Things to do in Lyon

Founded by the Romans, this French city combines UNESCO-listed districts, gourmet food, and lively nightlife.

Our most recommended things to do in Lyon

Lyon: 50-Minute Festival of Lights Sightseeing Cruise

1. Lyon: 50-Minute Festival of Lights Sightseeing Cruise

Experience the annual Festival of Lights in Lyon from a different perspective on a 50-minute cruise along the Rhône River with audio commentary. Marvel at the Renaissance buildings of the city center from the water, and learn about how they once stood in the center of political and religious power in the Middle Ages. Travel through more than 2,000 years of history on the river cruise, and discover the rich heritage of the city during this annual celebration. Learn more about the UNESCO World Heritage city and its symbolic monuments. Admire the bold architecture at the confluence of the Saône and Rhône rivers.

Lyon City Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

2. Lyon City Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Choose a 1-day ticket for this Lyon hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour and discover the city’s landmarks and monuments. With 12 stops on the Green Line, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the sights of Lyon from an open-top double-decker bus. Hop on and hop off as many times as you like as you see the main attractions of the city, such as the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière, the district of Vieux Lyon, the Halles Paul Bocuse with local products, or the Parc Tête d’Or to admire the most beautiful roses. Organize your itinerary any way you like at your own pace. The Green Line offers a 1-day ticket for the hop-on-hop-off bus. Green line stops: • Place Bellecour • Terreaux • Mur Peint • Palais de Justice • Vieux Lyon • Perrache • Musée des Confluences • Berges du Rhône • Théâtres Gallo-Romains • Fourvière • Parc des Hauteurs

Lyon: Guided Sightseeing Cruise

3. Lyon: Guided Sightseeing Cruise

Journey through more than 2,000 years of history on a river cruise of Lyon, and discover the rich heritage of the multifaceted city where ancient and contemporary treasures combine. Board the pleasure boat for an in-depth tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and admire symbolic monuments from another perspective as you are carried along the Saone River for 1 hour. See the Renaissance buildings of Vieux Lyon, the focus of political and religious power in the Middle Ages. Admire the bold architecture and learn about exceptional moments that have shaped the city's destiny. Listen to an informative commentary of Lyon through the centuries from your guide. 

Lyon: Musée des Confluences Entrance Ticket

4. Lyon: Musée des Confluences Entrance Ticket

Pre-book your entry ticket to Musée des Confluence to discover the spectacular architecture and fascinating exhibits of this cutting-edge museum. Experience the world of the natural and the human at Lyon's showpiece waterfront attraction. Delve into a museum that situates itself at the confluence of knowledge, science, and culture. Admire the striking design resembling a floating crystal cloud of stainless steel and glass, and step inside the iconic building. Explore science and anthropology through fascinating exhibits on origins, species, societies, and eternities. Learn the story of human life and civilizations in the permanent collection. Enjoy inclusive entry also into the temporary exhibits. Feast your eyes on treasures like the massive dinosaur skeleton, as well as Egyptian mummies and fossils. Examine ethnographic artifacts and cutting-edge exhibits alike in this Lyon essential. Current Exhibitions "To the Ends of the Earth: Through the Eyes of Missionaries" (until May 8, 2022):This exhibition, through 2,300 objects belonging to the Pontifical Mission Societies, provides a fascinating look at our historical understanding of once-unknown cultures, and our modern perspective on this era of history. "On the Trail of the Sioux" (until August 28, 2022):Through the collections of François Chladiuk and other items, the exhibition aims to allow an honest and accurate expression of Sioux communities, who remain marginalized to this day. "The Rare Bird: From the Swallow to the Kakapo" (until December 31, 2022):With the second-largest collection in France of taxidermied birds, the museum has selected nearly 240 specimens for its exhibit to highlight the beauty of an animal under threat.

