Places to Visit in Lyon – Discover the Hidden Gems of the City

Welcome to Lyon, the enchanting city nestled in the heart of France! Known for its rich history, mouthwatering cuisine, and vibrant culture, Lyon offers a plethora of experiences that will leave you spellbound. In this comprehensive travel guide, we will take you on a journey to discover the hidden gems of Lyon. From iconic landmarks to off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods, we’ll cover the top 20 places to visit in Lyon, provide hotel recommendations, things to do, and guide you through the city’s lively nightlife. So, let’s dive in and embark on an unforgettable adventure in Lyon!

Places to visit in Lyon Travel Blog

Places to visit in Lyon – Travel Blog

Things to Do in Lyon

Lyon offers a myriad of activities to suit every interest. Cruise along the Rhône and Saône rivers, taking in the city’s beauty from a different perspective. Immerse yourself in the world of silk at the Maison des Canuts or learn the art of chocolate making at one of Lyon’s renowned chocolatiers. We’ll also suggest exploring the vibrant neighborhoods of Presqu’île and Confluence, where trendy boutiques, galleries, and cafes await.

Top Places to Visit in Lyon, France

Explore Lyon’s most captivating attractions and immerse yourself in its unique atmosphere. Discover the UNESCO-listed Old Town, Vieux Lyon, with its medieval architecture and charming cobblestone streets. Ascend Fourvière Hill to marvel at the breathtaking Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Delve into Lyon’s fascinating history at the Gallo-Roman Museum and wander through the vibrant Croix-Rousse neighborhood. We’ll guide you through each place, providing historical insights and insider tips.

Here is the list of the best places to visit in Lyon:

1- Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière – Lyon’s Majestic Landmark

Perched on Fourvière Hill, the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière is a must-visit among the top tourist places in Lyon. With its stunning architecture and breathtaking views, this iconic basilica offers a glimpse into Lyon’s rich cultural heritage. Explore its intricate interiors, gaze at the mosaic artworks, and enjoy the panoramic vistas that make it one of the most remarkable places to visit in Lyon.

Basilique Notre Dame De Fourviere top places to visit in lyon

Basilique Notre Dame De Fourviere – Top places to visit in Lyon

2- Vieux Lyon – Embrace Lyon’s Historical Charm

Step back in time as you wander through the enchanting streets of Vieux Lyon. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a treasure trove of history and culture. From its Renaissance buildings to the hidden traboules, Vieux Lyon offers a unique blend of architectural beauty and intriguing stories. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of this charming neighborhood, and you’ll understand why it’s one of the top things to do in Lyon.

Vieux Lyon Things to do in France Travel guide

Vieux Lyon -Best Things to do in France – Travel guide

3- Parc de la Tête d’Or – Nature’s Haven in the City

Escape the bustling city and find tranquility at Parc de la Tête d’Or, a true oasis in Lyon. Take a leisurely stroll along the tree-lined paths, rent a boat on the serene lake, or simply relax amidst the lush greenery. With its beautiful botanical garden, delightful rose garden, and zoo that is home to various species, the park offers an array of activities for nature lovers. It’s a must-see attraction that showcases Lyon’s natural beauty.

Parc de la Tete d'Or Natural botanic park

Parc de la Tete d’Or – Famous Natural botanic park in France

4- Musée des Beaux-Arts

Immerse yourself in the world of art at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, one of the top attractions in Lyon. Discover a remarkable collection of masterpieces spanning different periods, from Renaissance to Impressionism. Admire works by renowned artists such as Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh. With its curated exhibitions and informative displays, the museum provides a captivating journey through the history of art and is a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

Musee des Beaux Arts Best tourist places to visit in Lyon

Musee des Beaux Arts – Best tourist places to visit in Lyon

5- Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse – A Gastronomic Delight

Embark on a culinary adventure at Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, a paradise for food lovers. Explore the vibrant market stalls brimming with fresh produce, gourmet delights, and local specialties. Engage with passionate vendors, savor delicious cheeses, cured meats, and indulge in the flavors that make Lyon a gastronomic capital. It’s an experience that should not be missed and is one of the top things to do in Lyon for food enthusiasts.

Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse What to eat in France

Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse – What to eat in France

6- Croix-Rousse

Immerse yourself in the bohemian atmosphere of Croix-Rousse, an artistic and creative neighborhood in Lyon. Wander through its winding streets adorned with colorful buildings, browse local art studios, and discover unique boutiques. The district’s vibrant energy, artistic flair, and panoramic views of the city make it a captivating place to visit in Lyon. Enjoy the lively ambiance and embrace the artistic spirit of Croix-Rousse.

