Renowned for its culinary speciality, historic scene and cultural treasures, a trip to Lyon is well worth the visit. The largest city in France and the centre of the second biggest metropolitan area in the nation is also well-known for being the birthplace of cinema. Even though it is an extremely important metropolis in France, it is still largely undiscovered due to other popular destinations such as Paris, Nice and Cannes who are the center of attention.
Take your own time to explore the city and cherish the many artistic and historic attractions that come your way. This ancient metropolis goes as far back as the Roman times and even today Lyon is brimming with old ruins, medieval quarters and splendid Renaissance homes. The quaint villages and the charming neighborhoods of the town reflect a delightful old-world charm that is remarkably missing in the uber-modern cities of today.
Feel free to get lost amidst the maze of the colorful Qauartier Saint-Jean to explore the rustic feel of the Old Town. Stroll around the medieval quarter north of the cathedral brimming with narrow cobblestone lanes and quiet little courtyards. Walk past Rue du Boeuf and the Place Neuve Saint-Jean, a beautiful square packed with traditional restaurants. Be sure to visit two renowned museums such as the History Museum - discussing the history of the city from the antiquity to the Middle Ages and Renaissance up to the 20th century and the Puppet Museum exhibiting marionettes from all over the planet.
The majestic Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere was built between 1872 and 1884 and dominates the cityscape of Lyon.Due to its mixture of architectural-styles, the religious shrine has earned a nickname - the upside-down elephant. Drop by at Lyon Cathedral - a Roman Catholic Cathedral that was erected between the late 12th and 15th centuries. The stunning holy abode represents a beautiful transition from Roman to Gothic architecture.
Visit Lyon City Hall, built in 1646 and is one of the biggest historic buildings in the city. In this metropolis, silk was the main industry for centuries. Maison des Canuts is both a museum of silk weaving as well as a co-operative that was that was formed to retain the traditions of the industry and to sell its own designs. Housing a signficant collection of historical textiles and contains several examples of the renowned Jacquard loom. Visitors can go on a guided tour narrated by authentic canuts (Lyonnais silk weavers), this museum provides a fascinating enlightenment into the silk industry.
Some of the museums worth visiting are: Lyon Museum of fine arts (collection of Ancient Greek and Egyptian arts & civilizations as well as sculptures and paintings from the Middle Ages to the Present Day), Center for the History of the Resistance and Deportation (talks about Lyon's role during WWII), Museum of Miniature and Cinema (exhibits miniature scenes and models, several of which have used as film sets), Lumiere Museum (displaying cinema's beginnings), Gallo-Roman Museum (collections include a series of inscriptions, statues, mosaics, sarcophagi and everyday objects from Gallo-Roman life) and Textiles and Decorative Arts museum (impressive collection of over 1,000 textile samples from both Eastern and Western civilizations).
When it comes to shopping, head over to Rue Saint Jean in Vieux Lyon to pick interesting souvenirs such as leather goods, furniture and jewellery as well as Lyonnais silk and fabrics. As for cuisine, do try out Rosette de Lyon - a cured saucisson or French pork sausage, prepared from leg of pork and generally served in chunky slices or dig into Lyonnaise potatoes - a French delicacy prepared with pan-fried potatoes and thinly sliced onions, sauteed in butter parsley.
The stay options in Lyon is abundant with the best luxury hotels, private apartments and cheap accommodations available for the tourist to decide which kind to opt for depending on his budget and preferences. The city experiences temperate oceanic climate. The best time to visit the metropolis would be during spring and autumn months as the temperatures are pleasant.