In France, Lyon became in the last 15 years one of the best touristic destination to spend a week end or more. If you want to avoid overcrowded Paris and South of France Riviera, this is the perfect destination to experience a typical French way of life. Lyon has a lot to offer : big festivals, excellent food (it is known as the French capital of Gastronomy ), Unesco world heritage sites, etc. Here is 10 free things to do in Lyon to enjoy one of the most dynamic French City.
Walk in the streets of Lyon during the festival of lights on the 8th of December
Each 8th of December since 1852, Lyon’s inhabitants install on their windows small candles, in order to thanks Virgin Mary to cure the city from a plague epidemic. Since 15 years, this tradition became a huge lights festival. All the main buildings and smaller areas of the city welcome lights installations designed by top French and International artists. It became a very popular event visited by millions of tourists : it is said to be the fourth most visited outdoor festival in the world after après le Kumbh Mela, Rio Carnaval and Munih Oktoberfest ! And it is totally free (contrary to the price of your hotel room !)
More information : http://www.fetedeslumieres.lyon.fr/EN_2013
“Nuits Sonores” Electro Festival free parties
Every year in June or End of May, Lyon hosts one of the most famous electro music Festival in France and in Europe. More than 80 000 tickets are sold and you will see some of the best DJs in the world. It is about 45 Euros for one night. During 5 days, Lyon lives with electro music. But guess what, some of the best parties of the festival are the « pre events parties » during the day and they are all free! The first idea of the festival was to bring électro music in the Streets of the city. The festival sets up stages in old factory, public parks, small streets. People bring there own bottles and dance during hours! Crazy!
More information and vidéo : www.nuits-sonores.com
We will release soon a Nuits Sonores guide
Walk down the Rhône or the Soane banks
In 2000 Lyon started huge urban projects. The banks of the two Lyon Rivers were only used as parking areas and industry. After three years of Works, the Rhônes banks are now long pedestrian areas with grass, trees and flowers and also bikes/running areas. During spring and summer it became one of the best place to chill out, have a beer and make barbecues or outdoor parties. After a perfect warm up you will be able to go out on one of the many « party boat » that stand all year long on the river. Definitely the place to be to feel one of the youngest city in France. NB : In 2014 the same kind of project will be ended on the Soane banks on more than 20km !
Have a lunch in the Beaux Arts museum inner Courtyard
This is maybe one of the most romantic places in Lyon, especially in summer when it is hot. Nestled just behind the City Hall and Place des Terreaux, this garden is perfect to have a quick lunch. You will be surrounded by small trees, shadow and Renaissance style buildings.
Walk in one of the most beautiful market in France
On the Soane river bank, the quai Saint Antoine hosts one of the most beautiful market in France. Early in the morning the sun rises on the Fourvière’s hill, and on the Old Lyon. The light is absolutely gorgeous. Ask the locals to test Lyon local products !
Pictures 9 and 10
Halles Paul Bocuse
Welcome in the French and Lyon’s gastronomy temple ! OK the entrance is free and first, it will be a pleasure for your eyes and for your nose. But I can bet it will be impossible for you not to try and buy some food, sit with locals and test good wines, seafood and Lyon typical delicatessen!
Hike to Fourvière basilic and enjoy a fantastic view on the City
From there you will be able to see 80% of the city and the city’s geographical specificities: two rivers, an old district, which is listed on UNESCO world heritage sites, a peninsula, and the business district. And if the weather is clear you will see the highest peak in Western Europe : Mont Blanc.
Walk through the traboules and old streets in the Old Lyon and Croix Rousse downhill district
There are two hills in Lyon the one who prays (Fourvière), the one who works (Croix Rousse). From the Old Lyon, and if you cross the Saone River in direction of Croix Rousse, you find many “secret” streets and very picturesque small passages.
Discover the future of Lyon : Confluence
Confluence is situated in the south point of Lyon Peninsula, where the two rivers meet. During a long time this area was only dedicated to industrial and transportation activities. In the last 10 years, Lyon changed the face of this discrict with one of the most ambitious urban plan in Europe. Some of the most prestigious architects took part in the project. A perfect walk for the travellers interested in Architecture and Design.