A walk in Lyon in the footsteps of Mat Carlier


LyonCultural HeritageCities

Dans les traboules de la Croix-Rousse, à Lyon.
© Adobe Stock/MangAllyPop - Dans les traboules de la Croix-Rousse, à Lyon.

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 20 March 2024, updated on 16 April 2024

Lyon is famous for its historic centre, its traffic jams, its traboules and its long, lively quays. But it is also full of a thousand other wonders. Influencer Mat Carlier invites us to discover the city in a different way through unusual places.

Wander through the small streets of the Croix Rousse

I have always been intrigued by the traboules of the Croix Rousse. These are passages through the courtyards of buildings that allow you to go from one street to another. It's completely typical in Lyon. I particularly like the traboule of the Cour des Voraces which is located at 9 Place Colbert. What's special about it? There are lots of exits. It's like a treasure hunt to find them all! It's simply beautiful to look at. The staircases are pierced with large arches. The Croix Rousse is also famous for its street art. In general, I continue my stroll towards the passage Mermet. Since the Festival de la peinture fraîche in 2019, the Mermet staircase has been transformed into a giant fresco. It's just sublime to watch!

Admire the oldest house in Lyon

I like to wander around Old Lyon, especially in the Saint-Georges district. I regularly stop in front of the oldest house in the city, which dates from the 14th or 15th century. It is hidden in a small alley, the impasse Turquet. It is named after a Lyon merchant who ran a silk business in Lyon. It is a typical house with its old dark wooden balcony. And the best part is that there are still people living there!

Coffee at the Gadagne Museum

This museum of Lyon's history and puppetry is located in the Saint-Jean district. The café of the Gadagne museum is completely hidden but it is worth the diversions. It is located in the hanging gardens, under the Roman courtyards in the middle of vines and rose bushes. Each time I visit, I almost forget that I'm in the middle of the city. It's the ideal place to cut yourself off from the world.

Musée Gadagne

Climbing on the roofs of the Fourvière basilica

I have been there several times and have never been disappointed. Night tours are organised during which you can discover the attic and the three chimes of the Fourvière basilica with its twenty-three bells. When the weather is good, you can even climb up to the roofs. You can then have an unobstructed view of the whole of Lyon. It's magical!

Basilique de Fourvière

Watch a sunrise from the Fourvière hills

I like to walk in the Parc des Hauteurs, in Fourvière, and take the Quatre-Vent footbridge on the way to the old viaduct, 600 metres long. The view is breathtaking and it's super relaxing. From the park, I go to the Loyasse cemetery. There's nothing creepy about it. On the contrary. It's a place I love because it's very well maintained. You can discover some incredible tomb architecture. One of them is shaped like a pyramid, for example. With all these majestic tombs, it really feels like a museum. One of the tombs is that of Maître Philippe, an ancient mystic and healer from Lyon. I am always surprised to see all the little words that cover his grave. People come to pay their respects and don't hesitate to talk to him.

Visit the Grand Hôtel-Dieu

The Grand Hôtel-Dieu is a former hospital located on the banks of the Rhône. It has been renovated for years and has just reopened to the public. There is a shopping centre, a restaurant in the old refectory, but also the InterContinental. It's a luxury hotel but you can also enjoy the bar. I am always impressed by the height of the ceiling of the dome. Everything is carved, decorated, painted. It is really magnificent. I then continue my walk to the city of gastronomy where culinary workshops are organised. It's always nice to learn more about Lyon's culinary heritage. All carved wood, the room is beautiful.

Grand Hôtel-Dieu

Eating at the Tête de lard

This Lyonnais "bouchon" is located near the town hall of Lyon. Here, everything is home-made. You can eat quenelles, andouillettes and all sorts of Lyonnaiseries. The menu changes regularly and above all the prices are affordable. The welcome is warm, the atmosphere friendly and the decoration typical with Guignol, the famous puppet, and its small gingham tablecloths. The only downside is that you have to book to be sure of getting a table at lunchtime. The restaurant is a victim of its own success and is always full.

La Tête de Lard

Walking in the Parc de la Tête d'Or

This park is extraordinary. There is so much to see and discover. I am always surprised to see the huge botanical greenhouses with their tropical plants. I like to go there in the morning when the animals wake up and see giraffes, snakes, monkeys, deer... I really feel like I'm in the countryside. In this park, there is something for all ages and for all tastes. You can even go pedal boating. During my walk, I regularly come across the police on horseback who are watching over the park. It's quite original, don't you think?

Parc de la Tête d'Or

Take a gardening course on the terraces of Perrache

I always enjoy going to the roof terraces of Perrache. Located on the top floor of the Perrache Interchange Centre, it's the ideal place to relax in the middle of the greenery between two trains. And it's totally new. This place is in fact a huge garden with plants and vegetables. It is maintained by the Hanging Gardens Association. You can even take an introductory gardening course there. I was surprised to learn that it was the world's first depolluting plant wall, created in 2007.

Les terrasses de Perrache

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