Lyon city guide
We love Lyon.
In fact we love it so much we compiled a guide to the best things to do, see, eat and experience in our home city.
To make this list we asked, well, everyone. We asked our Core Team, we asked our volunteers, we asked everyone we knew who was familiar with Lyon. Below you’ll find the results: Lyon’s finest attractions from restaurants serving the famous cuisine Lyonnaise to world renowned sites of historical significance.
We hope you enjoy this guide and the recommendations within. We are positive that by the end of your stay, you’ll love Lyon every bit as much as us.
One of our favourite spots, this cosy cafe comes complete with a comprehensive collection of cats to compliment your coffee. You will find an unrivalled selection of teas and a broad choice of coffee, making this the perfect place to spend a spare hour in the company of Lyon's most adorable felines.
16 rue du Gal Plessier - 69002 Lyon
Le Mouton Danse
Le Mouton Danse specialises in variety, with a hearty selection of French and international gourmet. They also offer a unique twist on a French tradition: biologically produced wine.
33 Rue de la Thibaudière, 69007 Lyon
Dining Cruise - Lyon City Boat
Departing from the quais du Rhône, this two and a half hour tour will take you past several IxDA venues including La Sucrière and Musée des Confluences before retreating north to take in the sights of the city and the mysterious Ile Barbe. Reservations required.
13Bis Quai Rambaud, 69002 Lyon
Daniel et Denise
A traditional Lyonnais bouchon, Daniel et Denise specialises in traditional French fare prepared "like Grandma used to make." Their pasta gratin commands a legion of fans across the city
156 Rue de Créqui, 69003 Lyon
Part of Toques Lyonnais, an association of local chefs committed to promoting the excellence of French cuisine, this elegant dining spot is a perfect way to experience the delights of classic French cuisine.
8 Rue du Plâtre, 69001 Lyon
A fantastic bisto in the heart of Vieux Lyon, bursting with character and a healthy dose of Lyonnaise charm. Delicious starters, luxuriantly rich mains and a varied selection of gateaux á la maison make for an easy recommendation.
56 Rue Mercière, 69002 Lyon
It may have lost its Michellin star but L'alexandrin remains a highlight of Lyon's gastronomic landscape. The seven dish vegetarian tasting menu even tempted one of our Core Team to give up meat entirely.
83 Rue Moncey, 69003 Lyon
The bao, traditional Chinese steamed buns, are a difficult dish to perfect but Bistro Zakka have cracked it. Enjoy fresh bao, guabao and other Chinese street food in modernist setting.
5 Rue d'Aguesseau, 69007 Lyon
A perfect spot for coffee or a light lunch, Les Cafetiers boasts tasty food, homemade cakes and a quaint courtyard perfect for taking in l'air de Lyon.
36 Rue Ferrandière 69002 Lyon
Situated in the stunning art-deco suburb of Villeurbanne, Loop's Pub comes with a warm atmosphere, good pub food and a wide selection of on-tap beers.
40 Avenue Henri Barbusse, 69100
La Boîte à Café
Serving only their home roasted coffee, this charming boutique café on the outskirts of the trendy Croix Rousse quartier is a regular haunt for many locals.
3 Rue de l'Abbé Rozier 69001 Lyon
Perfect eclairs, mille feuille and other classics of French bakery. With a great selection of teas, bread and even gluten free pralines, this is an ideal spot for a lunchtime treat.
123 Rue de Sèze, 69006 Lyon
Nestled in the idyllic quartier of Croix Rousse, L'instant is perfect place to shake off those post-Saturday night jitters. The €22 Sunday brunch includes a varied selection of fruit, meats, bread and pastries
3 Pl. Bertone, 69004 Lyon
Quenelle, creamed fish poached and served with sauce mousseline, has long been a staple of Lyonnaise cuisine and Café Abel continues to serve the finest examples in the city.
