A place of splendid history, fascinating museums and exciting attractions, the landmark status of Lyon, France was famously recognized by UNESCO in 1998 as a World Heritage Site. The designation pays tribute to the rare collection of historic sites in Lyon. Home to Europe's largest intact Renaissance district, Lyon offers an exploration through thousands of years of history, from Roman theatre ruins of ancients times to Contemporary Art.
Things To Do in Lyon, France
Park de la Tete d'Or -
Tete d'Or Park, or the Park de la Tete d'Or, is the largest central city park in all of France and a delightful place for a jog or family recreation. Designed by landscape architect Denis Bühler in 1856, the historic park features wide tree-lined paths, botanical gardens and a zoo. Remaining largely intact from its original layout, the Rose Garden added in 1961 represents the only major change to the famed Lyon Park. To learn more, visit www.loisirs-parcdelatetedor.com/anglais/anglais.htm.
National Opera House -
The National Opera House is one of Lyon's grandest attractions. A stunning glass dome frames the 300-year old building, which sits on a picturesque spot along the the Rhone River near City Hall. Home to the Opera House Orchestra and the Lyon Opera Ballet company, the inside of the 1,200 seat theatre is equally spectacular and offers some of the finest acoustics in the world. To learn more, visit www.opera-lyon.com.
Resistance and Deportation Museum -
Housed in an actual building, which the Head of the Lyon Gestapo used to hold victims in the cellars, the Resistance and Deportation History Centre provides a rare first hand look at history. Although the Gestapo left this building in May 1944 after an attack by Allied forces, the Gestapo continued in the city until Lyon was liberated on 3rd September 1944. To learn more, visit www.chrd.lyon.fr/chrd/sections/fr/pied/english_1.
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist-Saint-Etienne -
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist-Saint-Etienne (or Saint-Jean Primatiale) is located in Lyon's histic Vieux Lyon neighborhood, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998. Founded by St. Irenaeus and St. Pothinus, today the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist-Saint-Etienne serves the diocese of Lyon and is the the church of the Archbishop. To learn more, visit www.cathedrale-lyon.cef.fr.
African Museum of Lyon -
The African Museum of Lyon is one of the oldest museums in Lyon and was first established as the Societe des Missions Africaines in 1861. The collection was comprised of donations, which missionaries sent over from Africa. After undergoing a massive renovation in 2001, today the museum displays a permanent collection of thousands of African artifacts comprising their daily, social and spiritual life. To learn more, visit www.musee-africain-lyon.org.
History of Lyon and Puppets of the World Museum -
The History of Lyon and the Puppets of the World Museum are both located in the same stately early-16th-century residence, the Hôtel de Gadagne. The History of Lyon museum features Lyonnais sculptures, pottery, paintings, engravings ceramics, and furniture. The Musee de la Marionette displays puppets by Laurent Mourguet and marionettes from from around the world. To learn more, visit www.gadagne.musees.lyon.fr.
Gerland Stadium -
The Gerland Stadium (The Stade de Gerland or Municipal de Gerland) is Lyon's leading stadium and home to their professional football club, the Olympique Lyonnais. The stadium seats 41,842 people and has hosted world-famous sporting events like Rugby League World Cup, and the FIFA World Cup, as well as superstars like David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd. To learn more, visit www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stade_de_Gerland.
Villars les Dombes Bird Park -
The Villars les Dombes Bird Park (Parc des Oiseaux) offers one of finest places for birdwatching in all of Europe. The noted bird sanctuary is home to a near-endless variety of thousands of kinds of birds from five continents, which live in 435 aviaries. To learn more, visit www.parc-des-oiseaux.com.
Perouges Medieval Village -
The Perouges Medieval Village is a preserved village set on the hilltop town of Perouges, France. Enjoy a picturesque look at the work and life of early French craftsmen, including cabinetmaker, bookbinder, a potter, and weaver. A noted tourist spot, the city is dotted with charming restaurants and shops. To learn more, visit www.fodors.com/world/europe/france/lyon-and-the-alps/perouges/.
Safari de Peaugres -
The Safari de Peaugres is a drive-through safari park which offers unforgettable encounters with some of the world's most spectacular creatures, including elephants, bears and big cats, all from the safe comfort of your vehicle. Home to more than 800 fascinating animals, the majority of which can be seen in exhibits in the zoological gardens after a drive-through safari. To learn more about Safari de Peaugres, visit www.safari-peaugres.com.