Every year, several million tourists come to visit Lyon for its welknown charm and its cultural treasures. This city of history which has been listed as part of Unesco’s World Heritage offers visitors an abundance of museums and festivals.
Here are some of our favorite things to do in Lyon for free!
1. The Festival of Lights
The Festival of Lights attracts 3 million visitors every year. From Saturday the 5th to Tuesday the 8th of December 2015, buildings, streets, parks and squares will be lighted up all over the city.
The Festival of Lights is an extension of traditionnal festival of the 8th December which appeared in 1852. Residents of Lyon celebrated the Virgin Mary in the Chapel of Fourvière Hill by putting candle lamps on their windows and balconies. This ritual has been repeated every year and has started to mutate into an unique urban event about 10 years ago.
Lyon’s Festival of Lights has since become one of the most principal event for creative lights displays in the world.
2. Traboules passageways
In the Vieux-Lyon Renaissance district, you will discover secret passageways named “traboules”. This architectural specificity has been built in Lyon in the 4th century in order to transport easily products of silk’s manufacturers and other merchants. In fact, these secret conduits were used to ferry products quickly from workshops located at the top of the Croix-Rousse Hill to the textile merchants situated down below.
Hundreds of hidden passageways have been built, but they are now partially open to public in the Vieux-Lyon and the Croix-Rousse districts of Lyon.
3. Lyon city Greeter
Would you like to see the city as a Lyonnais local? The Lyon City Greeter is a free program which links tourists with a voluntary resident of Lyon in order to guide them in the discovery of city’s charms and secrets.
This program represents a unique way to discover a city, its culture, its gastronomy and its atmosphere. A real immersion in the the city, as a local!
Good to know
If you want to come down a bit but staying within the Rhone-Alpes region, the Ardèche is very popular among tourists especially for its descending the Ardeche river in a canoe. Enjoy it!