Fun things to do in Lyon

  • Fourvière Hill
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  • Place Bellecour during an event
    Place Bellecour during an event
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    The Rhone
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Lyon

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    Cathédrale Saint Jean de Baptiste, Lyon

    by gwened Updated May 1, 2015

    a wonderful building and part of the life of the lyonnaise. I am here briefly during my travels in France , Lyon has so much to offer.

    The Catholic site of the Cathedral is here in French
    http://cathedrale-lyon.cef.fr/

    At least I was impressed by the wonderful rosary window on the south transept recounting the story of Adam and Eve..

    The bishop here has the title of Primate of the Gauls, and it is a Cathedral and Primatiale church. It was built from 1180 to 1480,a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic style. It has an astronomical clock from the 14C.

    some historical events here are
    The Saint Jean Cathedral was the scene of the coronation of Pope John XXII in 1316 (Jacques Duèse) and Richelieu received his cardinal bars here. Furthermore it temporarily hosts the remains of Saint Louis, reported from Tunis by his son Philippe III le Hardi in the direction of the Basilica of Saint-Denis in 1271. December 13, 1600, the Cathedral holds the marriage of Henri IV and Marie de Médicis (after obtaining papal annulment of her previous marriage with Queen Marguerite). The Emperor Napoleon I and Josephine, then Pope Pius VII, are received by cardinal Joseph Fesch (brother of Napoleon's mother) in 1805. October 5, 1986, John Jean-Paul II enters the Primatial where gathered hundreds of patients from throughout the region. For 45 minutes, it caters to everyone personally.!!!

    The first Council of Lyon (13th Ecumenical Council) was held in the Cathedral in June and July 1245. The high altar is consecrated by Pope Innocent IV. The 2nd (14th Ecumenical Council) takes place in May and July 1274. Pope Gregory X Greek and tries to bring the Latin churches. Greek delegates profess the Catholic faith. The doctor of the Church saint Bonaventure died during this Council having played a major role.

    Indeed it is worth seeing. Enjoy it. See the picture before the major event here the Lumiéres de Lyon.

    Cathedral Saint Jean/St John the Baptist rosary on history of Adam and Eve cathedral passing at night is better
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    Murals in Lyon

    by GentleSpirit Written Oct 14, 2014

    There are the large frescos like the fresque des lyonnais, but if you look around you will find a bunch of smaller frescos, some by the same artist, others not. Some you have look quite carefully, others are, well, just there.

    ordinary building in Lyon detail of that same building
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    La Fresque des Lyonnais

    by GentleSpirit Updated Oct 14, 2014

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    Any of you who have been to Quebec City and have seen the great murals there will love the ones they have here in Lyon. Lyon has 150 murals spread throughout the city. The most prominent one is the one i saw today, the mural that celebrates famous Lyon locals..a group that includes the Emperor Claudius all the way to the modern chef Paul Bocuse. Many different historical periods were shown and there is this playfulness in the painting that i find very refreshing.

    This whole art form strives to create optical illusion, and its sort of funny because later you start looking at the houses along the river and you really do wonder if some of them are not just mural paintings. This all came about in the 70s and 80's when a group of art students went to study Diego Rivera's mural paintings. This group formed the core of what was to become CiteCreations, a group of mural artists that combines storytelling, tongue in cheek humor, urban renewal.

    For those interested in murals, you could easily take up the better part of an afternoon looking at the different murals in Lyon. This link will give you an idea of the variety;
    http://murallocator.org/tag/lyon/

    This was a lot of fun, great way to start my trip to Lyon. It is located across the St Vincent bridge on the way to Place Terreaux. The building looks like just about any other building, from the front that is. You cruise around to the back of the building and the entire building is all murals. Look closely though, that workman you see around the side, cleaning up the building,,,well he is a mural too!

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    Museum of the Resistance

    by GentleSpirit Updated Oct 14, 2014

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    I'm not sure why i really wanted to see this museum in a city where there are so many other good museums. Alas, Im glad I did! The museum is located on Av Berthelot about a 20 minute walk from Place Bellecour. Other than crossing one busy bridge, it was a nice quiet walk along the river.

    The museum is located in what was previously the Military Health School. During World War II the building was taken over by the Germans and became the regional headquarters for the Gestapo.
    The infamous commander was Klaus Barbie, who was extradited back to France to face trial for war crimes some years ago. It was this trial that provided the motivation for this museum.

    Interestingly, one might have expected to see more about the horrors that occurred here, in fact there was little about the brutality and torture that occurred at this building. Rather, the museum is dedicated to the Resistance, its growth, its methods, and daily life in Lyon under the Nazi occupation. Some of the exhibits really show just how well organized the Resistance was and just how many forms of resistance there were. There is a significant part of the museum dedicated to the deportations that occurred.

