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What to do in Lyon?

Lyon is a magnificent, dynamic and cultural city that offers a wealth of opportunities. There are several places not to be missed on your visit to Lyon.

But who's Lyon actually?

🏙️ Lyon is a French commune located in the south-east quarter of France, at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers.

🏛️ Lyon is the capital of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, the arrondissement of Lyon and the departmental district of Rhône.

🌆 Lyon has a significant architectural heritage, with districts such as Vieux Lyon, the Fourvière hill, the Presqu'île and the Croix-Rousse slopes listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

🌸 Lyon is France's second-largest student city, with four universities and several grandes écoles. It is also a research centre, with the headquarters of the International Agency for Research on Cancer and Interpol.

🍽️ Lyon is renowned for its exceptional gastronomy, with many Michelin-starred restaurants and unique culinary specialities.

🎉 The city hosts many festive events throughout the year, such as the Fête des Lumières, attracting visitors from all over the world.

🚡 Lyon also offers superb panoramic views from its hills, such as Fourvière Hill and Croix-Rousse Hill.

Ideas for fun things to do in Lyon

  1. Play an Urban Escape Game: explore the city of Lyon on foot, guided by the Coddy mobile application. Coddy offers urban adventures: escape games and treasure hunts that you can play as a team in the city. Choose your favourite game scenario and then lead the investigation through the streets of Lyon. Find the answers to the riddles by looking at your surroundings, and (re)discover the city in a different way as you play!

  2. Visit the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière: Climb to the top of Fourvière hill to enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the basilica. You can also explore the surrounding gardens.

  3. Stroll through Vieux Lyon: Stroll through the cobbled streets of Vieux Lyon, discover its traboules (narrow passageways typical of the city), visit Saint-Jean Cathedral and sample the delicious Lyonnais cuisine in one of the many traditional bouchons.

  4. Explore the Parc de la Tête d'Or: This is one of France's largest urban parks. You can relax with a stroll through the gardens, take a boat trip on the lake, visit the free zoo or admire the many species of plants in the botanical garden.

  5. Take a cruise on the Saône: Take advantage of a river cruise to discover Lyon from a different point of view. You'll be able to admire the picturesque quays, magnificent bridges and historic buildings lining the Saône.

  6. Visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts: This museum houses an impressive collection of works of art, ranging from Antiquity to contemporary art. You'll find paintings, sculptures, objets d'art and much more.

  7. Discover Lyon's gastronomy: Lyon is renowned for its delicious cuisine. Take advantage of the many restaurants and bouchons to sample traditional dishes such as brioche sausage, gratin dauphinois, quenelle de brochet and tarte praline.

  8. Take in a show at the Opéra de Lyon: The Opéra de Lyon offers a varied programme of operas, ballets and concerts. This is your chance to enjoy a unique artistic experience.

  9. Go shopping in the Presqu'île: Lyon's Presqu'île is a lively shopping district with numerous boutiques, department stores, art galleries and cafés. You can find local produce, clothes, souvenirs and much more.

  10. Take part in a wine-tasting workshop: Lyon is close to the region's famous vineyards, particularly those in the Rhône Valley. Take advantage of a wine tasting workshop to discover local wines and learn more about wine tasting techniques.

  11. Attend a football or rugby match: If you're a sports fan, Lyon is home to Olympique Lyonnais (OL) in football and LOU Rugby in rugby. Attend a match in the electric atmosphere of the stadiums.

Places not to miss in Lyon

  1. Notre-Dame de Fourvière Basilica: Situated on Fourvière hill, this basilica is one of the symbols of the city. It offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Lyon and is home to magnificent mosaics and stained glass windows.

  2. Vieux Lyon: This historic district is a real gem, with its medieval streets, traboules (typical passageways) and Renaissance buildings. Don't forget to visit Saint-Jean Cathedral and lose yourself in its charming cobbled streets.

  3. The Presqu'île: Situated between the Rhône and Saône rivers, the Presqu'île is the heart of Lyon. Here you'll find plenty of shops, restaurants and cafés, as well as lively squares such as Place Bellecour, Europe's largest pedestrianised square.

  4. Parc de la Tête d'Or: This urban park is a haven of peace in the heart of Lyon. Stroll along the paths, visit the free zoo, take a boat trip on the lake or enjoy the greenhouses and botanical garden.

  5. The Fine Arts Museum: One of the largest art museums in France, Lyon's Musée des Beaux-Arts houses an impressive collection ranging from Antiquity to contemporary art. You'll find masterpieces of painting, sculpture and decorative arts.

