Best Things To Do in Lyon
Whether it's meandering the renaissance streets of Vieux Lyon or touring the expansive Musée des Beaux Arts, visitors will find an array of things to do in Lyon. Along with the fine arts, there are museums dedicated to miniatures and movies (Musée Miniature et Cinema) and world cultures (Musée des Confluences), among other cultural institutions. Lyon is also home to several awe-inspiring churches to explore, such as the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière, and places that will take you back centuries, such as the Theatres Romains de Fourvière.
Updated March 28, 2019
- #1View all Photos#1 in LyonSightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPENDSightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Built in 15 B.C., the Theatres Romains de Fourvière are the ruins of three ancient Roman sites, including a theater, a smaller theater and a temple located on the hill of Fourvière. It's also the site of the ambient Nuits de Fourvière, an annual performing arts festival that takes place during June and July.
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The Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière crowns Lyon from its perch on Fourvière hill, which is also known as "the praying hill." It was built in the late 19th century by architect Pierre Bossan, who incorporated neo-Byzantine styles in the design. Inside, visitors will find awe-inspiring mosaics on the walls, richly colored stained glass, gilt sculptures and a crypt. Gardens, also designed by Bossan, surround the basilica.
- #3View all PhotosfreeVieux Lyon#3 in LyonSightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDSightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Vieux Lyon, or Old Lyon, is the city's renaissance district located in the 5th arrondissement. Here, visitors will find many attractions, such as the Place du Change, the former business square of the city, and Rue St-Jean, a popular place to walk – partly for its traboules (secret pathways and staircases that pass through buildings). It's believed that these passageways date back to the fourth century, when residents needed a way to get from their homes to the river (their source of fresh water) without having to weave through the town's winding streets. They were later used by the silk trade and then by the resistance during World War II.
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The Musée Miniature et Cinema (Museum of Miniature and Cinema) is really two museums in one. First, the museum contains the miniature scenes of artist Dan Ohlmann and the work of dozens of other miniature artists. It also holds hundreds of film set props, including the original costume from "Batman Forever" and a triceratops head from "Jurassic Park."
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More than 70 rooms filled with artwork, such as "Dancers on the Stage" by Edgar Degas and "La Tentation de saint Antoine" by Auguste Rodin, among other French and European masterpieces, fill the Musée des Beaux Arts. Works date from antiquity and include everything from paintings and sculpture to decorative arts. The Musée des Beaux Arts, which is housed in a 17th-century former Benedictine convent, is also accompanied by a large garden.
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Called a "heaven for foodies," Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse is the city's premier indoor food market boasting nearly 50 vendors and several bars and restaurants. Here you'll find everything from fruits and vegetables to cheese, truffles, spices, flowers and everything in between.
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The Musée des Confluences, established in 2014, is one of Lyon's newest institutions set in the city's newest neighborhood. Lyon's natural history museum, it aims to tell the story of the world from origins to visions of eternity, from the viewpoint of many different cultures and even animals with the help of more than 2 million artifacts.
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