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Things to do in Lyon

Catch a performance at the majestic Opera de Lyon

A striking city landmark, Opera de Lyon's (tel: +33 4 6985 5454; www.opera-lyon.com) 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.

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; www.museedesconfluences.fr), a shimmering glass and metal cloud of a building. Perched between the Saône and Rhône, the futuristic space is a curio of human history.

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; www.institut-lumiere.org) tells the history of moving pictures and the first use of colour photography.

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; www.mba-lyon.fr) 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.

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 (www.villagedescreateurs.com/home) are blossoming as design hubs.

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Featured Hotels

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Cour des Loges

Immaculate contemporary interiors within restored Renaissance buildings make this hotel very special. Lush fabrics, enormous beds and meticulous service combine to fine effect.

Radisson Blu Hotel

A stones throw from the Atheneum in the heart of Bucharest, the 5-Star Radisson Blu Hotel offers guests an all mod con experience. This 487-room business hotel, complete with indoor and outdoor pools, international restaurants, jogging track, meeting rooms and Wi-Fi throughout, is a great base from which to explore the city.

Collège Hôtel

Located in the heart of Lyon's old town, Collège Hôtel is a fashionable school-themed hotel with school desks, blackboards and a refectory. The preppy décor makes some concessions to modernity - rooms are bright and airy and there's Wi-Fi access. Breakfast is extra.

Hôtel des Artistes

This small hotel has a long history of housing singers and actors performing next door at the Théâtre des Celestins. Rooms can be on the small side, but the staff are friendly and the location central. Breakfast is extra.

Globe et Cecil Hôtel

This tasteful, elegant hotel is situated right in the historic centre. Modern features like Wi-Fi access blend seamlessly with the charming décor. The 60 rooms are individually decorated.

Hôtel Dubost

This 2-star hotel is a good option for budget travellers. It's close to the station, clean and inexpensive.