02 November 2018 by Jessica Boston
Five reasons to visit the wonderful city of Lyon!
Lyon is one of the oldest cities in France with the old town classed as a UNESCO world heritage site. It is famous for its gastronomy, architecture and Roman sites and is a fantastic choice for a mini break or day trip on your holiday in the region. Take a guided tour of the town by electric bike, segway, rickshaw, tram or bus to see the main attractions then pick one of our favourite places and immerse yourself in the food, art or culture of this lovely city…
1.Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse
This huge covered market is filled with incredible produce of all kinds; as you browse the stalls it’s easy to see why Lyon has a well-deserved reputation as a gastronomic centre! You can buy top quality meat, fish and vegetables, ripe fruit, amazing patisserie, artisan cheeses, cured meat and so much more! There are also plenty of restaurants to choose from within the market with tables ideally placed to watch the hustle and bustle of traders selling to locals, restauranteurs and tourists alike. Lyon is famed for its food culture, and the market is named after Paul Bocuse, the legendary chef at the centre of it all. Paul Bocuse’s self-titled restaurant just outside Lyon has held a coverted 3 Michelin Star rating since 1965 and he was a familiar face in the kitchens and dining room there until his death aged 91 in January 2018. Today, as well as the 3* Paul Bocuse Restaurant, there are four 2* restaurants and a further 14 with a 1* Michelin rating in and around Lyon. Why not book in for a gourmet dining experience during your stay?
2. Place du Terreaux
This huge town square has a vibrant atmosphere and is a great place to stop for a drink or meal at one of the many pavement cafes as you soak up the atmosphere. The impressive architecture of the city is showcased here with the Musee de Beaux Arts and the City Hall buildings all fronting onto the square. You can also see the magnificent Bartholdi fountain featuring statues of stampeding horses that looks particularly beautiful all lit up at night. Historians will be interested to learn that behind the cosmopolitan scene you can see today lies a macabre history; this square was the site of numerous executions with Protestants burnt at the stake here in the 1500s, conspirators against Cardinal Richelieu executed here in the 1600s and many noblemen put to death by guillotine here during the French Revolution.
3. Parc de la Tete d’Or
This lovely city park is the perfect place to relax with botanical gardens, a lake, a free-entry zoo and two mini-golf courses to explore. Children will love a round of miniature golf and a chance to visit deer, water birds and other wildlife in the zoo. There are also walking and cycling trails and a chance to take a boat ride on the lake. If you are lucky you might even come across musicians, street entertainers or a puppet show! It’s a popular place for tourists and locals alike and on a fine day there is no better place to stop for a coffee or take a picnic to enjoy the sunshine.
4. Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon
Housed in a beautiful building that was once a Benedictine Abbey, the Museum of Fine Arts is a treasure trove of artefacts, sculptures and paintings arranged in 70 galleries offering a wonderful journey through 5,000 years of art history. See displays covering everything from antiquities from ancient Egypt and Roman times, to paintings from the French Renaissance, Impressionist works and religious and Modern Art. Don’t miss the tranquil sculpture garden that features some beautiful statues by Rodin and Bourdelle. This reasonably priced museum is well worth a visit and is conveniently situated on the Place de Terreaux in the centre of Lyon.
5. Mini World Lyon
Mini World is a hidden gem of an attraction that is fun for all the family. A huge 3000m2 display area is filled with a tiny, perfect model world split into three zones of ‘Mountains’, ‘City’ and ‘Countryside’. The attention to detail is incredible and you’ll be able to interact with the exhibit using buttons to activate animation. There is a looping day/night lighting effect so you can enjoy the magic of the ‘Festival of lights’ each hour. In 2018 Lyon itself in miniature is being added to the exhibition! There are other attractions including a 3D Cinema experience, a ‘Where’s Wally?’ challenge and a Lego Star Wars exhibition feature to see too – it’s an enchanting place to spend an afternoon. www.miniworldlyon.com
Plan your trip to the Rhone-Alps with us and choose from mountainside and rural holiday homes within easy reach of the city of Lyon. You could also choose to make the most of Lyon with a stopover on your way to, or from, a holiday further south in Provence. Book with us to get 20% off your Brittany Ferries crossings and plan your next French adventure today!