Lyon -

Lyon

Browse the sample tours below for inspiration or contact us straight away for a tailor-made itinerary by a local travel designer.

Lyon, a vibrant city nestled in east-central France, captivates visitors with its rich history, exquisite cuisine, and architectural splendor. Renowned for its UNESCO-listed Old Town, or Vieux Lyon, and the picturesque Rhône and Saône rivers weaving through its heart, Lyon exudes an irresistible charm, blending tradition with modernity in its cultural tapestry.

Some of our Favorite Tours

A Culinary Journey through Lyon and Southern France

10 Days | Luxury | From $12,199 pp
This trip is a true delight for the senses. Your journey begins in Lyon, France’s culinary capital, and continues down into Provence and the French Riviera. You’ll feel right at home in a ...
Wine & Food

A Perfect Mixture Between Gastronomic and Cultural Discoveries in Champagne, Burgundy, and Lyon

10 Days | Premium | From $6,399 pp
Travel from Champagne, through Burgundy, and finally to Lyon where you will enjoy a perfect balance of gastronomic and cultural experiences. In Burgundy, you'll enjoy a fabulous full day amongst the ...
History & Culture, Wine & Food

Luxury Gourmet Week in Lyon

7 Days | Premium | From $7,399 pp
Spend a week discovering the fascinating history of the gastronomic traditions in Lyon and the surrounding villages in the Beaujolais and Drôme regions. You'll enjoy exquisite meals in ...
Wine & Food

The Best of Beaujolais, Burgundy, and Champagne Vineyards

11 Days | Premium | From $6,499 pp
This tour is our wine tour par excellence. You’ll learn to better appreciate the beguiling drink on this two-week sojourn through world-class vineyards. Start in Lyon, France’s favorite foodie ...
Honeymoons & Romance, Wine & Food

Lyon Wines & Culinary Delights

6 Days | Premium | From $3,299 pp
Explore the sensational culinary capital of France, Lyon. Begin your six day journey by touring the city and seeing the history of this amazing place. Have fun during a cheese and wine pairing ...
History & Culture, Wine & Food

Lyon's history, culture, and castle retreat

2 Days | Premium | From $1,199 pp
Enjoy an action packed two day trip to Lyon. Immerse yourself in Lyon's rich history at the vibrant Presqu'ile district, home to picturesque squares and luxury boutiques. Continue your day with a ...
History & Culture

Wine, Culinary Creations, and Charming Sights of Lyon

5 Days | Luxury | From $4,999 pp
Experience the uniqueness that Lyon has to show. Start by visiting important sights and monuments take private tours of the old town to the heart of the city. Visit Beaujolais, a famous wine region. ...
History & Culture

Lyon & Alps 7 Days of Magical Discovery

7 Days | Luxury | From $7,599 pp
Spend a magical seven days getting to know the region of Lyon, and the Alps. Learn the richness of the Alps by venturing on a private tour of Chamonix with a photographer and enjoy a half day hiking ...
History & Culture

Lyon in Depth

Get to know Lyon

Lyon is an ancient capital with a vibrant flair located at the convergence of the Saone and the Rhone Rivers. Lauded for its fine cuisine for decades, Lyon is the gastronomic capital of French and boasts the most restaurants per capita in France. Hometown of the famed chef Paul Bocuse, Lyon is known for its delectable specialties including quenelles and coq au vin, chicken braised in red wine. The charming cobblestone streets in Vieux-Lyon and Presqu’île intertwine to create one of the largest and most well-preserved Renaissance neighborhoods in all of Europe. The views from the Basilica of Fourvière reveal the majestic cityscape, dotted with picturesque red rooftops, where on a clear day, it is possible to view the Alps and Mont Blanc in the distance. Art lovers will adore the stunning murals that adorn the city’s walls and transform the streets into a colorful open-air gallery. Whether you are a gourmet food enthusiast, a museum buff, like to wander through the historic districts, or a night owl Lyon is full of possibilities. 

 

History

Lugdunum was founded in 43 BC by the Romans at the convergence of the strategically important Rhone and Saone Rivers. Today, this Roman heritage is still visible in the Ancient Theater of Fourvière, which in the summer becomes a theatrical venue for the annual Nuits de Fourvière festival. The Renaissance in Lyon was a time of cultural and economic prosperity. Lyon became one of the important literary and book publishing centers during the 15th and 16th centuries. Trade with Italy and a 16th-century royal mandate granting it a monopoly on silk manufacturing in France, set up the basis of Lyon’s industry for centuries to come. The French Revolution put an end to this urban expansion and the city became increasingly industrial. Today it is an economic powerhouse and home to many banking, chemical, and biotechnical companies. 

When To Visit Lyon:

Lyon can be visited year-round. Summers are high season and warmest. Late spring and early fall have lovely weather. In December, Lyon is illuminated by hundreds of light performances during the annual weekend festival, La Fête de Lumières. The population gathers together in the charming, old streets to watch stunning light displays, which are created by some of the world’s leading artists. This makes for a unique, unmissable winter experience. 

