At the meeting point of the Rhône and Saône Rivers, Lyon is France’s culinary capital, and famous for its annual Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights). This cultural melting pot is as diverse in attractions as it is gastronomy, with its Roman ruins, UNESCO-listed Old Town, and quirky traboules (hidden passageways). Foodies will be in their element—the hometown of iconic chef Paul Bocuse is known for its legendary food market, traditional bouchons (bistros), and more Michelin-starred restaurants than any French city outside of Paris.
North of the city, the Beaujolais wine region is an obvious choice for a day trip, while lakeside Geneva lies just over the Swiss border to the east. Downstream, the rambling vineyards of the Rhône valley lead the way to the historic cities of Valence and Orange, with the French Alps looming on the horizon.
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IF YOU ONLY HAVE ONE DAY…
Explore the cobbled lanes and traboules of Vieux Lyon, admire the Cathedral Saint Jean Baptiste, then ride the funicular to the hilltop Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière and Roman theatre. Browse the shops around the Presqu’Île, taste local specialities at Les Halles Paul Bocuse market, then watch the sunset at one of the riverside bars.