With three days in UNESCO-listed Lyon, you have plenty of time to experience the city’s history, cuisine, and surrounding vineyards. Cross the Saône and Rhône rivers, step into the cathedral, taste world-renowned wine, and more. Here’s how to make the most of 72 hours in Lyon.
Lyon Opera House (Opéra National de Lyon)
Place de la Comédie BP 1219, Lyon
The opera house was re-designed by architect Jean Nouvel—it's also known as Nouvel Opera House. Nouvel kept some of the original 18th-century arcades and edifice but added a contemporary addition packed with performance spaces. To see the building, consider a Segway tour. Tours typically pass the opera and nearby sights such as Place des Terreaux. The best way to experience the opera is to see a show. Book tickets in advance to ensure a seat.
A great way to explore Lyon from a different - musical - perspective
This was a great way to learn about Lyon through a totally different perspective - focused on musicians and composers who have lived and worked here through the years. Our tour guide - Didac - took special pride in this tour in that he researched and developed it himself. It was a great way to see the architecture and learn the history of the most interesting parts of the city. And it was topped off with a nice glass of wine at one of the up and coming wine bars in town. Altogether a great experience. Highly recommended!
Tim_B, Sep 2021
Things to Know Before You Go
With the Lyon City Card you get Lyon Opera tickets at a discount and free Saturday tours.
Take advantage of views and creative cocktails at the opera's panoramic bar, Les Muses—open Wednesday to Saturday.
The opera provides dedicated seating for wheelchair users, with advance reservation.
How to Get There
The Lyon Opera is centrally located and easily accessible via public transportation. Take the A or C metro lines to the Hôtel de Ville - Louis Pradel stop. Alternatively, you can take the bus, since several lines stop nearby. Find the Lyon Opera at 1 Place de la Comédie. It's a short walk from Place des Terreaux, and across from City Hall (Hôtel de Ville de Lyon).
When to Get There
The Lyon Opera is open from 12pm to 7pm, Tuesday to Saturday. You can visit on Saturday for a French-language tour, or stop by anytime to see the outside of the building. Visit in the evening for a drink, but make a reservation before you arrive—the opera house bar is popular, especially on weekends. For a performance, be sure to arrive one hour before the show begins to allow time to find your seats.
Visiting the Bartholdi Fountain
Just steps from the Lyon Opera is a dramatic 19th-century fountain by sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. Recently renovated, the Bartholdi Fountain depicts a woman atop a chariot being pulled by powerful horses. Stop to snap a photo at this popular meeting place and perhaps recharge with a coffee at one of the plaza's outdoor cafes. The fountain is free to visit.
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- Bellecour Square (Place Bellecour)
- Célestins Theatre (Théâtre des Célestins)
- Lyon Cathedral (Cathédrale St-Jean)
- Ancient Theatre of Fourvière (Théâtre Antique de Lyon)
- Musée Miniature et Cinéma
- Lyon Palace of Justice (Palais de Justice Historique de Lyon)
- Old Lyon (Vieux Lyon)
- Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière (Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière)
- Lyon Les Halles Market (Les Halles Paul Bocuse)
- Lyon Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux Arts de Lyon)
- Resistance and Deportation History Centre (Centre d'Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation)
- Lumière Institute (Institut Lumière)
- Tête d'Or Park (Parc de la Tête d'Or)
- Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (Musée d'art Contemporain de Lyon)