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Bucket list trip:

Lyon 3-day Itinerary

  • France

Last updated: 04 April, 2024

Where to go and what to see in Lyon to get the most from your trip – a 3-day itinerary from destination expert and travel writer Anna Brooke.

Editor note – Anna has not included specific recommendations of where to stay each day unless it’s necessary. Instead, see the ‘Where to stay’ section in our Lyon destination guide.

Day 1


Start by meandering the Renaissance-era lanes of Vieux Lyon, woven together by medieval traboules (covered alleyways).

Stop at the Gadagne Museum to learn about Lyon’s history; their quaint garden cafe doubles as your lunch spot.

After lunch, see Lyon’s riverfront in one photogenic sweep on a boat cruise. Then, if time allows, stop in to admire Romanesque St. Jean-Baptiste Cathedral.

For dinner, try restaurant Jeremy Galvan on Rue du Boeuf, the street with more Michelin-starred restaurants than anywhere in France.

  • Lyon, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France

  • Bucket List Experience

Lyon’s historic and most beautiful quarter, notably filled with fine 16th-century French Renaissance mansions. An insight into how the city thrived in the Renaissance.

Good for age: 18+

Gadagne Museum

  • Lyon, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France

Close up of a ceramic puppet exhibit in the museum


Housed in Vieux Lyon’s grandest mansion, this small museum is actually two museums: the Museum of Lyon History, which traces the history of the city since medieval times, and the World Puppet Museum, with over 2,000 puppets collected over centuries.

Adult price: 5

Good for age: 4+

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  • Lyon, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France

  • Bucket List Experience

Boat tours on the Saone and Rhone rivers offer a serene, effortless way to appreciate Lyon’s glorious riverbanks and architecture.

Adult price: 15

Good for age: 4+

Duration: 1-3 hours

Day 2


Take the funicular to the top of the Fourviere hillside, where panoramic city views unfurl below Byzantine-style Notre-Dame Basilica, famed for its colourful interior.

While you’re there, also visit Lugdunum Museum to see the awe-inspiring Roman vestiges, like the ancient amphitheatre.

Have lunch back in the old town at Notre Maison, a classic Lyonnais bouchon.

Walk or cycle it off along Lyon’s Quays to the sprawling Tete d’Or park.

At night bohemian neighbourhood La Croix-Rousse awaits, for drinks and nibbles in one of the many wine bars.

  • Lyon, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France

  • Bucket List Experience

View on the mountain with Notre-Dame cathedral and metallic tower in Lyon city in France


Fourviere Hill

The Fourviere hillside offers panoramic city views, a huge 19th-century basilica, two exceptional Roman theatres, and illuminating insights into Lyon’s Roman past.

Good for age: 18+

  • Lyon, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France

  • Bucket List Experience

The roman amphitheatre side view of seating


Lugdunum Museum

Lyon’s fascinating Roman attraction is home to two ancient theatres and a museum filled with artefacts depicting all aspects life in the Roman town of Lugdunum.

Adult price: 3

Good for age: 13+

  • Lyon, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France

Lyon’s pretty promenades along the Rhone and Saone rivers lead past iconic urban landscapes to waterfront cafes and picnics on bucolic beaches. Perfect for leisurely walks and cycle rides.

Good for age: 8+

Duration: 2+ hours

Tete d’Or Park

  • Lyon, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France

View of a large greenhouse in the Tete d'Or Park in Lyon


The city bustle evaporates in this sumptuous park, home to rose and botanical gardens, and a savannah-themed animal park. Strolls or cycle its paths and in summer, go boating on the lake.

Good for age: 4+

Day 3


Rise early for a tour of the vine-strewn Beaujolais wine region. Book an organised tour or go winery hopping yourself along the sign-posted Route des Vins du Beaujolais.

In the heart of the vineyards, Auberge de Clochemerle in Vaux-en-Beaujolais is a lovely spot for lunch and wine pairings.

Then in the evening, head back towards Lyon for dinner at legendary chef Paul Bocuse’s restaurant, Auberge du Pont de Collanges, in the suburb of Collanges-au-Mont-d’Or.