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34 of the Best Things to do in Lyon for a Weekend or a Week

Learn about things to do in Lyon France. Find out why Lyon is worth visiting. Spend 3 days in Lyon or 1 week in Lyon with ideas of what to do and eat.
Is Lyon worth visiting? There are so many thing to do in Lyon city that it’s easy to fill a long weekend (or longer). 

From ancient Roman ruins to modern markets to explore on the Rhône, I definitely understand why Lyon (France’s third largest city) is a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

We've visited Lyon twice, once for a weekend in March and the second time for a longer stay in August. Read on for ideas of what to see, do, and eat whether you are visiting Lyon for 3 days or in Lyon for a week or more.

Lyon France view along the Rhône River

Getting to Lyon

Lyon is served by major national carriers like KLM as well as low cost carriers like Easyjet.

You can get to Lyon from Asia via Dubai (try Emirates Business Class or Emirates First Class for an unforgettable experience). 

Plane flying over Lyon Airport

If you are traveling from North America, you can also fly direct from Montreal in Canada or connect from major U.S. cities via a European hub like Amsterdam or Paris.

If you are visiting from Germany, you can catch a Deutsche Bahn train. The ride is about 5.5 hours from Frankfurt.

Take the Rhônexpress train from Lyon Airport to the city. Trains run every 15 minutes and the ride takes about 30 minutes. A one way ticket costs 15.20 EUR. You'll save a little if you book a return ticket for 26.70 EUR. 

Rhônexpress train from Lyon Airport to Lyon City

Where to Stay in Lyon

We’ve visited Lyon twice. The first time, we visited in March. If you are only doing a weekend in Lyon, I recommend staying centrally on Presqu'île, the heart of Lyon located between the Rhône and the Saône rivers. 

We stayed at Hôtel Bayard Bellecour which is conveniently located on Place Bellecour and central to all of Lyon’s main attractions.

Our modern Marriott Homes and Villas apartment in Lyon

On our second trip in August, we stayed in Lyon for a week and availed of Marriott Homes & Villas. Marriott Homes & Villas is like Airbnb but earns Bonvoy points with Marriott and contributes to earning Gold or Platinum status. 

The apartment we booked was in a modern 12 storey building in Confluence so we got more of a local feel for Lyon. From our apartment, we could see views of Mount Blanc in the distance.

View of Mount Blanc at sunset from Lyon's Confluence neighborhood

Getting Around Lyon

Lyon has an extensive bus, tram, and metro network which makes it easy to get around. It’s possible to purchase a day pass which covers unlimited access to public transport (including Lyon's funiculars) for 6.50 EUR.

Tram in Lyon

If you buy a Lyon City Card, a metro pass is included in the price. The Lyon City Card is available in 24h - 96h versions. A one day Lyon City Card costs 29.00 EUR and the 4 day city card costs 59.00 EUR. 

We opted for the 72 hour Lyon City Card for 49 EUR. You can buy the Lyon City Card online in advance or pick one up at points throughout the city including the reception of Confluence shopping and leisure centre which was close to where we were staying.

Things to do in Lyon in 3 Days

Let's start by exploring how to spend your time if you are planning a weekend in Lyon. 

1. Browse Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse

I love European food halls, so we made a special effort to find Halles Paul Bocuse soon after we arrived in Lyon. It was mid-morning but already people were sidled up to the bar enjoying a glass of wine. 

Things to do in Lyon: Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse

We wandered through the market checking out lovely brioche, giant sausages and a variety of restaurants preparing for lunch. 
Butcher shop at Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse in Lyon

The seafood stall emitted a pungent aroma that revived us after our early morning departure out of Dublin. 

Fish on ice in Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse in Lyon

Delicate rounds of cheese beckoned to us and we picked up a goats' cheese patty to enjoy with a fresh crusty baguette. 

Candied fruit at Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse in Lyon
Pralines (bright red candied nuts) are extremely popular in Lyon and are incorporated into a variety of decadent treats. Delicious sweets confronted us at every turn. 

Lyon is known for coussins (they look kind of like fig newtons but are really a coated pate de fruit). We picked up an assortment of coussins for later before heading out to explore Lyon properly.
Things to do in Lyon France in 3 days: Visit Les Halles de Lyon

2. Visit Voisin for Coussins

Speaking of coussins, I recommend heading to Voisin to try the original version of Lyon’s signature sweet. 

We learned that the "Coussin de Lyon" is a delicious chocolate specialty inspired by a historical tradition. The story behind this treat is fascinating. 

In 1643, during an epidemic, the city officials walked in procession to the Fourvière hill to offer a silk cushion with a wax candle and a gold sovereign to the Virgin Mary. 

Coussins de Lyon from Voison in Lyon

This gesture of devotion became an annual tradition, and in 1960, chocolate maker Voisin collaborated with silk manufacturers to create a chocolate confection in the shape of the silk cushion, using rich cocoa, curacao liqueur, and blanched almonds. 

The Coussin de Lyon is now a beloved part of Lyon's culinary heritage.

3. Explore Presqu'île

Our hotel for the weekend was located on Presqu'île, the heart of Lyon located between the Rhône and the Saône rivers. We drank in the traditional French architecture as we wound our way through the streets. 

We soon emerged along the banks of the Rhône. We decided that this would be a perfect spot to stop and enjoy some cheese and a baguette. 

We sat on a park bench and watched the current flow. People passed on foot and by bike below us. Continuing across the river into Presqu'île, we discovered a dancing fountain. 

A hot dog vendor plied his trade with the weekend lunch crowd. Lyon seems to flow from one fountain-anchored square to another. One fountain even featured mermaids hugging water-spouting fish.
Things to do in Lyon France in 3 days: Sit by a fountain on Presqu'île

4. Walk Place Bellecour

Place Bellecour is one of Lyon's top tourist attractions and has the distinction of being the largest open square in Europe. We could see the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière on the hill in the distance. 

We took measure of the square by walking its four corners. It is indeed quite spacious. 

We took a moment to admire a statue of Louis XIV before making our way to the conveniently located Hotel Bayard across the street from Place Bellecour.
Things to do in Lyon France in 3 days: Place Bellecour, the largest open square in Europe

5. Explore Lyon’s Roman Hill

Lyon's Roman Hill is one of the most interesting places to visit in the city. Let's explore the neighborhood.

Ride the Funicular to Fourviere

We took our Lyon City Card for a spin and took the funicular to Fourviere. From here, we toured the amazing architecture inside Basilica of Notre Dame of Fourvière. 
Funicular to Fourviere in Lyon
We also discovered great views overlooking the city of Lyon behind the church. We chose to start here and then work our way downhill to see some of the other important sites in Lyon.
Views from Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière in Lyon France

Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière

The Basilica is definitely one of the most Instagrammable places in Lyon. Inside, we admired decadent golden mosaics. 

Things to do in Lyon: Visit Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière

The church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and no expense was spared in its construction. A separate chapel to Mary's husband Joseph was thrown together in the basement. 

It wasn't nearly as opulent as the builders were running out of money. We finished our tour around Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière by looking up at the golden statue of the Virgin Mary.

Things to do in Lyon France in 3 days: The interior of Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière

Lugdunum Roman Museum and Theatres

Our next stop was Lugdunum Roman Museum and Theatres. Entry was included with our Lyon City Card.
Lyon attractions: Lugdunum Roman Theatre

Immerse yourself in Lyon's rich Roman history by visiting Lugdunum, an ancient site with well-preserved theaters, an extensive museum, and spectacular amphitheaters overlooking the modern city. 

Lyon attractions: Lugdunum Roman Theatre

Explore the remains of one of the oldest theaters in Roman Gaul and marvel at the well-preserved artifacts that shed light on Lyon's fascinating past.

You’ll also find an extensive museum featuring well-preserved statues, mosaics, and other Roman artifacts. I definitely recommend a stop at Lugdunum to learn more about Lyon’s ancient history.

Collage of Roman statues from Lugdunum Roman Museum in Lyon

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for other ideas for places to visit in France? Check out these stories and photos of France:

6. Get Lost in Old Lyon

We decided to let ourselves get a bit lost in Lyon's old city. Shops and restaurants enticed us at every turn. 

We were impressed by the stained glass signposts of the local establishments. We picked up more local sweet delicacies in Saint Jean Delices. 

Cobbled street in Vieux Lyon

We were amassing quite a collection. We also encountered Lyon's lovable puppet Guignol. 

