Lyon City Centre is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historical city center is shadowed by the Fourvière hill, dominated by Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica, and Croix-Rousse hill.
Since 1998 the UNESCO listed the old neighborhoods of Lyon, The Saint-Jean and the Croix-Rousse areas, as a World Heritage site, such as Venice, Florence, and Carthage. At the time, it was the largest urban region declared as a World Heritage Site. From Fourvière, the Old Lyon, and the slopes of La Croix Rousse to the Peninsula, this site encompasses more than one thousand acres.
The city of Lyon France is famous for its world-renowned gastronomy. The city is also known for its famous light festival ‘Fete des Lumieres’ which occurs every 8 December and lasts for four days, that earned Lyon the title of Capital of Lights.
Lyon’s main tourist districts
Presqu’île lies between the two rivers and is the most central part of the city of Lyon France. The 1st and 2nd arrondissements of the city (as well as the southern part of the 4th) are located here, along with the Hôtel de Ville or city hall. Many hotels, apartments, cafés, restaurants, luxury shops, department stores, banks, government buildings, and cultural institutions can be found in the Presqu’île district of Lyon.
Vieux Lyon or Old Lyon lies in the 5th arrondissement and is the largest Renaissance district of the city center. Vieux Lyon is located at the foot of the Fourvière hill along the right bank of the Saône river.
Fourvière hill can be found immediately west of the Viex or Old part of Lyon. It is known primarily for the Catholic Basilica of Fourvière and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site. The ruins of a Roman Theatre, Roman Baths and an odéon are also located here.
La Croix-Rousse district is the home of Lyon’s silk industry since the sixteenth century, and particularly famous for its slopes classified World Heritage by Unesco.
The Brotteaux district lies in the 6th arrondissement of Lyon and is situated between the Rhône and the track railway which leads to the Gare de la Part-Dieu. It hosts a large number of renowned restaurants. The beautiful Tête d’Or park can be found here.
There is a huge choice of hotels, cheaper hostels and self catering apartments around Lyon’s main tourists areas. Accommodation is within easy reach of the city’s main sights, main squares and landmarks.
Main squares located in Lyon City Centre, France
Place Ampère — central city pedestrian square in the 2nd arrondissement of Lyon France. In the centre stands a statue of André-Marie Ampère.
Place Bellecour — large city centre squareto the north of the Ainay district. It’s the third biggest square of France, behind the place des Quinconces in Bordeaux and the place de la Concorde in Paris. In the middle is an equestrian statue of Louis XIV. Many hotels and self catering places to stay can be found within easy walking distance of the square.
Place Carnot — plaza set in the Perrache quarter of Lyon, near Perrache railway station. The Statue of the République can be found on the square.
Place des Célestines — situated in the 2nd arrondissement in the zone classified as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The most notable monument of the square is the Théâtre des Célestins.
Place Benoît-Crépu — central square in Vieux Lyon.
Place des Jacobins — located in the center of the 2nd arrondissement, and surrounded by many historical buildings and hotels.
Place Saint-Jean — square in front of the Roman Catholic cathedral of Saint-Jean in the 5th arrondissement.
Place Antonin-Poncet — central Lyon square in the Bellecour quarter, Presqu’île district.
Place de la République — square located in the Bellecour quarter, directly connected with the rue Jean de Tournes, the rue Stella, the rue du Président Carnot, and the rue Childebert.
Place des Terreaux — picturesque square in central Lyon on the Presqu’île at the foot of the hill of La Croix-Rousse in the 1st arrondissement. The square is surrounded by the City Hall and the Palais Saint-Pierre and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon.