Founded 2,000 years ago at the confluence of the Rhône and the Saône Rivers, Lyon is known as the cultural hub of France and no trip to this country would be complete without it. Just 4 hours from Paris (only 2 hours on the TGV), the city hosts grand renaissance architecture, intricate history of arts, and most importantly a rich culinary scene. Our European Specialist Diane holds a special place in her heart for Lyon and shares her favorite spots around the city. Below we lay out a small itinerary that will be sure to give you an unforgettable 3 days in Lyon!
Start off a perfect day in the “foodie city” and treat yourself to coffee + croissants in one of the many pavement cafés in Lyons main square, the 19th century Place Des Terreaux. This square is home to the famous Frederic Bartholdi fountain.
Spend your afternoon visiting the Lumiere Villa Museum. While the house itself is well worth a visit in its own right, the museum holds artifacts that trace back to the beginning of cinematography and is the birthplace of cinema itself.
For dinner, indulge in the culinary excellence at Paul Bocuse. The restaurant of famed chef Paul Bocuse offers a world-class dining experience and symbolizes France’s prestigious culinary history.
For an enlightening perspective on the city’s past, stroll through the Roman ruins at Musée Gallo-Romain. This archaeological museum displays ancient artifacts of the time within a building that is a piece of architectural art in itself.
While touring Lyon, paying a visit to a local vineyard is essential. As the second-largest wine-growing region in France, in the Rhone Valley you will enjoy some of the greatest wines of the country made of syrah and viognier grapes.
End the day by taking an authentic gourmet dinner cruise from Les Bateaux Lyonnais. You will be treated to a 4-course meal as you admire Lyon at night from the Rhone River.
Take the morning to saunter through the streets and traboules in Le Vieux Lyon. Labeled as an official UNESCO heritage site, it is the largest ensemble of renaissance buildings in Europe.
In addition to being the gourmet capital of the world, Lyon is also home to one of the world’s greatest collections of textiles and fabrics. At Musée des Tissus est. 1864, you will see how the city was Europe’s center for silk manufacturing and trade for almost 500 years. This is primarily what made Lyon what it is today.
Before you depart, be sure to visit Opera de Lyon. The venue alone is a reason to visit as the public foyer has been preserved in its 19th-century fashion. Today you can still see a variety of modern performances here from classic operas and dances to popular musicians and entertainers.
France is a large country with much to see, and each corner has its own unique characteristics. Lyon is a city with a proud culture and impactful history with even more landmarks than what is listed here. Take your time to explore the country, and it will provide you with a very rewarding experience. For help with planning your next trip to France, connect with us today. We are here to help build your custom itinerary that will ensure you have the best experience on your next international adventure!