Visit Lyon: Guide to the Top things to do in Lyon, France

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Visit Lyon and explore its two hills, situated in the southeast domain of France! Located close to the Rhône River, Beaujolais Mountains and Saône Valley- you can reach the town by car within 1h30 from mountains or 3 hours from sea. For a direct journey from Paris, board the train for 2 hour travel on 465 kilometers distance; similarly TGV will take only 1H45 minutes if you are coming down south -from Marseille or Montpellier.

If you’re visiting Lyon, also be sure to check out our best wine tours in Lyon, France before you go.

Where is Lyon located?

Welcome to Lyon, this town located in the south-east of France! Bordered by the Rhône, Beaujolais and Saône, this town is only 1h30 by car from the mountains and 3h from the sea.

Lyon is located in the central-east of France and is the third largest city in the country. Situated between Paris and Marseille, it has long been part of a thriving region that blends in historic French culture with modern sophistication.

Lyon is framed by two hills – the Fourvière hill to the west and the Croix-Rousse Hill to the north – which provide incredible views of this beautiful city. With its unique architecture, amazing cuisine, world-class museums and art galleries, Lyon is one of France’s must-see destinations.

Today considered as the third municipality of our country by its population, Lyon hides magnificent historical monuments and sumptuous vineyards that we invite you to discover as soon as possible. Whether in Beaujolais or in the Rhône Valley, the vineyards around Lyon offer you breathtaking views and exceptional wines.

Visit Lyon’s City Center

We highly recommend that upon your arrival, you explore the main districts of the city – Fourvière, Saint-Jean (Vieux-Lyon), Croix-Rousse, Presqu’île or Guillotière. These are some of the oldest and most vibrant areas; they will offer a wealth of experiences to savor!

Climb to the highest heights of Lyon and explore the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, then leisurely stroll through Old Lyon’s cobblestone streets that represent centuries’ worth of Medieval and Renaissance history.

Set on a picturesque hill, La Croix-Rousse is fondly referred to as “the hill that works,” in stark contrast with its counterpart Fourvière which is known as “the hill that prays.” This neighborhood was once renowned for it’s silk industry and continues to be beloved by the people of Lyon.

Located in the hub of Lyon, Presqu’île is your first must-see destination and has been an official UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. Following that, explore La Guillotière to witness a vibrant fusion of cultures from around the world! After this stimulating cultural expedition through the city’s streets comes another exciting journey – traversing the region’s lush vineyards and discovering its wealth of wonders.

After this cultural visit to the city of Lyon, let’s discover the vineyards around Lyon and its riches.

Près de Lyon, de nombreux vignobles vous ouvrent leurs portes sur Winalist
Rhone valley vineyards near Lyon

Discover the Coteaux du Lyonnais

The Coteaux du Lyonnais, located around the city of Lyon, maintain the link between the vineyards of Beaujolais and those of the Rhone valley.

The Coteaux du Lyonnais vineyard encountered its most significant growth during the 19th century before the phylloxera crisis. It was then that 12,000 hectares of vines filled this area similar to Beaujolais’.

The parasitic aphids in the roots of these plants and urbanization around Lyon caused drastic decline in the fruit produced by this vineyard. To survive, it needed two islets – one north in Beaujolais and another south-east near Rhône Valley.

The main grape varieties of Coteaux du Lyonnais are as follows:

  • Gamay noir with white juice for red and rosé wines. The image of Gamay is particularly associated with a light, fruity, sweet, pleasant red wine, to be drunk young.
  • Chardonnay for white wines. It is a dry white wine falling into the category of still wine. This grape variety has a high alcohol potential, up to 14°. These wines are often delicate full-bodied while retaining the scent of the grape.

Even though more than 75% of the wines of the region are red wines, we find rosé wines and sumptuous white wines.

To take full advantage of this vineyard, we have selected 4 wine tourism experiences for you to enjoy with our partner winegrowers during your getaway.

Taste wines from estates around Lyon

Experiencing the wines of Lyon is an absolute delight. In this charming city, one can sample some of France’s finest wines in a stunning atmosphere that combines traditional French culture with modern sophistication.

