Historic Lyon, capital of France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, is world-renowned for its cuisine. However, Lyon is much more than its gastronomy. The city is also a treasure trove of venerated sights spanning 2,000 years.
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Relax in spacious, contemporary rooms at this stylish hotel overlooking the Parc de la Tête d’Or and the Rhone River.
One of Lyon’s most famous attractions is the iconic Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière. This lofty church, which stands atop Fourvière Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has commanding views of Lyon, which is located at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. The views inside are just as impressive, as the basilica is ornately adorned with stained-glass windows, marble and mosaics.
History buffs will want to delve further into the past at Lyon’s Roman ruins, but won’t have to leave Fourvière Hill to do it. One of Lyon’s best-preserved Roman ruins is the Ancient Theatre of Fourvière. During its heyday, the amphitheater could accommodate 10,000 people. Today, only the middle and lower terraces remain, but 2,000 years after being built still hosts performances, particularly the Nuits de Fourvière, a summer drama festival that also includes music, dance, circus and more. Lyon’s Roman past can also be explored at the Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon- Fourvière, aka Lugdunum.
Other must-see sights include Vieux Lyon, one of Europe’s largest Renaissance old quarters; Traboules, Lyon’s network of secret covered passageways; Parc de la Tete d’Or, one of France’s largest urban parks, which includes a zoo and revered botanical garden; and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, which rivals the Louvre.
Shoulder season, September and October, are the best times to visit Lyon. Summer crowds will be gone and the weather cooler. However, if you want to attend the Nuits de Fourvière, June, although still warm, is the coolest summer month.