The weather in Lyon varies greatly depending on the season with temperatures averaging 80 degrees in the summer months to 30s during the winter. The winters are cold and dry, while summers have more precipitation, the region is fairly dry year-round.  

Logistics:

The small but lovely Jardin des Curiosités, a local secret, offers stunning views of the city in a peaceful setting. Don’t forget to try some local artisanal Voisin Chocolates. Made locally in a Lyonnaise factory they are available in beautiful retail shops all across the city. One of the joys of visiting Lyon is stumbling on the Traboules. Coming from the Latin trans-ambulare or passthrough, these secret tunnels and courtyards can still be found in the Vieux-Lyon. Over 400 still exist and 40 are accessible to the public. The passageways allowed quick access to the river. 

By Train: 

It takes about two hours to reach Lyon from Paris by high-speed TGV train.

By Plane: 

The closest airport to the city center is Lyon Saint Exupéry, which is located about 20 minutes outside the city. The flight from Paris to Lyon is around an hour. It also has direct connections to many of Europe’s most important hubs.

Experience Lyon

Vieux Lyon and Presqu'Île

Lyon’s oldest neighborhoods and UNESCO World Heritage sites, Vieux Lyon and Presqu’île, offer old-world charm with modern luxuries. The curving cobblestone alleys of the Vieux Lyon lie on the west bank of the Saone River. It offers ... Show More »Lyon’s oldest neighborhoods and UNESCO World Heritage sites, Vieux Lyon and Presqu’île, offer old-world charm with modern luxuries. The curving cobblestone alleys of the Vieux Lyon lie on the west bank of the Saone River. It offers ...

Lyon’s oldest neighborhoods and UNESCO World Heritage sites, Vieux Lyon and Presqu’île, offer old-world charm with modern luxuries. The curving cobblestone alleys of the Vieux Lyon lie on the west bank of the Saone River. It offers fantastic architecture, with one of Europe’s best-preserved Renaissance neighborhoods in Europe, colorful Italian-influenced buildings, and a smattering of Gothic and Medieval architectural influences. The streets are lined with elegant wine bars, tranquil cafes, and Traboules, hidden passageways waiting to be discovered. Presqu’ile is a historic neighborhood located on the thin peninsula between the Saone and the Rhone. Greatly transformed during the 19th century, the area stretches from Place Bellecour, Europe’s largest pedestrian square, to Place des Terreaux, which is bordered by the Hôtel de Ville and the Musée des Beaux-arts (Fine Arts Museum). The 19th-century fountains and monuments are a testament to the opulence of Lyon’s bourgeoisie. After dark, its iconic fountains and monuments are bathed in light. Some of the best shopping in the city can be found here on the rue Victor Hugo and south of the Rue de la Republique. 

 

Parc de la Tête d'Or

With over 290 acres of green rolling terrain, Parc de la Tête d’Or, France’s largest urban park, is a favorite location of locals and visitors. In the summer months, boats frequent the vast lake while cyclists and joggers run along winding ... Show More »With over 290 acres of green rolling terrain, Parc de la Tête d’Or, France’s largest urban park, is a favorite location of locals and visitors. In the summer months, boats frequent the vast lake while cyclists and joggers run along winding ...

With over 290 acres of green rolling terrain, Parc de la Tête d’Or, France’s largest urban park, is a favorite location of locals and visitors. In the summer months, boats frequent the vast lake while cyclists and joggers run along winding trails. In the center of the park, there is a small zoo with exotic animals including zebras, giraffes, and lions. Fragrant flowers are found throughout this beautiful park, including a stunning botanical garden and rose garden. Families will enjoy the carousel, mini-karting, and horse and carriage rides.

Bouchon

While Lyon has many upscale dining establishments, historic bouchons are are key part of its culinary legacy. Located throughout the older neighborhoods, the Bouchons are rustic family restaurants found only in Lyon.  They serve traditional and ... Show More »While Lyon has many upscale dining establishments, historic bouchons are are key part of its culinary legacy. Located throughout the older neighborhoods, the Bouchons are rustic family restaurants found only in Lyon.  They serve traditional and ...

While Lyon has many upscale dining establishments, historic bouchons are are key part of its culinary legacy. Located throughout the older neighborhoods, the Bouchons are rustic family restaurants found only in Lyon.  They serve traditional and hearty Lyonnaise cuisine at an inexpensive price.Look for an emblem in the restaurants’ windows, indicating that you are at one of the Les Bouchons Lyonnais. The Chamber of Commerce authenticates and awards this marker to the best traditional establishments. These eateries originated when silk traders used to stop at these inns to eat and groom their horses. Their menus are usually limited but always offer authentic Lyonnais staples. 

Favorite Hotels

Luxury

Intercontinental Lyon - Hotel Dieu

5-Star Hotel
Premium

Le Clair de la Plume

4-Star Hotel
Luxury

Hotel Cour des Loges

5-Star Hotel
Luxury

Maison Pic

5-Star Hotel
Premium

Hotel Fourvière

4-Star Hotel
Luxury

Villa Florentine

5-Star Hotel

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