Once used by silk merchants to reach the bustling markets of Lyon without damaging their wares, the city's traboules, or passageways, hark back to a bygone era. Here's how to escape the city streets and explore these hidden, secret alleyways.
Lyon Cathedral (Cathédrale St-Jean)
70 rue Saint Jean, Lyon
Surrounded by Renaissance dwellings, the Romanesque-Gothic Cathédrale St-Jean is a standout attraction, contributing to Lyon's inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To visit this Old Town cathedral, take any number of tours that pass near the cathedral, including e-bike tours and hop-on hop-off bus tours. To taste Lyon's famous cuisine, consider a food tour, which typically introduces visitors to local flavors, visits the city's markets, and stops in the Old Town.
Things to Know Before You Go
The cathedral's astronomical clock is a must-see for watch aficionados—its perpetual calendar is accurate, and the clock chimes daily.
If you have limited time, take a private tour, which typically visits Lyon's top attractions in just a few hours, including Cathédrale St-Jean.
It's possible to visit for daily mass, held in morning and evening.
Lyon is celebrated for its cuisine, so make time to taste local dishes and stop at its plentiful gourmet markets.
How to Get There
Situated in the heart of Old Lyon, the Cathedrale St-Jean is a short walk from Vieux Lyon metro station and the Saint Paul train station (Gare de Saint Paul). To take the metro, hop on the D metro line—just one stop east of Bellecour metro station. The cathedral is a short walk from the metro, at 70 rue Saint Jean.
When to Get There
The cathedral is open on weekdays from 8:15am to 7:45pm. On weekends, it's open from 8am to 7pm. Mass is held twice daily. For a special experience, time your visit to the chiming of the astronomical clock, which rings at 12pm, 2pm, and 3pm. To avoid crowds and parishioners, visit during the week in the afternoon.
Visiting the Museum of the Cathedral Treasure
To the right of the cathedral, you find one of the oldest standing buildings in the city: an 11th-century choir school. Today, this building showcases a collection of religious relics, dating to the 9th century. Find liturgical clothing, Byzantine crafts, and 17th-century tapestries. The museum is free to visit.
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- Musée Miniature et Cinéma
- Old Lyon (Vieux Lyon)
- Lyon Palace of Justice (Palais de Justice Historique de Lyon)
- Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière (Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière)
- Célestins Theatre (Théâtre des Célestins)
- Ancient Theatre of Fourvière (Théâtre Antique de Lyon)
- Bellecour Square (Place Bellecour)
- Lyon Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux Arts de Lyon)
- Lyon Les Halles Market (Les Halles Paul Bocuse)
- Lyon Opera House (Opéra National de Lyon)
- Tête d'Or Park (Parc de la Tête d'Or)
- Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (Musée d'art Contemporain de Lyon)
- Lumière Institute (Institut Lumière)
- Resistance and Deportation History Centre (Centre d'Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation)