Lyon, the second-largest city in France has a reputation as the French capital of gastronomy. Over a thousand restaurants including many that have been awarded Michelin's prestigious 3 stars, add to the festive atmosphere of this great city. Lyon's cuisine is known throughout France and the world, but when visiting you don't have to go to restaurants that are home to famous chefs, why not try the humble "bouchons", small traditional restaurants that have picturesque interiors and serve local pork dishes invariably washed down with a bottle or three of Cotes du Rhone.
You might think that Lyon is all about wining and dining, although you would certainly be forgiven for dedicating a good deal of time to that particular past-time. But also of great interest is that Lyon is home to over 650 antique dealers. So it is possible to combine a good deal of eating with a good deal of walking between antiques shops. Which means you won't be piling on the pounds and you can return to the restaurants in the evening completely guilt free knowing you have easily walked off the last meal!
A good place to start looking for Antiques is the rue Auguste Compte which is the heart of Lyon's Antiques Quarter. On the first Thursday of October a huge carpet is laid in the street and all the shops and galleries display their art and antiques. This is know as the "Tapis rouge" or Red Carpet. In the spring a similar event is called the "Tapis Vert" or the Green Carpet. During these events the shops are open throughout the evening and a great deal of bargains are to be found.
If you wander off rue August Compte into the adjoining streets such as rue Sala, rue Jarente, rue des Remparts d'Ainay and rue Franklein you will find that Lyon has an abundance of treasures around every corner.
About 45 minutes away near the Parc de la Tete d'Or is the Cite des Antiquaires which sells everything from 17th - 19th century furniture to decorative art pieces, not to mention jewellery, dishes, and artwork. Also worth a mention is the Puces du Canal (Flea market), Marches des Bouquinistes (second hand books market), Quai de la Pecherie, every Saturday & Sunday 10am - 6pm.
The Place Bellecour the largest clear square in Europe. In the middle is a statue of king Louis XIV mounted on a horse, made by Francois-Frederic Lemot in 1825.
Musee des beaux-arts de Lyon
Its collections range from ancient Egypt to the modern period form one of the most important European museums.
Lyon is a vibrant city that is worth visiting for many reasons. It has excellent transport links as it is on the TGV route between Paris and Marseille. Also the Saint-Jean and the Croix-Rousse areas, which are noted for their narrow passageways that pass through buildings and link the streets either side, were designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1998.