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How to Spend 1 Day in Lyon

How to Spend 1 Day in Lyon

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.

Morning: Museum Visit and Panoramic Views

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.

Afternoon: Sightseeing and Culinary Delights

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.

Night: Historic Lyon and Bouchon Dinner

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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5 Tours and Activities

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Lyon Hop-On Hop-Off Tour with Audio Commentary

Lyon Hop-On Hop-Off Tour with Audio Commentary

star-4
158
The perfect introduction to France’s history-filled city, this hop-on hop-off tour of Lyon makes stops at several attractions. Enrich your visit with audio commentary in multiple languages as you listen to anecdotes about the city, its people, and its heritage. Your pass is valid for the whole day, so you can get down—and back on—as many times as you’d like.
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  • Free Cancellation
From
$24.17
From
$24.17

Lyon Attractions & Museums Card & Guide with City Map

Lyon Attractions & Museums Card & Guide with City Map

star-4.5
117
Maximize your time in the vibrant Lyon with a Lyon City Card, your passport for exploring the UNESCO World Heritage-listed wonders of the city. Explore esteemed museums at your own pace and receive free admission to 22 of Lyon’s most popular cultural institutions. Enjoy free guided tours and river cruises; purchase souvenirs in sophisticated shops at a discount; and see free concerts and puppet shows with your indispensable card. Select from either a 1-, 2- 3-day or 4 day pass and receive a free brochure and map-guide to the city when you collect your card.
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  • 4 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$31.88
From
$31.88

Lyon Croix-Rousse City Tram Tour with Audio Guide

Lyon Croix-Rousse City Tram Tour with Audio Guide

star-4
61
Explore Lyon’s hillside Croix-Rousse quarter by mini-train rather than foot on this city tram tour. Board the train with its panoramic windows and roof, and trundle through the village-like streets of this one-time silk workers’ district, famous for its boho atmosphere, markets, and wall murals. Admire the traditional townhouses and best-known murals depicting historical local scenes and figures, including the ‘Murs des Canuts,’ and ‘Fresque des Lyonnais.’ Multi-lingual audio guide included.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$10.36
From
$10.36

Lyon Electric Bike Tour including Food Tasting with a Local Guide

Lyon Electric Bike Tour including Food Tasting with a Local Guide

star-5
90
Take in the sights of Lyon with an electric bike tour, an easy way to get around, while you sample some of what makes this the culinary capital of France. After stops in Lyon's UNESCO-listed Old Town, the Place des Terreaux and La Croix-Rousse, riding along the picturesque Rhône River, pause at a restaurant to taste regional specialties like locally-made cheeses and cured meats. Upgrade to the 4-hour tour to include a stop at the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière where you'll get wonderful views over Lyon. Tour group size is limited to 10 for more personalized attention from your guide.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$80.56
From
$80.56

Private Gourmet Tour of Lyon's Historic Center
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Private Gourmet Tour of Lyon's Historic Center

star-3.5
3
Get personalized attention on this 2.5-hour private culinary tour in Old Lyon. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed neighborhood and stop for tasting sessions to refuel during your walk, including chocolate, cheese, marzipan, and wine.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$345.26
per group
From
$345.26
per group