Locals sat on the steps outside a nearby hall luxuriating in the weekend afternoon. 

We concluded our afternoon stroll at BredZ patisserie where we bought ourselves a small sandwich to help us hold off our hunger until dinnertime. Afterall, Lyon France is a consummate foodie destination!
Vieux Lyon: lamppost and buildings

7. Eat Dinner on Rue des Marronniers in Lyon

Where to eat in Lyon France: Rue des Marronniers
The sun soon set on our fun-filled afternoon in Lyon and it was time to seek out dinner. Rue des Marronniers is a famous pedestrianized street of restaurants in Lyon. 

We took our time perusing the menus at each restaurant. We also enjoyed the lions of Lyon dotting the alley. 

We settled in at Le Marronnier and kicked things off with a pot lyonnais of local wine. Lyon is located in the Côtes du Rhône wine region and boasts fine wines to complement the city's fine food. 

We didn't have the courage to try tripe, a Lyonnaise specialty. However, we did try quenelle (pike souffle-like dumplings over a bed of salad). 

Rue des Marronniers in Lyon

We also sampled the famous Salad Lyonnais. With bacon and a fried egg on top, how can you go wrong? Of course, crusty French bread accompanied the meal. 

For our mains, we opted for pork fillets and a local lyonnais sausage. The three-course prix-fixe (options ranged from 15 - 19 EUR) included dessert so we tried tarte tartine and a praline tarte. 

We really enjoyed the unassuming ambiance of Le Marronnier. There was even a special table overlooking the whole restaurant from above. 

We enjoyed Le Marronnier so much that we actually went there two nights in a row!
What to eat in Lyon France: Quenelle at Le Marronnier
On our second visit to Le Marronnier, we practically had the place to ourselves. The previous night, the restaurant was nearly full. 

There are so many good restaurants along Rue des Marronniers. I think the outcome depends on how savvy the proprietors are at drawing people in early. 

Seeing a busy restaurant makes more people want to check it out. Oh well, other people's loss was our gain :-) 

This time we tried goat's cheese toast points on salad. For my main, I tried quenelle once more. It was served in a rich creamy sauce...delicious! and you'd never guess that it contained fish. Magret of duck rounded out the meal. 

Collage of dishes from Chez M'Mam on Rue des Marronniers in Lyon

Chez M’Mam is another great choice for dinner on Rue des Marronniers and offers a number of set menus featuring Lyonnaise cuisine. The menus typically include a starter, main, and cheese or dessert. 

We enjoyed Salade Lyonnaise covered in a generous strip of bacon and house gaspacho followed by quennelle de brochet and saucisson chaud pistaché with boiled potatoes. 

For dessert, we indulged in a lemon meringue pie and a praline tart. All of this cost just 17 EUR per person. Of course, we washed it all down with a carafe of house wine.

8. Eat Praline Brioche for Breakfast in Lyon

We woke up to a gloriously sunny Sunday morning in Lyon. The smog that was plaguing France seemed to have lifted or was blown away by the light breeze in the air. 

In the shadow of Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, we went in search of a bite to eat for breakfast. What a difference a bit of sunshine makes! 

The buildings along the river seemed to glow and the water itself sparkled. We crossed over the Rhône and walked past a gargoyle studded local church. A colorfully dressed window. 

The praline encrusted brioche was the real draw, actually, not to mention the flaky pan au chocolat. Two cafe au lait served in colorful cups rounded out a perfect breakfast in Lyon.
What to eat in Lyon France: Praline Brioche

On another occasion, we stumbled upon Pralus and couldn’t resist ordering an enormous praline to enjoy in slices throughout our stay. 

Praline bread from Pralus in Lyon

The praline was dense and filled with sweet red candy which was well-distributed throughout the dough. This was definitely one of the best examples of this local Lyon specialty that we discovered on our trips.

9. Walk the Rhône River to the Sunday Market in Lyon

Sated and full of sugary sweetness, we set out for a stroll along the Rhône River. Again, Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière looked down from its perch on the hill. Impressive facades lined the river bank. 

A gallant statue hinted at lost love.
Things to do in Lyon France: Check out the sculptures along the Rhône River
We crossed back over the river further admiring the views as we went. We were soon deposited at the local food market. 

Rows of stacked baguettes greeted us. Rotisserie chickens turned slowly with the smell of delicious roasted meat radiating all around. 

