Perched between the Rhône and Saône in the eastern region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Lyon has become one of France's go-to vacation destinations. With its classical architecture, varied excursions, and some of France's best restaurants, it's not hard to see why Lyon is so attractive to travelers.
The third-largest city in the country, Lyon dates back nearly 2,000 years to the 1st century when the Romans founded a colony called Lugdunum. Due to its position along the two major waterways, Lyon became a center for industry, with significant textile and chemical plants.
From the postcard-perfect The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière to family-friendly attractions like the Lyon Zoo, Lyon offers something for every tourist.
6 Best Ways To Experience Lyon
Outside of France, this amazing city may not be as familiar as Paris, Bordeaux or Nice, but among the French, it is a city renowned for its history and gastronomy. The French are fiercely proud of their gastronomic pedigree but it is Lyon rather than Paris that is best known for its cuisine.
As in so many cities throughout the world, Bounce luggage storage services have teamed up here with trusted local partners so that you can store extra bags while you head off to explore all that this city has to offer.
Best food tour - The Foodie Lyon
This company combines gastronomic and wine tours while at the same time exposing you to this famous UNESCO city center along with its historic architecture. The guides are not only experts in their fields, they are also passionate about the subjects that they will expose you to. You could take a tour of the indoor market and neighboring restaurants, or you can opt to venture further afield in the company of a qualified oenologist to taste some of the great wines of the Rhône Valley. Let Foodie Lyon put together a tour for you and worry about the transport. Call them on 33-621-243-428 or email them at email@example.com
Best local tour - Lyon City Trek
Patrick Mathon is Lyonnaise and a geologist by training. An expert in the city of Lyon, he offers bespoke guided tours of his home city that will allow his clients to benefit from his extensive knowledge of the region. Standard walking tours take two hours, but he is also happy to create custom tours that will take the entire day. Among the tours he has on offer are gastronomic tours, heritage tours, and the tour entitled Nature in the City. Join Patrick to benefit from his lifetime’s worth of experience and see Lyon through a local’s eyes. Call 33–781–960–200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Best custom tour - Viva A La Lyonnaise
Caroline and Nico think of themselves as backpackers at heart. Their desire is to bring the real Lyon to life for their clients. To do this they offer a wide range of tours including cycle tours that are suitable for both adults and children. Not only do they offer night tours, gastronomic tours, and in-depth visits to the banks of both rivers around which this city is built, they will also put together a tour to your own specifications. You can contact them by calling 33–771–056–511 or email at email@example.com
Best historical tour - New Generation Guide
Lyon is a city where the silk industry once played a crucial role. Today, that industry continues to leave a mark on the local culture. Alex is an expert guide who can expose you to fabulous silks, delicious foods or help you delve into the city’s rich history. New Generation Guide is a company that believes in personal tours combined with expert professionalism, rather than the mass group tours that have become so common these days. To learn about the tours that Alex can provide email firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 33–621–243–428.
Best wine tour - Rhone Trip
Whether you are something of a wine buff or you simply want to gain a slightly deeper knowledge of some of the delicious wines you have been tasting in the region, this is a company that can help you. They will guide you to some of the most stunning vineyards and introduce you to authentic winemakers in the area. They aim to take you off the beaten tourist track and help you find those little caves where winemaking is a passion and not just a business. In doing this, they hope that you will come away with lasting memories rather than hastily snapped photographs. Call Rhone Trip on 33-648-110-991 or email them at email@example.com
Best cultural tour - Tasty Lyon
Here is a company that has managed to delicately weave together tours combining food, wine, history, and culture. They can provide walking and tasting tours of the UNESCO World Heritage city center or they can take you much further afield on wine tasting excursions as far away as Beaujolais. Tours are as diverse as chocolate and wine tasting combos to explorations of some of the city’s oldest markets. To find out more or to discuss putting together a custom, tout to your own requirements call 06-650-060-088 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
A weekend in Lyon
With so much to see in Lyon, it's tricky planning the perfect weekend away in la Ville Lumière. Before heading out to explore, find a Lyon luggage storage service so you can travel around the city unburdened by your bags. Then, check out some of these exciting attractions across Lyon.
- Tour the stunning Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Located on a hilltop overlooking Lyon, this 19th-century minor basilica features elegant Romanesque and Byzantine architecture.
- Book a table at one of Lyon's world-class restaurants. Considered the "Gastronomy Capital of France," Lyon is home to must-visit eateries like El Musee, Aromatic, and Le Neuvieme Art.
- Take a stroll through Place Bellecour. One of the biggest squares in Europe, Place Bellecour, contains many famous monuments, most notably a statue of Louis XIV on horseback.
- Plan a family trip to Lyon Zoo. This 150-year-old zoo is home to over 60 different animal species, including red panda, Asiatic lion, and greater bamboo lemur.
As one of France's biggest cities, Lyon can be tricky to traverse on foot, especially if you have lots of luggage with you. If you want to travel light and don't fancy weaving through large crowds with your cumbersome belongings, consider using a Lyon storage locker. Bounce has several locations across Lyon where you can securely stash your stuff while taking a tour of the city. Download the app today and book a spot at one of the best places to store your luggage in Lyon.
Off the beaten path in Lyon
Trying to avoid the typical touristy activities in Lyon? If you fancy avoiding the hustle and bustle of the big city to enjoy the beautiful French countryside, stop off at one of these lesser-known attractions.
- Escape the city at Grand Parc Miribel Jonage. This large park covers over 5,000 acres of greenery with hiking and biking trails. There's also the Blue Waters Lake, which has swimming beaches and is ideal for an array of watersports.
- Uncover the unique Rosa Mir Garden. Situated in the courtyard close to the Grande Rue de la Croix-Rousse, the Rosa Mir Garden boasts an array of exotic plants and intricate seashell mosaics.
- Hike through the Pilat Natural Regional Park. About 40 miles south of Lyon is the Pilat massif, which contains the 4,600 feet tall Crêt de la Perdrix. From atop the mountain, you'll be treated to stunning views of the nearby Alps.
What to do alone in Lyon
Whether you're looking to kill time during a stopover or you happen to be in Lyon on business, you won't be short of exciting activities for individuals. Make the most of your time by visiting a Lyon luggage locker before planning a solo tour of Lyon.
- Get in touch with your artistic side at the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon. With a collection spread across 35 rooms, this vast museum includes works by Rembrandt, Gauguin, and Degas.
- Discover Lyon's Roman history at the Ancient Theatre of Fourvière. One of Lyon's many Roman historical sights, this well-preserved theater dates back to around 15 BC.
- Pick up a new outfit along Rue de la République. This UNESCO-protected street is the main shopping avenue in Lyon and boasts some of the city's best shops.
The best souvenirs in Lyon
Towards the end of your trip to Lyon, you'll no doubt want to pick up something to remember your vacation. As Lyon is known for its fantastic food, you might want to consider picking up some wine or cheese for folks back home. If so, head to the Les Halles Paul Bocuse. This marketplace is referred to as "The Stomach of Lyon," and is where many of the city's best restaurants get their supplies.
Alternatively, you can pick up some great traditional trinkets from La Tribu des Gones within the Vieux Lyon district. This souvenir shop sells an array of quirky Lyon-themed T-shirts and nicknacks if you'd prefer something which will last longer than cheese or wine.