France’s culinary capital enchants its visitors, and entices them to enjoy with every single sense. The former capital of Gaul reads like a history book – one that starts with the Romans, and continues to this day.

Beautifully preserved Renaissance buildings; the rivers Rhône and Saône; the numerous traboules (courtyard passageways), wall murals, bridges; the Presque’Île, now a Unesco World Heritage Site; the Fourvière, and the old Vieux Lyon district will all have you forgetting the world around you – as will the friendliness and generosity of the people.

It’s great fun to stroll along the old cobbles of the Rue Saint-Jean and the Rue du Bœuf, climb the steep stairs in the Croix-Rousse (for many Lyonnais the loveliest part of the city) and lose oneself in its narrow alleyways. A short culinary excursion to La Rotonde shows how pretty and impressive the landscape around Lyon is.

City Facts

  • Location

    Capital of the Rhône-Alpes region and the Département Rhône in southeast France.

  • Population

    About 485,000

  • Size

    47.9 km²

  • Public transport

    Well-developed bus, underground and tram network.

  • Climate

    Mediterranean climate.

  • Best time to visit

    June to October. The summer months are very warm; there can be very cold winds in winter. The lowest average rainfall can usually be expected between June and August.

  • Good to know

    Once the capital of Gaul, Lyon has always been the hub of Europe.

  • Nice to know

    Lyon is famous for the traboules (special passageways dating back to the Middle Ages and Renaissance that link several houses and streets in the historic parts of the city).

  • Airport

    Lyon Saint Exupéry, approx. 20 km east of the city centre.

  • Railway

    It is less than 30 minutes to the centre by Rhônexpress.

  • Taxi

    Taxi ranks are outside Terminals 1 and 2. It costs about
    € 50 to the centre of Lyon.