Step on board the A-ROSA cruise ships and discover the city of Lyon from the river.
With the A-ROSA LUNA and the A-ROSA STELLA you will dock directly in the centre of Lyon during your city trip. You can reach the centre of the city by foot and immediately set off on a stroll down one of the shopping streets.
After Paris and Marseille, Lyon is the third-largest city in France. Situated in the Rhône-Alpes region where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet, it’s a very popular travel destination. The cobbled streets are proof of the 2,000-year-old history of the city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This dynamic university city offers excellent cuisine, first-class shopping opportunities, antiques markets and many interesting museums.
Lyon was founded by the Romans in 43 BCE as the administrative centre of Gaul under the Celtic name of Lugdunum.
The name of the city transformed linguistically over the centuries and thus has nothing to do with a lion. Large parts of Lyon were destroyed in 725 when it was conquered by Arabian forces. It was only in the 11th century that the city became significant once again when the Roman Catholic church designated it its main seat for Gaul. During the Renaissance, Lyon experienced a development boom once again thanks to the silk trade. In the 19th century, the city became an influential place of industry over the course of the Industrial Revolution and, in the 20th century, became the centre of the French resistance movement during the Second World War.
This district, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998, arose between the foot of the Fourvière hill and the Saône in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Many small shops and excellent restaurants invite passers-by to amble pleasantly through the old alleyways. Another famous sight is the traboules, special alleyways which partially link the streets of the Old Town together with courtyards and passageways on different levels.
In the Gallo-Roman theatres high up on the Fouvière hill, concerts and theatre performances now take place once again in summer. The smaller theatre, Odeon, and the larger Ancient Theatre form one unit; they were both built around the 2nd century.
This magnificent building with an impressive Baroque façade originates from the mid-17th century. The building’s interior is adorned by two courtyards; from the rear one, what is known as the ‘staircase of honour’ leads directly into the council chamber, where the city council of Lyon still meets today. The town hall is only open to the public on rare visitor’s days. However, the façade, with its decorated gable windows and an equestrian image of Henry IV as well as the glockenspiel of the 40-metre-high tower, can be admired at any time.
The Opéra de Lyon, which was built in 1829, is one of the most important opera houses in France and is situated right next to the city hall. The Théâtre de Soufflot once stood here. In the 1990s, the opera house was almost entirely renovated.
Towering over Lyon on the summit of the Fourvière hill, the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière cannot be overlooked. It is situated directly at the site of the old Trajan’s Forum, where the first Archbishop of Lyon endured his ordeal under the name Saint Pothin. The walls and high ceilings of the interior are richly painted and decorated with many mosaics and gold. When the light shines through the stained glass windows, it illuminates the biblical designs depicted on them. The viewing platform next to the basilica provides a beautiful view over all of Lyon.
The cathedral, situated at the foot of the Fourvière hill, was built in the 12th and 15th century in a Roman and Gothic style and is the residence of the Archbishop of Lyon. The astronomical clock inside is a particular highlight. As well as the date, it shows the positions of the moon, the sun and the earth and the stars as they rise over Lyon.
Near the banks of the Rhône lies the largest city park in France, with lakes, a zoological garden, a rose garden, a botanical garden and an abundance of green areas. Children can enjoy pony rides, a small railway, mini-golf and space to run around. According to the legend, a treasure with a golden head of Jesus Christ is buried in the park, hence the name ‘Park of the Golden Head’. Take note of the large forged entrance portal facing the Rhône, built from 1900-1902. Take in the expansive view of the park through the bars decorated in gold.
La Croix-Rousse is an old working-class district set on a hill in Lyon, which can be reached from the city hall with a metro in the form of a rack railway. To this day, the district – where mainly weavers used to live – has an unmistakable charm with its crooked alleyways. This quarter is made up of two parts: the slope and the plateau.