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Things to see in Lyon

Tourist Offices

Lyon Tourism and Conventions Bureau

Address: 2nd, Place Bellecour - BP 2254, Lyon, 69214
Telephone: +33 4 7277 6969.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-1800.

Website: http://www.en.lyon-france.com

Lyon's handy main tourist office can supply maps, guides and directions and will help with hotel booking and more. Staff are friendly and fluent in English.

Tourist passes

The Lyon City Card is valid for one, two or three days. This card allows free and unlimited use of the city's public transport, free access to over 20 museums, temporary exhibitions and the Biennial of Contemporary Art. It also includes guided and audio guided tours, an unusual visit to the rooftops of the Fourvière Basilica, access to the Observatory Tower of Fourvière and river cruises (from April to October). Cards are sold at the tourist office, many hotels, and Lyon TCLagencies (public transport offices).

Attractions

Basilique de Notre Dame de Fourvière

The Basilica of Fourvière dominates Lyon. It is situated on top of the hill where the Romans first set up camp and it is visible from almost any point in the city centre. The basilica was inaugurated in 1896 and represents a somewhat chaotic mixture of styles and materials. Even though it has been much criticised for its rather confusing architecture (and has been given nicknames like 'the upside-down elephant'), it remains an important focal point in the lives of the Lyonnais. The adjoining esplanade gives a panoramic view of Lyon's different quarters.

Address: 2nd, 8 Place de Fourvière, Lyon, 69005
Telephone: +33 4 7825 8098.
Opening times:

Daily 0800-1900 (except during mass)

Website: http://www.fourviere.org
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Cathédrale St-Jean

This beautiful cathedral is situated at the foot of the Fourvière Hill. It was built between the late 12th and 15th centuries, on the remains of a fifth-century church, offering a perfect illustration of the transition from Roman to gothic architecture. The crypt provides the opportunity to see the foundations of the cathedral. The stone medallions and glass mosaics are worth a closer look, with some of them dating from the 14th century. The cathedral has maintained a 14th-century astronomical clock equipped with a surprisingly sophisticated system of automatons.

Address: 2nd, 8 place St-Jean, Lyon, 69005
Telephone: +33 4 7842 1104.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0815-1945, Sat 0815-1900, Sun 0800-1900.

Website: http://www.cathedrale-lyon.cef.fr
Admission Fees:

No.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

Known as 'little Louvre', Lyon's museum of fine arts offers a complete retrospective of Ancient Greek and Egyptian arts and civilisations, as well as sculptures and paintings from the Middle Ages to the present day. An overview of European painting from the 14th century to the second half of the 20th is on display, with works from artists such as Manet, Monet, Picasso, Renoir, Léger, Matisse and many others, including Lyonnais painters. The museum is housed in the former Abbey of the Ladies of St-Pierre, a Benedictine convent whose origins stretch back to the seventh century.

Address: 2nd, 20 place des Terreaux, Lyon, 69001
Telephone: +33 4 7210 1740.
Opening times:

Wed-Thurs 1000-1230 and 1400-1800, Fri 1030-1230 and 1400-1800, Sat-Mon 1000-1230 and 1400-1800.

Website: http://www.mba-lyon.fr
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Musée des Miniatures et Décors de Cinema

Located in the heart of the Renaissance district in Old Lyon, this unique museum displays miniature scenes and models, many of which have been used as film sets. For anyone who likes model villages, dolls' houses or anything that's miniaturised, it's manna from heaven here.

Address: 2nd, 60 rue St Jean, Lyon, 69005
Telephone: +33 4 7200 2477.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 1000-1830, Sat-Sun 100-1900.

Website: http://www.museeminiatureetcinema.fr
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Centre d'Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation (CHRD)

This well-designed museum puts Lyon's role during WWII into context. Ironically, it's located in the former headquarters of the Gestapo, where the local leader, Klaus Barbie (known as the 'Butcher of Lyon'), tortured or killed his victims and sent thousands of others to concentration camps. The curators of the permanent exhibition have made a conscious effort to illustrate the somewhat ambiguous position of France during its occupation while also portraying the importance of Lyon as a centre of organised French resistance.