25 Rue Guynemer, 69002 Lyon
One of the world's first freestanding opera houses, the original Opera de Lyon opened its doors in 1756. It was replaced as Lyon's cultural heart by the Lyon theatre in 1831 and it was not until 1985 that it was reimagined as the building we known today. Worth a visit for the stunning contemporary redesign as much as its performances, the Opera is once again on the top of Lyon's must see list.
1 place de la comédie 69001 Lyon
Seen by many as the centrepiece of the city, the magnificent basillica Notre Dame de Fourviere watches over the city from the hill named in its honour. You can admire the stunning Byzantine and Romanesque inspired designs of the church itself before marvelling over some of the best views of Lyon.
8 Place de Fourvière, 69005 Lyon
Rhone walks / Saone walks
Lyon is defined by its rivers, both of which afford some magnificent walking trails. From a tour through the burgeoning district of Confluence to a modern trail past the recently reinvigorated banks of the Rhône, spending some time with the twin waterways of Lyon is always time well spent
Berges du Rhône
The Ile Barbe
A charming escape from Lyon's metropolitan pace, the tiny Ile Barbe is a throwback to simpler times and the perfect place for theraputic wandering.
Place Bellecour is the heart of the city. One of the largest open plazas in Europe, this enormous space plays host to innumeral events throughout the year.
Place Bellecour, 69002 Lyon
Ever see a local emerge from a seemingly locked door, or disappear down a strange alley? These are the Traboules, Lyon's secret pathways. Winding their way through the city, there are over 400 colourful passages, each one unique. Finding them is half the fun.
Some examples ?
At the centre of Interaction Week 18 is the stunning Musée des Confluence. Built in 2014 and modelled after the city of Lyon itself, the building holds 4 permanent and 5 temporary exhibitions. A must see.
86 Quai Perrache, 69002 Lyon
Musée des Tissus et des Arts décoratifs
With a history dating back to the 19th century, the Musée des Tissus and Musée des Art Décoratifs showcase Lyon's storied history of silk making. Hosting many exhibtions as well as events and sympsiums, this delightful museum comes highly recommended.
34 Rue de la Charité, 69002 Lyon
Lyon's began as the Roman trade hub Lugdunum, and a surprising amount of that ancient city remains. On top of Fourviere Hill lies an almost fully intact Roman ampitheatre and the contemporary Musée Roman, housing the best finds from the archeaological excavations.
17 Rue Cleberg, 69005 Lyon
Another in Lyon's long list of venerable churches is Cathédrale St Jean. Located in the quartier of the same name, this giant place of worship outdates the more recognisable Fourviere by almost 700 years. It also houses a work of art unique in the city: a fully functional astronomical clock created in 1598.
Place Saint-Jean, 69005 Lyon
As pay-as-you-stay cafés become more and more popular, Sofffa is one of Lyon's finest. In this uniquely bohemian space you pay only for your time. Coffee, tea, cakes...all are included in your per-hour payment.
27 rue Cavenne 69007 + 17 rue St Catherine 69001
A Serie of 4 pubs: Irish: Saint James – Scottish : Wallace – English : Elephant & Castle – Smoking Dog
Whether you're missing the atmosphere of home or looking to experience the drinking traditions of the British Isles, Vieux Lyon is the spot. Covering England, Scotland and Ireland with a wide range of beers and whiskeys, these 4 pubs are perfect places to party.
Close to Quai de Bondy
With a very extensive list of beers from the simple Kro to a long list of Belgians, this is the finest location in Lyon for beer connoisseurs.
3 Place Saint-Paul, 69005
Au 14 février
A unique proposition in Lyon: French-Japanese fusion, you'll find no menus here. Rather the chef creates the courses daily, based solely on the market produce of the day.
36 Rue du Bœuf, 69005
Les Demoiselles de Rochefort
A cosy and uniquely decorated escape from the bustle of the city, Demoiseles de Rochefort serves simple French food at attractive prices.
31 Rue René Leynaud, 69001
African food at its finest, Lyon-Dakar's Senegalese chef prepares authentic, spice-laden dishes for those looking to expand their culinary horizons.
227 Rue de Créqui, 69003
Locted in the center of the business district, here you'll discover all the flavors of Italy, including fresh pasta served directly in huge parmesan cheese blocks.