    I found the museums exhibits well presented and respectful.

    I would definitely recommend this museum.

    One BIG thing though. The exhibits are presented in French. Only the films are presented with english subtitles.

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    Lyon City Card

    by GentleSpirit Updated Oct 13, 2014

    A question that most travelers ask is if they should get the City Card/Pass and if it is worth the money.

    If you plan on staying at least 3 days in Lyon and plan to see lots of museums, yes it would certainly be worth it. For a shorter visit it may not really be worth the money. Since so many of Lyon's sites are free admission, it would only be worthwhile if you plan to see at least one or two of the museums.

    If you plan on taking the guided tours from the tourist office, some of which are very good, this will cost you about 10 euro, they are included on the City Card.

    Free transport- you may end up using some public transport. The tourist sites in Lyon are somewhat scattered around the city. Will having the card save you some money on this, yes. Will it be a significant amount? most likely not.

    One thing that I thought was a bit different, is that the Card is valid for 18 months, so for Europeans this might be a benefit.

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    Bus Tours of Lyon

    by GentleSpirit Updated Sep 24, 2014

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    Today I took the L'Open Tour of Lyon, a hop-on hop-off bus tour that takes you around Lyon.

    Stops are:
    Place Bellecour- the large square. there was a huge festival there today
    Vieux Lyon/St Jean
    Perrache-great view of the city from here
    Amphitheatres- the great Roman remains
    Fourviere- Basilica of Notre Dame
    Parc des Hautours-cemetery
    Mur Peint- the murals
    Place Terreaux
    Cordeliers
    Berges du Rhone
    Place des Jacobins

    the two bus companies that do these sort of tours have very similar stops, but Lopen tour is a bit more expensive at 19 euro.

    To be honest I was a bit disappointed. The soundtrack they use to describe things doesn't offer a great deal of description. You are listening to music much of the time, though some of their musical selections weren't bad.

    Another thing, which is quite important, is that in Lyon you are forced to wear a seat belt in cabs and the double decker buses are no exception. Sort of limits your mobility on the double decker when you are trying to get a good picture. just saying.

    Im not sure a bus tour is all that necessary. Its convenient, but the driver who was very grouchy and didn't speak much english at all was running very late so people were regretting hopping off. The bus tour is convenient for such places as Perrache and the Fourviere Hill and Roman ruins. A lot of the rest of the stuff you can walk without much problem. Old Lyon can be reached by subway and most of the city transportation system is very good.

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    walk Place Bellecour, Lyon

    by gwened Written Sep 18, 2014

    the emblematic square of Lyon, a must to walk it see it, smell it and behold of its many side architecture.

    A better quote from the tourist office ;
    the largest square in France with a height of 310 meters by 200, approximately 6 hectares. It is also the largest pedestrian square in Europe.

    At the center of the place Bellecour is a bronze statue of Louis XIV. A first statue was created in 1713, but it was destroyed in 1793 to make cannons for the French Revolution. In 1825, a new statue of Louis XIV takes place. She will be accompanied by the presence at his feet by two allegorical statues of the Saône and the Rhône, which had been created by the brothers Nicolas and Guillaume Costou in 1720.

    The Place Bellecour is the meeting place for all Lyon. Which is not given to appointments under the horse's tail!!! Throughout the year, a number of events have place Bellecour. in winter especially it is installed an ice rink and a Ferris wheel. It is the starting point, every Friday night of a roller ride which crosses the city in joy and good mood.

    Magical indeed to see it and be seeing!

    Place Bellecour,Lyon
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    Théâtre des Marronniers

    by Nemorino Updated May 21, 2014

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    This "Chestnut Theater" is a small theater in a small room at the end of a narrow passageway. The entrance is on rue des Marronniers, "Chestnut Street", which is a small street full of restaurants between Place Bellecour and the Rhône River.

    The play I saw at the Théâtre des Marronniers was L'anniversaire (The Birthday) by Jean-Pierre Roos. The play is about the fiftieth birthday of a man named Louis Martinon, played by the author himself in this production.

    Louis and his wife are getting ready for the birthday celebration, and he hopes that his three children and one grandchild will soon arrive. He has long telephone conversations with his older son, who is a pilot in the French Air Force, and his daughter, who works in a chocolate factory in Chambéry and is busy breaking up with her boyfriend, but we gradually come to realize that the children have been dead for eighteen years and the grandchild is imaginary. And that somehow the death of the children was their father's fault. Exactly how this happened does not become clear until the very end.

