Hopefully you have reserved some time to enjoy the city before and/or after RuLu. Lyon has a long and fascinating history. In the present, though, Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France as well as being designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Fête de la Musique in Lyon
Friday is Fête de la Musique (World Music Day) and there is live music throughout the city! As the evening wears on, the streets, squares and parks of Lyon fill up with musicians putting on concerts - details here (in French). So, whatever you choose to do at the end of the day on the 21st, do make Fête de la Musique part of your plans!
The main information center in Lyon is in Place Bellecour. They also have a website that is worth checking out. There are many scheduled tours of various sights in Lyon, and you can sign up for the tours here. Place Bellecour is well worth a visit - it is the main square in Lyon and will feature heavily in the festivities of Fête de la Musique.
Visit Old Lyon and the Basilica of Fourvière
Old Lyon (Vieux Lyon) is an old and quaint neighborhood, great for a meandering walk. It is a favourite amongst tourists and locals alike. It features Cathedral St Jean and several public squares, and narrow cobblestone streets lined with restaurants, bars, creperies and pubs. There is also a tourism office just outside the Metro station if you forgot to pick up a map when you visited Bellecour.
Fourviere and Roman Amphitheaters
One of several funiculars in Lyon can take you to Fourvière, or if you are not averse to a climb, you can walk up to the Basilica of Fourvière and visit the ruins of the Gallo Roman amphitheatre. There is a guided tour or you can make your own up by arming yourself with a map and getting to the Vieux Lyon Metro stop (on the D line, one stop west of Bellecour) and exploring the narrow streets of the quartier. There are a lot of Bouchons (restaurants typical of the Lyon area) in this area but be warned that some of them are overpriced tourist traps. It's hard to go wrong with a scoop of ice cream or a crepe as you take in the sights. The view of Lyon from Fourvière is quite something and the walk through the gardens to the Basilica is very pleasant, so, if it’s good weather, this is a good way to build up an appetite!
Croix-Rousse is bohemian Lyon at it’s best! This quartier features some of Lyon’s best independent art, craft, food and drink. Want a souvenir to take home? You’ll find something original here for sure! Explore the traboules and if you have some time, walk through the new tunnel and enjoy the light show.
Start at the Hotel de Ville metro stop (on the A line), check out the sights around the Opera and Place des Terreaux, and then head uphill. You can find awesome, locally designed t-shirts at Laspid in Place du Griffon, some of Lyon’s best coffee at Cafe Mokxa (3, Rue de l’Abbé Rozier) and lots of studios and boutiques as you wander up the Montée de la Grande Côte to the center of Croix-Rousse. At the top you get majestic views over the presquile.
If you feel like a beer after your climb, suggest checking out Dikkenek Cafe at 3 rue d’Austerlitz, close to the center of Croix-Rousse. They have a variety of beers on tap, and several delicious charcuterie options.
Check out the Parc de la Tete d'Or
Feel like escaping the urban village? Head to 117 hectares of beautiful parkland in the north of Lyon. The Parc de la Tete d’Or is a great place to go for a stroll or a run. It has a lake (where you can rent a pedal boat!), a zoo, and it is right next to Lyon’s museum of modern art, the Musée d’art Contemporain de Lyon. You can get to the park by walking there from the Massena metro stop (line A) or taking a bus to the Museum (the C5 from Place Bellecour).
Don't forget your hat and sunblock, grab your map and enjoy the city! Share your discoveries with your fellow RuLu attendees