231 Rue Paul Bert, 69003
With its very own globetrotting barman, Brooklyn has quickly become a favourite amongst locals and tourists alike. Warning : closed on tuesday the 6th !
14 Rue de la Monnaie, 69002
Perfect for a spot of souvenir shopping, Dufoux produces gourmet chocolate treats from tablets to gift boxes. For those feeling extra creative, a four hour intesive chocolate making course is €80
15 Rue des Archers 69002
Pralus Lyon Presqu'île
Part of the François Pralus chocolate empire, his Lyon boutique sells chocolate made only from specially culitvated and roasted Madagascan cocoa beans.
32 Rue de Brest 69002
Halles Paul Bocuse
A must see, with a history dating back to the 19th Century, this world famous market has been called "the belly of Lyon." Sample haute cuisine from over five dozen of Lyon's finest eateries.
102 Cours Lafayette, 69003
Jardin des Curiosités
This small garden a local secret and offers some of the best views to be had in the city. From this viewpoint, the entirety of Lyon stretches below you, free from the tourist crowds of Fourviere and Croix Rousse, Highly recommended.
8 Place de l'Abbé Larue, 69005
La Menthe may be one of the smaller venues on our list, but what it lacks in space it makes up for in atmosphere. Located on one of Lyon's most vibrant streets this cosy eatery is perfect for a romantic dinner or intimate meal with friends.
15 Rue Mercière, 69002
Le Petit Grain
Traditional asiatic cuisine in the heart of Lyon. Le Petit Grain offers a limited but delicious selection of dishes, including one dish of the day and one vegetarian option alongside a small choice of mains.
19 Rue de la Charité, 69002
Pizzeria Napoli Chez Nicolo & Franco Morreale
Lyon's best take on the classic Italian pizza, and one of the most popular restaurants in the city. The Escallope Valdostano (a Milanese escalope topped with parma ham and served with spaghetti) is a special highlight. Naturally, a reservation is recommended.
45 Rue Franklin, 69002
Boulangerie Maison Drap
In a city of boulangeries, Maison Drap stands out. Situated in the middle of the bustling commercial district of Part Dieu, their bread is made in front of you in special open ovens with the resulting loaves recommended by locals and visitors alike.
223 Rue Duguesclin, 69003
So successful was Eric Kayser's signature method of breadmaking, he now owns bakeries in countries acorss the world. Made using his own invention, the Fermentolevain, this boulagenries produces a take on classic French pain unlike any other.
6 Rue de la Barre, 69002
La Cave Vavro & Co
Like stated on the sign, this venue is a literal wine cave, and bastion from the bustle of the city with friendly staff, seemingly endless wine and a good selection of whiskies to boot.
46 Cours Franklin Roosevelt, 69006
One of Lyon's many Michellin starred restaurants, Pierre Orsi is perfect for those looking to experience true haute cuisine. Booking essential.
3 Place Kléber, 69006
L'Ourson qui boit
Serving fine French food at reasonable prices, this charming locale is quickly gaining a reputation as one of Lyon's most popular up and coming culinery hot-spots.
23 Rue Royale, 69001
La Mére Brazier
The most traditional of Lyon's traditional bouchon, La Mere Brazier was established in 1926 and continues to serve the finest in traditional cuisine Lyonnaise. Reservations essential.
12 Rue Royale, 69001
Toutes les Couleurs
In a city famous for its meat Toutes les Couleurs offers an alternative with the finest in vegetarian and vegan fare. Known for its liberal use of raw ingrediants, this is a restaurant unique in Lyon.
26 Rue Imbert Colomes, 69001
A minimalist spot with delicious tasting menus, Prairial is a solid choice for contemporary, vegetarian friendly dining.
11 Rue Chavanne, 69001
The New World Smoke
American smokehouse cuisine may not traditionally be associated with Lyon, but New World Smoke is quickly becoming a favourite dining spot of the Lyonnaise. A must visit for meat lovers.
3 Rue Saint-Georges, 69005