Lyon, the Gastronomic Capital of France, is not only a paradise for food-lovers, it is also one of Europe's most photogenic cities. Well connected to Paris and the south of France thanks to the country's sophisticated high-speed railway network, the city features a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was originally known for its successful silk industry.
What to see:
A superlative example of Roman Catholic architecture, the building of Lyon Cathedral began in the 12th century, although the church was not completed into 300 years later. Inside, you can observe the incredibly well preserved Lyon astronomical clock, which was created in the 14th century and was restored in the 1950s.
Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon)
Immerse yourself in the Renaissance era by visiting Vieux Lyon, which is the oldest district in the city and contains many fine landmarks dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries, as well as numerous Gothic Revival buildings. Vieux Lyon is also the location of the cathedral, and is divided into the three neighbourhoods of Saint Georges, Saint Jean and Saint Paul.
The Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon
Showcasing many outstanding ancient, medieval and contemporary artworks from distinguished artists such as Renoir, Rembrandt and Poussin, the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon is one of France's most visited exhibition venues. The museum, which was established more than two centuries ago, is in a former convent and overlooks the majestic Place des Terreaux.
Another handsome square, Place Bellecour is one of Lyon's most important public spaces and France's third largest square. Numerous special events take place here throughout the year, including a pétanque contest at Pentecost and an ice-rink in the colder months.
Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
Despite its 19th-century origins, the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière has the appearance of a much older medieval building, and features attractive Byzantine and Romanesque architecture. The large church, which is one of the most visible landmarks in Lyon, was designed by the eminent architect Pierre Bosan, who was famous for his ecclesiastical style and designed the Église Sainte-Anne (Sainte-Anne Church), among other historic buildings in Lyon.
If you're a lover of authentic French dishes, there's no denying that you'll be spoilt for choice in this city. Popular French-themed restaurants near Lyon hotels include Le Poivron Bleu, Archange, Au 14 Fevrier Vieux Lyon, le Danton, Le Gourmet de Seze and Le Musee, although there are hundreds of other fantastic venues to consider. For some delicious Japanese dishes, head to Miko Sushi, or enjoy some delightful Thai food at the Chee is Thai restaurant.
For an affordable hotel with stylish furnishings, book a room at the Ibis Styles Lyon La Part-Dieu or the Mercure Lyon La Part Dieu. For a luxurious, charismatic venue with a truly romantic touch, consider the Cour des Loges or the Hotel Crowne Plaza Lyon - Cite Internationale.
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