There are many excellent vineyards and wineries to explore in and around Lyon, giving visitors the chance to discover their own personal favorite. Each wine is unique and offers different notes, aromas and tastes depending on its region of origin.

From rich reds to light whites, from exquisite sparkling wines to refreshing rosés, the options are endless for those looking for a truly memorable experience. Tasting the wines of Lyon is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Domaine de Prapin

In the Beaujolais Vineyard, the Domaine de Prapin opens its doors wide for you to discover its vines, its history and above all its wines. On the program: a guided tour of the cellar and the vines and explanations about the work of the winegrower. Then a tasting of six wines from the Domaine’s range accompanied by Lyonnais sausage, farmhouse cheeses and delicious country bread.

Domaine familial en Coteaux du Lyonnais aux portes de Lyon, le Domaine de Prapin vous accueille
A family estate in Coteaux du Lyonnais at the gates of Lyon, the Domaine de Prapin welcomes you

Domaine Paire

Still in the Beaujolais vineyard, we invite you this time to visit the Domaine Paire, which practices organic farming on a four-century-old estate.

The Estate offers you a tour of the History of the Winegrower in Beaujolais composed of a magnificent collection of old wine and vine tools. The winegrowers will comment on the different vinification methods, oenology, natural yeasts, sulphites… And will end up having you taste 4 to 5 wines from the estate while teaching you how to open, serve and taste them for pleasure. bigger still. You will study the color of the wines, the aromas that emerge from them and the food and wine pairings. This tasting will be accompanied by local products.

Les Vins Dévoilés

Les Vins Dévoilés is inviting you to embark on a delightful journey in the Rhone Valley Vineyard where you will have the unique opportunity to explore its fascinating history.

You’ll go through five rare wines – all representative of the top-notch grape varieties and blends from this region – while savoring each sip at our tasting session. So don’t miss out! Come join us for an enlightening experience that awaits you here in the northern and southern Rhône valley.

Château de Champ-Renard

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Château de Champ-Renard

We close the ball by suggesting you go to the Château de Champ-Renard, in the Beaujolais vineyard, to spend a friendly moment with friends or family. The host will be waiting for you for a private visit of the property which includes the exteriors and the gardens in order to discover the history of the castle.

This is followed by a walk in the vineyards to soak up the terroir. Afterwards, you will visit the vat room and the aging cellar and learn more about the winemaking process. You will end this tour in style with the tasting of 4 cuvées from the Château paired with 4 cheeses matured by the Blacé cheese maker.

You will leave this visit with your eyes full of stars, your loop filled with flavors and your hands filled with a screen-printed glass from the Château as a gift.

Lyon’s best wineries & wine tours

Winalist offers you more than 60 activities to experience around Lyon. Take advantage of these moments to combine the good taste of wine with the pleasure of experiencing an activity with family or friends.

Things to do in Lyon, France FAQs

Where to go out this weekend around Lyon?

– Large park of Miribel Jonage
– Go to the city of Vienna
– Pilat Regional Natural Park
– The Beaujolais wine route
– Oingt
– Perouges and Bugey
– The Grottes de la Balme

How to occupy yourself for free in Lyon?

– Attend a free lunchtime concert at the Opéra de Lyon.
– Visit the former prison of Montluc
– Climb to the roof of the Musée des Confluences
– Drooling in front of the Halles Paul Bocuse stands

Where to go in Lyon when it rains?

– Les Traboules at the Vieux-Lyon disctric
– The Halles Paul Bocuse
– Les Serres at Parc de la Tête d’Or
– Aquarium of Lyon
– Musée Miniature et Cinéma
– Way Out Lyon
– The Wall of Lyon

Where to go for a walk in Lyon?

Mont Thou hike
– Walk around the Lac Bleu d’Ambérieu
– Explore Parc de Lacroix Laval
– Walk around the Lac du Ternay
– From Place Bellecour to l’Île Barbe
– The Carrières de Glay
– Walk around Lac des Sapins
– Hiking at Crêt de la Perdrix