. They're so proud of their micro brewing talents, Ninkasi invites the public to come and learn about their brewing enterprise on the first Saturday of every month at 11am. It costs just 3€ for adults to take the one hour tour and children under twelve can join for free. For more information call Roland Berne on: + 33(0)4 72 76 89 02. read more about Ninkasi Kao

Place des Martyrs de la Résistance

Place des Martyrs de la Résistance

  • rue de La Rize
  • tel:+33 4 7277 6969 (Tourist Information)
  • Lyon, 69003
Amphithéâtre Gallo-Romain

Amphithéâtre Gallo-Romain

  • 17 rue Cléberg
  • Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilisation
  • tel:+33 4 7238 8190
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69005
Maison Villemanzy (La)

Maison Villemanzy (La)

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

Marquise (La)

  • 20 Quai Victor Augagneur
  • tel:+33 4 7261 9292
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69003
Place Saint Louis

Place Saint Louis

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

Mon père était limonadier

Mon père était limonadier

  • 9 rue Justin Godart
  • tel:+33 4 7830 9310
  • Lyon, 69004
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
Quai Victor Augagneur

Quai Victor Augagneur

  • Quai Victor Augagneur
  • tel:+33 4 7277 7250(Tourist Information)
  • Lyon, 69003
Basilique de Fourvière

Basilique de Fourvière

  • Place de Fourvière
  • tel:+33 4 7825 1301 / +33 4 7825 8619 (Reservations)
  • Visit website
  • Lyon, 69005
Mère Jean (La)

Mère Jean (La)

  • 5 rue des Marronniers
  • tel:+33 4 7837 8127
  • Lyon, 69002
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
Place des Terreaux

Place des Terreaux

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

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