With more than 2,000 years of history, Lyon boasts an array of incredible places to visit – from the biggest public garden in France to the streets rich with Renaissance architecture.
Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon
– Home to an incredible array of works by many of the world’s great artists (including the likes of Rubens, Rembrandt, Monet, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Francis Bacon amongst many more), the Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon is an art lover’s paradise. Established in 1801, and housed within an ancient Benedictine convent, the museum itself is as captivating as the masterpieces inside.
Parc de la Tête d'Or
– Literally translating to Park of the Golden Head, this 290-acre stretch of land is the largest urban park in the whole of France. The large lake in the centre of the park is a popular boating spot, and the small zoo is home to giraffes, deer, primates and more. For sports fans, the park also hosts a velodrome, mini-golf course, boules court and more.
The unusual name of the park emerged from a legend suggesting the land could be the site of buried treasure, featuring a golden depiction of Christ’s head.
Place des Terreaux
– Considered by many to be the heart of Lyon, the Place des Terreaux is very much the cultural centre of the city. Bordered by the magnificent Lyon City Hall and the aforementioned Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon; the Place des Terreaux is a square located in Lyon’s 1st arrondissement. Dating back to the 13th century, the Place des Terreaux remains enduringly popular with locals and visitors alike.
Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
– Built overlooking the city, the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière is a reassuring sight for the Lyonnais who built the 18th-century church in dedication to the Virgin Mary, who is attributed with saving the city from the bubonic plague. The basilica plays a major role in Lyon’s annual Festival of Lights – when candles are lit throughout the city to pay tribute to the Virgin Mary.
Musée gallo-romain de Fourvière
– Positioned near an authentic Roman theatre, and half buried in the Fourvière hill, on the edge of the archaeological site; the Musée gallo-romain de Fourvière is a museum dedicated to the history of the Gallo-Roman civilisation of Lyon. A series of exhibitions transport guests 2,000 years back in time to when Lyon was a refugee camp for Romans fleeing Vienne.