The second-largest city in France may, in some ways, sit in the shadow of Paris, but Lyon has long held its own as another city that makes France a divine place to visit. Once a powerhouse in the silk trade, Lyon still offers world-class art, fantastic shopping and easy access to the Rhone Valley, home to some of the most stunning scenery in Western Europe — not to mention some world-class wines. (For silks, you can still browse the local Hermès boutique today.) And if one of your main reasons for wanting to visit France is to dine on some of the best cuisine in the world, Lyon is a vital stop on your itinerary.
Things Not to Miss in Lyon
Use this Lyon travel guide to plot your course through this cosmopolitan city. Take in some of the most alluring sights and activities Lyon has to offer, including:
• Strolling around Vieux Lyon to see Europe’s oldest Renaissance Quarter
• Watching an early film classic at Institut Lumiere, the birthplace of cinematography
• Visiting the Lyon Fine Arts Museum, showcasing France’s best collection of sculptures and paintings outside Paris
• Seeing the original guignols, or French marionettes, at Musée des Marionnettes du Monde
When to Visit Lyon
The Lyon travel season never really ends, since there are activities all year round. Summer can get hot, which makes it even nicer to go canoeing or take boat rides. Travel to Lyon has another surge in winter, given the nearby Alps and the indoor attractions of the city — plus, if you visit Lyon in December, you can see the renowned Festival of Lights.