The City of Lyon and What to Visit

Everything you need to know for our 2023 conference !

Welcome to Lyon, for a very nice and inspiring stay!

To describe Lyon, it is difficult to know where to start and where to end. It may take a lifetime to discover everything about this city, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

View of Lyon city during sunrise, France

Going around the city, we cross the centuries and even millennia, we can see almost all the architectural styles ranging from antiquity (Gallo-Roman theater of Fourvière), the districts of the Middle Ages (Abbey of Ainay) and the Renaissance (Saint-Georges, Saint-Jean), the old workers’ quarters of the 19th century (Croix-Rousse where lived the “canuts” weavers), the 20th century (Gratte-Ciel Villeurbanne),  to contemporary districts (Confluence with its museum). And there are many other places to see. Two rivers cross it, the Rhône and the Saône. In good weather, the Alps and the Mont Blanc massif are visible to the naked eye from one or the other of its hills. Take time to explore!

Here are some activities ideas:

Historical Lyon

Three districts are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites


A preserved sector, the Vieux-Lyon district is one of the largest Renaissance quarters in Europe, together with Venice. The famous “traboules” (from the Latin transambulare) are passageways that allow people to cross directly from one street to another through inner courtyards. They were created to facilitate pedestrian traffic. As they move through these traboules, visitors discover a unique and unexpected architectural heritage of galleries and spiral staircases.

The city centre

Between the Saône and Rhône rivers, called the Presqu’île (Peninsula), the city centre has always been the heart of busy activity around the neighbourhood’s businesses, shops, bookstores and theatres.
Charming squares and prestigious buildings are present all around the district.


This is the Silk district. Silk workers, known as “Canuts”, used to occupy buildings that were designed to house imposing handlooms and the new machines invented by Jacquard.
A lively, atypical district that has carried on the silk-working tradition in a few weaving workshops and has opened itself up to design and new trends.

Lyon, urban and contemporary

The Confluence district

The musée des Confluences, a monumental and emblematic building is the new cultural centre in Lyon. There are numerous options for the layout of events.

The Part-Dieu district

The Incity Tower stands in the Part-Dieu district, close to the famous “Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse”. The tower has become the new reference point on Lyon’s skyline with its 200m height.

Gourmet Lyon

World capital of gastronomy

Lyon is the world capital of gastronomy since 1935. Enjoy!

The art of gastronomy

Around each table, Lyon has countless ways, ranging from traditional to inventive, of showcasing the treasures of its local country fare.
You will find a real symphony of flavours and colours as you stroll through outdoor markets with their sweet scents, or through Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, a permanent covered market.
There are more than 4,000 restaurants in Lyon, several of which have earned stars in the Michelin Guide.
The most typical of course, are the traditional bouchons, which only exist in Lyon!


The word “bouchon” dates back to the stagecoach era when inns serving wine were recognised by a sheaf of straw that they hung on their signs. Thus, while their horses were being wiped down, coachmen were invited to have a drink.

Lyon, river city of confluence

Lyon is at the confluence of two rivers, the Rhône and the Saône, during the day and at night, the rivers bring a special, gentle atmosphere to the Lyon riverbanks.

The banks of the Rhône

The banks of the Rhône, which connect the Parc de la Tête d’Or to the Parc de Gerland, have been transformed into a 5km “green lane”. Along the river, there are play areas, a botanical trail, a safe cycling lane, roller skates, promenades and wooden piers, with terraces and riverboat restaurants. They offer a real alternative to motorised transport.

The banks of the Saône

The aim of this ambitious project is to reclaim almost 50km of river banks (25km on each bank). This new development reveals a strikingly varied landscape.


Boats are an alternative way for visitors to explore the city, either along the Saône, to L’île Barbe, or along the Rhône, passing by the confluence.


Past and present, there’s so much to see!

Where should you begin? And what should you see to make sure you don’t miss anything essential?
Well, first there’s the museums, lively living spaces devoted to discovering and sharing different cultures, and very much open to the requirements of different types of visitors.
The main museums and their temporary exhibitions are included in the Lyon City Card.
Shopping and designers in Lyon

Historic capital of silk, textile and jewellery

While the Presqu’île district is the place to go for the big brands and luxurious establishments, Part-Dieu remains, with its 280 shops, France’s second largest city centre shopping mall. There is also the Confluence Shopping and Leisure centre in the heart of the Confluence district, with 70 shops and 21 restaurants.

Lyon reveals its brand names

For visitors looking for unusual shopping experiences, facets of fashion! The Village is designed around a large traboule on the slopes of Croix-Rousse, Passage Thiaffait, and brings together young designers who design exceptional collections, one-offs or very limited editions.

Paradise for antique hunters

Known for its art trades and silk-tradesmen, Lyon has over 200 antique stores, the majority of which are concentrated in the second district.
Likewise, for “early-bird” bargain hunters, Les Puces du Canal, France’s second largest flea market, and its 400 traders welcome 500,000 visitors a year, on a site covering more than 10,000 sqm.


Note: The information give here have been taken from the Lyon tourism office website – please visit  to read more.