Lyon, France

## Summary
One of France’s largest and most historic cities, Lyon offers a blend of natural beauty, an old-world charming character, and modern sophistication. Vibrant markets, rich gastronomy, beautiful architecture, and a dynamic cultural scene make Lyon a must-visit location for anyone looking to experience the absolute finest in French culture.

## History
Inhabited since prehistoric times, Lyon was founded as a Roman colony in 43 BC, known then as Lugdunum. The city quickly became the focal point of the region due to its strategic location between the Saône and Rhône rivers. Lyon played a crucial role in the enlightenment period, with a thriving silk industry, and in World War II as a center of resistance. Today, it is acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, filled with landmarks that not only narrate its historical evolution but her cultural richness as well.

## Landmarks
1. **Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière**: Standing tall on the Fourvière Hill, this marvellous basilica offers stunning views of the city and is revered for its detailed interiors and beautiful mosaics.
2. **Roman Theatre on Fourvière Hill**: As one of the oldest and largest Roman theatres in France, this historic site offers an incredible glimpse into the ancient past.
3. **Place Bellecour**: Anchored by the statue of King Louis XIV, this sprawling public square is one of the largest pedestrian squares in Europe and is a hub for cultural events.
4. **Vieux Lyon**: The city’s Old Town, with well-preserved Renaissance architecture, charming alleyways, and hidden courtyards known as “traboules”.
5. **Musée des Beaux-Arts**: Lyon’s fine art museum is housed in an ancient convent and exhibits an extensive collection, from ancient Egyptian artifacts to 20th-century modern art.
6. **Parc de la Tête d’Or**: This expansive urban park features a lake, a zoo, botanical gardens, and plenty of recreational activities.
7. **Lyon Opera**: A fabulous architectural blend of modern and neoclassical styles, it hosts a variety of performances from opera to ballet.
8. **Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste**: Lyon’s Cathedral has a mixed architectural style of Romanesque and Gothic, famous for its 14th-century astronomical clock.
9. **Institut Lumière**: This museum and cultural center traces the origins of cinema, as Lyon was the birthplace of cinematography with the Lumière brothers.
10. **Confluence Museum**: An ultra-modern museum at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers, which explores the sciences, societies and world cultures through interactive exhibits.

## Restaurants
1. **Paul Bocuse**: Considered the Pope of French cuisine, the late chef’s restaurant offering traditional French dishes is an absolute must-visit.
2. **La Mère Brazier**: Established in 1921, it still retains its two Michelin stars and offers superb Lyonnais cuisine.
3. **Le Comptoir du Vin et des Terroirs**: Offering an impressive wine list and locally-sourced dishes, this place is a hit with locals and tourists alike.
4. **Le Bouchon des Filles**: This modern bouchon (traditional Lyon bistro) serves lighter, more refined versions of Lyonnaise classics.
5. **Daniel et Denise**: A warm and welcoming bouchon serving dishes like quenelle de brochet, a pike dumpling in a rich crayfish sauce.
6. **Restaurant Les Apothicaires**: Known for their creativity and use of fresh, local ingredients, the Michelin-starred restaurant offers a unique dining experience.
7. **Café Sillon**: This modest-sized bistro offers excellent price-quality ratio, with an evolving menu based on seasonal produce.
8. **Restaurant Pierre Orsi**: An elegantly furnished restaurant offering a Normandy-inspired menu.
9. **Takao Takano**: An inspiring fusion of Japanese and French culinary expertise makes this a unique gastronomic highlight.
10. **La Bijouterie**: Known for its innovative Asian-styled French cuisine, this eccentric restaurant offers an unforgettable dining experience.

## Bars
1. **Le Florian**: Classic cocktails paired with a cosy atmosphere have locals frequenting this one-of-a-kind spot.
2. **The Smoking Dog**: An English pub-style bar perfect for live sports enthusiasts.
3. **Bar Le Comptoir de la Bourse**: Offers a wide selection of cocktails in an elegant setting.
4. **La Cave des Voyageurs**: A wine bar offering a wide range of regional wines.
5. **Le Monkey Club**: Known for its superb cocktails and late-night lounge atmosphere.
6. **Les Berthom**: An atmospheric bar with an impressive selection of beer.
7. **Le Fantôme de l’Opéra**: A quirky cocktail bar located near Lyon’s opera house.
8. **L’Antiquaire**: A cosy spot for lovers of classic cocktails.
9. **Victoria Hall**: Known for its live jazz music and specialty cocktails.
10. **Soda Bar**: A rooftop bar with panoramic city views, perfect for sundowners.

## Entertainment
1. **Auditorium de Lyon**: Home to the National Orchestra of Lyon, presenting an eclectic musical program.
2. **Théâtre des Célestins**: Hosting a mix of classic and contemporary theatre.
3. **Guignol Theatre**: A puppet theatre for a unique, traditional Lyonnaise experience.
4. **Le Sucre**: A rooftop club known for its electronic music scene.
5. **Lyon Music Hall**: Showcasing a wide variety of music genres, from jazz to rock.
6. **La Villette Jazz Club**: Dedicated to local and international jazz performers.
7. **Le Marché Gare**: A dynamic venue for contemporary music and emerging artists.
8. **Ninkasi Gerland**: A popular spot for craft beer, burgers, and live music.
9. **Transbordeur**: A vibrant venue hosting concerts, club nights, and private events.
10. **Vieux Lyon’s Guinguettes**: Riverside venues offering a traditional French evening of music and dance.

## Living in Lyon
1. **Presqu’ile**: The peninsula located between the Rhône and Saône Rivers is filled with charming buildings, great shopping, and delicious food options.
2. **Vieux Lyon**: The nostalgic Old Town is dazzling with Renaissance-era buildings, winding lanes, and the city’s famous “traboules” or passageways.
3. **Croix-Rousse**: Known as the hill that works, thanks to its traditional silk-weaving industry, this district offers panoramic city views and a vibrant cultural scene.
4. **Confluence**: A newly developed district combining modern, eco-friendly living with access to shopping, entertainment, and the arts.
5. **Fourvière**: Dominated by the Fourvière Basilica, living in this hilly area gives you breathtaking views of the city and quick access to Roman ruins.

## Conclusion
Lyon, the gourmet capital of France, promises not just a culinary delight, but an immersive cultural experience with its ancient roman ruins, serene river banks, innovative museums, and a lively performing arts scene. Its alluring mix of historic charm and modern innovation makes it a must-visit destination for any traveler.

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