The tourist’s guide to all nine arrondissements of Lyon

Lyon, the third-largest city in France, is renowned for its rich historical and architectural landmarks, coupled with its vibrant cultural scene.

As the birthplace of cinema and the gastronomic capital of the world, Lyon has a unique blend of innovation, culinary expertise, and heritage. Its historic site, the ‘Vieux Lyon,’ is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with medieval and Renaissance architecture adding to the city’s allure. The city is also famous for its ‘traboules,’ a network of hidden passageways used by silk workers, providing a unique exploration experience.

Lyon’s culinary tradition is world-class, with a plethora of ‘bouchons,’ local restaurants serving traditional Lyonnaise dishes. Add to this the contemporary architecture and innovative spirit evident in areas like Confluence district, Lyon’s cultural diversity, and the famous Festival of Lights, you have a city that exudes an unparalleled charm and a multifaceted character.

See also: Where to stay the next time you’re in Lyon

1st Arrondissement: The Heart of Lyon
Located in the center of Lyon, the 1st arrondissement is home to the historic city center. It is full of bustling cafes, boutiques, and landmarks, including the Place des Terreaux and City Hall. Don’t miss the Lyon Opera, a fascinating blend of 19th-century architecture and modern design.

2nd Arrondissement: Shopping and Historic Squares
The 2nd arrondissement is a hub of commerce and culture. Visit Place Bellecour, one of Europe’s largest squares, and enjoy shopping on streets like Rue de la Republique and Rue Victor Hugo. The district is also home to the impressive Theatre des Celestins and the Musee des Confluences.

3rd Arrondissement: Modern Life and Market Culture
The 3rd arrondissement may not boast the most beautiful buildings but it is a hub of activity, boasting the bustling Part-Dieu train station and the renowned Halles de Lyon-Paul Bocuse market. It’s the perfect place for food enthusiasts, with stalls selling fresh produce, cheese, bread, and local wines.

4th Arrondissement: Artistic and Industrial Heritage
The 4th arrondissement, also known as Croix-Rousse, is one of Lyon’s most colorful and artsy neighborhoods. Once the heart of the city’s silk industry, the district now boasts a vibrant arts scene and hosts many local markets and events.

5th Arrondissement: Historic Lyon
The 5th arrondissement is the historical heart of Lyon. Here you’ll find the Saint-Jean Cathedral, the charming Vieux Lyon area with its Renaissance-era buildings, and the Fourvière hill, offering panoramic views of the city.


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6th Arrondissement: Elegant Residential Area
Located on the right bank of the Rhone river, the 6th arrondissement is known for its elegant residential buildings and the magnificent Parc de la Tete d’Or. It’s the perfect district to relax and enjoy nature in the heart of the city.

7th Arrondissement: Student Life and Green Spaces
Home to several universities, the 7th arrondissement has a youthful and energetic vibe. It offers laid-back student life, diverse food options, and green spaces like the Parc Blandan. The district also hosts the Centre d’Histoire de la Resistance et de la Deportation, a museum dedicated to Lyon’s history during World War II.

8th Arrondissement: Vibrant and Diverse Neighborhood
The 8th arrondissement is a diverse and working-class district. It’s home to the Institut Lumiere, a museum dedicated to the history of cinema. This district offers an authentic taste of Lyon, away from the city’s main tourist areas.

9th Arrondissement: Residential and Green District
The 9th arrondissement is a residential district located northwest of the city center. It offers charming riverside paths and green spaces like the Ile Barbe. If you want a quieter taste of local life, this is a great district to explore.

Top photo by Théo Segantini

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