1. Explore the secret passageways of Vieux-Lyon and Croix-Rousse
Lyon is known for its narrow passageways, les traboules. These secret passages can be found in between buildings, passing through courtyards and connect parallel streets with one another. Les traboules can be found in the neighborhoods of Vieux-Lyon and Croix-Rousse by those curious enough to look for them!
Lyon has witnessed over 2000 years of history and has since 1998 been on UNESCO's World Heritage. In the elder part of town, Vieux-Lyon, it is impossible not to feel the presence of history when visiting the Roman theater at Fourvière Hill or walking through the narrow renaissance-streets. Don't forget to pass by the old silk weaving mills in the Croix-Rousse district and the squares and monuments of Presqu'île. There's no better way to the secrets of the city, than with a local guide that knows all of the best places and stories!
2. Taste the specialties at a local "Bouchon"
For a taste of the local cuisine, you need to visit one of the famous local « Bouchon » restaurants. Here you can try salade Lyonnaise, a salad with bacon and eggs, or cervelle de canut, which means "silk weaver's brain," and is simply a fresh cheese with herbs. To be sure to find a good "Bouchon" look for restaurants with the label "Bouchon Lyonnais," as they are praised for their special traditional cuisine and often serve "mâchons," typical breakfast meals.
Lyon is known as the capital of gastronomy and the home of Paul Bocuse. With over 4.000 restaurants, there is more than enough to choose from and something for everyone, from gastronomical Michelin-restaurants to traditional brasseries and modern bistros with new and innovative dishes crafted by young chefs.
3. Trace the first film creators' footsteps
In the district of Monplaisir, you can discover Rue du Premier film that was featured in the "La Sortie des Usines Lumière", the first film ever made. Just a few steps you'll find the filmmakers old home, where you can dive into the history of the Lumière-brothers, Auguste and Louis, and their journey towards their greatest invention: the cinematograph, the motion-picture camera which could both record film and project it.
In Lyon, you can also discover great masterpieces at Musée des Beaux-Arts, located in an old convent, or you can visit the old estate housing the textile museum, Musée des Tissus. There are about 20 different museums, all accessible with the Lyon City Card.
4. Spot celebrities on the street walls of Lyon
Along the Saône-river you can spot famous celebrities on their balconies – but be aware there are trompe l'oeil paintings. The paintings on the facades of the houses celebrate 31 historical persons from Lyon. Look out for Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and his Little Prins, and the Lumiére-brothers. Can you spot them?
Lyon is one big museum under the blue sky. When strolling through the streets a poetic story of the city and its citizens' history is told through the murals and the surprising Trompe-l'oeuil scattered around the urban landscape.
5. Fêtes des Lumières on December 8th
On December 8th there is an old tradition of the citizens lighting candles in their windows. This tradition is carried on by the annual light festival, Fêtes des Lumières, where people from all corners of the world visit Lyon to experience four festive nights in a city beautifully lit by different light installations.
Lyon is known for its stunning night lights. All year around many of the city's buildings and monuments are lit up, as night falls, creating a romantic and magical atmosphere.