Modern cinema was pioneered by two of Lyon’s former son’s, Auguste and Louis Lumiere, who invented the cinematograph as a way of projecting film onto a screen. Fitting then that their home town holds all the enchantment, beauty and excitement of a cinematic masterpiece.
With around two thousand years of history, the city has gone through many changes since its Roman inception as the settlement of Lugdunum. From the Middle Ages where the name was changed to Lyon, to the booming Renaissance where the city experienced significant growth and prosperity. Fortunately for us many remnants of these bygone eras are still dotted around the city like presents from the past. You may stumble across the ruins of ancient amphitheatres, Roman baths or lose yourself as you meander through the charming streets of Vieux Lyon, one of the largest Renaissance districts in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One of the city’s most prominent sights is the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, it is nicknamed ‘the upside-down elephant’ by locals because the building’s shape is reminiscent of an elephant with the 4 towers in each corner looking like legs. Reachable by funicular, it’s not just the basilica that will draw people to this point in the city, from outside the church you have the perfect vantage point for unparalleled panoramic views of Lyon.
For a relaxing afternoon why not visit Parc de la Tête d'Or, one of the largest and perhaps most beautiful urban parks in all of France, which includes a botanical garden and an open space zoo. Lyon is also the perfect destination for foodies, the city has a long and illustrious tradition of outstanding eateries to indulge in. If you’re fortunate enough to be visiting the city in December, you may encounter the Fête des Lumières, Lyon’s annual festival of light where the already colourful city takes on an otherworldly visage as it is illuminated in the most spellbinding fashion.