Wondering about making a long week-end city break in Lyon, France? Excellent idea! Let me show you the best places to visit to feel the vibe of the city. Third largest city in France is often called French kitchen mekka not without a reason. Traditional ‘bouchons’ serving the dishes eaten by silk manufacturers will not dissapoint your taste! But is Lyon only about food? Not at all!
I’ve visited Lyon, France for a 3 days long week-end and here you can find some definite must-see’s while visiting this city.
Croix Rousse – a hill that works
Lyon’s interesting history will bring you to Croix Rousse district – often called a hill that works. It was the center of Lyon’s trade in the 19th century and a district of Canuts – Lyon’s silk workers. If you’re into history, don’t miss La maison des Canuts – a museum dedicated to silk workers. Daily life in the 19th century is also shown on Lyon’s buildings as a fresque ‘Le Mur des Canuts’. While being in Croix Rousse – find a secret place called ‘Traboule’ – hidden spot used by the silk workers to transport their goods and protect them from the rain.
Fourvière – a hill that prays and Ancient Roman Theater
Second hill in Lyon, la Fourvière is the hill that prays. You can go there on foot or take a funicular. On the top of it you will find beautiful Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière – the symbol of Lyon. Besides, from the hill you can admire panoramic view on the city. 10 minutes walk from the Basilica, going thorugh a small park and roses garden, you can visit the Ancient Roman Theater.
Lyon is situated at the confluence of two rivers: Rhône and Saône. Presqu’île (En. ‘almost an island’) is the part of Lyon located exactly between them. These are 1st and 2nd Lyon’s districts – with plenty of beautiful squares, cafés and a lot of boutiques for shopping fans! Once you visit Presqu’île don’t miss the Terraux square, the Jacobins square, Hotel Dieu in Bellecour and Muséum of Confluence.
5th district of Lyon is all about old-town! The city’s oldest district it is one of Europe’s most extensive Renaissance neighborhoods. With its paved old streets and colourful façades the Vieux-Lyon was a key element in getting the city listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco. The historical area has remained almost intact for centuries thanks to French government policy in the 1960s.
Parc de la Tête d’Or
Finally, if you want to change the scenery and enjoy a greenery in a big city then you cannot miss the 6th Lyon’s district and it’s biggest park – Parc de la Tête d’Or. Don’t miss impressive ‘Porte des Enfants’ to enter to the park. It’s the largest urban park in France and contains numerous attractions for all the family including a zoo, boating lake, botanical gardens, miniature railway, pony rides for children and more.
Where to eat?
You need to definitely visit one of the bouchons famous for its traditional Lyon-kitchen. One of the most popular ones are Daniel & Denise. My own big recommendations is a traditional Brasserie Georges situated on the Presqu’île.
If you’re into visiting Italy or Spain, check out these cities: Milan – the heart of italian Lombardy, Barcelona, Spain – the heart of Catalonia or if you’re heading more into the South of France, here you go: French Riviera – Azure Coast – Nice, Monaco, Menton.
More inspirations to be always found on my Instagram.
See you next time! Monika