Lyon, capital of both the Rhone departement and the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region, east-central France, set on a hilly site at the confluence of the Rhone and Saone rivers. It is the third largest city in France, after Paris and Marseille. The city boasts a remarkable historical, architectural and cultural heritage, first as the capital of the Gauls during the Roman Empire, then as a major economic hub during the Renaissance. Historically, Lyon was an important area for the production and weaving of silk.


What To Do In Lyon

Lyon is a place to which you’ll want to return many times because once there, you can truly experience the French “art de vivre.” Here are some not-to-be-missed experiences that are unique to Lyon:

1. Take a boat trip on the Saone

The heart of Lyon, called the Presqu'ile, is surrounded by two beautiful rivers with four riverbanks. A one-hour narrated sightseeing trip (available in multiple languages) along the Saône River allows passengers the opportunity to view the stunning architectural landscape from the water.

2. Visit the Saint Antoine Market
Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Basilica on Fourviere Hill and La Tour Metallique (Lyon’s own replica Eiffel Tower), Saint Antoine Market extends for many blocks along the Saône River. At one of the most beautiful markets in Europe, vendors sell fruits, vegetables, fish, breads, desserts (including the iconic Tarte Lyonnaise), cooked foods, cheeses, sausages, flowers, chickens roasting on the spit-and more.

It’s a chance to taste local specialties such as saucisson brioche (sausage baked in pastry dough) and to mingle with locals.

3. Meander through Vieux Lyon, the Old Town
Join an English-speaking tour guide on a free walking tour of Old Lyon. The narrow cobblestone streets are lined with charming boutiques, food shops, and restaurants.

Walk through the secret pathways connecting different streets, called traboules, once used by silk workers during the Renaissance to protect their goods from inclement weather when Lyon was the center of the silk industry.

4. Visit the Confluence Museum
Located south of the city center, where the Rhone and Soane Rivers converge, this contemporary museum that opened in 2014 houses permanent and temporary exhibits on science and civilization (with English translations), all beautifully lit and displayed.

The architecture and siting are breathtaking: The building almost “floats” on the water with 180-degree views from the upper floor windows.

Though far smaller in size and scope, the holdings of the museum are reminiscent of the Museum of Natural History in New York and make for a great rainy-day destination that will appeal to adults as well as children. Don’t miss a stop at the rooftop cafe.



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