Discovering top attractions in Lyon, France

photo by CC user Carlos de Paz on Flickr

About to head to France in the near future? While Paris attracts much of the attention of visitors to this country, make room in your itinerary for its second city, Lyon.

Seated at the base of the foothills of the Frnech Alps, not only does it have great views, but the attractions in Lyon are also worth seeing on their own. If you’re considering a visit to Lyon, you may also wish to research things to do in┬áStrasbourg as well.

1) Explore the streets of Vieux Lyon

Like many cities across France and Europe, Lyon has done a great job preserving its architecture and neighbourhoods from past centuries.

Vieux Lyon is no exception to that rule, as it is home to the largest urban collection of Renaissance buildings outside of Venice, Italy. Here, one can find numerous fine cathedrals, courtyards, and cafes where people watching is practically a spectator sport.

2) Peer into the distant past at the Roman theatre in Fourviere

Being located closer to the Mediterranean than its big brother Paris, Lyon was home to a substantial Roman presence stretching back to 43 BCE, when it was founded to serve as the capital for the Roman province of Gallia Lugdunensis.

As a result of its regional importance, Lyon is home to a significant amount of Roman ruins. The most notable of these are the Roman theatres in the Lyon neighbourhood of Fourviere, which has survived through to the present day in remarkable shape.

It is still used in its intended manner when tourists aren’t picking over its ruins, as outdoor performing arts shows go on here regularly during the summer months.

3) Spend a night out in Presqu’ile

When the sun sets on Lyon, do as the locals do and head straight for the neighbourhood of Presqu’ile. It is here where the bulk of Lyon’s entertainment assets are located, as there are numerous streets here that contain unique boutiques, some of its finest restaurants, and its liveliest clubs, pubs and nightspots.

If you are seeking to get cultured, be sure to spend time at Lyon’s Opera House, as it can be found in this district of the city.

4) Connect with nature at Parc de la Tete d’Or

If the congestion and heat of the city are becoming too much for you, you can escape it for an afternoon by heading over to Parc de la Tete d’Or.

Sprawling over 290 acres of land in the 6th arrondissement, one of the most popular features of this place is a large lake that is often filled with boaters on a beautiful summer day.

Here, one can find mini-golf and a small zoo for the kids, and those looking to keep up on their fitness will want to join the locals by jogging or cycling its multiple paths.

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