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.
Bellecour Square (Place Bellecour)
Place Bellecour, Entre La Saône et Le Rhône, Lyon
Located on the Presqu'île—the narrow peninsula situated at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers—the Bellecour Square’s history dates back to the 18th century. Formerly occupied during the French Revolution and later renamed for Napoleon, it has gone through various guises in its history. Today, the square is a popular meeting point and hub of activity. It also joins several of the city’s major roads and is within walking distance of many historical landmarks and luxury shopping streets.
Given its status as one of Lyon’s major landmarks, the Bellecour Square is a stop on numerous sightseeing itineraries, from biking and Segway tours to walking tours. It can also be explored independently.
Things to know before you go
- There are several public artworks in the square, including an equestrian statue of Louis XIV and a sculpture of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and his Petit Prince.
- The Bellecour Square is flanked by numerous cafes and art galleries, and a tourist information center is also located on-site.
- Given its flat, paved surface, Bellecour Square is accessible for wheelchair users.
- The Grcourande Roue de Lyon—a large Ferris wheel—is installed in the Bellecour Square during the winter months.
How to get there
The Bellecour Square is easily accessible by public transportation: take Métro lines A and D to Bellecour station. It can also be reached by bike and on foot; though taxis can ferry you to the area, they cannot drive in the square itself.
When to get there
The Bellecour Square is always open and usually bustling; in order to capture its most photogenic side, and admire views of landmarks like the hilltop Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, it’s best to visit during daytime hours. The Bellecour Square is occasionally the site of local protests; it’s best to avoid the area when particularly crowded.
Given its location on the historical Presqu'île, the Bellecour Square is just a quick distance from many top Lyonnais attractions, including the Place des Jacobins, the Palais de la Bourse, and the Hôtel de Ville.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Bellecour Square (Place Bellecour)?
Attractions near Bellecour Square (Place Bellecour):
What else should I know about attractions in Lyon?
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- Célestins Theatre (Théâtre des Célestins)
- Lyon Cathedral (Cathédrale St-Jean)
- Lyon Palace of Justice (Palais de Justice Historique de Lyon)
- Musée Miniature et Cinéma
- Old Lyon (Vieux Lyon)
- Ancient Theatre of Fourvière (Théâtre Antique de Lyon)
- Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière (Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière)
- Lyon Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux Arts de Lyon)
- Lyon Opera House (Opéra National de Lyon)
- Lyon Les Halles Market (Les Halles Paul Bocuse)
- Tête d'Or Park (Parc de la Tête d'Or)
- Lumière Institute (Institut Lumière)
- Resistance and Deportation History Centre (Centre d'Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation)
- Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (Musée d'art Contemporain de Lyon)