The gateway to the Alps, Lyon, France’s second city, is a wonderful city break destination, oozing with history, culture and quirkiness. Situated on the confluence of the Rhône and the Saône, the city dates back to at least Roman times, when they founded Lugdunum, serving as the capital of the Roman province Gallia Lugdunsis. This became the most important city to the west part of the Roman Empire and today, the twin hillside Roman theatres above the rivers are still a magnificent site and venue for concerts. This historical past has inevitably brought UNESCO heritage site status to the area since 1998.
Considered the centre of French gastronomy, visitors can explore Lyon’s typical brasserie “bouchon” restaurants serving rustic, traditional dishes which are famous across the country. Alternatively, an impressive total of 22 Michelin stars in the area confirms that experiencing some fine dining should be top of the agenda for any visitor.
Lyon is also famed as the birthplace of cinema. The Institute Lumière Museum, the inventors of modern day film, is located inside the very castle which once belonged to the Lumière family. In 1895 the first film in the history of cinema ‘Sortie d’Usine’ was shot here. The building acts as a living museum today – with various exhibitions and events year round, young enthusiasts for cinema can even study here.
This is just one of the various cultural endeavours in the city, from a list of well-established museums to the striking opera house and ballet venue. There is also an impressive list of city festivities on the calendar, from the “Nuits Sonores” electronic music festical to the spectacular Fête des Lumières.
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