Known among many travelers as an underrated location, Lyon is a city full of history, architecture, art, boutique shops, and world-class food. It’s also a city full of many free sights and activities, making it a great place to explore without breaking the bank. While there are hundreds of things one could do, this list will give you a good idea of the ten most popular activities everyone should experience on a trip to Lyon.
1. Parc de la Tete d’Or
For a taste of the local life and an escape into nature, the Parc de la Tete d’Or is a great place to experience. You’ll find botanical gardens, rose gardens, greenhouses, and even a free zoo. This is also a wonderful place to people watch.
2. Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere
Not only does this church reside in an area that gives you a great city view, but it has also become a symbol of the city, and one of its most visited attractions.
3. Quartier Renaissance Saint Jean
As the most popular street in Lyon, the Saint Jean Quarter is the place to be for strolling the streets, passing by old Renaissance buildings, eating at various restaurants, and window-shopping. Weekday mornings are the best time to go.
4. Musee Miniature et Cinema
This “tiny” museum is one of the top attractions in the entire city, thanks to its spectacular miniature craftsmanship and uniqueness. If you’re even the least bit curious, this museum will impress.
5. Fourviere Hill
This is the best place to get a magnificent view of the entire city, including both rivers and all of its attractions.
6. Traboules du Vieux Lyon
These secret passageways, once used by silk merchants to transport goods between the buildings, are now apartments for locals and a mini-adventure for tourists.
7. Le Mur Des Canuts
These popular and beautiful murals dot the city, and are painted every ten years to show how the neighborhood has changed. People claim they are so realistic you may actually walk right into one!
8. Musee des Beaux-Arts
If you love art, the Musee des Beaux-Arts is the place to be. After entering through a beautiful courtyard, you’ll be rewarded with paintings from as far back as the 15thcentury and free audio guides that make it all come alive.
9. Theatres Romains de Fourviere
Where else can you sit in a theatre that’s over 500 years old? Explore the ruins of this ancient building, dive into the history, and get a great view of Lyon simultaneously.
10. The Presqu’ile
Right in the center of the city, the Presqu’ile has everything to offer. You’ll find delightful squares, beautiful buildings, museums, cinemas, plenty of restaurants, and many good shopping options.
If you make it to these amazing places, you’ll have a great time and learn much about Lyon. Once you find a cheap hotel in Lyon, you can rejoice in the fact that most activities are free. However, if you plan to visit many museums, consider purchasing a Lyon City Card, which might save you some money.
This article was written as part of the hipmunk #citylove project. As a paid writer for hipmunk, I have written a number of articles on world-class cities such as Hong Kong and Vancouver, Canada.