Address: 3rd, 14 avenue Berthelot, Lyon, 69007
Telephone: +33 4 7872 2311.
Opening times:

Wed-Sun 1000-1800.

Website: http://www.chrd.lyon.fr
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Hôtel de Ville (City Hall)

Lyon City Hall's original structure, built in 1646, was Louis XIII in style, however, later embellishments made the outside more elaborate and Italianate, with sculptured pediments and domes gracing the pavilions. The interior, with its extravagant baroque-style décor, is the result of 19th-century renovation. Highlights include Thomas Blachet's 17th-century allegorical frescoes and the most impressive room, the Grand Salon. However, the great staircase is the unmistakable centrepiece and visitors should look up at the vaulted ceiling celebrating 'L'éternité de la gloire de Lyon' ('The eternal glory of Lyon'). The bell tower is also remarkable, with three of the original 1675 bells and a 20th-century carillon. The tourist office can organise tours of Hôtel de Ville, but they are in French. Group visits only.

Address: 1st, 1 place de la Comédie, Lyon, 69001
Telephone: +33 4 7210 3030.
Opening times:

Tours Thu 1000 (in French).

Website:
Admission Fees:

No.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Musée Lumière

This museum, showcasing cinema's beginnings, is housed in the Institut Lumière, the home of the famous Lumière brothers Louis and Auguste who moved to Lyon in 1870 and shot the first reels of the world's first motion picture, La Sortie des Usines Lumières (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory), in 1895. Programmes include film screenings, exhibitions and heritage conservation projects.

Address: 8th, 25 rue du Premier-Film, Lyon, 69352
Telephone: +33 4 7878 1895.
Opening times:

Tues-Sun 1000-1830.

Website: http://www.institut-lumiere.org
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Musées des Tissus et des Arts Décoratifs (Textiles and Decorative Arts Museums)

Since 1946, this museum has been situated in a 17th-century mansion, which used to be the residence of the Governor of Lyon. The museum houses a remarkable collection of over 1,000 textile samples from both Eastern and Western civilisations, throughout the ages, and tells the story of textiles, with particular focus on silk-manufacturing from the Renaissance to the present day. It also charts the development of Lyon as the European silk capital.

Address: 2nd, 34 rue de la Charité, Lyon, 69002
Telephone: +33 4 7838 4200.
Opening times:

Tues-Sun 1000-1730.

Website: http://www.musee-des-tissus.com
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Maison des Canuts (Silk Weavers' House)

Maison des Canuts is both a museum of silk weaving and a co-operative created to preserve the traditions of the industry and to sell its own designs. It has an important collection of historical textiles and houses examples of the famous Jacquard loom. With a guided tour narrated by authentic canuts (Lyonnais silk weavers), this museum offers a fascinating insight into the silk industry.

Address: 4th, 10-12 rue d'Ivry, Lyon, 69004
Telephone: +33 4 7828 6204.
Opening times:

Tues-Sat 1000-1800 (guided tours at 1100 and 1530).

Website: http://www.maisondescanuts.com
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Musée Gallo-Romain de Fourvière

On the archaeological site of Fourvière, this museum contains the richest excavation collections from Gaul after the National Museum of St-Germain-en-Laye. The museum was built around the remains of the archaeological site, partly underground, with subterranean passages connecting the various exhibits. Its collection comes primarily from discoveries made in Lyon and throughout the Rhône-Alpes region. Of special interest are the extraordinary series of inscriptions, statues, mosaics, sarcophagi and everyday objects from Gallo-Roman life. One of the museum's most prized possessions is the Claudius Tablet, which contains fragments of a speech made by Emperor Claudius in front of the Roman Senate.

Address: 5th, 17 rue Cléberg, Lyon, 69005
Telephone: +33 4 7238 4930.
Opening times:

Tues-Sun 1000-1800.

Website: http://www.musees-gallo-romains.com
Admission Fees:

Yes (except for Thursdays).

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

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