There is water everywhere, flowing under 28 bridges. Lyon is divided into different areas by two rivers, the Saône and Rhône, and two hills, La Croix-Rousse and Fourvière. In the west, by the Fourvière hill, is the bustling, historic city centre with its Renaissance pomp. It bears witness to the riches that the city’s profitable silk industry earned, following François the First’s tax reductions in 1536.
In 43 BC, the Romans founded the capital city of the Gallic provinces on a peninsula, at the foot of La Croix-Rousse and in the area around the Town Hall and the Opera, France’s most prominent architects and artists were given a free hand in the 1990s. The result was Post-Modern glamour: a Rococo opera with a glass dome, a grand square with columns and 69 water jets.
From the Town Hall and the Opera, the main shopping, restaurant and café streets, the rue de la République and rue Président Herriot, extend in a north-south direction. The Congress Centre with the 3,000 seat amphitheater built by Renzo Piano, the Contemporary Art Museum and Interpol sandwiched between the Rhône River and the Park de la Tête d’Or, are part of the business centre on the left bank of the river. The underground railway system is extensive - you seldom have to walk for more than 15 minutes.
From the top of the hill with the same name, an outstanding and unique view enables you to understand the topography and the reasons why it has been classified a world heritage town. You might even be able to see Mont Blanc in the distance on a clear day.
Musée d’Art Contemporain
This fantastic museum is situated on the border of the Park de la Tête d’Or, adjacent to the newly built Congress Center by Renzo Piano. It regularly beats Paris by gaining sole rights to any Andy Warhol exhibition. Next to the Museum, Renzo Piano’s 3,000 seat amphitheater is worth a visit by itself. One of the most audacious architectural juxtapositions: business, arts and leisure activities, all succeed in mingling together in the same living area.
A guinguette is a 19th-century French name for a dance on the pier. The waiters have to run across the road with their orders. Here you can enjoy a drink on a sunbed and admire the lovely view across Barbe Island and listen to swaying music. You can also order grilled frog’s legs if you want a nibble with your drink.
Good to know
TCL has an extensive bus, tram and underground railway system in Lyon. Day passes or two-hour passes, which allow for travel on all vehicles, are frequently the most practical choice for visitors.
220 Volt, 50 AC