    I found L'anniversaire to be a very well-written and well-performed play, and I certainly understood more of it than I had understood of Molière's seventeenth century comedy a couple days before. But to fill in the details I was glad they had copies of the text on sale after the performance, so I bought a copy (fifth photo) and got the author to autograph it for me.

    Second photo: The courtyard of Théâtre des Marronniers.

    Third photo: Seating in Théâtre des Marronniers.

    Fourth photo: Stage of Théâtre des Marronniers.

    Fifth photo: Book with the text of the play L'anniversaire by Jean-Pierre Roos.

    1. Entrance to Th����tre des Marronniers 2. Courtyard of Th����tre des Marronniers 3. Seating in Th����tre des Marronniers 4. Stage of Th����tre des Marronniers 5. Text of the play
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    Basilique Notre Dame de la Fourviére,Lyon

    by gwened Written May 7, 2014

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    A masterpiece and a must while in the city,you cannot leave without it. the link in contact tells you uptodate info on hours,pricings how to get there etc in English.You get there by funiculaire cable car. However for now this is it

    Visit Discovery ,Permanence of the guides from early April to late November, everyday from 9h to 12h30 and 14h to 18h(except on Sunday mornings and during the offices) Free admission in the Basilica
    Visit theme From April to late November. Saturday at 14h30. Dates of the themes on request to 04 78 25 86 19 Free admission in the Basilica
    Unusual visits June to September: daily at 14h30 and 16h April, may, October: Wednesday and Sunday at 14h30 and 16h November: Wednesday and Sunday at 14h30 and 15h30. Adult: €6 Less than 12 years: €3 Before the South-West Tower of the St .Ubaldo

    It all started with a chapel in 1168AD,and efforts to build the Basilica from 1866, however the war vs Prussia in 1870 hold all construction. This is when the story gets nice, the Lyonnais, worried, asked Bishop Ginoulhiac to express a wish to Notre-Dame de Fourvière to prevent the occupation of the city. If this wish is granted, they undertake to build a church dedicated to the Virgin at Fourvière. Archbishop solemnly makes this vow on 8 October 1870. Lyon is spared.The first stone was therefore laid December 7, 1872 and the last, on June 2, 1884.Great!

    lt will need until 1964 that the Interior of the Basilica is completed, with mosaics, sculptures and stained glass windows. In 1897, the new church was built in Basilica by a brief of Pope Leo XIII. The site hosts since 1982 the antennas of Radio Fourvière, that became RCF Lyon.

    up close tympan B. Notre Dame de Fourvi��re Basilique Notre Dame de la Fourvi��re side of Notre Dame de la Fourvi��re Altar chapel of Notre Dame de la Fourvi��re Notre Dame de Fourvi��re
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    Théâtre des Célestins

    by Nemorino Updated Nov 6, 2013

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    When I saw the beautiful old Théâtre des Célestins from the year 1881 I knew I had to go and see something there, no matter what they were playing.

    It turned out that they were doing a seventeenth century comedy by Molière (1622-1673) called Les Femmes savantes (The Learned Ladies).

    Although seventeenth century French comedies are notoriously difficult for us poor foreigners to understand, I decided to give it a try -- with mixed results, as I will explain in my next two tips.

    Second photo: People at the Théâtre des Célestins. Apparently the official name of this theater is now "Célestins, Théâtre de Lyon". According to their website, the Célestins is a theater that is open to "all the publics" (tous les publics), in other words people from all levels of society and from all districts of the city and the region.

    >>Next tip!

    1. Th����tre des C��lestins 2. People at the Th����tre des C��lestins
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    Molière in the Théâtre des Célestins

    by Nemorino Updated Nov 6, 2013

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    I understood the beginning of Les Femmes savantes all right (two sisters quarrelling over a man they both liked) and also the end (the parents quarrelling about who the younger sister should marry), but I got lost a few times in the middle and didn't always understand what people were laughing about. In particular, I didn't understand why the two pompous intellectuals, who had been great friends when they came in at the beginning of the third act, suddenly started fighting and throwing books at each other.

    Later, when I read the text of the play, it all became clear. One of these intellectuals had publicly ridiculed a sonnet written by the other. This was based on a real incident, evidently, that had happened in the hothouse intellectual atmosphere of Paris in the 1660s. When Les Femmes savantes was first performed in the Théâtre de la salle du Palais-Royal in Paris in 1672, probably everyone in the audience knew what Molière was referring to.

    Second photo: Looking down at the stage.

    Third photo: Balconies on the right.

    Fourth photo: Program booklet for Molière's Les Femmes savantes (The Learned Ladies) at the Célestins, Théâtre de Lyon, directed by Marc Paquien.

    >>Next tip!

