Things to do in Lyon

Itineraries for Your Trip to Lyon

Lyon locals share their perfect days.
Find your Lyon

1 Day in Lyon for First Timers

Curated by Peter NeelyPeter Neely is a Brooklyn-based writer and poet who's been bounding between cities for a decade, with stops in San Francisco, Budapest, Montreal, and Lyon. Changing NYC apartments like socks, Peter has lived in Harlem, Greenpoint, Sunnyside, and Crown Heights, though Coney Island is his spiritual homeland. Spot him reading on the subway, or complaining about the slice at your favorite pizzeria.

Celebrated for its cuisine and fairy-tale-like architecture, Lyon is packed with attractions. Visitors shouldn't miss the Old Town and Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière—Lyon's answer to Paris' Notre Dame. Because of the city's manageable size, you can cover the highlights in just a few hours. Here's how to make the most of a day in Lyon.


Lyon has a rich arts legacy, so start your day immersed in culture with a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts. For a great value, pick up a 1-day Lyon City Card in Place Bellecour, and stop in a nearby boulangerie for a pastry. After wandering the museum's stately galleries, hop on a tram tour to Lyon's Croix-Rousse neighborhood to take in the panoramic views. You can also try a hop-on-hop-off-bus tour, since most tours visit multiple sights, making it easy to get around.


After a cultural morning, spend your afternoon exploring the picturesque city and tasting local cuisine on a culinary-themed e-bike tour. Culinary walking tours and private food tours are also great ways to sample local specialties at nearby markets, including the famous Halles Paul Bocuse. But if you just want to see the sights, Segway tours are your best bet, since they often stop in Parc de la Tete d'Or—Lyon's celebrated city park. End your afternoon at the hilltop Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, and use your Lyon City Card for a free tour of the church's tower.


Spend your evening in the Old Town, enjoying the Renaissance buildings and cobblestoned streets. If you're tired, take the funicular back from the basilica (free with a Lyon City Card), but if you don't mind a hike, use a traditional traboule —a medieval alley along the hillside, once traversed by Lyon's famous silk workers. Find one off Montée Saint-Barthélémy, which takes you into the Old Town. Along Rue Saint-Jean, look up every now and again to see gargoyles peering down: This is the place for dinner. Stop in a traditional bouchon Lyonnais, and sample favored local dishes, such as pork sausage and duck pâté.

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