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Guided tours

A World Heritage Site since 1998, the capital of the Gauls never fails to attract more and more visitors every year.

Its ranking among the most beautiful cities in the world is an incentive to highlight its historical, cultural and gastronomical features.

To take full advantage of your visit, it is strongly recommended to follow the tour guides offered by the tourist office (Lyon Tourism and Conventions). Reservation required.

Contact: 04 72 77 69 69 or www.lyon-france.com to check “what’s on” each month.

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Four areas in particular represent the history of the city:

  • Fourvière and its Gallo-Roman sites
  • Vieux Lyon and its medieval streets
  • The « Croix Rousse » and its heritage around the silk industry and,
  • finally the « Presqu’ile » and its typical 19th century architecture.In addition, the new Confluence district today symbolizes the dynamism and expansion of the inner city towards the outskirts.

The essentials

  • Vieux Lyon Renaissance and alley ways : this area is a Unesco World Heritage site. Don’t miss: the courtyards and paved streets leading to St. John’s Cathedral with its astronomical clock.
  • From Fourvière to Vieux Lyon: the chapel, repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt, then replaced by a basilica in 1897 is dedicated to Mary in thanksgiving  for sparing the city from scurvy and cholera, and finally the war against the Prussians. It’s a great spot to admire the city spread before you, and identify its different neighborhoods, and the remains of its ancient period (2 theatres). In fine weather, you can even see the Mont Blanc.
  • The Traboules (alley ways) of Croix Rousse with the house of silk workers museum (discovery of looms) and the Lyonnais Wall (with its famous characters). The Museum of Fine Arts and Bartholdi fountain in the Place des Terreaux, and the silk workshop where you can discover the printing techniques.
  • Walls painted in trompe l’oeil downtown: there are over a hundred in Lyon

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Unusual surprises

  • Place Bellecour and its mansions
  • The Hotel de Ville, a masterpiece of classical architecture of the 17th century with its lounge and baroque decorations
  • Behind the scenes of the opera: its 18 levels partly buried, its neo -classical façade, the amphitheater, the hall, the ballet studio under the glass dome – a technical feat by architect Jean Nouvel.
  • A stroll after dark to marvel at over 250 floodlit sites, starting with the Basilica of Fourvière.
  • There is also a dark side of history where crimes and news items over 7 centuries are told about shady dark characters who have distinguished themselves by their crimes.

The guide Philippe Dechevre, organizer and story-teller will be pleased to share his anecdotes on local heritage, gastronomy and strange places. The visit may even include a picnic or a wine-tasting session. Contact: www.lyonstgeorgestourisme.com

tel. 04 72 56 08 38

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Other ideas

The market Les Halles Paul Bocuse :   Situated in the Part Dieu area, this market is a fine example of the gastronomical know-how of Lyon, associated with the name of Paul Bocuse, well-known far beyond our borders. The 56 shops and restaurants are open every day of the week, so why not try a Sunday brunch?

You might like to have a guided tour and finish it off with a plate of oysters? If so then just call 04 78 62 39 33 or contact www.hallespaulbocuse.lyon.fr

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Want to see more? If the weather’s fine, just take a ride along the banks of the Rhone or the Saône rivers to discover the new district of Confluence, the Cité Internationale , the Gerland district, the Park de la Tête d’Or , the Choulans path…

Fancy going by bike? The city service makes them available at almost every intersection.

Information: Velo’V , lease and convenient service -7/7 – 24 / 24 . Tel: 0800 08 35 68  –  www.velov.grandlyon.com

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