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Lyon, the City between two rivers

Regions and cities Rhone-Alpes Lyon

Half-way between sea and mountain, northern and southern Europe, Lyon in the Rhône-Alpes region is at the foot of two hills and crossed by two water courses. Rich geographical and geological features that in way detract from the dynamism of the City itself.

Things to know

Ancestral history

Founded by a Roman Legate in the 1st century BC, Lugdunum rapidly spread its political, economic, military and religious influence and became the capital of the 3 Gauls. At the confluence of the Rhône and the Saône rivers, over the centuries, Lyon became a major European centre for the silk and textile trade, with its famous “canuts” - the weavers.

Sites and Monuments

Old Lyon

This unique collection of Gothic and Renaissance architecture is classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site. Running along the banks of the Saône, this 24-hectare area is home to “traboules”. Typical to the area, these passages run between the streets via the courtyards of buildings full of architectural treasures. 


Les Bouchons

Lyon became a capital of gastronomy at the beginning of the 20th century. Famous for its “cuisine bourgeoise” and the more common habit of using offal, it is still possible to sample typical dishes in the famous “bouchons” (traditional Lyon restaurants).


2nd biggest university in France

Spread across 19 establishments and with 120,000 students, the University of Lyon is the top French university outside the Ile-de-France. It offers a full range of disciplines - human and social sciences, medicine, engineering and technology.