France's third city has plenty to offer the visitor from outstanding museums to vibrant nightclubs and from a rich architectural heritage to upmarket dining and shopping. Take in the finest collection of fine art and sculpture outside Paris at the Musée de Beaux-Arts. Go shopping at the largest mall in Europe, La Parte Dieu. Catch some jazz at the Opera House or stroll the city's historic quarter.
Lyon's historic old core is an attractive place to wander and the area is dominated by the 15th-century Gothic Lyon Cathedral which has wonderful stained glass windows. Don't miss the medieval and Renaissance buildings that line Rue du Boeuf, Rue St-Jean and Rue de Trois Mairies.
Join a guided tour and discover the Traboules, narrow passages that connect streets in the old town, many normally inaccessible which can hide lovely courtyards and 16th-century stone staircases. Step back even further in time at Lyon's Roman amphitheatre, built around 15 BC, which could seat 10,000. Find out more about the history of film at the Institut Lumière on the site of the factory where the Lumière brothers invented cinematography. You can also see a screening there.
Top of any itinerary is the Musée de Beaux-Arts which includes works by Rodin, Rubens, Rembrandt, Matisse and Picasso. Try to find time to visit Musée Gadagne, an international puppet museum and a museum of the history of the city of Lyon which is housed in a magnificent Renaissance palace. Or explore what life was like in Lyon under occupation at the Centre d'Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation, the Gestapo headquarters at that time.
And in the evening, see a film at one of a number of cinemas such as the CNP at Bellecour where foreign language films are shown in their original language, or Comoedia. Lyon also has a number of theatres. The Opera House hosts dance shows and concerts, especially jazz. You can also hear Lyon National Orchestra at the Auditorium or see a puppet show at Théâtre Le Guignol de Lyon.
With more than 1,800 places to eat Lyon offers something to suit every taste and pocket. Lyon has 16 Michelin-starred restaurants, the doyen of which is three-starred Paul Bocuse. But the city also specialises in Bouchons, small, informal family run places that offer limited, changing menus. Try Café Comptoir Abel or Le Musée in the former Hôtel de Ville. And those in search of a typical French café philosphique are directed to Café de la Cloche on the slopes of the Croix-Russes.
Enjoy free summer concerts under the Opera's arches, anything from swing to blues, and jazz to funk. Arrive early for a table. Step aboard popular barge bar La Marquise for all-night shows and DJs playing jazz, techno and hip-hop. For nightclub action try Le Sucre in Quai Rambaud.
For upmarket shopping head to Rue de la Republique or sample Le Puces du Canal flea market in Villerurbanne with over 400 stalls.
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|Food and beverages||Prices average|
|Beer (0.5 liter)||£2.00|
|Meal at McDonald's||£7.00|
|Water (0.33 liter)||£1.00|
|Taxi starting price (normal tariff)||£2.00|
|1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M,...)||£36.00|
|1 pair of jeans (Levi's 501 or similar)||£76.00|
|Average monthly disposable salary (net)||£1,655.00|