    1. Inside the Th����tre des C��lestins 2. Looking down at the stage 3. Balconies on the right 4. Program booklet for Les Femmes savantes
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    After the play at the Théâtre des Célestins

    by Nemorino Updated Nov 6, 2013

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    The audience for Les Femmes savantes by Molière was very mixed and included a lot of young people, some of whom had the text of the play with them since they had evidently been reading it for school.

    On the way out some of them already started looking up things they hadn't understood, which was a consolation for me since I wasn't the only one who missed some of the seventeenth century gags in the play.

    For instance, I hadn't understood what the girls' uncle said about Lyon in the fifth act that brought about a happy end and enabled the younger sister to marry the man of her choice. Since the whole play took place in Paris, I was mystified by this one reference to Lyon.

    So the next morning I found a small bookshop in the Old Town and bought a copy of Les Femmes savantes (fourth photo) for all of three Euros. A footnote in this book explained that Lyon was an important banking center in the seventeenth century. The uncle claimed to have received a letter from Lyon saying that his brother's two bankers had both gone bankrupt on the same day, so the family was destitute. This was a lie, but it had the desired effect that one of the suitors, a pompous intellectual favored by the mother, immediately decided not to get married after all, so the way was clear for the younger sister to marry the man she loved.

    Second photo: Théâtre des Célestins at night.

    Third photo: Full view of the façade at night.

    Fourth photo: The text of Les Femmes savantes by Molière, in the edition folio classique, published by Gallimard. The picture on the front cover of the book is a small detail from a painting called Portrait de la marquise de Pompadour by François Boucher (1703-1770). The Marquise de Pompadour was the official "chief mistress" of the French king Louis XV. François Boucher painted several portraits of the Marquise de Pompadour, including this one from the year 1756 which is on display at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, Germany.

    >>Next tip!

    2. Th����tre des C��lestins at night 3. Full view of the fa��ade at night 4. Text of Les Femmes savantes by Moli��re
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    Visit Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse -Markets

    by pedroswift Written Apr 16, 2013

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    If you are a food lover, you may wish to visit the Lyon market at Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse if only to feast your eyes on the produce.
    It's located about 1.2 kms north east of the Quay on Cours Lafayette . Chef Bocuse is one of Lyon's favourite sons - probably the most revered chef in France (if not the world).
    The market named after him is THE upmarket-market. The range of fine produce on sale is astounding. Each of the 50 or so vendors is a specialist in the products each has on display.
    Tasting opportunities are available and freshly shucked oysters are a big hit.
    Of course, if you are looking for a rich snack (or should I say a snack for the rich), Beluga Caviar is €440 per 50 gram tub - Blini (pancake) €5 extra...ha! There are of course less expensive grades of caviar available.
    nileguide.com/destination/bl...
    closed Monday (some restaurants stay open) . Dogs not invited to come in!
    Access:-
    about 1km walk from Gare de la Part Dieu
    Métro Stop: place Guichard (approx 350 metres to south west)
    Tramway T1 : stop "Mairie du 3"
    Parking LPA HALLES : entrance on rue Garibaldi

    Try some Caviar all-glass front of building difficult to miss
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    Lumière Museum

    by Nemorino Updated Apr 1, 2013

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    The Villa Lumière is now a museum about the beginnings of the motion picture. The first thing I did there was to take a guided tour (in French) by a knowledgeable young man who showed us a replica of Thomas Edison's kinetoscope (first photo) and then Louis Lumière's Cinematograph, which served both as a camera and a projector.

    We also saw some examples of early films made by the Lumière brothers (second photo), including The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat, a fifty-second film which allegedly caused a panic among the first spectators because they thought the steam locomotive was really coming towards them.

    A hundred years later the Lumière Institute invited dozens of prominent film directors to make short films of their own using an original Cinematograph machine from the 1890s. The results can be seen in a viewing room in the basement of the Lumière Museum, including a film made in the 1990s of an express train going through the station at La Ciotat without stopping, taken from the same angle and with the same machine as the original film.

    Second photo: Some examples of early films by the Lumière brothers.

    Third photo: Our tour group in the Lumière Museum.

    >>Next tip!

    1. Guided tour of the Lumi��re Museum 2. Examples of early films in the museum 3. On the tour
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    Brasserie Georges

    by bonio Written Dec 30, 2011

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    Now, I think that a "things to do" tip is correct here.
    Art Deco is the style I believe, and it does look pretty impressive. Most customers heading to the restaurant which looked very tempting but, as ever, the Bonio's were not dressed for such a place although we did visit the small bar area for a beer, brewing equipment here but did look unused. Enjoyed the atmosphere and wished we had stayed for a meal.

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