The Rhone and Saone Rivers meander through beautiful Lyon, the second-largest city in France. Lyon has such an abundance of well-preserved Middle Ages, Renaissance and Roman architecture that the entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From buildings, monuments and squares with Baroque and neoclassical grandeur to narrow medieval homes on cobblestones streets and ancient Roman ruins, this beautiful city has a surprise around every corner.
Lyon is famous for its silk production, with most tourists stopping to buy a luxurious scarf, tie or blouse before they leave. Another huge drawcard is the food scene: the city is considered to be France’s capital of gastronomy. Many of the world’s top chefs trained in here, and you can choose between many Michelin-starred restaurants to dine on sophisticated fare. Lyon is also filled with popular eateries called ‘bouchons’ that serve traditional cuisine at modest prices.
At the base of Lyon, the Rhone River and the Saone River converge. As the natural intersection of the Mediterranean coast and northern Europe, countless cruise ships from multiple locations dock in Lyon, and hundreds of thousands of tourists explore this stylish city of silk and gastronomy every year.
Most cruise ships dock on the Rhone’s east bank at the Quai Claude Bernard near the University of Lyon.
Facilities near the ports in Lyon include:
- Tourist information centres
- Public toilets
- Restaurants and cafés
- Souvenir stores
- Bank and ATMs
- Medical centre and pharmacy
- Post office.
How To Get Around
Lyon is lovely to stroll through thanks to its long riverside promenades, and, even though it is a little hilly, the town is easily navigated on foot. Bicycles are available for hire and are an excellent way to take in the town. The public transport network comprises buses, trams, two funiculars and four metro lines. Tickets can be purchased on-board buses and trams or at machines outside metro stations. Tickets are valid on all forms of transport and a Lyon City Card allows you to ride any form of transport free for one, two or three days.
Travel times from the Quai Claude Bernard:
- It is a 26 minute journey to Vieux Lyon
- It is a 28 minute journey to Gare de Lyon la Part-Dieu (the main train station in Lyon).
- It is an 8 minute journey to Vieux Lyon
- It is an 11 minute journey to Gare de Lyon la Part-Dieu (the main train station in Lyon)
- It is a 18 minute journey to Lacroix-Laval Green Park
- It is a 33 minute journey to the Roman Theatres of Fourviere.
- It is a 12 minute journey to Vieux Lyon
- It is a 15 minute journey to Gare de Lyon la Part-Dieu (the main train station in Lyon).
Currency – The currency in Lyon is the Euro (€). Notes come in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500 denominations. Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and €1 and €2 denominations.
Time Zone – The clocks in Lyon are set to Central European Time (CET), which is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) or two hours ahead between March and October (daylight savings).
Weather – Lyon’s climate is a mix between a temperate oceanic climate and a warm continental climate, with warm summers and mild winters. July is the hottest month in Lyon, with temperatures averaging at 22 degrees Celsius. January is the coolest month, with temperatures averaging at 3 degrees Celsius.
Vieux Lyon – At the foot of Fourviere Hill sits the picture-postcard pretty Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon). As the medieval centre of Lyon, you’ll find narrow cobblestone streets and more than 300 spectacularly restored Renaissance and Middle Ages houses. The area begins at the Palais de Justice (Law Courts) and encompasses three districts: St-Paul to the north, St-Jean in the middle and St-Georges to the south. Don’t miss the Rue Juiverie where you’ll spot gargoyles and carved stone characters sitting on the window ledges.
Lacroix-Laval Green Park – This massive park is a lush mix of hilly meadows and forests, sculptured French and English gardens, greenhouses, kitchen gardens and rambling natural spaces across 250 acres of land. You’ll find kilometres of walking paths, a sensory walk for the blind and a two-kilometre fitness trail. The 16th century château at the Park features exhibits on the flora and fauna that grow and live there, an environmental awareness program and a display on forest craft. More than 700 varieties of plants from five continents are grown at the Park, and its extensive grounds are a pleasure to stroll for hours.
Place des Terreaux – In the centre of Lyon on the peninsula between the Rhone River and the Saone River sits a beautiful square called the Place des Terreaux. The square’s most stunning feature is its lead fountain sculpted by Bartholdi, the creator of the Statue of Liberty. The 21-tonne fountain features a chariot pulled by four horses to symbolise the rivers of France racing towards the sea.