Founded by the Romans in the first century BC, and having borne witness to two millennia of history, urbanization, and culture, Lyon was classified a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998; a testament to its stunning landscape, architecture, and many, many years of cultural, economic, and political contributions to Europe. Take a stroll through Lyon’s streets and one thing becomes clear; every inch is a vivid representation of the city’s very colorful past, and everything is worth seeing at least once.
Every monument and building in, and around, Lyon is a reminder of how far it has come since civilization first arrived in the first century BC. Whether you’re a fan of stunning architecture, adore exploring churches, or love nothing more than sailing, or strolling, along the river, watching the world go by, Lyon is full of fantastic surprises and, once a centre for European trade, including silk and printing, the city is something of a museum to progress. Among its numerous churches, cathedrals, parks and gardens, and museums, particular sites worthy of exploration include the Statue of the Virgin Mary, which pays tribute to Lyon surviving the plague, the Opera National de Lyon, and the Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls, all of which echo a rich historical tapestry. The city was also where Auguste and Louis Lumiere invented the cinematographe, making it a particularly exciting spot for fans of movie history. Elsewhere, the Festival of Lights, held every December, will delight young and old.
If you’d never really considered Lyon as a holiday destination, you may be more surprised still to learn that the city is considered the gastronomic capital of France. Home to numerous fresh produce markets, bistros, cafes, and boulangeries, there are few cuisines lacking in Lyon, and it is one of the finest places to visit if you’ve never sampled typically French food before.
Enjoy a road trip to Lyon
Lyon, with all its charm and beauty, is located between two of France’s most historically important cities; Paris and Marseille. If you’re planning on exploring the history and culture of this beautiful country therefore, a road trip from Paris to Marseille, via Lyon, can be one of the very best ways to go.
Paris has cobbled streets, quaint shops dealing in antiquities, and a veritable wash of bistros and cafes; it is, after all, the city of romance. Marseille, on the other hand, is the second biggest city in France and, situated on the coast, has a host of activities on offer; if you want to explore a rugged landscape, take in a city tour, or visit a host of architecturally important buildings, Marseille is your oyster. The Old Port, the Hotel de Ville (City Hall), The Cathedral of Sainte-Marie-Majeure, and the Marseille History Museum are all worth a visit, and will complement your trips to Paris and Lyon perfectly.
Lyon, once a burgeoning hub of trade and industry, is now one of the most culturally, and historically, inspiring cities in France, offering stunning architecture, a plethora of museums and galleries, and quaint shops and eateries to those who choose to explore its center. We warn you though, you may lose your heart.