Lyon is a very relaxed but also magnificent French city. It is famous for its art and gastronomy. The architecture is diverse and charming, and, if you are interested in this, you won’t be disappointed by your visit. What struck me was the fact that I could walk around the old city very easily.
Lyon lies between the hills of Fourvière and Croix-Rousse, its narrow streets punctuated with characteristic passageways that were used by the silk merchants to transport their products when the city echoed with the clacking of hundreds of thousands of looms.
When I was there it was Sunday, and lots of things were going on around the city. I passed a French market with all these lovely cheeses, fruit and vegetables – all the delicious food you would expect to find in typical French market!
I felt really relaxed in Lyon as I didn’t feel the usual tourist pressure of having insufficient time to visit all the best sites, because everything was at hand.
I just began my Leon adventure by walking around and allowed the city to surprise me with its beauty. All the roads are very colourful, lined with buildings of solid opaque colours, which strike me as being very typical of continental Europe.
The Notre Dame Basilica de Fourvière is situated at the top of a hill, and you can spot it from everywhere you walk around the city. The style is very similar to the Sacré-Coeur in Paris. It was built with a white shimmering stone in a neo-byzantine style.
The views from the top of the hill where the cathedral is situated are glorious. I really enjoyed it a lot. I even tried to take a selfie, which didn’t come out very well!
Around the river is very interesting. In addition to the cafés and restaurants, are the “traboules”, narrow Renaissance alleyways mostly running perpendicular to the river. Several of these are open to the public, and visitors can explore the interior courtyards and vaulted passages that characterise the historic parts of the city.
The Cathedral Saint Jean is situated in a very elegant square. It is a mediaeval gothic cathedral most famed for its astronomic clock. It’s undergoing major restoration work at the moment, so I couldn’t see the astronomic clock, unfortunately.
Place Bellecour, the great piazza in the city centre between the Rhône and the Saône is probably a good point to start exploring the city. You will have great view of the cathedral from here.
Lyon impressed me a lot. I didn’t feel pressured there. It is the perfect city if you are planning a relaxing weekend away, or even for a Sunday stroll like I did.