While historically Lyon was the world’s silk capital, today it has emerged as the gastronomical capital of the world. From its many Michelin-starred restaurants to its homely bouchons, cooking is considered an art in Lyon. Though the culinary scene is a huge draw, Lyon has a number of other attractions including Roman ruins, galleries and museums.
If you are only visiting Lyon for a quick city break, it is advised that you book a hotel in the centre of Vieux Lyon. This will allow you to be in close proximity to Lyon’s major historic attractions. As this is a popular area, some streets can be quite noisy, especially during the evening. Therefore, it is a good idea to opt for a courtyard-facing room over a street-facing room.
Unfortunately, accommodation in the heart of Vieux Lyon can be quite expensive which may make it unsuitable for some travellers. If you are keen to save some money on accommodation but don’t want to be too far away from the action, the second district has a good selection of affordable accommodation options, many of which offer views of Lyon’s most famous squares.
What to Do in Lyon
Vieux Lyon is the oldest district in the city and is also one of the largest Renaissance neighbourhoods in the whole of Europe. Travellers visiting Lyon should definitely spend some time wandering through the neighbourhood’s winding paths and taking in the scenery. In this neighbourhood, you will also find some of Lyon’s most iconic landmarks such as the Cathedral of St Jean which is a gothic cathedral complete with a crypt and an astronomical clock from the 14th century.
Other popular attractions in Lyon include the Ampithéâtre Gallo Romain and Aquarium du Grand Lyon. The Ampithéâtre Gallo Romain is situated on the top of Fourvière and is an amphitheatre which dates back to Roman times. There is also an onsite museum which houses a collection of interesting relics and explores the history of the city.
Located just outside of the city, Aquarium du Grand Lyon is a large aquarium which is exceptionally popular with families. The aquarium showcases an impressive collection of sea life and highlights include the shark pit and the Five Senses zone which features a touch pool where visitors can pet some of the fishy residents.
No trip to the gastronomical capital of the world would be complete without sampling some authentic Lyonnais cooking. Some of the most famous fine dining restaurants in the city include Paul Bocuse’s L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges and Georges Blanc. On the other hand, traditional delicacies such as quenelles, duck pâté and andouillette can be sampled in bistros and bouchons.