Lyon and around

A unique heritage

Lyon was capital of the Gauls under the Roman Empire, a great cultural and trading centre during the Renaissance and a powerful industrial city in the 19th century.

It is now a major European metropolis, shaped by many influences through the ages.

Lyon's rich cultural heritage reflects the various eras of the city's development, from ancient times to the Renaissance era up to modern age.

The whole city centre is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the largest urban area in the world (with 500 hectares) to receive this title.

Economic dynamism

With more than 1.3 million inhabitants, Greater Lyon is the biggest French metropolitan area after Paris.

Its attraction and influence are largely due to its position as a natural crossroads.

The Lyon region has a long tradition of business and technological enterprise and every branch of industry can be found there.

Lyon has an international reputation in the engineering, textiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and health industries.

Lyon and the Rhône-Alpes region are key drivers of national (as well as international) economic growth.

There are five competitive clusters' in Lyon of which two are global players, Lyon Biopole (health) and Axelera (chemicals and environment).


A high quality of life

Lyon offers an exceptionally good quality of life for a large city. The Rhône and Saône rivers and multitude of parks, squares and gardens contribute to the high standard of living.

The efficient public transport system, cycle paths and the Velo'v public bike rental service make it practical to move about in the city.

Lyon is also a gastronomic paradise and has made good food a way of life with its numerous restaurants, bistro-style bouchons lyonnais and a firmly established culinary tradition.

A strategic geographic position

The Rhône valley is a natural north-south highway.

This strategic geographic location has enabled Lyon to develop its communication networks. 
Saint-Exupéry international airport, rail and motorway networks and the Rhône facilitate the transportation of both people and goods.

The city's public transport system comprises around one hundred bus routes, four metro lines, two funicular railways and three tram lines.


A rich and varied cultural life

Cultural life in Lyon is vibrant. The city hosts international events, such as the biannual festivals of dance and contemporary art and the annual festival of lights that takes place on December 8th. These major cultural events are open to the city and its inhabitants.

The city also has an impressive cultural infrastructure, with 30 or so museums, 15 libraries, a plethora of theatres and the Maison de la Danse, an innovative dance theatre etc.