things to do in lyon

Last Updated on: 26th June 2024, 06:16 am

Welcome to Lyon, a city of endless possibilities and captivating charm! Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, or an adventure seeker, Lyon has something to offer for everyone. From iconic landmarks to immersive cultural experiences, Lyon is a treasure trove of delights waiting to be explored.

When it comes to Lyon attractions, the city boasts a diverse range of options to suit all interests. Discover the rich history of Lyon by visiting its famous landmarks and historic sites. Explore the picturesque Vieux Lyon, the old town that showcases Lyon’s Renaissance architecture and captivating streets.

For an immersive experience, embark on a cruise along the Saone and Rhone rivers. Marvel at the breathtaking views of Lyon’s cityscape while enjoying a delightful gourmet lunch on board. This unique perspective will give you a whole new appreciation for the beauty of the city.

Escape the bustling city and experience tranquility at Parc de la Tête d’Or, Lyon’s largest urban park. Explore the botanical gardens or take a leisurely stroll through the park’s serene landscapes. Don’t forget to visit the International Rose Garden, a vibrant display of roses from around the world.

These are just a few of the many incredible experiences Lyon has to offer. So, whether you’re planning a weekend getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, Lyon is the perfect destination. Stay tuned as we dive deeper into Lyon’s top attractions, must-see landmarks, and unforgettable experiences.

Explore Vieux Lyon (Old Town)

Vieux Lyon, also known as the Old Town, is the oldest district in Lyon and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is known for its stunning architecture, charming alleys, and old-world ambiance. Visitors can stroll through the narrow streets and admire the colorful Renaissance mansions that line the area. Vieux Lyon is a must-visit for those interested in history and architecture, as it showcases Lyon’s rich heritage.

As you wander through Vieux Lyon, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The district’s narrow cobblestone streets, hidden courtyards, and picturesque squares create a unique atmosphere that captures the essence of Lyon’s history. The Renaissance architecture on display is truly captivating, with magnificent buildings that have stood the test of time.

vieux lyon

“Vieux Lyon is a treasure trove of architectural marvels, with its well-preserved Renaissance buildings and intricate details that transport you to a bygone era.”

– Lyon Architecture Society

Visitors can start their exploration of Vieux Lyon at the Place Saint-Jean, a lively square surrounded by beautiful buildings. From there, you can wander through the charming traboules, narrow passageways that connect streets and courtyards, and discover hidden gems at every turn. These traboules are a unique feature of Lyon and offer a glimpse into the city’s past.

The Highlights of Vieux Lyon

One of the main attractions in Vieux Lyon is the impressive Lyon Cathedral, also known as Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste. This magnificent church dates back to the 12th century and features stunning stained glass windows and intricate Gothic architecture. It is a true architectural masterpiece that should not be missed.

Another must-see in Vieux Lyon is the Musée Gadagne, a museum housed in a Renaissance mansion. Here, you can explore Lyon’s history through various exhibits, including artifacts, artwork, and multimedia displays. The museum provides a fascinating insight into the city’s past and its cultural heritage.

The Maison des Canuts, or House of the Canuts, is another highlight of Vieux Lyon. This museum provides a glimpse into the history of Lyon’s silk industry, showcasing the art of silk weaving and the lifestyle of the silk workers. It’s a fascinating experience that allows you to learn about Lyon’s rich textile heritage.

Attraction Description
Lyon Cathedral A stunning Gothic cathedral with intricate stained glass windows.
Musée Gadagne A museum showcasing Lyon’s history through exhibits and multimedia displays.
Maison des Canuts A museum dedicated to Lyon’s silk industry and the art of silk weaving.

After exploring the architectural wonders and cultural attractions of Vieux Lyon, take some time to relax at one of the charming cafes or bistros that line the streets. Enjoy a cup of coffee or indulge in some classic Lyonnaise cuisine while soaking in the ambiance of this historic district.

Vieux Lyon truly offers a journey back in time, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Lyon’s rich history. The district’s well-preserved Renaissance architecture, intricate details, and old-world charm make it a must-visit for anyone exploring the city.

Take a Cruise Around Lyon

One of the best ways to explore Lyon and take in its stunning city views is by embarking on a leisurely river cruise along the Saône and Rhône rivers. This delightful experience allows you to discover Lyon from a different perspective, while enjoying a delectable gourmet lunch on board.

As the cruise glides along the calm waters, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Lyon’s architectural masterpieces, iconic landmarks, and historical sites. It’s a fantastic opportunity to appreciate the city’s rich history and immerse yourself in its captivating beauty.

