The area is generally crowded in the afternoon, especially at weekends. To really enjoy its architectural beauties, the best time is therefore the morning. Around lunchtime, the streets somewhat disappear behind restaurant terraces, postcard racks and the crowd of tourists.
Traboules (wiki) are a type of secret covered passageways primarily associated with the city of Lyon. Closed at night. The traboules are a typical architectural feature of Lyon’s historical buildings. They are corridors which link two streets through a building, and usually a courtyard. Many traboules are unique architectural masterpieces, largely influenced by Italy and especially Florence.
Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls (map) ruins of a Roman amphitheatre.
The *Hôtel de Ville de Lyon (map) is the city hall of the City of Lyon and one of the largest historic buildings in the city, located between the Place des Terreaux.
Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon (map), fine arts museum housed in a former convent of the 17th century, including the Baroque chapelle Saint-Pierre. (including Tintoretto; Paolo Veronese; Nicolas Poussin; Rubens; Rembrandt; Zurbaran; Canaletto; Delacroix; Monet; Gauguin; Van Gogh; Cézanne; Matisse; Picasso; Francis Bacon…). Collections of sculptures, drawings and printings, decorative arts, Roman and Greek antiquities; the second largest collection of Egyptian antiquities in France after that of the Louvre; and a medal cabinet of 50.000 medals and coins.
MAM – Musée des Arts de la Marionnette (map), museum of the history of Lyon housed in a historic building in Vieux Lyon. Also includes a large collection of marionettes.
*Cathedral of St. John (Lyon Cathedral, map), a medieval church with architectural elements of the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, also the principal religious structure in the city and the seat of the Archbishop of Lyon.
*Basilica of St-Martin-d’Ainay (map), one of the rare surviving Romanesque basilica-style churches in Lyon.
Jardin botanique de Lyon (map), included in the Parc de la Tête d’Or, is a municipal botanical garden and is open weekdays without charge. The garden was established in 1857 as a successor to earlier botanical gardens dating to 1796, and now describes itself as France’s largest municipal botanical garden.
The Saint Francis of Sales church (map) is famous for its large and unaltered *Cavaillé-Coll pipe organ, attracting audiences from around the world.