Croix Rousse Beautiful Tourist Spots

Croix Rousse – Beautiful Tourist Spots

7- Musée Miniature et Cinéma – A World of Tiny Wonders

Step into a world of miniatures and cinema at the Musée Miniature et Cinéma. Marvel at the meticulous craftsmanship of miniature scenes, from intricate dollhouses to detailed film sets. Explore the magic of special effects and behind-the-scenes movie props. It’s a place where imagination knows no limits and is sure to fascinate visitors of all ages.

Musee Miniature et Cinema Top places to visit in Lyon

Musee Miniature et Cinema – Top places to visit in Lyon

8- Place Bellecour

Discover the grandeur of Place Bellecour, one of the largest squares in Europe. Admire the equestrian statue of Louis XIV, soak in the lively atmosphere, and enjoy the surrounding shops, cafés, and restaurants. This iconic square serves as a central meeting point and is a must-see among the top tourist places to visit in Lyon.

Place Bellecour Beautiful Places to Visit in Lyon

Place Bellecour – Beautiful Places to Visit in Lyon

9- Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine

Journey back in time at the Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine, where Lyon’s Roman heritage comes to life. Explore the extensive collection of artifacts, including mosaics, sculptures, and everyday objects, that provide insight into the city’s ancient past. Delve into the fascinating history of Lyon’s role as a significant Roman settlement, making it a compelling place to visit in Lyon for history enthusiasts.

Musee De La Civilisation Gallo Romaine Travel Blog

Musee De La Civilisation Gallo Romaine – Travel Blog

10- Lyon’s Murals – Street Art at its Finest

Embark on a visual journey through Lyon’s vibrant street art scene and marvel at the city’s captivating murals. From colorful graffiti to large-scale artistic expressions, the murals breathe life into the streets. Take a self-guided tour and let these urban artworks ignite your imagination and add a touch of creativity to your Lyon experience.

11- Musée des Confluences – Where Science and Culture Meet

Expand your horizons at the Musée des Confluences, a striking museum that explores the intersection of science, anthropology, and art. Engage with thought-provoking exhibits, interactive displays, and captivating installations that delve into the wonders of the natural world and human civilization. It’s a cultural journey that showcases Lyon’s commitment to intellectual curiosity.

Musee des Confluences Places to visit in Lyon Travel Blog

Musee des Confluences – Places to visit in Lyon – Travel Blog

12- Lyon’s Silk Heritage – Maison des Canuts

Discover Lyon’s rich silk heritage at the Maison des Canuts, a museum dedicated to the city’s silk industry. Learn about the intricate weaving techniques, marvel at the impressive Jacquard looms, and gain insight into the historical importance of silk production in Lyon. It’s a fascinating glimpse into Lyon’s past and a testament to its enduring legacy as the silk capital of the world.

13- Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral – Architectural Splendor

Visit the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral, an architectural marvel that showcases Lyon’s religious heritage. Admire its Gothic beauty, intricate stained glass windows, and ornate details. Take a moment of quiet contemplation or attend a captivating organ recital. The cathedral’s serene ambiance and historical significance make it a place of spiritual and cultural importance in Lyon.

Cathedrale saint Jean Baptiste de Lyon Things to do in France

Cathedrale Saint Jean Baptiste de Lyon Things to do in France

14- Confluence

Experience the modern side of Lyon at Confluence, a vibrant neighborhood where innovation meets urban development. Explore the futuristic architecture, shop at trendy boutiques, and enjoy waterfront dining along the Rhône and Saône rivers. Confluence represents Lyon’s progressive spirit and offers a contemporary contrast to its historical charm.

Confluence Places to visit in Lyon Trip to France

Confluence – Places to visit in Lyon – Trip to France

15- Guignol Theatre

Immerse yourself in Lyon’s cultural heritage with a visit to a Guignol Theatre. Watch a traditional puppet show featuring Guignol, the beloved Lyonnais puppet character. Laugh along with the humorous stories and enjoy a unique form of entertainment that has been cherished by locals for generations.

16- Musée de l’Imprimerie – Celebrating the Written Word

Step into the world of printing and typography at the Musée de l’Imprimerie. Explore the evolution of printing techniques, marvel at antique printing presses, and learn about Lyon’s historical role in the printing industry. It’s a place where the art of words and the beauty of typography are preserved and celebrated.

