Lyon may often be overlooked by travelers to France, yet this third largest city is the gateway to the Rhône-Valley and its culture of gastronomy and Renaissance architecture will delight your appetite
Massive and medieval.
Lyon was originally settled by the Romans where the Rhône and Saône Rivers meet. Today this medieval old town area, known as the Vieux Lyon, is a delightful district of museums, restaurants, and cafes - some dating back to the 16th century where wealthy Italian bankers lived.
It will be difficult to walk the entire Vieux Lyon district due to its size, yet after a delicious lunch, you can enjoy the Museum of Miniatures and Film Sets which is a favorite of travelers to Lyon.
Say "oui" to film!
Many travelers to Lyon are surprised to learn that the Lumière brothers pioneered cinema here in 1895. The Institut Lumière, built as Auguste Lumiere's house, holds many of their first inventions. Photographers and movie makers will enjoy visiting the Musée Lumière to view early cameras and film making equipment.
A district worth diving into.
The Saint-Paul district houses the Lyon Historical Museum and the International Puppet Museum, so there is a great selection of things to do in Lyon.
The perfect spot for a selfie.
From the Saint-Jean in Vieux Lyon, you can take the 2 to 3 minute funicular tram car ride to Fourvière to see the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. The 400 meter climb to the cathedral gives you a wonderful view of Lyon.
Enjoy masterpieces from all over the world.
While traveling in Lyon, a must-visit is the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, which houses original works of France’s finest painters including Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Vincent Van Gogh, and others from Pablo Picasso to Francis Bacon. The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon also boasts an incredible collection of Egyptian antiquities which is well worth a visit.
From Lyon, journey 150 miles south to the walled city of Avignon and visit the Palais de Papes, where Popes lived in the 14th Century for almost 100 yeard. From Avignon, visit the the beautiful town of Aix en Provence, a gateway to the French Riviera.