Welcome to Lyon, France!
The third-largest city in France and home to countless national and cultural treasures, Lyon is a remarkable city dating back to ancient Roman times. With its ancient ruins, vibrant neighborhoods, and outstanding museums, the city offers a wealth of amazing experiences. Whether you wish to explore historic districts like Quartier Saint-Jean or Colline Croix-Rousse to discover cultural treasures or sample local food specialties such as andouillette and rosette lyonnaise, there is no shortage of exciting things to do and experience in Lyon.
Exploring Lyon as a worldwide local is the best way to travel. It gives you easy access to some of the finest sites and lets you experience the city’s dynamic culture from a different angle. To help you make the most out of your stay, our insider’s guide offers excellent tips from the locals and takes you beyond the most obvious points of interest.
Where to Begin in Lyon
The medieval quarter of Quartier Saint-Jean is an ideal destination to start off your adventure in Lyon. Go for a walk through Rue des Trois Marie’s pedestrian streets, take photographs in front of cute little courtyards, and visit the lovely Place Neuve Saint-Jean square. While you are in the area, don’t miss the Musée des Arts de La Marionnette, where you will find many marionettes. There is also the Musée d’Histoire de Lyon, which illustrates the history of Lyon.
Worldwide Local Tip: Walking or using the excellent public transportation system in Lyon, is the best way to get around the city to visit all the best local attractions. In addition to the subway and busses, you will find funiculars that connect the Fourvière hill with the historic district. Renting a bicycle is also an option, as there are more than 300 vélo’v rental stations, that can be found in the city. Because of the busy traffic, getting around Lyon by car can prove to be a bit challenging.
Popular Things to Do in Lyon, France
There are many world-renowned museums in the city, including the famous Lyon Air Museum, but for a real local experience, check out the Museum Laundry. Here, travelers will have an opportunity to see around 2000 objects ranging from old-school washing machines to irons and spinning machines, all from the 20th century.
Venture outside the city center and head out to Lyon’s fifth district to visit the lovely Jardin des Curiosités. Situated on a hill and offering magnificent views of the city, this park is quite popular with the locals. Also, it’s a good place to admire the panoramic views of Lyon, this rooftop garden can be found at the Perrache Train Station. Climb up to the fourth floor to see a variety of plants, flowers, and vegetables.
Worldwide Local Tip: The most popular time to visit is in May and June when the Lyon weather is pleasant and there is plenty of sunshine. Because of the popular Fête des Lumières week and the Noël week, December is also a good time to travel to Lyon.
Eat Like a Local in Lyon
Locals know the best places to eat in Lyon and they are very proud of their hearty, regional, cuisine. They will probably point you in the direction of Bouchons Lyonnais. These are basically small restaurants that offer an authentic French dining experience. Go to Grand Café Lyonnais and you won’t be disappointed. Travelers with a sweet tooth can stop by Paloma’s Boutique, or try Boutique Voisin, which is one of the oldest chocolate shops in the city.
Worldwide Local Tip: Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse is the biggest market in the city, and is where some of the best artisan producers, in Lyon, come to sell freshly prepared foods. For a local experience, visit Marché de Croix Rousse to mingle with the locals and buy fresh fruit, vegetables, and cheese.
Have a Fantastic Time in Lyon, France!
With numerous historical and cultural attractions, Lyon is one giant UNESCO-listed site. Exploring the city as a worldwide local enables you to discover some of Lyon’s finest attractions, and allows you to know the city as a local.