​​​​​​​From December 8 to 11​​, Lyon will shine with millions of lights. It is one of the most magic festivals in France and has been celebrated since more than a century. You can enjoy this festival that lasts 4 amazing days, surrounded by lights and with many activities at yo​ur disposal.

Thanks to the fast and comfortable trains of Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation, you can experience this amazing trip.

This it is for sure one of the best ways to start Christmas time!

The Origins

In 1643 Europe was heavily affected by a pest plague, which also threatened the city of Lyon. The terrified citizens made a promise: to build a statue of the Virgin Mary if she could protect them from the plague. History tells us that the city was spared of the plague and that the promise was fulfilled. Since 1852, every 8th of December, the residents express their gratitude decorating the windows of their houses with multi-coloured crystals with candles to illuminate them… Nowadays the city is still illuminated during these days in order to celebrate this religious tradition of the ancient capital of Gallia.


What shall you visit?

The Festival of Lights enhances the city’s outstanding architectural heritage with its most famous monuments, the main parks and also the two rivers that cross Lyon. 

Illuminated Square in Lyon

At 8 o'clock in the afternoon the whole city is illuminated with the light of the candles. It is fascinating to see how the Fourvière hill becomes unified with the Croix Rousse when it is totally illuminated.

Illuminated facades in Terreaux square

Most of the activities take place in the city centre, the old town of Lyon and in the old theatre of Fourvière.

What shows can you see?

In the Terreaux Square, the fountain of Bartholdi seems to be alive with its water ballet and musical background. The facade of Saint Jean Cathedral plays with modern 3D animations that brings together centuries of history in the same place. The two rivers of Lyon, the Rhône and the Saone are also part of this splendid festival: they act as giant mirrors that reflect the monuments and bridges as if they were dancing with the rhythm of the waves.​

Illuminated streets in Lyon 

In addition to the classical lighting of the candles scattered throughout the city, artistic shows are something you can not miss. The facades shine and become canvases for multimedia artists, who give life with their lasers to monuments and sculptures. A theme for each day and dozens of lighting animations are offered free of charge to visitors to the city during the days of the Fête des Lumières, which this year is held from December 6 to 9.

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