A weekend in Lyon is one of the best ways to spend a break, whether it is summer or winter, whether you travel solo or with family or friends. Lyon is a welcoming city for foreigners and tourists and has a lot to offer. With Renfe-SNCF en Coopération you can get there quickly and comfortably and enjoy this “Paris on a much smaller, more human scale”. Taste the southern France gastronomy and the kind Mediterranean weather that are only a few hours in train away.
A weekend in Lyon has many attractions for tourists and those desiring to get to know this beautiful city of the south of France. Lyon is said to respond to the new expectations of urban tourism. It has the perfect balance between the human-size city and country life. Lyon is humble and can be walked or cycled around without any problem. That makes it different from the huge Paris, which ends up seeming endless to the foreign tourist. Find out what you can do to spend the perfect weekend in Lyon, alone, with your partner or with your family.
Palais de justice, Cathédrale Saint Jean Baptiste and Traboules - Dennis Jarvis, Wikimedia Commons
Vieux Lyon is surely the place where you can start your perfect weekend in Lyon. The old town of Lyon was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998, so you should go and discover for yourself its charms. When you visit Lyon and its old town, you can not miss the Palais de justice historique, the Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste and the famous traboules. The traboules are the passages that cross buildings to unite the different streets of the old town of Lyon. You should keep in mind that some traboules pass through private homes and it is necessary to ask permission to pass.
If the visit of Vieux Lyon leaves you time, you can finish the first day of your weekend in Lyon with a visit to the Opera Nouvel, named after the architect that designed the building. This Lyon Opera House was built between 1985 and 1993 and offers shows several days a week. Here you can find the Opera Nouvel program, since in this building not only you can see operas, but there are also all kinds of concerts, dance shows and much more that will entertain your visit to Lyon.
Basilica of Notre Dame, Theatre and Roman Legionaries at Gallo Roman Museum - Rama, Wikimedia Commons
For the second day of your weekend in Lyon we recommend you visit the Roman ruins that this city preserves in very good condition. If you climb the Fourvière hill, you will find the antique Théâtre de Lyon, which was built by Augustus in 15 BC. Take advantage of the good weather that characterizes the area to walk and immerse yourself in the mystical atmosphere that surrounds this hill, which is often called "the hill that prays". Very close to the amphitheater you can visit the Gallo-Roman Museum and the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
, two must-see spots if you visit Lyon. This way you can take a tour of 19 centuries for the history of this wonderful city.
Parc de la Tête d’Or - Phinou, Wikimedia Commons
After the long walk, we recommend you to finish your weekend visit in Lyon in the Parc de la Tête d'Or. This huge park is not only beautiful, it is packed with activities for everyone. Within the park there is a zoo and a botanical garden that can be visited for free. There are also many activities, such as movies, outdoor theaters, and different performances that entertain locals and visitors of this beautiful city. This is surely the perfect end for a perfect weekend in Lyon.
We can not talk about Lyon without talking about gastronomy. It is well known that Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France, and therefore of the world. It is the cradle of Paul Bocuse
and the city of the méres and the bouchons. There are about 1,800 restaurants to choose from on a weekend in Lyon and 16 Michelin stars spread throughout the city. You can read here about the 6 dishes you have to taste if you go to Lyon
and choose your favorite. We promise that you will want to visit Lyon again after you eat in any of the the lyonnaise restaurants.