Congratulations! You’ve decided to visit Lyon and stay in a MiHotel Suite. And what a great choice.
Voted Europe’s leading city break destination, Lyon has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for history, culture, food or simply to relax, you’ve come to the right place.
Lyon started off life as a Roman settlement in 43 BC, the remains of which can still be seen in the Roman amphitheatre. Later, in the 15th and 16th centuries, the city became famous for its silk, leading to the growth and development of Lyon’s historic centre. In more modern times, it has become the world capital of gastronomy, where some of France’s greatest chefs have left their timeless mark.
To help you make the most of your stay, we have put together this handy little guide. In it, we’ll provide a quick overview of the city’s main attractions and highlights, as well as some practical information.
Of course, if you have any questions, the MiHotel team is always on hand! Simply call us on (+33) 4 28 29 65 94 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Things to do and visit
Lyon is treasure trove of picturesque squares, fountains, buildings, museums and more. Split into three by its two rivers, the Rhône and Saône, each area has its own unique collection of sights and attractions.
Here is our list of the best things to see and do around the city.
Located on the east side of the river Saône, Old Lyon (Vieux Lyon) is a UNESCO-classified site and home to some of the city’s architectural jewels.
The gilded interior of Lyon’s Fourvière basilica, built in the late 19th-century, is simply stunning. The site also offers some of the best views over the city: on a good day, you can even see Mont Blanc in the distance.
Lugdunum (modern-day Lyon) was a major Roman city and the birthplace of two Roman emperors. The amphitheatre could hold up to 10,000 spectators and was one of the largest in the region. Be sure to visit the museum hidden in the hillside.
The area at the foot of the Fourvière hill is known as Saint-Jean. Its cobbled streets, cathedral, and charming boutiques are perfect for a leisurely stroll. Keep a look out for the secret passageways known as traboules, created originally for the neighbourhood’s silk weavers and later used by resistant fighters during the war.
Lyon’s peninsula, or Presqu’île, is the area between its two rivers and represents the beating heart of the city. This is where you’ll find some of the most impressive cultural landmarks, squares and museums. It is also home to many shops, bars and restaurants for when you need to take a break.
Hôtel de Ville & Opera
Found in the north, the City Hall (Hôtel de ville) and Opera house are two of Lyon’s most well-known sights. In front of the City Hall is Place des Terreaux, a small square dominated by the Bartholdi fountain, sculpted by the same man who made the Statue of Liberty. Enjoy something to eat and drink on one of the many terraces that line the square or visit the Fine Arts museum. (Second art collection of France).
Place Bellecour is the largest pedestrian square in Europe and plays host to numerous events throughout the year. In the neighbouring streets, you’ll find some smaller squares bursting with French charm, such as Place des Jacobins, Place des Célestins and Place de la République. Be sure to have your camera at the ready.
In the southern part of the Presqu’île is the modern Confluence district. With its new shopping centre and futuristic buildings, it’s a world away from the rest of traditional Lyon. Where the two rivers converge lies the monumental Confluence museum. The magnificent glass and metal building houses captivating exhibitions chronicling the story of mankind and the history of life.
The area to the east of the Rhône is the business and residential hub of Lyon, although this doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit.
Parc de la Tête d’Or
Lyon’s biggest park is found just across the river from the City Hall and is great for a picnic. It centres around a big lake and also features botanic gardens and even a free zoo.
Part-Dieu & Halles Bocuse
The Part-Dieu shopping centre is one of the biggest in Europe and the heaven for any shopaholics. Just down the road, the Halles Bocuse is an indoor food market serving the finest local and national cuisine. Enjoy lunch before stocking up on cheese, charcuterie, macarons and other French specialties.
One of the lesser-known facts about Lyon is that it is the birthplace of modern cinema. It was in the Monplaisir district that the Lumière brothers invented their famous cinematograph. Their former house now serves as a cinema museum and the surrounding area is where they filmed some of the first ever motion pictures.
Eating and drinking
Lyon is world renowned as the capital of gastronomy and rightly so. No matter how big or small your budget, the city’s restaurants are sure to offer up culinary heaven on a plate.
Lyon has twenty Michelin-starred restaurants spread across the whole city. The most prestigious of all is L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, a three-star restaurant founded by the legendary Paul Bocuse. There is also a street in Old Lyon, Rue du Boeuf, that has the most Michelin-starred restaurants in all of France. The hard part will be choosing!
Something for everyone
Fine dining experiences in Lyon don’t have to break the bank. If spectacular décor and history is what you want, then you can’t go wrong with Brasserie Georges. Or, if you want Paul Bocuse cuisine without the Michelin-star price, his four brasseries (Nord, Sud, Est, Ouest) each offer their own take on a different cuisine. Finally, if don’t know what you want, head to Rue Mercière or Rue des Marronniers, two streets in the centre of the Presqu’île. They are lined with a variety of restaurants and eateries to suit all tastes and budgets.
Lyon’s traditional cuisine is served in a particular type of restaurant called a Bouchon. Old Lyon is teeming with such restaurants, but if you want to stay away from the tourist traps, then check out Daniel & Denise, found right behind the metro station or “Le Musée” in the 2nd area ask to visit the fabulous courtyard.
While Lyon is famous for its food, there is certainly no shortage of bars. Old Lyon is full of places to drink and be merry, but if you want to try some local beer then head to Ninkasi, in front of the Saint-Paul train station. Alternatively, head to the boats moored along the river Rhône. Known as Péniches, these bars serve food and drink throughout the day, before turning into nightclubs in the evening. Perfect for anyone wanting to dance the night away.
One of the great things about Lyon is how easy it is to get around. While many places are often within walking distance, the public transport system is never far away if needed.
The TCL network includes metro, tramway, bus and funicular lines that criss-cross the city. You can find all the details and a map in their guide. But to save you time, here are the essentials.
Tickets can be bought from machines at metro stations, tram stops and major bus stops. Each single ticket lasts 1 hour and can be used in any direction and on any mode of transport during this time period. If want to save money and expect to use transport often, you can buy them in books of ten or purchase unlimited tickets that last 1-3 days.
Whichever type of ticket you purchase, you must validate it each time you board a new bus, metro, tram or funicular. If you don’t, you risk being fined.
Lyon also has a self-service bike scheme called Velo’v, with a day pass only costing €4. With 348 stations in total, they are perfect for getting around the city while enjoying the sights and weather. You can sign up via the app or the website.
To/from the airport
While you cannot take public transport to the airport, there are several other options available. The most popular is the Rhônexpress, a tram that will get you to and from the city centre in under 30 minutes for around €25 return. If you want a cheaper option, you can try to car share using the blablacar app. Or if not, you can also take a taxi, which should cost approximately €50 during the day.
Of course, if you have any questions, the MiHotel team is always on hand! Simply call us on +33 4 28 29 65 94 or email us at email@example.com.
Enjoy your stay in Lyon.