Lyon, France's second biggest city and capital of the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region, is situated at the crossroads of Europe's major lines of transport, at the heart of France between Paris and the French Riviera. This city is constantly on the move and today has the most beautiful and attractive urban destinations in Europe, bringing in more than 5.5 million visitors every year. Combining an exceptional historic heritage with a natural liking for good food, Lyon is the ideal city for discovering all the charm of the French way of life. Voted last year Europe's Leading City Break Destination, she will astound you.
Lyon has been the ultimate gastronomic city for centuries, reputed around the world thanks to Chef Paul Bocuse. It now boasts more than 4000 restaurants, including the famous bouchons (typical local eateries) to Michelin star-awarded establishments. From traditional Mères Lyonnaises (19th century cooks for the bourgeoisie) to inspired and innovative young chefs, Lyon is a place for culinary experimentation with new tastes and concepts to be savoured.
A stage for more than 2000 years of history, the city has a remarkable architectural heritage. Expanding towards the east throughout the centuries, without destroying the existing areas, 500 hectares of its city centre became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1998. Wandering around Lyon is like embarking on a fascinating journey through time. In each district Lyon displays an astonishing variety of architecture, from the ancient Fourvière cathedral to the traboules (passageways from the Renaissance in Old Lyon), via the elegant peninsula situated between the Rhône and the Saône, to the contemporary and original creations by Renzo Piano, Jean Nouvel and Santiago Calatrava.
As for culture, the National Opera, one of the twenty most prestigious ballets in the world, and the Célestins Theatre offer an ambitious programme all year round. Furthermore, the city has museums that exist nowhere else in the world, such as the Lumière Institute - in Lyon – on the invention of cinematography and the Fabric Museum tracing two thousand years of the history of textile and silk weaving. Within this wonderful Renaissance building, the Lyon History Museum and the Puppets of the World Museum have formed the Gadagne Museums in the Old Lyon. As for the Fine Arts Museum, one of the biggest museums in France and Europe, its collections spread out over 70 rooms giving visitors an exceptional journey from Antiquity to Modern Art. Last but not least, the Musée des Confluences, opened in 2014, is worth a visit, both for its original architecture and its wonderful collections.
It's good to stroll around Lyon… to admire its heritage of course, but also to discover its many boutiques. In addition to French and international luxury brands, the Presqu’île (peninsula) is full of trendy boutiques that have seen the rise of a number of fashion designers who have gone on to become famous. As for the hilly district of the Croix-Rousse it groups together a number of young designers, passionate heirs of a glorious past at a time when Lyon was on the Silk Road. Museums as well as weaving and silk printing workshops today bear witness to this quite unique know-how.
All year round at nightfall the city is lit up thanks to its "Lighting Plan" that shows off some 325 monuments. Thanks to a popular tradition, Lyon has enjoyed a very special relationship with light since December 8, 1852. This local festival has gone on to become an international event, today known as the Fête des Lumières (Festival of Light). For night owls, the city is teeming with festive, friendly places, with trendy bars from the Old Lyon to barge-restaurants situated on the banks of the Rhône, not forgetting wine bars on the peninsula.
Lyon is vibrant all year round thanks to a number of events it hosts. Among the most appealing are the Festival of Lights, the Contemporary Art Biennial event, the Dance Biennial event, the Nuits Sonores (music and sound festival), the Nuits de Fourvière (cultural festival), Quais du Polar (Thriller festival) and the latest addition, the Grand Lyon Film Festival, all attracting millions of visitors every year.
For more information visit www.lyon-france.com
Lyon (Saint-Exupéry) Airport (LYS)
The airport is located in Colombier-Saugnieu, 20 km southeast of Lyon city centre.
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