Lyon is considered one of France’s gastronomic centres. The bouchons (traditional inns) that line the cobbled alleys of the old town are a must for any visitor, while the area of Croix-Rousse has many smart restaurants. This area also contains the historic centre of Lyon’s silk industry, for which the city was once famous.
The old town, or Vieux Lyon is a UNESCO World Heritage site, as such there are many impressive ruins, buildings, mews and side streets to wander around. A series of covered passageways, called ‘traboules’ link many private courtyards and were utilised by the French Resistance during the Second World War occupation.
Atop the Fourviere hill sits a neighbourhood containing the Fourviere Basilica and many important Roman ruins. Take the funicular railway to the top, as it’s worth a visit for both the views and the magnificent Gallo-Roman Amphitheatre.
The local Museum of Fine Arts has a large selection of works by Monet, Picasso, Rubens and Rembrandt. For smart shopping, the best area is the Presquile peninsula situated between the rivers Rhone and Saone, it also contains one of the largest squares in Europe, the Place Bellecour.