10/3/2022     by Justin Gibson

Cultural Gems of Lyon

For the uninitiated, the city of Lyon seems to live thoroughly in Paris’ shadow. For those in the know, Lyon is a hub of culture that glows with its own brilliance — and has since the Roman times. Its accolades are many: the French capital of gastronomy, the historic powerhouse of silk production and the designation of being one large World Heritage Site. There’s more to see in a free afternoon here than we could hope to list … but for a dose of world-class culture of the highest order, consider checking out some of the gems below.
The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

Artistic Genius, Both Old and New

Museum lovers rejoice — Lyon has plenty to choose from. The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon makes its home in a 17th-century palace, and aptly holds a royal collection. A who’s-who of European painters fills the walls here, with Rubens, Rembrant, Gauguin and Delacroix all having works displayed. Additionally, there’s an impressive cache of Picasso’s paintings, Rodin’s sculptures, Islamic art and Egyptian antiquities — allowing you to spend an afternoon perusing artistic greatness through the ages.

Alternatively, contemporary art museums hold a fresher take on art. And while all contemporary art museums house more modern and eccentric works, few lend themselves to the creation of experiencing contemporary art the way Musée d'art Contemporain de Lyon does. The museum only shows art that was created on-site, and artists are invited to conjure their masterpieces with the museum at their full disposal. With this museum housing no permanent exhibits, every visit provides a glimpse of brilliance — a one-time witnessing of creative genius that can never be exactly replicated or repeated.

A stretch of stunning architecture along the Confluence's waterfront.

The Confluence

Bucking the trend we’ve established so far, the Confluence is not a museum of past works, but rather a section of city dreaming of what urban life could be in the future. Located where Lyon’s two rivers converge, this less-than-one-square-mile utopia is a living experiment in what urban community can be. Abundant solar panels meld with contemporary architecture, public green spaces adorn the riverbanks and folks from all walks of life enjoy the breezy shopping mall and chic bistros. Think of it as a living work of art — a masterpiece of civic planning.

Lyon, France

A Bespoke Way to Discover Lyon …

… Is on board one of Avalon Waterways many river cruises. This way, your trips to far-away towns have the added benefit of professional guides to show you as much (or as little) as you’d like to see, with the guided sightseeing tours come in all sizes and flavors. Whether you sign up for a culinary tour of the city, a guided urban hike through Lyon’s secret passageways or a cooking class focused on a local delight, the result is the same: You’ll be able to immerse yourself in, and discover, your destination far better than if you had arrived on your own. And, after a day or two exploring the city, you’re off cruising in style to the next port full of adventure and discovery. Your vacation may be a day exploring all of the above, an evening relaxing in an ever-opulent Panorama Suite, and then waking up to witness the sun rise over Tournon or Macon before setting out to explore the city for yourself. That’s not just cruising elevated — that’s a getaway you’ll cherish for years to come.

Plan your next trip with
Ashburn, VA
Let's Plan Your Next Trip

We are here to help you turn your travel dreams into reality. contact us today!

Francine Beifeld
Francine Beifeld
Ashburn, VA
Travel Harmony Australia Europe Travel Specialist
Sari Heiskanen
Sari Heiskanen
Vienna, VA
Scandinavia, Cruise and Family travel Specialist
Roneka Samalenge
Roneka Samalenge
Sterling, VA
Experience Luxury with Bellavue Travel
How does this work?
Why use a travel agent?
Why use Travel Leaders?

Travel Leaders Network is the largest network of professional travel agents in North America. Wherever you want to go, however you want to get there — we have a travel agent for you.

Magnifying Loupe
Our database of travel experts & specialists
With an agent via text, email or phone
A stress-free vacation with a professional by your side