Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière

#2 in Best Things To Do in Lyon
Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière picture1 of 3
Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière2 of 3
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Key Info

8 Place de Fourvière

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Churches/Religious Sites, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.6

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

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.

Recent travelers raved about the ornate Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière, saying that the mosaics that line the wall are exquisite. Recent visitors recommended taking the Saint-Jean - Fourvière funicular or a taxi up to the hilltop basilica but walking down to enjoy the scenery without quite the strain on your legs.

You'll find the basilica overlooking Vieux Lyon. It's open daily from 8 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Although admission to the basilica is free, the guided rooftop tour, which is highly recommended, costs 7 euros (about $8.30) for adults and 4 euros (about $4.75) for children. Rooftop tours are available between the months of April and November several times a day. There are also guided "discovery tours" offered several times a day from April to November (the tour is free, though donations are accepted). On-site facilities include a seasonal museum, two souvenir shops, a seasonal snack bar, restrooms and a parking lot. For more information on the basilica, visit its website.

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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Theatres Romains de Fourvière

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. 

Recent visitors recommended tacking on a visit to the Theatres Romains de Fourvière after visiting the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière, since it's located on the walk down. Others remarked that the acoustics are amazing, and the view of surrounding Lyon is spectacular. However, some were disappointed with the limited signage. You'll find a museum next to the ruins, but all of the information is written in French. Consider reading up on the site or hiring a tour guide if you want a richer experience. 

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