A gourmet city par excellence for centuries, known worldwide thanks to the Chef Paul Bocuse, Lyon has more than 2,000 restaurants: from the famous “bouchons” (typical local bistrots) to the top-class Michelin-starred establishments, and from the traditional “mothers of Lyon” to the inspired, innovative young chefs, Lyon is a testing ground for gastronomic tastes and concepts.
With more than 2,000 years of history, the city has remarkable architectural heritage. Throughout the centuries, it extended to the East without destroying the existing sites. As a result, 500 hectares (2 square miles) of its city centre was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1998. As you walk through Lyon, you take a journey through time. Lyon’s architecture varies from one district to the other, from the ancient Fourvière quarter to the “traboules” (covered passageways) dating from the Renaissance, including the elegant Presqu’île (Peninsula) located between the Rivers Rhone and Saone, as well as the modern, original architectural works by Renzo Piano, Jean Nouvel and Santiago Calatrava.
As regards culture, the Opéra National, one of the world’s top twenty ballets, and the Théâtre des Célestins offer an ambitious programme of events throughout the year. In addition, the city has some unique museums, such as the Institut Lumière devoted to the invention of the cinematograph in Lyon, and the Musée des Tissus (Fabrics Museum) that traces two thousand years of the silk weaving and textile industries. Set in a magnificent Renaissance building, the Musée d’Histoire de Lyon (Lyon History Museum) and the Musée des Marionnettes du Monde (World Puppet Museum) make up the Gadagne Museums in the Old Lyon since 2009. The Musée des Beaux-arts (Fine Art Museum), one of the largest museums in France and Europe, presents collections in 70 rooms where visitors can go on an outstanding journey from ancient times to modern art.
It is pleasant to stroll around Lyon… to admire its heritage, of course, but also to see its numerous shops. In addition to the major French and international luxury brands, the Presqu’île (Peninsula) abounds in fashion boutiques where many famous fashion designers started out. In the steeply-sloping Croix-Rousse quarter, there are many young creative artists and designers, the ardent inheritors of a glorious past during which Lyon was on the Silk Road. Museums and weaving and printing workshops present this unique craft.
Numerous events make Lyon vibrant, attracting millions of visitors throughout the whole year. Among the most attractive are the Fête des Lumières (Lights Festival), the Biennale d’Art Contemporain (Modern Art Biennial), the Biennale de la Danse (Dance Biennial), the Nuits Sonores (Nights of Sound), the Nuits de Fourvière (Fourvière Nights), the Quais du Polar Thriller Festival, and the latest, the Grand Lyon Film Festival.
Its blue-green lake and the canals flowing through the old town centre earned Annecy the sobriquet or nickname of “Venice of the Alps”.
Annecy is a tourist town that has managed to preserve its charm and authenticity.
Wander around and explore this peaceful town, with its medieval narrow streets and covered passageways, its elegant squares and shaded canal banks, its fountains and its arcades.
Also listed as a town of Art and History, Annecy has many outstanding monuments and buildings. Firstly, the Annecy Château, the former home of the Counts of Geneva, whose imposing mass hangs over the town. You can visit this strong, well-restored and maintained fortress, where you can see the very interesting Musée d'Art Contemporain et Régional (Museum of Modern and Regional Art).
Inside the old town, you must see the Palais de L'Isle, built in the 11th century on an islet in the middle of the River Thiou, which flows through Annecy.
Around the lake, stroll around the marina, the beaches and the magnificent Jardin de l’Europe (Garden of Europe), and don’t forget to cross the Pont des Amours (Lovers’ Bridge).
Office de tourisme du lac d'Annecy
1 rue Jean Jaurès
04 50 45 00 33