Things to do in Lyon

Learn of Lyon’s reel history

The silver screen is a serious art form in France and Lyon is the home of cinema’s earliest pioneers, the Lumiere brothers. Using film and artefacts, the Institut Lumiere (tel: +33 4 7878 1895; tells the history of moving pictures and the first use of colour photography.

Explore human history in a beautiful modern building

Serious investment in Lyon’s docklands has resulted in an area reinvigorated and its jewel is the Musee Des Confluences (tel: +33 4 2838 1190;, a shimmering glass and metal cloud of a building. Perched between the Saône and Rhône, the futuristic space is a curio of human history.

Peek behind the closed doors of Vieux Lyon

France’s largest medieval town brims with Renaissance architecture and makes no secret of its UNESCO listing. It’s hiding something though; nudge a closed door and you may reveal a traboule (passageway). Once shortcuts to the river, the likes of Passage Thiffait ( are blossoming as design hubs.

Catch a performance at the majestic Opera de Lyon

A striking city landmark, Opera de Lyon’s (tel: +33 4 6985 5454; neoclassical facade is all the more stunning for the modern, semi-cylindrical glass roof structure. Only the grand foyer remains of the former theatre, but inside is a beautiful, contemporary space fitting for operatic performances.

Look around Lyon's mini Louvre

With work by Rubens, Monet and Gauguin, it’s little wonder the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Lyon (tel: +33 4 7210 1740; is affectionately known as the mini-Louvre. Such endearment does the museum a little disservice; this is an exceptional gallery in a beautiful, former Benedictine convent.

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