Lyon City Pass: Public Transport & More Than 40 Attractions

5. Lyon City Pass: Public Transport & More Than 40 Attractions

With the Lyon City Card, the gates to France's second-biggest city are open! Save time and money while discovering its secret alleyways and magnificent museums. Visit 23 museums for free with your Lyon City Card, and make the most of 48 things to do and 25 discounts which cover the whole of Lyon's cultural offerings. You'll also get complimentary access to Lyon's public transport, as well as access to bike tours, visits to the Fine Art Museum, river cruises, and much more. Have fun! Museums and temporary exhibitions : • Priority access to Musée des Confluences • Fine Arts Museum of Lyon • OL Museum (football team) • Gadagne Museums: history of Lyon and puppets of the world • Modern Art Museum (open only for temporary exhibitions) • Contemporary Art Institute (only open for exhibitions) • Museum of Gallo Roman Civilization • Museum of Textile ( renovation till 2026) • Lumière Museum • Fourvière Museum of Religious Art • Printing Museum • Center for the History of the Resistance and Deportation • Little Guignol Museum • Museum of Cinema and Miniature • Tony Garnier Urban Museum • Museum of Henri Malartre’s Automobile • Gallo Roman Museum of St Roman en Gal • Ampère Museum • Electricity Museum • La Sucrière at pôle Confluence (open only for temporary exhibitions) • Doctor Mérieux Museum Marcy l’Étoile • Eccly - Espace Culturel du Christianisme à Lyon • Cultural Judaïsme Institute Visits and activities (depending on availabilities – check for times): • Guided walking tours by the Greater Tourism Office (reservation necessary) • A visit to the roof of the basilica of Fourvière (April-November) • Cruises on the Rhône and Saône Riviers with Lyon City Boat (April-October) • House of Canuts • Silk Museum (Soierie vivante) • Mini World priority access • Lyon City tram reduction Shows (limited number of spots, reservation advised): • Guignol Theater in Lyon • Compagnie des Zonzons (Guignol) • House of Guignol • Guignol theater Grand Hotel Dieu • Un Gone de Lyon (Guignol) • Planetarium Public transportation included: The liberty offer gives you access to Lyon’s bus, metro, funicular railway, and tramway networks. Valid for24h, 48h, 72h or 96 hours, depending on the validity of your card. Discounts with Lyon City Card: • Shows: National Opera of Lyon (except end of year shows), Célestins’theatre, Lyon’s theatre, theatre of Nouvelle Génération, Théâtre National Populaire, Maison de la danse, Comedie Odeon, Improvidence theatre. • Visits – tours: Cyclopolitains (tours by bike), guided bus tours, biked guided tours by Lyon City Bike, Lyon le Grand Tour, Fourvière France Aventures, Aquarium du Grand Lyon, Segway Tours, Léo & Go cars location service, Lyon Tuk Tour, Lyon City Tram, babysitting Marypop, Coddy Games urban escape game, Restaurant boat Hermès • Option: Vélo’v (rent a bike ). • Shopping • Galeries Lafayette Part Dieu: Services privileges: shopping bag and accompaniment by a personal shopper on appointment, 3 macaroons offered with purchase of 40 euros or more. • Printemps: Welcome champagne in the private area and privileged support by a personal shopper • Confluence Leisure Center: Special offers at 32 stores and round trip with the cruise ship • Hard Rock Coffee shop: -10% purchase of 40 euros or more and Onlylyon Hard Rock pin offered • The Village: One-day VIP pass offering VIP lounge reception, photo shooting, skip-the-line and welcome gift with preferential rate on private transport

Lyon: Guided Food Tour with Tastings and Wine

6. Lyon: Guided Food Tour with Tastings and Wine

Discover at least 5 food stops on a guided walking tour in Lyon. (food choice depending on season and availability). Try an original quenelle, the famous cotes du Rhône, traditional French sweets, lemon liquor and one glass of wine and water in the remaining stops Enjoy the views and atmosphere of the old town area of the city. Learn about local history and culture with an expert local guide.

Lyon 2.5-Hour Dinner Cruise

7. Lyon 2.5-Hour Dinner Cruise

Take a break from the city streets and board the Hermès restaurant boat for a 2.5-hour cruise. Indulge in a 3-course gourmet meal as you discover Lyon's majestic landscapes and listen to the informative commentary. You'll be served a 3-course meal with several choices from the menu. Because the local partner cooks with exclusively fresh, local, and seasonal products, the menu is constantly evolving.

Lyon Customized Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide

8. Lyon Customized Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide

Explore Lyon with a friendly local who is passionate about the city and eager to share all the information that will help you make the most of your trip. Get to know Lyon through the eyes of a local guide on a 2 to 6-hour private tour. Meet your guide at your accommodation and head out on the tour to get familiar with the neighborhood. Learn about the best places to eat and buy groceries, the easiest ways to get around and the top things to see and do. During the walking tour there will be the option of taking public transportation or a taxi to get around the city. Please inform the tour operator if you’d like a private car included in the tour.

Lyon 2.5-Hour Lunch Cruise

9. Lyon 2.5-Hour Lunch Cruise

Take a break from the city streets and board the Hermès restaurant boat for a 2.5-hour cruise. Indulge in a 3-course gourmet meal as you discover Lyon's majestic landscapes and listen to the informative commentary. You'll be served a 3-course meal with several choices from the menu: Choice of Starters • Thin burgundy poultry tart, mustard and parmesan cream, lettuce, capers and croutons • Grilled stuffed squid, olives, minuza salad and red chard, vegetable pickles, and lemon dressing Choice of Main Courses • Duck from the Dombes area, morel sauce, and vegetables of the season • Rolled dab fillet, Nantua sauce, stuffed conchiglioni with ricotta and tetragon Choice of Desserts • Praline tart, Valrhona’s chocolate soufflé, and tonka bean ice cream • Exotic fruits tiramisu • Pistachio and passion fruit dessert, fruits of the season • Chef's special dessert

Lyon: 3.5-Hour Food Tour with a Local Guide

10. Lyon: 3.5-Hour Food Tour with a Local Guide

Explore this UNESCO World Heritage district from a gourmet's perspective, combining cultural discovery and local flavors. Wander the traditional Lyonnaise passageways with a guide and meet local food producers. This food tour includes four tasting breaks (and a few surprises...), showcasing culinary classics of Lyon. Taste the local's emblematic produtcs, artisanal regional ice cream, regional cheeses with white wine and lyonnais beer with grand cru chocolate or praline pie with hot or fresh drinks depending the day of your visit. The perfect way to combine guided cultural tour and tasting of emblematic products of Lyon, to meet passionate craftmens, unusuals places. A genuine experience lead by a local guide.

Frequently asked questions about Lyon

What are the most popular museums and exhibitions in Lyon?

Other Sightseeing Options in Lyon

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What people are saying about Lyon

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3,262 reviews

Very interesting information and a fun way to start exploring the city. App was a bit challenging to get going but worked wonderfully once started. App does a great job of guiding. Looking forward to finding another one!

A very relaxed and enjoyable lunch cruise. The service was good. The food was not bad and the boat ride was very smooth and scenic. Highly recommend this activity.

A great tour that we really enjoyed. So much so we chose another by the same company. Easy to use. At your own pace. Right balance of information.

it was a great experience to be seated and audioguided through out the city

it's a must do especially for a relaxing last night of your trip