Colorful flowers in small pots stood waiting to be bought and planted. A variety of fruits stood at the ready in metal bowls. 

The Sunday market was simply bustling with locals buying an assortment of fresh local treats.

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Did you know that Geneva is less than 2 hours by train or car from Lyon? Why not do a long weekend in Geneva, Lausanne, and Montreux. Tour the U.N., check out the Olympic Museum, and walk in the footsteps of Freddie Mercury in Switzerland. While you're in the neighborhood, head to Annecy. Bonus points if you are there for the annual Annecy fireworks show, the largest in Europe.

10. Take Lyon Day Trip to Vienne

We bid the Sunday market farewell and headed toward the Lyon train station. The weather was nice and we fancied a day trip to Vienne. 

Vienne is an easy day trip from Lyon and is just an hour away by train. We stepped out of the station and embarked on a Sunday stroll through the sleepy town. 

The main street was lined with pruned trees still waiting for Spring leaves to bud. We admired the facade of an imposing church. We soon left it behind though for a jaunt across the Rhône. 

The river runs wide and rapidly through Vienne. We could see the ruined Pipet Fortress in the distance. 

The other side of the Rhône seemed mostly residential. Imagine our surprise when we walked by an apartment block, went in for a closer look, and found a Roman-era mosaic encased in glass on the ground floor. Very cool!
Lyon to Vienne day trip: Pipet Fortress
Walking a bit uphill, we stumbled upon a terraced cemetery in Vienne. The gravestones led our eyes uphill toward a small lonely church. 

Heading back toward town, we spotted the Roman Theatre. An impossibly thin building from the Middle Ages still stood just outside the perimeter of the Roman ruins.
Lyon to Vienne day trip: cemetery

11. Eat Lunch in Vienne Near Temple d’Auguste

Continuing on, we discovered a square boasting the remains of Temple d'Auguste et de Livie. We knew immediately that this was the perfect atmosphere to seek out lunch. 

We sat down at an outdoor table with stunning views. A Camembert salad, frites and a hearty chicken burger satisfied our growing appetite. 

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for more ideas for where to see Roman ruins in Europe? Nip across the border to Spain where you can explore Merida's pristine Roman ruins. Explore Sofia Bulgaria or travel from Sofia to Plovdiv to steep in the country's Roman history. Head to the source and enjoy a weekend in Rome or check out the amazingly well-preserved Roman mosaics on a one week Cyprus road trip.

A glass of wine made our afternoon, very bacchanalian of us ;-) House white and rose wines plus water were on tap. 

We walked off our lunch with a final sweep of Vienne before heading back to Lyon for another outstanding evening meal at Le Marrionner.
Lyon to Vienne France: Temple d’Auguste

12. Visit Lyon’s Institut Lumière

Things to do in Lyon France in 3 days: Institut Lumière
Lyon was pivotal to the birth of cinema thanks to Auguste and Louis Lumière. The Institut Lumière is set in their former home and is a fascinating diversion. 

The whole neighborhood seemed to have an old movies theme. We stopped at Restaurant Lumiere Kebab for a coffee. 

The prices were listed out on scene marker boards. Caricatures of famous actors lined the walls and the menu had a filmstrip motif. 

We soon moved on to check out the museum itself which was housed in a grand urban mansion. The interior had a late 19th/early 20th century opulence. 

There were early video clips playing throughout. My favorite was the boxing cats which was filmed by Thomas Edison! 

After our tour of the Institut Lumière, we took a walk through the neighborhood and admired some of the Art Deco architecture from a similar period. 

We finished our afternoon sojourn in Lyon at Gare Perrache which featured an impressive neon ceiling. It somehow seemed to tie together with our entire afternoon.

13. The Traboules of Le Croix Rousse and Old Lyon

In Vieux Lyon and Le Croix Rousse, keep an eye out for open doorways. You may find a traboule leading from one street to the next between historic buildings. We also discovered a number of charming courtyards just by stepping through an open door.

Tower in a Traboule in Old Lyon

Le Croix Rousse is a popular hipster neighborhood in Lyon. Situated high above the Vieux Lyon, it also offers splendid views. 

We took the Metro up to Croix Rousse and wound our way back down on foot to explore some of the traboules (alleyways) that Lyon is famous for. 

It's impossible to have a hipster neighborhood in any part of the world without a gourmet chocolate shop. We indulged in a chocolate covered marshmallow log taking it to go to savor while admiring the nearby views. 

We looked out over Lyon from the top of Croix Rousse as the sun was starting to set. We noted the steep stairway running below us and began to wind our way downward.
Things to do in Lyon France in 3 days: Le Croix Rousse
We soon spotted a traboule. These passages are open to the public at certain times of day and are marked by small, unassuming ceramic arrows. 

A lot of the really nice traboules run through apartment buildings and are only open in the morning. Another traboule took us to a lovely courtyard lined with shops. 

We continued along this way until we emerged at the bottom of the hill at the head of Presqu'île.

Things to do in Lyon France in 3 days: Explore the traboules marked with arrows

14. Admire Lyon's Classic French Architecture near Place des Terreaux

We made our way toward Place des Terreaux admiring the quintessential French architecture along the way. 

We took a turn around the plaza which featured the Hôtel de Ville de Lyon (City Hall), Salle Rameau and an imposing statue. The Musée des Beaux Arts de Lyon rounds out this impressive square.
Place des Terreaux in Lyon
We discovered that O Tacos on Place des Terreaux is a great place to appreciate the square and get some photos. Order a French taco (a little bit like a pressed panini) and head upstairs. Snag a window table to people-watch and appreciate the views. 
Place des Terreaux in Lyon viewed from O Taco

15. Tour Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

After lunch, head over to the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon. Entry is included with the Lyon City Card. 

Collage of pictures from Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

The extensive exhibits are worth exploring, but what really makes this museum special is the building in which it is housed. Look up at the breathtaking ceilings and marvel at impressive staircases as you learn and explore.

16. Stroll Le Parc de la Tête d'Or

We awoke on the final day of our 3 days in Lyon to spectacular sunshine. The smog that was plaguing France during our visit seemed to have lifted. 

If you look at a map of Lyon, there is a *huge* green space in the top corner, Le Parc de la Tête d'Or. We walked through the magnificent gate into the park. Paths radiated in a number of directions. 

We decided to take a brief walk along the large pond that seemed to anchor the park. Hanging out near a partially submerged tree, we found a pocket of wildlife including turtles, ducks (red-crested pochards) and large geese. 

It was definitely an idyllic spot. We sat on a bench for a while watching the birds and turtles go about their day before moving on to see what else the park had in store.
Things to do in Lyon France in 3 days: Entrance gate to Le Parc de la Tête d'Or

17. Lyon Zoo in Le Parc de la Tête d'Or

Imagine our surprise when we turned a corner in Le Parc de la Tête d'Or and discovered a giraffe! Lyon has a small zoo inside Le Parc de la Tête d'Or. 

We admired lemurs and gorgeous pink flamingos. Giant pelicans with impressive wingspans swam past. 

A line-up of turtles sat end-to-end along a partially submerged log. The Lyon Zoo was free to the public making it an ideal thing to do on a weekend trip.
Things to do in Lyon France in 3 days: Giraffe at Lyon Zoo in Le Parc de la Tête d'Or

18. Enjoy Lunch al Fresco in Lyon

It was a beautiful day in Lyon so it was only fitting that we dine al fresco for lunch. We tried the special lunch menu at Les Terrasses Du Pond not far from Le Parc de la Tête d'Or. 

To start, we had half of a cheesy tart and marinated leeks with a bit of French bread as a welcome addition. For our main, we sampled white fish with rice. Tender beef and golden potatoes rounded out the meal.
What to eat in Lyon France: Beef and potatoes at Les Terrasses du Pond
Before we knew it, our 3 days in Lyon had come to a close but we definitely plan to return. The food was too good to only try once.

Lyon in One Week

If you have the luxury of more time in Lyon, I recommend adding on some additional activities and Lyon day trips. Here's what I would do with one week in Lyon based on our personal experience during our return trip. Start with our 3 day Lyon itinerary and then keep going!

