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Last updated : Nov 2009
Lyon Travel Guide
Lyon Travel Guide and Lyon Travel Information - TravelPuppy.com
Located at the crossroads of Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, travellers have often passed through Lyon but not always given this city the attention it deserves. Two hours from the alpine ski resorts and three hours from the sea, Lyon, the capital of the Rhône-Alpes region and the second largest contributor to the French economy after Paris, is more than worthy of a detour on the way to the sun or the ski slopes.

In December 1998, Lyon became one of only a few urban centres on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city’s major asset resides in the way that it has developed, enabling each of its districts to conserve their own distinctive architectural hallmarks. Lyon, as a city is characterised by contrasts in its setting, between its two hills, the Fourvière and Croix-Rousse and between its two rivers, the Rhone and the Sâone. Lyon also demonstrates its mixed heritage, by displaying traits of a typical northern French town in some areas, while other features bear witness to its Latin heritage.

The city’s history begins on Fourvière Hill, where vestiges of the original Roman city are still evident. The Romans named Lyon Lugdunum, meaning the ‘city of light’. This tradition continues to the present day, every evening throughout the year, more than one hundred sites throughout the city are lit up to show the splendour of Lyon’s architecture.

One of the best way for one to fully appreciate two millennia of Lyon’s historical heritage is on foot. The sunny and temperate weather lends itself to strolling through the streets, appreciating the architectural splendour of the city. Walking around, the visitor passes through a number of historical eras, from Fourvière Hill and its Roman settlement to evidence of Lyon’s power in the Gallo-Roman period.

Old Lyon (Vieux Lyon) contains the largest display of Renaissance architecture in France, which dates back to the end of the 15th century, when it became an important and wealthy trade centre, famous for its fairs and its silk industry. Strolling through Lyon is the only way for visitors to discover and enjoy an authentic local feature, the traboules. These covered passageways were created during the Renaissance, initially as short cuts, although they later became escape routes for the French resistance during World War II.

Lyon is a gourmet’s paradise. With the exception of Paris, the city boasts the largest number of Michelin-starred restaurants and famous chefs in the whole of France. One simply has to remember that Lyon is the home of Paul Bocuse and his famous restaurant to appreciate the quality of cuisine available. For a less sophisticated atmosphere, visitors can also sample the simple delights of a bouchon, a small picturesque restaurant specialising in local delicacies.

This intermingling of the history and architecture of the past with the cultural and gastronomic delights of the present combine to make Lyon far more than just another milestone on the way to the Mediterranean but a city worth a visit in its own right.
Useful travel links
Lyon Tourist Office Official website for Lyon Tourism