Lyon, France

About Lyon, France

  • Population: 1.5 million
  • Distance from Paris: 290 miles
  • Distance from Geneva: 92 miles
  • Distance from Torino: 193 miles
View of the river Saône on a sunny day

View of the river Saône on a sunny day

Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998, Lyon remains an important center for French culture and history. Significant monuments include the Nôtre Dame de Fourvière and the Gallo-Roman Museum. The local theatre, Le Théàtre des Célestins, is itself an important piece of Lyonnais history situated in the center of the city. The theatre presents both locally-produced and touring performances year-round. Lyon is also a hub for cinema thanks to the Lumière brothers, Lyon natives who created the first moving picture. Their legacy endures in Lyon through the Institut Lumière where you can watch movies for an affordable price. The city holds one of the largest film festivals in France which brings directors, actors, and cinephiles from all over the world to celebrate the history of film.

Part of the attraction of Lyon is its location in the Rhône-Alpes region of France. It is only hours from the borders of Switzerland and Italy, and a train ride away from Paris, Provence, the French Alps, and many other locations. Lyon has everything to offer as a European metropolis with two train stations and an airport. Even better, France offers great discounts to students on travel such as youth train passes and discounted plane tickets. The city is a crossroad for people from all over the world, equally attracted to the allure of the French lifestyle and the energy of city life. Lyon has four universities that bring young people from all over Europe to study, creating a diverse and lively community of students. French is the common language of visitors and locals alike.

Lyon is renowned for its cuisine and is considered a gastronomical capital of France. The city earned this reputation by religiously using the freshest ingredients grown by farmers in the area. The French table is a place to relax, discuss life, and share a love for community and fine food. The city is replete with small restaurants and bistros that proudly follow centuries-old traditional recipes. It is very easy to find good, heart-warming food for an affordable price.

St Nizier Church, on the peninsula

St Nizier Church, on the peninsula

Along with their love for food, the French are also strongly tied to their culture and history. Just by wandering Lyon’s winding streets you will find centuries-old buildings and monuments. The city attracts people from all over to see its towering cathedrals, Gallo-Roman ruins, and its Renaissance quarter—an entire preserved quarter of ancient Renaissance architecture. The city is itself a museum, with stories to tell from Roman times to the French Revolution, from the Renaissance to World War I. You will enjoy experiencing France’s strong connection to culture, preserved by its resilient people and their persistent spirit.

The climate in Lyon is moderate, with warm summers and a chance of showers year-round. The lushness of the area keeps the landscape green and the region prosperous. Winter in Lyon lasts from November to March, with moderate rainfall and occasional snow showers. The summer season lasts from about June to September, with mostly sunny days and some warm thunderstorms. All four seasons offer optimal weather to take strolls through the city and enjoy some of its beautiful parks and ancient architecture.