There are few cities that can wow a visitor but the grand old charms of Lyon never fail to impress. A source of power for more than 500 years, Lyon is a powerhouse for France’s tourism. Exceptional museums, historic attractions, grand hotels, fine restaurants, shopping for fashion and a vivacious atmosphere make Lyon a popular tourist destination.
With so many places to see it can be hard to pinpoint a place to start. One thing to do is to explore some of the fine museums the city has to offer. The Musée des Beaux-Arts highlights the finest sculptures and fine arts from every century, making it an absolute dream for art lovers. The gardens outside make for a perfect picnic area afterwards.
For history buffs the place to go is the Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine on Rue Cleberg 5e. There are some amazing collections of artefacts found from the Roman period and beyond discovered in the Rhone Valley. Visitors will be transported back in time as they gaze upon the four wheeled vehicle on display and be amazed at the intricate work of ancient mosaics.
For those more interested in recent history the Centre d'Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation will guarantee to make you stop and think. This museum is housed in the former home of WWII Gestapo commander Klaus Barbie and retells the history of this dark and terrible time in European history.
Lyon has many wonderful buildings that catches the eye, but perhaps the very best could be the ostentatious Cathédrale St-Jean. This cathedral dates back to the 11th century but it wasn’t completed until the 16th. It is a wonderful combination of Romanesque and Gothic and is decorated with 280 square stone medallions. Coming here gives you the chance to admire and learn about the beauty and power the bishops had during these periods.
For architect lovers the old quarter of Croix Rousse is simply divine. It was this area that put Lyon on the map for its exceptional silk weaving production and visitors can learn more about this at Mur des Canuts. The buildings in this area were created to house the gigantic looms and huge windows were put in to allow natural light in so they could work. Today, many of these workshops have been transformed into chic apartments but the facades tell their wonderful stories.
Archaeology lovers will fall passionately in love with the Roman Theatre found on Rue Cleberg Fourviere 5e. This ancient theatre dates back to the 1st century and was the place where the Romans would hold performances and recite poetry to an audience of up to 10,000.
After a hard day’s tour around the city it is time to explore what Lyon has to offer on the menu. Lyon has a cosmopolitan flavour, with restaurants specialising in the very best of French cuisine, Middle Eastern delights and Oriental dishes. Each restaurant takes great pride in each dish and guests take true pleasure in sampling them.
Hotels in Lyon will charm you to sleep. Prices are some of the best in France, whether you are booking into a charming guesthouse or a historic grand old hotel surrounded by all the luxuries and comforts you could wish for.
Lyon is a city full of old charm and a bustling cultural atmosphere. Visitors are drawn to this beautiful destination for many reasons but once they step foot here they never want to leave.