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Lyon | France

There's a lot to love about Lyonfrom its wine legacy and commanding culinary scene, to the Roman baths and Renaissance architecture. It is said that Lyon, France's third-largest city, sits at the the confluence of three rivers not two  the Rhone, the Saone and a river of wine, because it is surrounded by wine regions such as Beaujolais, Burgundy and the Cote du Rhone and Cote Rotie. For adventurous foodies, France's gastronomic capital has long been home to rich culinary traditions and famous chefs including the late Paul Bocuse. Heritage markets, museums and the annual light festival compete for your attention if you can drag yourself away from the local bouchons (Lyonnaise bistros).

Must-Sees

Abbaye De Colonies, Lyon, France

L'Abbaye de Collonges

Dine at L’Abbaye de Collonges, founded by acclaimed chef the late Paul Bocuse. The celebrity chef popularised nouvelle cuisine and the use of fresh, quality ingredients. His prestigious restaurant was formerly the Hotel du Pont, and has been in the Bocuse family for decades.

A selection of different cheeses at a market in France

Market Finds

See what makes Lyon France's 'gastronomic capital' on a discovery of the city’s fresh food markets at Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse. There are more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in France, and even shops in this esteemed covered market are star-rated by the Michelin guide.
Aerial view of vineyard with church and buildings, Beaujolais Region, France

Beaujolais Wine Region

Visit the beautiful Beaujolais wine region, close to Lyon, where world-famous wineries and cellar doors are surrounded by regional history and lovely landscapes. Sample the wine from this region, a light red wine produced with Gamay Noir grapes, and raise a glass to these lush leafy vineyards.

Local Recommendations

When it comes to local knowledge there's no one better to show you the way than our on-the-ground team. Read on to find out their favourite dining venues, places of interest, customs and secrets that keep them returning to these cities time and again.

Meet Local Expert – Rebecca Ronane

Based in France, APT Tour Director Rebecca Ronane loves to share Lyon with guests. As a tour director since 1985 and working with APT since 2014, Rebecca knows exactly how to bring to life the history and culture of the places guests visit. Whether you're strolling the medieval streets of Lyon's Old Town or enjoying a bite to eat at a local bar, Rebecca shares some of her personal favourites. Ways to make the most of Lyon's highlights, as well as experiences you'll only come across if you know the ins and outs of this city. 
ch a eu city guide lyon rebecca ronane 12 5

General Information

Country: France

Currency: Euro

International dialling code: +33

Local time: GMT +1

Note: Travel as we know it has changed in 2021. We're working to ensure all information is accurate but please check before heading out.

Buildings either side of a river reflecting in the calm still waters with a bridge spanning across on a bright sunny day

Language: French

Useful phrases: Bonjour (hello); Merci (thank you); Au revoir (goodbye); Bonsoir (good evening).

Top local dishes:

  • "Dishes such as Quenelles which are dumplings that can have minced fish or meat included.
  • Salade Lyonnaise is a green salad with crispy bacon and poached egg on top.
  • Saucisson de Lyon is a sausage made from pork.
  • Charcuterie means a variety of cooked meats. Pink pralines are also typical, an almond sugary sweet cake or tart purchased in the bakeries." 

See Roman ruins: "Discover Roman ruins as Lyon was the capital of Gaul. The Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls dates back to 12 BC, when it could hold around 20,000 people."

Lyon's annual light festival: "The Festival of Lights in Lyon, taking place on December 8, a Lyonnaise tradition where each house places candles along the outside of all the windows to produce a spectacular effect throughout the streets."

(Words by Rebecca Ronane.)