Musee de l'Imprimerie Tourist Destinations in France

Musee de l’Imprimerie – Tourist Destinations in France

17- Jardin Rosa Mir – A Secret Garden

Escape the bustling city and discover the hidden gem of Jardin Rosa Mir. This enchanting garden offers a peaceful retreat with its lush greenery, charming sculptures, and serene atmosphere. Take a leisurely stroll, find a quiet bench to relax, and enjoy the tranquility of this hidden oasis in Lyon.

Jardin Rosa Mir Beautiful Garden

Jardin Rosa Mir – Beautiful Garden

18- Musée des Automates – A World of Mechanical Wonders

Step into a whimsical world of mechanical wonders at the Musée des Automates. Marvel at the intricate craftsmanship of vintage automata, from intricate musical dolls to animated scenes. Delve into the history of automata and experience the magic of these captivating mechanical creations.

19- Opera de Lyon

The Opéra de Lyon is a renowned cultural institution located in the heart of the city. With its blend of historic and modern architecture, it offers a stunning backdrop for a diverse range of performances. From classic operas to innovative contemporary works, the theater showcases exceptional talent and delivers unforgettable experiences. Attending a performance at the Opéra de Lyon is a must for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in Lyon’s vibrant arts scene.

Opera de Lyon Must see places in France

Opera de Lyon – Must-see places in France

20- Traboules – A Hidden Passage

Explore Lyon’s hidden passageways, known as traboules, and discover the city’s secret architectural gems. Wander through these narrow passages that connect streets, courtyards, and buildings. Admire the unique architecture, soak in the historical ambiance, and uncover the intriguing stories behind these hidden treasures of Lyon.

Where to Eat in Lyon – Places to Visit

Discover Lyon’s culinary scene, known for its traditional Lyonnais bistros and Michelin-starred restaurants. Indulge in authentic dishes like “Salade Lyonnaise” and “Quenelles de Brochet” at charming bouchons. Experience gourmet delights at Michelin-starred venues such as Paul Bocuse. Immerse yourself in vibrant food markets like Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse. Don’t miss Lyon’s culinary festivals for a taste of French cuisine diversity.

Cafes des Federations where to eat French food

Cafes des Federations – Where to eat French food

Explore Gastronomy and French Cuisine!

Here are brief descriptions of the top 5 popular restaurants and places to visit in Lyon, along with the famous dishes they are known for:

  • Paul Bocuse: One of Lyon’s renowned Michelin-starred restaurants, Paul Bocuse offers the finest examples of French cuisine. Don’t miss their iconic dishes like “Soupe VGE” (a potato soup filled with smoked meat broth, black truffles, and Madeira wine).
  • Les Terrasses de Lyon: This restaurant is famous for its breathtaking views. It provides a unique dining experience overlooking Lyon’s historic areas. I recommend trying delicious local dishes like “Ravioles de Royan” (ravioli filled with Royan cheese).
  • L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges: Owned by the legendary chef Paul Bocuse, this establishment excels in special meat dishes with elegant presentation. It is an ideal place to taste classic French dishes like “Filet de Bœuf Rossini” (beef fillet with foie gras and truffle sauce).
  • Café des Fédérations: This traditional bouchon restaurant offers a warm and friendly atmosphere, serving Lyon’s local flavors. I suggest trying Lyon’s famous dishes like “Quenelles de Brochet” (pike fish dumplings) and “Tablier de Sapeur” (fried tripe marinated in sour milk).
  • La Mère Brazier: Another Michelin-starred restaurant that focuses on traditional Lyonnais cuisine. You can enjoy dishes such as the iconic “Volaille de Bresse en Vessie” (Bresse chicken cooked with truffles, mushrooms, and sparkling wine sauce).

Where to Stay?

When it comes to choosing the best area to stay in Lyon, there are several options that offer their own unique advantages. Firstly, downtown Lyon is an excellent choice for those who want to be in the heart of the city. With a bustling atmosphere, a wide range of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions, it offers a vibrant experience. On the other hand, if you prefer a more peaceful and residential ambiance, the suburbs surrounding Lyon are worth considering. These areas provide a quieter environment while still offering easy access to the city center. You can check the hotel list by clicking on this booking website.

Alternatively, for those seeking a charming and historic setting, Old Lyon is a captivating neighborhood to stay in. With its narrow cobblestone streets, Renaissance architecture, and delightful cafes, it offers a glimpse into Lyon’s rich past. Moreover, if you’re a nature enthusiast or enjoy outdoor activities, staying near the Rhône River or Parc de la Tête d’Or can be a great choice. These areas provide beautiful green spaces, jogging paths, and tranquil surroundings.

Lastly, if you’re attending a conference or an event, staying near the convention center or in the Gerland area can be a convenient option. You’ll be in close proximity to the venues, with easy access to amenities and transportation.

Considering your preferences and interests, Lyon offers a diverse range of areas to stay, each with its own unique charm and advantages. Whether you’re seeking a central location, a peaceful retreat, a historic atmosphere, proximity to nature, or convenience to specific venues, Lyon has the perfect region for your stay.

Suggested Hotels in Lyon

  • SLO Living Hostel: This modern and comfortable hostel offers budget-friendly accommodation for travelers. Known for its clean and cozy rooms, social areas, and friendly atmosphere, it is centrally located.
  • InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu: For those seeking a luxurious stay in Lyon, this 5-star hotel is an ideal choice. It is housed in the historic Hotel Dieu building and features elegant design, luxurious amenities, and stunning views.
  • Novotel Lyon Gerland Musée des Confluences: Perfect for families, this hotel is located next to the Les Confluences Museum. It is known for its comfortable and modern rooms, children’s activity areas, and family-friendly services.
  • Mercure Lyon Centre – Les Congrès: Situated near Lyon’s convention center, this hotel is a great option for business travelers. With its comfortable rooms, meeting facilities, and central location, it caters to the needs of business guests.
  • Hotel Carlton Lyon – MGallery: This hotel is renowned for its central location in one of Lyon’s beautiful neighborhoods. With its stylish decor, comfortable rooms, and quality service, it provides a delightful stay for guests.

If you make a travel plan for France, read places to visit in Paris travel blog as well. You can get to Paris from Lyon by bus or train or airplane easily.

Lyon Nightlife

Lyon comes alive at night with a bustling nightlife that caters to various tastes and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a cozy bar, lively pub, or energetic nightclub, Lyon has something for everyone. The city’s nightlife is known for its vibrant atmosphere, friendly locals, and diverse entertainment options.

Le Sucre What to do at night in France Lyon nightlife

Le Sucre – What to do at night in France – Lyon nightlife

Popular Bars and Nightclubs:

  • Le Sucre: Located on the rooftop of La Sucrière, Le Sucre is a popular spot for electronic music enthusiasts. With its stunning views of the city and a diverse lineup of DJs and live acts, it offers an unforgettable clubbing experience.
  • Le Sirius: Situated on the banks of the Saône River, Le Sirius is a trendy bar that attracts a young and fashionable crowd. It offers a relaxed ambiance, creative cocktails, and often hosts live music events.
  • Le Smoking Dog: This British-style pub is a favorite among locals and expats alike. Known for its cozy atmosphere, great selection of beers, and live sports screenings, it’s an ideal spot for a casual night out with friends.
  • Le Bellona Club: If you’re looking for a sophisticated clubbing experience, Le Bellona Club is a top choice. With its elegant décor, quality cocktails, and a mix of electronic and mainstream music, it attracts a stylish crowd.
  • La Marquise: Located in the vibrant Croix-Rousse district, La Marquise is a popular live music venue. It showcases a variety of genres, including rock, jazz, reggae, and hip-hop, and often hosts both local and international artists.


Lyon is a captivating city that offers a wealth of attractions for visitors to explore. From its historic old town and architectural marvels to its world-class museums and vibrant cultural scene, Lyon has something to offer every traveler. Whether you’re strolling through the charming streets of Vieux Lyon, taking in panoramic views from Fourvière Hill, or indulging in the city’s culinary delights, Lyon never fails to enchant. The city’s rich history, artistry, and gastronomy come together to create a truly unforgettable experience.

With its blend of tradition and modernity, Lyon captures the essence of French charm while offering a dynamic and contemporary atmosphere. The city’s diverse array of attractions, including basilicas, museums, parks, and markets, ensures that there is always something new and exciting to discover. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, an art aficionado, or simply seeking to immerse yourself in a vibrant city, Lyon promises to leave a lasting impression.

So, pack your bags and embark on a journey to Lyon, where the past meets the present, and cultural wonders await at every corner. From the cobblestone streets of Vieux Lyon to the architectural marvels and culinary delights, Lyon beckons with its unique blend of history, culture, and beauty. Prepare to be captivated by this enchanting city that effortlessly weaves together tradition and modernity, offering a truly memorable travel experience.