Things to See and Do


The old town of Vieux Lyon itself is well worth an explore, and while you can follow various walking tour guides and trails, sometimes it’s just more fun to try and get lost in amongst the backstreets and see what you find. The old town is one of the largest and best examples of renaissance-era architecture in Europe, and it’s easy to spend plenty of time taking in the sights and sounds. You might even stumble into one of the** traboules**. While in the old town, you should also pay a visit the** St Jean Cathedral**, which was constructed between 1180 and 1480, and features a spectacular astronomical clock.

If you’re feeling fit then a walk up the hill to the west bank of the Saône to see the **Fourvière Basilica **is a must - for those who fancy things at a more leisurely pace, there’s the funicular from Vieux Lyon St Jean metro station. The hilltop was the site of the original Roman settlement of Lugdunum, and there are remains of two amphitheatres on the Fourvière hillside.

Built in the 1870s the massive white marble church is even more impressive close up than viewed from afar. While you’re up there, you’ve got a great view back over the city from Place de Fourvière.

The** Musée des Beaux Arts** (Place des Terreaux) should be up the top of any art lover’s list - reeling off the painters housed in their collection reads like a who’s who of European masters: Rembrandt, Rubens, Manet, Monet, Dégas, Cézanne, Picasso and so on. Entry is just €7, but the museum is closed on Tuesdays.

For those intending on visiting several museu#ms the **Lyon City Card **may be of interest. Available from the Tourist office, it costs €21 for one day, €31 for 2 days and €41 for 3 days. It includes unlimited use of the public transport network, free or reduced entry fee to all major museums and exhibitions and one guided tour per day per person (Vieux Lyon, Croix-Rousse, etc.).

It’s worth checking out what you have planned as to whether the cost represents a good deal. If you’re only interested in one or two museums, it may be worthwhile just to pay their entry costs separately.