Rugby Union
Lovely Lyon

When you think of France, your mind conjures images of the Eiffel Tower, the Cote D’Azur beaches, lavender fields and vineyards. The country is famous for it’s landmarks, scenery and of course wonderful food and wine, but many itineraries do not include the UNESCO World Heritage city of Lyon.

Lyon is France’s third largest city and often regarded as the country’s gastronomic capital and in 2023 will play host to many from across the world during the Rugby World Cup. With some of Australia’s most exciting pool matches scheduled to take place in OL Stadium, Lyon or the nearby Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint Etienne-Lyon will be the centre of the action for Wallabies fans during the tournament!

With this in mind, Keith Prowse Travel have curated trips that take in the highlights of this gorgeous city. See below for some of our favourite sights to help you plan your next trip to France!

The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière

Called the “upside-down elephant” by the locals, this 19th Century masterpiece has become the city’s major landmark, atop Lyon’s tallest hill-you can see it from almost anywhere. Outside, the neo-Byzantine basilica is stunning to behold, however, inside you will find mesmerising stained glass, mosaics and even the Museum of Sacred Art. After exploring all of the wonder inside, head to the terrace for breathtaking views of Lyon.

The Roman Theatres of Lyon

The oldest Roman theatre in France, the complex consists of an amphitheatre called the Grand Theatre and a small Odeon next to it. In Roman times it would house 10,000 people as they cheered on gladiator fights, however, today it is home to one of Europe’s largest summer arts festivals, Nuits de Fourviere. Just up the hill from the ruins, you will find further treasures from the Roman era when Lyon was the city of Lugdunum, in the Gallo-Roman Museum.

Traboules of Vieux Lyon

Everywhere in the “Old City” you will find “Traboules” or passageways which were built in the 4th Century so merchants could navigate the city without being seen. Today, most Traboules are open to the public and if you head though the large doors between local businesses you will find another world filled with gardens, beautiful courtyards and stone corridors. The spaces create an environment where locals-and tourists-can escape the hustle and bustle of modern Lyonnais Life.

The Lumiere Institute

In Lyon, the Lumiere brothers created cinema as we now know it. In the 1890s they invented a camera that also doubled as a projector which allowed crowds to watch a moving image together rather than in individual machines as it had previously been. The Lumiere Institute now features a museum dedicated to the early history of cinema and you can even stand on the exact spot where the brothers shot their employees leaving the factory which is now considered by many as the first real film.

The Rivers

Lyon uniquely sits at the junction of two of rivers; Rhone and Saone. This creates a very distinctive way of life in the river city where the rhythm is slow but the energy is high. A favourite Lyonnais pastime is just sitting at an outdoor café on the riverbanks watching the world go by for hours. The Confluence, a small patch of land where the rivers meet, also creates a distinctive atmosphere, where the goal of the city centre is to create  full sustainable urban community where people of all social classes live, work, eat, shop and play.

This is just a short list of the many wonderful attractions of Lyon-it’s full of history and beauty but does not attract the millions of tourists each year like other cities in France, so you will really experience the authentic French way of life! Get in touch with one of our Travel Specialists now to discuss adding Lyon to your itinerary during the Rugby World Cup France 2023! You won’t be disappointed!

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