48 Hours in Lyon

City Guide: 48 Hours in Lyon

Paris may be the capital of France but Lyon is known as the capital of Gastronomy and has become a tourist favourite for its rich culture of food, art and history.
Lyon is the third largest city in France and sits at the junction of the Rhône and Saône rivers. This popular destination has a history dating back to Roman times, with the city boasting France’s oldest ancient ruins, medieval quarters and Renaissance houses. If you have only 48 hours to spend in this historic city we have put together a list of city highlights for you to explore.

Day One

Begin your day in Presqu’ile District of Lyon, nestled between the Rhône and Saône rivers. This district is the perfect example of Lyon’s historical architecture through the ages and is home to buildings from the 12th Century standing alongside modern architectural designs. 

Treat yourself to a pastry in one of the city's decadent cafes and enjoy browsing through the shops before you head over to the Muse des Beaux Arts, is known as the ”Mini Louvre” because of its fine collection of masters, including Rubens, Rembrandt, Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Dégas, Cézanne, Rodin, Picasso, Braque, Dufy and Bacon.
Delight your senses as you stroll through Lyon's famous Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, an indoor food market with over 50 of Lyon’s finest butchers, charcuterie , pastry chefs, wine specialists, and fromagers have set up shop inside this recently renovated building. 

Once you have enjoyed a delicious lunch, discover Lyon’s many secret covered passageways, known as Traboule’s, throughout the city winding their way through buildings, courtyards and up and down staircases. Lyon's traboules are an ideal way of exploring the city’s hidden and colourful past. 

As you wander through the city you will notice a series of impressive murals painted by the CitéCréation Cooperative dotted around the city, which tell the story of Lyons’ neighbourhoods and it’s most famous citizens.
Relax after a day of walking the city and enjoy a traditional Lyonnaise meal at a local Bouchons, traditional bistros where you can devour a delicious meal such as the local sausages, roast pork or duck pâté, or the more unusual dishes of tripe, bone marrow, donkey snout, and pork offal sausage, to name just a few.

Day Two

Start your day with a stroll through, Old Town – Quartier Saint-Jean, which is the place to discover the city's Old World ambience. Wander the charming streets and explore the many traditional restaurants, shops and cafes.

Make your way to Hôtel de Gadagne at the Place du Petit Collège. This magnificent 15th-century mansion houses two excellent museums. The Musée d'Histoire de Lyon (History Museum) illustrates the history of the city-from antiquity through the Middle Ages and Renaissance up to the 20th century. From here take a stroll up the Fourvière hill, to the Notre Dame de Fourvière church and the site of Lyon’s oldest Roman settlement.
Escape the city and unwind in the city’s largest park, Le Parc de la Tête d’Or. Enjoy a lunch time picnic by the lake or take a walk along paths lined with hundred year old trees to the Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Influenced by the style of an English garden, Le Parc de la Tête d’Or is the largest urban park in France and includes many trails for biking, jogging, and activities for the whole family. 
Delight in an upscale gourmet meal at the renowned three-star Paul Bocuse Restaurant (40 Quai de la Plage), widely considered to be the best restaurant in France. You will soon discover why Lyon is regarded as having the best cuisine in France.
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