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    Lyon, Place Bellecour

    Lyon, Place Bellecour

    Overlooked by an equestrian statue of Louis XIV, the magnificent Bellecour Square isn’t just the biggest square in Europe – it’s also the city’s central hub and a popular meeting place. Its western side is home to a statue of the Little Prince, the eponymous prince from the famous tale by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who was born in Lyon.

    Lyon, Notre-Dame de Fourvière Hill

    Lyon, Notre-Dame de Fourvière Hill

    Enjoy a gorgeous view of the city from the hill of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. The basilica is dedicated to the Virgin Mary who is said to have saved Lyon from the plague in 1643. Every year on 8 December, the city thanks the Virgin by lighting candles and with a festival of light installations, illuminating walls and buildings around the city.

    Lyon, Sâone River

    By the Sâone River

    Lyon has an exceptional location at the confluence of two rivers, protected by two nearby hills. Enjoy a wonderful 15 km walk along the Sâone River, where you’ll be charmed by old neighbourhoods and can admire the artwork of several contemporary artists along the river.

    Flights to Lyon

    Located in the east of central France, Lyon’s historical and architectural landmarks give any other European city break destination a run for its money. As the country’s third-largest city, many important organisations and businesses are based here, but there’s loads of things to do and see, especially in terms of architecture and cultural events. However, the real jewel in the crown of Lyon’s attractions to tourists is its gastronomy scene.

    Food-capital of the country, a visit to Lyon is sure to wow, with incredible dishes, drinks and restaurants. Find cheap flights today with Brussels Airlines.

    What to do in Lyon?

    1. Explore the traboules in the Old Town (Vieux Lyon) and Croix Rousse. This network of hidden secret passageways that link old buildings in these neighbourhoods has been used to keep all sorts of secrets down the years.
    2. Hit the shops. Lyon has a great shopping scene, including the Part-Dieu shopping centre, which is one of the biggest and best in Europe.
    3. Visit any of the 14 Michelin-star restaurants. Lyon is often described as a foodie heaven, and with good reason. If Michelin-star haute cusine isn’t your thing, the city is also home to a number of traditional bouchon restaurants, which serve more down-to-earth, typical Lyonnaise food.
    4. Visit Chinatown, the third biggest in France and another top attraction for food lovers. The Asian supermarket there is a great place to buy lots of new and exciting foods and ingredients, and it’s a real change of scenery from the rest of the city.
    5. Soak up some sport by watching Lyon FC play football at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium, or by supporting the rugby or hockey teams that are well-known in the city.
    6. Discover some of the numerous museums in Lyon. Whatever your interests are, Lyon is packed with cultural exhibitions that will really pique your curiosity. Lyon’s Museum of Fine Arts is a favourite but there are also more contemporary options, such as the Musée des Confluences, a new science and anthropology museum.
    7. Experience some high culture by taking in an Opéra de Lyon production at the architecturally stunning Opéra Nouvel, a neo-classical masterpiece that was extensively renovated in 1986.
    8. Take a stroll in one of the many parks in and around the city centre. The largest park, Parc de la Tête d'or, has a lake where visitors can go boating in the summer months.
    9. Visit Val d’Isère if you have a little more time. This popular mountain location regularly hosts Winter Olympics events and is a great place to do some skiing or just explore the beauty of the natural surroundings on a hike.

    Practical information for your trip to Lyon

    • Brussels Airlines flies to and from Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport, which is 24 km from the city centre. The easiest way to get from the airport to the city is by tram, which runs from 4.25 a.m. to midnight.
    • Current local time in Lyon:  
    • Currency: Euro. Cards are widely accepted and ATMs are available throughout the city.
    • Telephone calls and Wi-Fi: : +33. There are also a number of free Wi-Fi spots around the city.
    • Electric sockets: Type C and E. France operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
    • Travel Information: France is an EU member and has signed the Schengen agreement. Therefore, many travellers will only need a passport or appropriate ID card to enter the country and don’t require a visa for stays of less than 90 days. You can find more information here:
    • Vaccinations: No vaccinations are required. More health information is available on the website:

    Dos and Don’ts in Lyon

    • Lyon nightlife
    • Do use the bikes and metro system to get around. Public transport is well organised and cheap in Lyon, so make sure you make the most of it during your holiday.
    • Do go inside the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. The interior is stunning, featuring mosaics, bright colours and stained-glass windows.
    • Do consider getting a Lyon City Card. If you use it properly and get your money’s worth, you can save a fortune. It gives you access to loads of museums and attractions, as well as public transport and the bike system.
    • Do download the app ‘the fork’, to help you get last-minute table bookings at in-demand restaurants.
    • Don’t forget to visit the Lyon tourism office. They offer a wealth of information including maps and leaflets, as well as the occasional discount or special offer.
    • Don’t miss those golden photo opportunities. With over 500 hectares of registered UNESCO world heritage sites, Lyon offers beauty and awe around every corner.

    Local phrases & essential vocabulary

    Lyon, like many tourist destinations and business centres, is often awash with people from other countries, speaking many languages. There is a fairly decent level of English spoken in the tourist areas of the city, but it’s highly recommended that you at least try to communicate in the local language, even if it’s just with a few pleasantries and phrases to help you get by.

    • Hello: Bonjour
    • Goodbye: Au revoir
    • Thank you: Merci
    • Please: S’il vous plaît
    • Yes/no: Oui/non
    • Do you speak English?: Parlez-vous anglais?
    • I would like…: Je voudrais…
    • Excuse me: Excusez-moi
    • Sorry: Desolé

    Cultural events in Lyon

    • Fête des Lumière. Every year in December this stunning light festival takes place in Lyon, and is a magical time for anyone who visits. Buildings, streets, squares and parks are lit up all around the city by mesmerising light shows. There are also a number of other events that take place in conjunction with this, for children and adults alike.
    • Les Nuits de Fourvière – a festival celebrating the performing arts. Every summer, throughout the city, performers strut their stuff for the masses, representing the huge range of talents and interests in the city.

    When to go to Lyon?

    A visit between April and October is most likely to ensure warmer, drier weather, although it can be a little changeable. Depending on what you are planning on doing, for example going skiing or visiting Lyon’s Christmas markets, December is a great time to visit the city, and the hearty dishes from the bouchon restaurants are sure to warm you up.

    What to eat and drink in Lyon?

    Lyon is famous for are a number of speciality foods. Try as many as possible whilst you’re in this gastronomy capital.

    • Saint-Marcellin cheese. This is a mild, soft goat’s cheese which is used widely in Lyonnaise dishes.
    • Saucisson brioché: a hearty sausage baked in a tasty, sweet pastry.
    • Lyonnaise salad: Lettuce topped with a poached egg, bacon and a vinaigrette dressing, simple yet absolutely delicious.
    • Quenelles: a kind of dumpling filled with pike, served with a béchamel and crayfish sauce.
    • The famous Tarte Lyonnaise is a sweet treat made with praline.

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