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.
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.
… 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.