19. Go Door Hunting

As my regular readers know, I am a huge fan of doors and Lyon has some of the best doors I’ve seen in Europe. Make time to go on a door photography scavenger hunt in Lyon and admire all the ornate creations that lend great atmosphere to this French city.

collage of Lyon doors

20. Visit Lyon Botanical Garden

Jardin Botanique de Lyon is definitely worth exploring on a nice day. If you are visiting Lyon in August like we did, make sure to go early to avoid the height of heat for the day. We enjoyed ambling among beautiful flower beds, giant lily pads and historic greenhouses.

Things to do in Lyon in one week: gate to Lyon Botanical Garden

21. Check out L’Horloge Astronomique at Cathédrale Saint-Jean Baptiste

Make time to stop inside Cathédrale Saint-Jean Baptiste in Vieux Lyon. The church architecture is nice, but the main attraction is the L’Horloge Astronomique.

The astronomical clock in Lyon is a fascinating piece of history. It was built in 1383 and has been repaired several times, but most of its original mechanism is still in place. 

What to see in Lyon: L’Horloge Astronomique at Cathédrale Saint-Jean Baptiste

The clock has three dials: a minutes dial, a perpetual calendar, and an astrolabe dial. The astrolabe dial shows the time, the position of the sun, moon, and stars, and the golden ratio. 

The clock also has 19 automatons that move when the clock strikes the hour. These automatons represent the angel Gabriel announcing the Annunciation to Mary, God the Father, and the Swiss chiming the hour. The clock rings the UT QUEANT LAXIS hymn, which was written in the 9th century. 

22. Explore Musée Cinéma et Miniature

Lyon’s Musée Cinéma et Miniature was a little touristy but was actually one of our favorite things to do in Lyon. We discovered a wide range of movie memorabilia from films like Terminator and the Indiana Jones movie series. 

We even saw the statue of Maggie Smith from Clash of the Titans as she threatens to unleash the Kraken!

Collage of movie memorabilia from Musée Cinéma et Miniature in Lyon

The best part about this museum had to be the extensive collection of miniature sets made with painstaking care and detail. Some of these elaborate miniatures took months or years to make.

Collage miniature sets from Musée Cinéma et Miniature in Lyon

The Musée Cinéma et Miniature is homed in Maison des Avocats, a Renaissance house with a rich history. The house was originally a 14th-century inn. 

Step into the courtyard and admire the Tuscan-style gallery, a testament to the building’s architectural grandeur. The house has been saved from demolition twice and is now a protected monument.

23. Explore Musée des Arts de la Marionette (MAM)

If you like puppets, use your Lyon City Card to visit MAM, the Musée des Arts de la Marionette. Here you’ll find a wide array of historic marionettes from France and around the world to capture your imagination.
Display of marionettes at Musée des Arts de la Marionette (MAM)

24. Visit Musée d'Histoire de Lyon (MHL)

While we were in the neighborhood, we used our Lyon City Card to visit MHL, Musée d'Histoire de Lyon. Here we learned about the history of the region from ancient to modern times. 

Inside Musée d'Histoire de Lyon (MHL)

In addition to the compelling exhibits, we also appreciated the architecture of the building the museum was housed in. We even discovered a restored Renaissance garden atop the museum. 

Renaissance garden at Musée d'Histoire de Lyon (MHL)

25. Drink a Coffee on Place du Forez at La Boîte à Café

If you like specialty coffee, head to Place du Forez and La Boîte à Café. Sit outside and appreciate this historic square. 

We learned that Place du Forez was originally the site of a garden associated with a Capuchin monastery. After the monastery was sold off, it was subdivided into seven lots and served by a central square. 

Place du Forez in Lyon

Today, the square is surrounded by a checkerboard of streets, and the buildings that were built in 1810 are in a fairly stark neoclassical style.

26. Grab a Beer at Bro’s or Le Bavard

If you visit Lyon in August like we did, you’ll most definitely be in the mood for a refreshing beverage. Stop for a French craft beer at Bro’s. We were able to take advantage of happy hour pricing from 4-8 pm and avail of 5 EUR pints. 

Things to do in Lyon: drink pints of beer

Le Bavard along the Rhône is another great option for refreshment and also features happy hour pricing on their craft beers.

Le Bavard in Lyon

27. Indulge in a Michelin Starred Meal at Le Passe Temps

Eating is absolutely one of our favorite things to do in Lyon. Since I was celebrating my 50th birthday during our August trip we decided to indulge on a Michelin starred meal at Le Passe Temps. 
Collage of dishes from Le Passe Temps in Lyon
We enjoyed an 8 course tasting menu with wine pairings featuring French/Korean fusion cuisine. Our dinner with wine pairings cost 204 EUR per person at the time of writing.

