10 must-do’s in Lyon

All the corners of the city of Lyon hide a miracle to discover!

  • Clémence Pohalé


    Rédaction OUI.sncf

  • Updated on


  • Destination


There’s plenty of unique local architecture, “bouchon” restaurants serving local cuisine, and museums – must see places abound. I’ve selected 10 things you can’t miss out on next time you visit Lyon... Happy travels!

1. Dine at a bouchon restaurant

Eating out at a traditional bouchon restaurant allows you to discover a local institution. It’s a rite of passage if you want to enjoy the convivial gastronomy available around here. These traditional little restaurants serve regional specialities including Tablier de Sapeur (Breaded Tripe), Quenelles and Cervelle de Canut (‘Silk Worker’s Brain’). The names of the dishes are strange, but the result is delicious and the atmosphere is unbeatable!

2. Stroll through the traboules of ancient Lyon

You simply must walk through the traboules of ancient Lyon! Hundreds of these passages traverse Lyon’s courtyards and buildings. These vertical labyrinths create a unique and surprising architectural style: traboules on the corner between two buildings, traboules that form central courtyards – discover all the facets of these “secret” passageways!

3. Shop the peninsula

It’s always pleasant to shop in Lyon, especially if you’re on the Presqu’île. From major brands to Lyon names at the Designers’ Village, there’s something for everyone... fashion victims will find happiness!

4. Discover the new Confluences museum

The Confluences museum stands out for its contemporary architecture and numerous exhibitions. It opened at the end of 2014. This young museum has rapidly attracted both locals and tourists! It features around 3,000 m² of permanent exhibition space, allowing you to discover an exceptional story of the world and human history through its various galleries and the major themes explored. It’s best to discover it for yourself – there’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy!

Le Musée des Confluences - 86 quai Perrache - 69002 Lyon - Tramway 1

5. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon

The Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon is the city’s main centre for art. Housed in a former abbey belonging to the Dames de Saint-Pierre, its 70 rooms exhibit masterpieces in all styles. Our favourites? The section dedicated to ancient Egypt (Isetemkheb’s coffin is incredible) or Géricault’s Monomane de l’envie (Insane Woman)

Het Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon - 20 place des Terreaux - 69001 Lyon
Behalve op dinsdag en op feestdagen is het dagelijks geopend van 10.00 u tot 18.00 u en op vrijdag van 10.30 u tot 18.00 u. 

6. Follow in the footsteps of the Romans at Fourvière

The Colline de Fourvière hill and its Basilica have a lot in store for visitors: these high locations were home to Lyon’s early history, which began in 43 B.C.! For a complete view, go to the Archaeological Park where you can immerse yourself in the Gallo-Roman age. The basilica has illuminated this location since the 19th century and is the symbol of the city of Lyon...

7. Learn about Lyon’s history and enjoy the puppets at the Gadagne Museum

The Musée Gadagne is located in the ancient part of Lyon. It comprises two separate sections: one on the city’s history, and the other on world puppetry. The two sections complement each other: the first section teaches you everything about the city and its history, and the second allows you to spend some time in the world of the famous Guignol puppet, which was originally from Lyon!

Musée Gadagne - 1 place du petit Collège - 69005 Lyon

8. Enjoy ancient Lyon, a lovely Renaissance setting

You will have noticed that several of the city’s memorable sites are located in ancient Lyon. There’s a reason for this, the neighbourhood is a UNESCO world heritage site! All the more reason to stroll through the churches and Renaissance buildings that hide unexpected secrets behind their walls…

9. Dine at the Trolley des Lumières

A restaurant in a bus? The Trolley des Lumières is actually a “restaurant car”, and what’s more, it’s top of the range! The romantic ride changes according to your chosen menu: Petit Canut, on the docks of the Saône, le Mâchon de Lyon, which passes through the Fourvière hill… It’s up to you to set your budget and preference!

10. Take the funicular for a panoramic view of the city

In Lyon you don’t say “I’m going to take the funicular”, you say “I’m going to take the string” (la ficelle). This nickname is part of the local vocabulary. It’s a unique way of discovering the city. You can take it to climb to the top of Fourvière hill to complete your visit!

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