Lyon is a mecca for extraordinary cuisine and spectacular architecture. Known as the food capital of France, and indeed the world, Lyon is blessed with a rich and tantalising culinary culture oozing from its wealth of ‘bouchons’ (traditional restaurants). And as a UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site seeped in over 2,000 years of history, understated Lyon finds it hard to disappoint.
Things to do in Lyon, France
There is certainly no shortage of restaurants in Lyon. Said to have the highest ratio of restaurants to people anywhere in France, make sure you savour the local specialties and traditional French food to your heart’s content on your Lyon vacation.
The Place Bellecour is the largest pedestrian square in Europe and serves as Lyon’s impressive public square. Regarded as the centre of the city, it’s the perfect place to begin exploring magnificent Lyon. Be blown away by the sheer size of Place Bellecour and check out the infamous guillotine, installed by the French Revolutionaries, that lends the square a slightly chilling feel.
La Part Dieu is considered to be Lyon’s second modern centre – it is the second biggest business district in France. However, it’s not all function in this part of the city – fashion plays a major role too as La Part Dieu is also one of the largest shopping malls in Europe. With over 230 shops, restaurants, cafes and stalls in the ultra-modern centre, there is plenty to keep any shopper occupied for days (or at least as long as the credit cards hold out).
Built to emphasise the power and devotion of the Roman Catholic church after the Prussian invasion of France in 1870, the fabulous Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière is certainly impressive and offers fabulous panoramic views across Lyon.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon offers some of the most widely acclaimed exhibitions of major works in Europe. French culture is inseparable from its love of art, and this is one of the best places in the country to explore such a close and passionate relationship.