When we think of France, we dream of Paris and the Eiffel Tower, but there are other cities to visit, you know? Yes, this time around we’re getting away from the capital to talk about Lyon, a city that not many tourists consider when they book their France city breaks. To be honest, we’re surprised more people don’t head there, because it’s a beautiful city, rich with culture and history.
So if Lyon is on your mind, here are some of the best things to do in your time there.
1. Visit the Musée Des Beaux-Arts
This is a former 17th century abbey that is now a huge art and culture museum. In fact, it’s one of the largest of its kind in Europe. Here you can immerse yourself in French history with antiques, sculptures, and incredible works of art in every room. It was first opened in 1803, so even the building itself is an attraction. Time your visit right and you can enjoy one of the many international exhibitions that come to the museum each year.
2. Take a tour of Parc Olympique Lyonnais
Set on 50 hectares of land and surrounded by green, the Parc Olympique Lyonnais is a new stadium that was officially opened in 2016. The stadium itself is pretty impressive and was even the venue for one of 2019’s biggest sporting occasions. The Women’s World Cup (an event that we all thought England would win) was held in France, and the final was in this very stadium.
The stadium has also hosted the European Rugby Champions Cup, and is one of the proposed venues for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. So yes, if you have sports fans in the group, it’s well worth a look.
3. Roman Theatre of Fourviére
If you thought the museum was historical, wait until you see this place. The Roman Theatre dates back to 15BC and is in near perfect condition. It’s a relatively small amphitheater that still hosts events to this very day.
4. Parc de la Tête d’Or
Time for a break from the bustle of the city, and so we head for the Parc de la Tête d’Or. It’s the city’s largest park and it’s quite the sanctuary. Honestly, you could spend the entire day here and still want to come back the next day.
There are lakeshores, a zoological park, botanical gardens, and trees that are a century old. It’s where all the locals come to relax at the weekend and you can really see why. This place is great for an afternoon picnic.
5. Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse
This is a huge indoor food hall with dozens of vendors selling everything you can possibly imagine. No matter how fussy you or your friends are, you’ll find the perfect meal at this incredible food hall. And believe it or not, most are quite reasonably priced too.