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5 Things to do in Lyon

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The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière

Lyon was the capital of Gauls during the Roman Empire,during the Renaissance it became the main economic center. Lyon is known for his cuisine and gastronomy, historical and architectural landmarks like the Old Lyon, Fourvière hill, Presqu’île and Croix-Rousse included  on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Historically Lyon was one significant district of producing silk. Also played one of the major roles in history of cinema since Auguste and Louis Lumière created cinematograph there. Every year at 8th of December in Lyon passes Festival of Lights Fête des Lumières and lasts four days regard to this Lyon received the title “Capital of Lights”. It is a lot of things to do in Lyon. I collected here the main things you must see.

5 Things to do in Lyon:

Vieux Lyon

Go by foot on the streets of the old part of Lyon. The building on the streets was built in  Italian and French renaissance, gothic architectural styles. From 15th to 17th centuries silk industry was blooming here and merchant families from France, Germany, Belgium and Netherland lived in this part of the city. In old Lyon there are many main sites: Church of Saint Paul, Palace of Bondy, Juiverie street (Jewish st.), Saint-Jean quarter, Saint-Georges quarter etc.

Les Traboules

Les Traboules are amazing renaissance passageways which give silk laborers access to the river  and assist them to transport silk and also give them shelter from nasty weather. About 40 passageways are open to the public, so you should use it! Recommend you to start your journey at Quai Fulchiron Rolland along the Saint-Jean street.

Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière

The Basilica is located on top of the Fourvière hill, it consists of 2 temples: upper and lower. The upper temple very richly decorated and the lower temple is decorated more modestly. History of the Basilica begins in the 12th century when Olivier de Chavannes (Canon of Saint-Jean Cathedral) founded a church  on the ruins of the former Roman Emperor Trajan forum. The name Fourvière in French came from  “forum vetus” in Latin. Basilica is known for her amazing  mosaics, stained glass windows and Saint Joseph crypt. Basilica is a great location to sketch it, I’m in love with its exterior.

Parc de la Tête d’Or

The park is one of the landmarks of Lyon, one of the biggest parks in France, covering 105 hectares. In the park you can find a lake, zoo, botanical garden, entertainment and sports facilities. The French name “Tête d’Or” translates as golden head. According to legend, a group of some persecuted people (either Jews or Templars) buried the golden head of Christ in a swampy sub urban forest. During centuries there were many trials to find it but unsuccessfully, the name was assigned to the area. The park is great for walking and resting, doing sport and definitely sketching.


Presqu’ile is a historic district in the central part of Lyon, located between the rivers Rhone and Saone. Presqu’ile (peninsula) was man-made engineering project in 18th century. Swamps was dried and the island was connected with land. Since then, here happening a most of the developments in the city, its is the center of Lyon. The district is rich with 19th century architecture, wide squares, shops, restaurants, and cultural institutes. Also the city hall and the opera located on Presqu’ile. I recommend you to visit the district, to walk on the streets and feel the vibes and atmosphere of the city and maybe to enter some place for coffee or lunch and sketch the city or whatever you like. 

Bayard Bellecour
Hotel Carlton Lyon - MGallery Hotel Collection
Okko Hotels Lyon Pont Lafayette

Recommended hotels in Lyon

Bayard Bellecour
Hotel Carlton Lyon - MGallery Hotel Collection
Okko Hotels Lyon Pont Lafayette
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