28. Take a Dinner Cruise on the Saône

A dinner cruise is the perfect thing to do in Lyon on a summer evening. We booked ourselves onto the Hermés II for a cruise on the Saône

Collage of pictures from a river cruise on the Saone in Lyon
We enjoyed a 4 course menu with wine and then headed to the upper deck to watch the sunset and see the lights of Lyon sparkle after dark. The dinner cruise cost 75 EUR per person (wine and drinks cost extra).

Collage of dinner dishes from our Saone river cruise in LyonCollage of pictures taken after dark on our Saone River cruise in Lyon

29. Explore the Modern Architecture of Confluence

Take a walk in Confluence to discover a modern side of Lyon. Confluence reminded me a little of Grand Canal Dock in Dublin with modern and imaginative architecture. 

Modern building with a hole cut into it in the Confluence neighborhood of Lyon

30. Check out Musée des Confluences

Musée des Confluences is located in a unique, angled glass building at the point where the Rhone and Saone rivers meet in Lyon. 

Musée des Confluences in Lyon

Entrance to the Musée des Confluences is covered in the cost of the Lyon City Card. Rooms on different floors cover different topics. 

We saw everything from taxidermy typical of a museum of natural history to exhibits on astronomy and space exploration to displays of African art and traditions.

Collage of exhibits inside Musée des Confluences in Lyon

31. Walk to the Point Where Two Rivers Meet

Exit the Musée des Confluences. Head underneath the building and walk the short path to the point where the two rivers meet. 

Dr. J of Sidewalk Safari at the point where two rivers meet in Lyon

We learned that Pittsburgh (another of my favorite cities to visit) is another city of note situated on a confluence between rivers.

32. Eat Crepes at La Table Brestoise

One of our favorite meals of the trip was arguably the simplest: crepes at La Table Brestoise. This tiny creperie in Old Lyon served amazing savory and sweet crepes washed down with cider.
Ham and cheese crepe from La Table Brestoise in Lyon

33. Eat Heat Lyon

Heat Food Hall in Confluence is a great spot to grab lunch in Lyon. We enjoyed healthy Thai noodle bowls within walking distance of our apartment. As an added bonus, we were able to check out some cool street art in the area on the way.
Street art and Thai noodle bowl collage at Heat Food Hall in Lyon

34. Take a Beaujolais Day Trip

Another great thing to do in Lyon is take a day trip to Beaujolais. This beautiful French wine region is just 40 minutes by car from Lyon. We booked a half-day Golden Stone Beaujolais Wine Tasting trip for 99 EUR per person. 

Our tour included wine tasting with croissants behind a chapel overlooking the Val d’Oingt. We spent some time exploring Oingt (which we learned was pronounced “Wah”, like a baby crying). Oingt and the Beaujolais region in general is known for it’s stone buildings that shine like gold in the sun.

Collage of photos from a Beaujolais wine tasting day trip to Oingt

We finished our half-day tour with a wine tasting accompanied by hearty local cheeses and charcuterie at Domaine de La Ricottière. 

In a surprise coincidence, we also met a couple visiting from Brasília where I would be visiting for business just a few months later. It was a serendipitous opportunity to make some local connections there.

Map of Lyon France Things to Do

Click on the Lyon map below to open up an interactive version in Google Maps to orient yourself around the things to do in Lyon mentioned in this post.
Map of Lyon France things to do

What is the Best Time of Year to Visit Lyon?

We’ve been fortunate to experience Lyon at different times of year. I do not recommend visiting in August. Lyon is too hot and many things are closed. In fact, we had trouble finding a bakery that was open to get fresh bread during our August trip. 

Only Lyon sign at Confluence

March is a much better time to visit. The weather is more mild and the city is buzzing with life.

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Things to do in Lyon FranceThings to do in Lyon France

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: 34 of the Best Things to do in Lyon for a Weekend or a Week
34 of the Best Things to do in Lyon for a Weekend or a Week
Learn about things to do in Lyon France. Find out why Lyon is worth visiting. Spend 3 days in Lyon or 1 week in Lyon with ideas of what to do and eat.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog