Lyon is the region of Rhone Alps capital and is France’s second city and a major industrial centre with an international airport.
Lyon is organised into nine arrondissements (areas). The modern development (3e) is known as the La Part-Dieu situated to the east bank of the Rhone.
Lyon is a centre for commerce and banking that grew from its industrial expansion.
The city dates back to medieval times and links include the Saracens, Galls and Romans and the remnants of the old silk trade which generated a lot of wealth to the city is evident in a multitude of Renaissance buildings.
Lyon's prosperity was once based on its silk trade and the Musée des Tissus traces the history of silk and includes some fine examples of silk drapes and tapestries.
In the centre of Lyon is the Presqu'île (1-2e) , or "peninsula", the section of land between the rivers Saône and Rhône where streets offer plenty of exciting restaurants and cafés and some interesting shops.
The Roman heritage of Lyon is still apparent with two amphitheatres situated on the outskirts of the town. The Grand Theâtre is the largest and would once have seated 10,000 people and is still used to this day.
The twin towers of the Cathèdral Saint Jean are a focal point of Christianity it is where Henry IV married Marie de Médicis in 1600.
If you are looking for a family home Lyon has many new international schools and colleges as well as the new HQ for Interpol!
An Eco-friendly tram system, a second TGV station with links to the north that bypass Paris, and high-tech industrial parks for international companies making it a modern city for your internal transportation needs. And remember it is only 90 minutes by car to the 3 Vallees and Meribel.
If you like dining out Lyon has more restaurants per Gothic and Renaissance square metre of the old town than anywhere else does!
The nightlife in Lyon is also vibrant with cinemas, theatres and antique markets.
On the hill of Fourvière lie both the Gallo-Roman and Odeum theatres. Since digging began in 1933, the excavations have allowed archaeologists to uncover parts of the Gallo Roman Theatre that was built under the reign of Emperor Augustus around 17-15BC. Sit down for a moment, close your eyes and let this impressive monument whisper its history in a silence that?s hard to imagine with the bustle of the city only minutes away. Also visit the Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilization that stands adjacent to these ruins.
FOOD & DRINK
Lyon has an abundance of eating establishments, which means that deciding where and what to eat can often take longer than the meal itself. For the indecisive a tip is to choose a street with plenty of restaurants (very easy as Lyon boasts the highest concentration of restaurants per hundred square metres in Europe!) and cast your eye over the menus until something takes your fancy. Walking into Brasserie des Brotteaux (1, Place Jules Ferry, 6th) immediately confirms that you are in France with its closely guarded decor from the beginning of the 1900s when the brasserie was first established. Service is swift, but professional, and the menus offer everything from fresh shellfish to copious platters of regional produce. Just a few doors away opposite the recently renovated Brotteaux train station, the Bouchon des Antiquaires (Gare des Brotteaux, 6th) offers you set menus starting from €14. The food is inspired Lyonnais cuisine cooked and served in a homely environment. Try Un Singe en Hiver (8, rue de la Claire, 9th) for a pleasant café restaurant with original décor in festive colours and full of wonderful smells. Vegetarians are well catered for here! compose your own salad for around € 7 or choose from the more extensive menu starting at € 13. Food is generous and boasts only fresh goods. For something a little more traditional try Tante Alice (22, rue des remparts d'
Ainay, 2nd) where traditional Lyonnais and gastronomic cuisine meet halfway to offer some delicious derivatives of classic dishes from the region.
Menus start at around € 15.
September is the month when residents from the city, refreshed after a summer spent out of town, are reinstalled and ready to attack all that the city has to offer. The eagerly awaited autumn collections in the shop windows will entice the perpetual shopper, the food market stalls along the Quai St Antoine are showing off the latest produce in season and even the monuments take on a new look as the city council gives the borders, gardens and parks a makeover with seasonal plants and shrubs. On Sundays the Puces du Canal (1, rue du Canal, Villeurbanne) in neighboring Villeurbanne offers one of the most renowned flea markets and antique fairs in the Rhone Valley. A must for the early riser in search of a real piece of France to take home as a souvenir. Warm up the spirit of your evening by taking an aperitif at Bus Café (18, quai Sarrail, 6th). The panoramic view over the Rhone and the city will let you contemplate your evening ahead, mapping out the areas you're going to trawl. Head into the Vieux Lyon to Café Mode (8, rue Monseigneur Lavarenne, 5th), one of Lyon's newest hot spots. The Scandinavian bar offers attentive bar service with rocking sounds that give this place a really lively ambiance at the weekend.
Lyon Saint Exupery Airport
Phone: 33 4 72 22 72 21
Fax: 33 4 72 22 74 71
Bus: Catch the Satobus from outside Terminal 2 into either Part-Dieu or Perrache train stations, where you can connect with the metro to get downtown. (every 20 minutes, 6am to 11pm, 45 minutes, € 8.20 one way or € 14.20 return) Tel +33(0) 4 72 68 71 17.
Taxi: Journey time is usually about 30 minutes. Fares to downtown Lyon cost around € 55.
Metro/Tramway/Bus: Clean and efficient, the transit network runs 5am-12.20am with tickets costing € 1.40 and a one-day pass € 3.80. Tickets must be time-stamped before boarding.
Road: Take the A432 south, then follow the A43 or N6 into Lyon; follow the signs for "Presqu'ile".
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