- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Travel to Lyon, France
Situated at the crossroads of Europe, two hours from the ski resorts of the Alps and just a little further to the Mediterranean, Lyon's history, architecture, and cultural and culinary delights are more than worthy of a detour on the way to the sun or the slopes.
In fact, the city itself is now a major attraction, whether you like hedonistic music festivals, fine dining (this is the home of French gastronomy) or lashings of history and architecture.
A UNESCO world heritage site, Lyon's major selling point for many visitors are its distinctive architectural hallmarks and the contrasts in its setting, between two hills (Fourvière and Croix-Rousse) and two rivers (the Rhône and the Saône). Its centre is beautiful, and it’s enough to have you snapping selfies all over the place.
Here are reasons why you need to visit Lyon:
Lyon is affordable!
If you want to explore France and all you have in your head is Paris and its high cost of living, it can put you off coming over. Consider that there are much better places to discover in France. Lyon is a very good place to get the authentic French experience at a much better price!
Lyon has a beautiful historic area
It is called Vieux-Lyon district which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is my favourite place in Lyon’s Croix Rousse. It has an amazing atmosphere and feel with many hidden Traboules (passageways between buildings used to transport and protect silk) to discover and many bouchons to get the authentic food experience.
There is this amazing Tête d'Or Park
The park covers 105 hectares and has a 16-hectare lake. It is ideal for a picnic, family day out, date, or for meeting your friends. And I hope it will surprise you as it did surprise me to find a free zoo and a botanical garden there.
Vieux Lyon is the perfect place to get a feel for the history of Lyon. With stunning buildings and churches dating back thousands of years, Lyon’s past really shines on this side of town.
Take the long, but totally worth it, walk up to the Lyon cathedral- here you’ll get unbeatable views of this beautiful city!
Food and wine
The city is filled with excellent quality restaurants for all budgets: from Vieux Lyon’s Bouchon restaurants filled with old world recipes from Lyon’s silk weavers, to restaurants for the world’s top chefs including Georges Blanc and Paul Bocuse, to eating fresh frog legs that originate from the étangs (ponds) of the La Dombes in the surrounding ‘Pays de l’Ain’. Being in the middle of the Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône wine regions, Lyon restaurants offer a variety of delicious wines.
Don't miss those events: the Fête des Lumières on 8 December, Marché de la Mode Vintage in June and the Journées du Patrimoine in September, where ancient buildings and national heritage sites that are normally closed are open to the public.
Museums, museums and more museums!
We highly recommend the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, Musée des Tissus et des Arts décoratifs de Lyon, Musée Gallo-Romain de Lyon-Fourvière and the newly reopened Musée Gadagne in Vieux Lyon.
One of the impressive churches is Basilica of Fourvière. Also interesting to visit are: the medieval Cathedral of St. John, the 11th century Basilica of St-Martin-d’Ainay (where it is said Saint Blandina’s ashes are buried under the foundations) and Gothic-style churches Église Saint-Paul, Église Saint-Bonaventure and Église Saint-Nizier.