As the third largest city in France, Lyon is a melting pot of French culture. With roots in the weaving industry that date back to the 16th century, it’s held a strong, prosperous position for years, which is reflected in Lyon’s grand, sophisticated appearance now. That said, history hasn’t always treated Lyon kindly, and the city struggled under Nazi rule and occupation during World War II, killing and capturing thousands. Despite this tragedy, Lyon’s reputation has remained a positive one, and visitors can expect nothing but the finest from this beautiful French city. Popular Attractions
A walk around Lyon’s Old Town, otherwise known as Vieux Lyon, will give you a good introduction into what Lyon feels like. Here you’ll find many cobblestone streets to amble along, flanked by tall, rustic stone buildings, divided by slim passageways. If you want to get lost in Lyon, this is the place to do it. Lyon Cathedral (or St. John’s Cathedral) and the Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière are two churches that you will want to visit while staying in Lyon. These gorgeous buildings are perfect examples of Europe’s impressive architecture, and will no doubt have you blown away. Culture vultures will be pleased to hear that there are numerous great museums in Lyon. Check out the Maison des Canuts (Silk Weavers’ House) to get in touch with Lyon’s weaving history, the Musée Gallo-Romain de Fourvière to discover Lyon’s Roman ruins and roots, or the Centre d'Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation (CHRD) to learn about Lyon during World War II. Finally, the Parc de la Tête d’Or is a shining example of Lyon’s beautiful green space, and the ideal spot to get some fresh air. Here you can not only find gardens to stroll through, but you can also take a boat out on the water or cycle along one of the bike trails. Food
Many believe that Lyon is most important city for food in France – a huge accolade considering the extremely impressive reputation the country has for outstanding cuisine. You will find many classic French dishes here, but Lyon also has its own signature dishes to try. Sample some rosette, which is cured pork named for its pink colour, or some of the regions favourite cheeses, such as Saint-Marcellin, all accompanied by some Lyon fine wine, for which there are many options, naturally. Transport
Saint-Exupéry Airport is Lyon’s flight hub, and from here you can find plenty of connections in and around Europe. If you’re flying from outside the continent, you will be able to easily find connections in other French cities, and places like Frankfurt or Rome. Tips for Travelers
Getting around Lyon is very simple to do on foot, the most effective way to get around the city. If you do need to catch public transport, there are fairly well-connected metro, tram, and bus lines. Furthermore, if you are going to take public transport, it is advised that you get a travel card. Each journey on any of the systems will cost just under €2, but if you intend to use it a lot, buy a day pass for just €5 for unlimited transportation. Lyon’s climate is standard for central Europe – cool and sometimes rainy in the winter, and warm in the summer. Peak season is between May and September when things start to hot up, so avoid these times if you’re looking for a quiet visit. Fun Facts
The city of Lyon was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. People from Lyon are called Lyonnais. Lyon is the second largest city in France, after Paris. The population in the center is made up of just under half a million people, but combined with the suburbs and surrounding Lyon area, the population is 2.1 million.