Throughout the journey, knowledgeable guides will share fascinating insights about Lyon’s past and present, giving you a deeper understanding of the city’s cultural significance. You’ll learn about important monuments and delve into Lyon’s intriguing stories, making the cruise both educational and entertaining.

During the leisurely voyage, don’t forget to capture the mesmerizing Lyon city views from the deck or through the large windows. The Saône and Rhône rivers offer unique vantage points, providing you with picture-perfect moments that will surely leave a lasting impression.

lyon river cruise

“A river cruise is an unmissable experience for those seeking a relaxing and enchanting way to discover Lyon’s hidden treasures.”

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a photography lover, or simply someone who wants to unwind while enjoying breathtaking views, a river cruise around Lyon is an absolute must-do. It’s a memorable journey that will allow you to connect with the city’s essence and create unforgettable memories.

Visit the Parc de la Tête d’Or

For nature lovers, a visit to the Parc de la Tête d’Or is a must when exploring Lyon. This expansive urban park offers a variety of activities that will delight visitors of all ages. From tranquil walks along the tree-lined paths to leisurely picnics on the grassed areas, the park provides a serene escape from the bustling city.

One of the highlights of the Parc de la Tête d’Or is its beautiful botanical gardens, which are meticulously maintained and boast a wide variety of plant species. Stroll through the vibrant flowerbeds, admire the exotic plants, and take in the scents and colors that surround you. It’s a nature lover’s paradise!

Parc de la Tête d'Or

If you’re a fan of roses, you’re in for a treat. The park’s International Rose Garden is a horticultural wonder, displaying a stunning collection of roses from around the world. Marvel at the vibrant blooms, appreciate their delicate fragrances, and snap some Instagram-worthy photos.

But the Parc de la Tête d’Or doesn’t stop at botanical delights. It’s also home to the Lyon Zoo, where you can get up close and personal with a variety of animals. Take a leisurely stroll through the zoo and observe playful primates, majestic big cats, and many other fascinating creatures. It’s a great day out for families and animal enthusiasts alike.

When you visit Lyon, make sure to carve out some time to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Parc de la Tête d’Or. It’s a tranquil oasis within the city, offering a perfect blend of botanical wonders and wildlife encounters. Whether you’re looking to relax, explore, or simply enjoy the outdoors, this Lyon city park has something for everyone.


Plan your trip to Lyon and get ready to explore a vibrant city with a rich history and a wide array of attractions. From the historic charm of Vieux Lyon to the modern architecture of the Confluence district, Lyon offers a diverse range of experiences for every traveler. Whether you’re interested in art and culture, outdoor activities, or indulging in gastronomic delights, Lyon has something to offer.

As a popular destination for tourism, Lyon has everything you need for an unforgettable trip. Be sure to visit the top attractions like the Parc de la Tête d’Or, where you can enjoy the beauty of nature and discover Lyon Zoo. Take a cruise along the Saône and Rhône rivers to marvel at the city’s magnificent landmarks and stunning views. And don’t miss the opportunity to explore Vieux Lyon, with its Renaissance architecture and charming alleys.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Lyon, use this travel guide to help you make the most of your visit. Lyon awaits with its unique blend of history, culture, and culinary delights. Start planning your Lyon adventure today and immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of this remarkable city.


What are the top things to do in Lyon, France?

There are many attractions and activities to enjoy in Lyon, including exploring Vieux Lyon (Old Town), taking a cruise around the city, and visiting Parc de la Tête d’Or.

What is Vieux Lyon?

Vieux Lyon, also known as the Old Town, is the oldest district in Lyon and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is known for its stunning architecture and charming alleys.

What can I do in Vieux Lyon?

In Vieux Lyon, you can stroll through the narrow streets, admire the colorful Renaissance mansions, and immerse yourself in Lyon’s rich heritage and history.

How can I see Lyon from a different perspective?

Take a cruise along the Saône and Rhône rivers. This unique experience allows you to enjoy the city’s historical sites and architectural masterpieces while indulging in a gourmet lunch.

What does Parc de la Tête d’Or offer?

Parc de la Tête d’Or is an urban park that offers various activities, including walking, picnicking, and exploring the beautiful botanical gardens. It is also home to Lyon Zoo.

What can I see at Parc de la Tête d’Or?

At Parc de la Tête d’Or, you can enjoy the International Rose Garden, which features a stunning display of roses from around the world, as well as see a variety of animals at Lyon Zoo.

Is Lyon a good tourist destination?

Yes, Lyon is a vibrant city with a rich history and diverse attractions. It offers something for everyone, including art and culture, outdoor activities, and gastronomic delights.

What are some other places to visit in Lyon?

Lyon has many other points of interest, including the Confluence district with its modern architecture, the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, and the Musée des Confluences.