  6. Les Halles de Lyon-Paul Bocuse: This covered market is a paradise for food lovers. You'll find a wide variety of local produce, from cheeses to pastries to charcuterie. It's the perfect place to sample Lyon's specialities.

  7. La Confluence: This modern, futuristic district is located where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet. Here you'll find contemporary buildings, shops, restaurants and the Musée des Confluences, dedicated to science and civilisation.

  8. The Traboules: Don't miss out on a visit to Lyon's traboules. These are secret passages through the buildings that link the streets. Some are open to the public, like the traboule in the Cour des Voraces in the Croix-Rousse district.

  9. La Croix-Rousse: This bohemian district is known for its working-class past and steep slopes. Stroll the lively streets, visit the designer workshops, explore the markets and admire the view from the Gros Caillou garden.

  10. The banks of the Rhône: Enjoy a stroll along the landscaped banks of the Rhône. You can relax on the terraces, cycle, rollerblade or simply admire the lively quayside.

Where to go out / have fun with friends in Lyon?,

During the day...

You should definitely try out an urban game with your mates. Working as a team (in groups of 6), you'll challenge your mates to solve riddles in the city. It's a fun activity that will appeal to locals and tourists alike! You can discover the city and its secrets, wander around at your own pace (or play against the clock!) and play with your mates! Coddy offers a range of urban adventure scenarios to keep you entertained in Lyon!

During the night...

🚢 Les Quais de la Soif (Quai Augagneur, 3rd arrondissement): The banks of the Rhône abound with barges and trendy venues to spend a lively evening, from rock to electro, sipping champagne or drinking a beer on the lawn.

🎧 La Marquise: A barge renowned for its electro nights and famous DJs, it's a must-visit club in Lyon. It's an intimate venue with a line-up of local and international DJs, offering a unique dance experience. Check out the programme to make sure you don't miss out on the hottest artists.

🚂 La Gare M'a Tu Vu (Les Brotteaux, 6th arrondissement): The former Brotteaux station is home to several trendy establishments, offering a choice of cool bars and restaurants in the surrounding area.

🍻 L'ApériKlub: A meeting place for Lyon's young hipsters near the Brotteaux station. Enjoy the superficial atmosphere while sipping a cocktail, then head down to Le First club to continue the evening without paying the entrance fee.

🍰 Le Sucre: Located on the quays of the Saône, Le Sucre is one of Lyon's most emblematic clubs. It offers a panoramic view of the city and an eclectic programme of electronic music, concerts and themed evenings.

🍔 The Ninkasi: With several locations in Lyon, the Ninkasi is an ideal place to meet up with friends. It is a bar, restaurant and concert venue all in one, offering a wide selection of craft beers, generous cuisine and live concerts.

🐵 The Monkey Club: This cocktail bar is a trendy, lively place where you can enjoy creative cocktails in a friendly atmosphere. They also offer themed evenings, DJ sets and musical entertainment.

🍺 Le Vieux Lyon British (rue Saint Jean, 5th arrondissement): Vieux Lyon offers a host of pubs where you can meet new Irish or British friends and enjoy beers while watching a game of rugby or darts.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Le Wallace: A Scottish establishment along the Saône, offering an incredible choice of beers, whiskies and a lively atmosphere during matches and concerts.

🌃 Les Pentes décadentes (Le bas des Pentes de la Croix-Rousse, 1st arrondissement): Rue Sainte Catherine and the surrounding little streets are packed with alternative places to listen to live music and dance the night away, with options to suit all tastes.

🌈 Le DV1: A very open and welcoming gay club for all, offering a cutting-edge programme and lively evenings, with a transformist show on Sunday nights.

But also, you should...

🎭 Attend Les Nuits de Fourvière: a summer festival dedicated to the performing arts with circus, theatre, music and dance shows.

🍽️ Have an evening picnic: take advantage of the banks of the river and the Place des Terreaux to sample local specialities.

🌟 Behold a festival of lights: take part in the famous Fête des Lumières where buildings and public spaces are illuminated by local artists.

🎨 Discover contemporary art: visit La Sucrière and other galleries to admire modern exhibitions.

😂 Laugh your heart out: take in comedy shows at Complexe du Rire or Les Tontons Flingueurs.

🎻 Enjoy classical music: attend performances at the Opéra national de Lyon or the Auditorium de Lyon.

🎶 Attend a live concert: discover new bands at the Marché Gare or enjoy performances at the Transbordeur.

🎥 Discover a new film: head to the Institut Lumière for a night-time screening.

🍻 Do a pub crawl: take advantage of Lyon's reputation for wine and spirits by visiting traditional bars.

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