It is only 5 hours from Barcelona with our AVE (high-speed) France trains, Lyon, and is considered to be one of the perfect destinations for a weekend getaway. It received the award for best European destination for a weekend getaway, in front of other major cities, such as Paris or Madrid.
Discover its world-renowned heritage, walk around the banks of the Rhône or Saône during the evening and experience the thousand-year old culture the quickest, most comfortable and sustainable way, thanks to our AVE (high-speed) International trains travelling between Spain and France.
Lyon is home to one of the largest areas protected by UNESCO since 1998; more than 400 hectares of the city were designated a World Heritage Site. Fourvière hill, in the Vieux Lyon district, Croix-Rousse hill and the area of Presqu'île, proof of the city's industrial development and currently Lyon's centre, are the main protected areas.
This hill, at an altitude of 300 metres, is where you can find the origins of Roman Lugdunum, which still preserves important remains, such as the Odeon or Amphitheatre of Gaul. At the top of the hill is the Basilica of Notre-Dame of Fourvière, built on the old Roman Forum of Trajan, known for its impressive mosaics and marvellous stained glass windows, in addition to the spectacular views of the city. The hilltop can be accessed through very steep streets, but if you do not feel like walking up, you have a cable car that takes you to the top.
Views of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, one of the most popular places in Lyon
This district, on the banks of the Saône and at the foot of Fourvière, remains untouched over time. Built in medieval and Renaissance times, the architecture and layout of the neighbourhood have remained unchanged since its foundation. It is divided into 3 neighbourhoods: Saint-Georges to the south, Saint-Jean in the centre and Saint-Paul to the north. Saint-Jean district is the most popular of the 3 and in which you will find the cathedral and many traboules, traditional Lyonnaise buildings.
You can walk around Saint-Jean Cathedral in Lyon's historic district, one of the city's most popular places for tourists
The industrial district of Lyon in the nineteenth century can also be found on one of the city's hilltops. During the Industrial Revolution, Lyon became France's most important city and many workers moved to this neighbourhood, to establish themselves in a prosperous place as the one in which the silk manufacturing plants were located. On the Croix-Rousse hilltop we can find the boulevard that crosses the entire neighbourhood and every morning, suddenly, a market appears. The kilometre-long stretch, with more than 100 stops, is a boiling pot of local products and traditional specialties.
A natural paradise of tasty delicacies and traditional foods, Croix-Rousse is the gem of Lyon's markets. The market has vast amounts of quality food for sale. Gastronomy is the city's business card and of all of its markets, but this one has a particularity. La Croix-Rousse specialises in the supply of local products and has a weekly organic produce market.
Currently, the Lyon peninsula is the city centre. The town hall building can be found at Place des Terreaux, as well as most of Lyon's shopping and dining streets, perfect for shopping and relaxation. We recommend visiting the huge Place Bellecour, the third largest in France, and going out to dinner at Paul Bocuse's restaurant, one of the most popular Lyonnaise restaurants in the world.
But when it comes to culture, Lyon not only boasts about its geniuses, but also about the spaces they have created to preserve their heritage. After the Louvre, the largest art collection in France you will find the Lyon Museum of Fine Arts.
Panoramic view of Place de Bellecour and its impressive Ferris wheel
You are most probably thinking about your next destination while you return home on our AVE (high-speed) France trains. Romantic, daring, relaxing? Choose what you would like your trip to be like, we will offer you the destinations and our AVE (high-speed) International trains.
Have you checked out our discounts? Take advantage of these offers and get the best price on your train ticket.