Lyon is the third largest city in France, offering visits a series of unique cultural treasures when they visit. Founded in 43 BC by the Romans, Lyon was an important city of the Roman Empire and became a trading city in the Middle Ages. It was later known as the capital of the silk weaving industry, and nowadays it is a major industrial and business center with numerous rail links, as well as one of the busiest airports in France. In addition to being labeled a UNESCO World heritage site, Lyon is also known as the gastronomic capital of France thanks to its many restaurants, making it an ideal destination for visitors who are seeking a well-rounded travel experience.
Place Bellecour is the piazza in the city center between the Saone and Rhone Rivers and is within walking distance to other sites and attractions. Head over to Fourviere, which is where a 19th century basilica known as Notre dame de Fourviere is located. It features an impressive display of mosaics, stained-glass windows and murals and is a great place to take lots of pictures. South of this monument are the remains of the Roman city of Lugdunum and the Roman theater, which is the site of the famous summer Nuits de Fourviere music festival. Stop by Cathedral Saint Jean, a medieval gothic cathedral that houses a famous astronomic clock. Go for a stroll around the narrow streets and historic buildings that make up le vieux Lyon, which is also home to various cafes, restaurants and courtyards. Head to the Lyon fine arts museum in Place des Terreaux, which houses an impressive collection of artwork and includes pieces by famous artists like Picasso and Matisse. Festivals you might want to consider coming for include the city’s Festival of Lights, a four-day event that takes place in December. During this special celebration, you will notice that the entire city is lit up, and many residents of the town will place candles on their windowsills. Another popular festival is the Nuits de Fourviere, which is a series of concerts and theatrical performances that take place in the Roman theatre.
There are many great places not too far from Lyon that are worth exploring as well. Perouges is a small medieval town to the east, along with the Beaujolais area to the north, which is known for its vineyards. Vienne is a small town in the south that has a rich history, and people come here to see the Roman temple, Roman pyramid, and the large Gallo-Roman theatre. Many people like to visit the lakeside resort of Aix les Bains, which takes just over an hour by train. Paris is four hours north from Lyon and would make a great weekend getaway trip.
From apartments to beautiful homes, there is a variety of accommodation to choose from when you visit Lyon. Depending on what you’re looking for, there are different neighborhoods designed to meet everyone’s needs. La Croix-Rousse is a laidback residential area located between the Saone and Rhone rivers that has lots of town squares, winding streets, markets and shops. Bellecour and Hotel de Ville are the place for high-end shopping, restaurants and the National Opera, as well as some of the best museums. Perrache is a modern commercial and business district, as well as La Part-Dieu, which is home to a famous food market known as Les Halles de Lyon. Cite Internationale is a highly-desirable, upscale area that has plenty of luxury apartments, restaurants, hotels, a convention center, and much more.
Due to many of its winding and narrow streets, particularly in the Old Lyon area, the best way to see Lyon is on foot. There are also tourist buses run by the Lyon Open tour, as well as boat trips on the Saone and Rhone rivers. There is also a four-line metro and two trains that connect to other cities, making it easier to travel long distances in a short amount of time.
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