Travel bucket list idea:
Lyon, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France|
To enjoy spectacular bird’s-eye views over Lyon, head up steep Fourviere hillside above the Saone – on clear days, you can spot Alpine foothills far to the east. The other big draw of the Fourviere hillside is that you get an overview of Lyon’s 2,000-year-old history, from Roman finds to views over contemporary quarters.
The best viewing platform stands beside Notre-Dame-de-Fourviere Basilica. This huge 19th-century church, Lyon’s most obvious landmark, is the city’s answer to Paris’s Sacre-Coeur. Nearby, incorporated into the hillside, lie two Roman theatres that still serve for contemporary entertainments. The neighbouring Lugdunum Museum on Gallo-Roman civilisation provides fascinating insights into Lyon’s ancient past.
While you’re there
The restaurant Tetedoie (4 rue du Professeur Pierre Marion), brilliantly located just below the Roman theatres, has a dining room with great views, and serves some excellent high-end cuisine.
Getting there & doing it
As the Fourviere hillside is extremely steep, the easiest way up to the sights at the top is by using the funicular service from down in Vieux Lyon. Alternatively, the Grand Tour hop-on-hop-off tourist bus offers another relaxing, scenic way up. Only use the special montees (footpaths) if you’re fit; these routes are interesting, though, taking you past many old monastic establishments.
When to do it
The funicular service operates all year round, seven days a week, usually from 6am-10pm. As the Fourviere hillside faces east, early birds might enjoy heading up top early to take in sunrise over Lyon.
Destination guides including or relevant to this experience
The gastronomic capital of France, if not the world, is not just a foodie hotspot. With UNESCO-protected architecture and awe-inspiring Roman ruins, its one for history lovers too..