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Culture & events

Lyon – France’s city of culture

Every year, several million tourists come to visit Lyon. The capital of the Gauls has become a favorite destination for travellers thanks to its charm and the quality of its cultural life. 

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France's city for culture (outside of Paris)

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city of the arts in France

million visitors to the Festival of Lights every year

Lyon is France’s #2 city for culture according to Journal des Arts, just behind Paris. And for good reason, as the city has an abundance of museums, from the Musée des Confluences (opened in December 2014) to the Musée d'Art Contemporain (Contemporary Art Museum), to the Musée de la Résistance and the Institut Lumière (Cinema Museum), allowing you to immerse yourself in Lyon’s history and heritage.

The city’s cultural life is also punctuated by over 21,000 events all throughout the year, ranging from exhibitions, concerts and plays, to festivals, biennial celebrations and much more. These include major international events such as the Festival Lumière (Grand Lyon Film Festival), the Biennale de la danse (Biennial Dance Festival), the Biennale d’Art Contemporain (Biennial Modern Art Festival), the Nuits Sonores (electronic music festival) or the renowned Festival of Lights.

Finally, you can stroll through the city’s historical districts, such as Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon) and its traboules, the hillsides of Croix-Rousse, Fourvière and its stunning view of the city. Lyon is a city of history, listed as part of UNESCO’s World Heritage since 1998, making it Europe’s 2nd-largest Renaissance site after Venice.

ONLYLYON Tourisme & Congrès offers a host of fun, original ways to discover the city :

  • Lyon City Card: provides free admission to the city’s 22 museums, as well as free, unlimited access to the city’s public transport network, guided tours and tour cruises. In all, over 30 services and 10 discounts at the city’s various attractions.

  • Lyon City Greeters: thanks to these guides, you can discover Lyon with and just like a real Lyonnais.

  • Lyon City Helpers: these students are ready to welcome you, inform you and help you find your way you through the city.