Lyon's monuments, a World Heritage Site

​​​​​​​Have you visited the capital of gastronomy and silk, designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998? Divided into nine districts, the streets of Lyon have more than two thousand years of history, from the Roman era, in which it was establishes as the capital of the Three Gauls in the first century AC. Renfe's Alta Velocidad (high-speed) International trains will take you to the heart of Lyon in less than 5 hours from Barcelona. Hop on our AVE (high-speed) France trains!

Since its origins, Lyon has played a major role in the development of European politics, culture and economy, and its monuments and its entire urban structure are proof of this.​ 

Fourvière hill

First of all, it is worth highlighting Fourvière hill, which can be accessed by taking the cable railway, the oldest in the world. This is the first historic district in France to be declared a World Heritage Site.  

The Roman heritage is still present. The different venues - highlighting the Roman theatre and the Odeon - and the different chapels and Basilica of Notre Dame of Fourvière, which were the origin of the current Festival of Lights, are examples of Roman heritage. ​​​ 


Fourviè​re hill

Vieux Lyon

You simply cannot miss the Renaissance district of Vieux Lyon, in almost the same state of preservation since medieval times, on the banks of the Saône River, the perfect place to get lost walking and tasting the traditional local dishes in one of its many bouchons, or enjoying the unique architecture of the famous traboules, medieval passages that connect the buildings and parallel streets without the need to leave the district.​ 

Vieux Lyon is divided into three neighbourhoods or sections. The first of them, the political-religious hub during the Middle Ages, would be Saint-Jean, which houses Saint-Jean cathedral, famous for its astronomical clock and the Manécanterie, an attached building and former choir school that today integrates the Museum of the cathedral's treasures. 

The second section, Saint-Paul, houses the famous hôtels, urban residences of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Highlights include Hôtel de Gadagne – now the Historical Museum of Lyon – and Hôtel Bulliod, as well as the Temple of the Stock Exchange, which originated as the city's stock exchange and today is a Protestant church. 

Finally, the third district is Saint Georges; its streets saw the workers of the silk industry during the pantheon. 

Presqu'île, the city's peninsula

Presqu’île can be found in the centre of Lyon, a shopping centre and urban spot with a great cultural and artistic heritage, surrounded by the Saône and the Rhône, reaching Croix-Rousse.  

Its squares are quite impressive, in particular Place des Terreaux, where you will find Hôtel de Ville or the Town Hall building, built in the seventeenth century and restored in the eighteenth century after a fire. 

The National Opera and Place Bellecour can be found near Place des Terraux, with its Tree-Flower statues and the Sun King crowing its centre, as well as its spectacular night view, with Fourvière basilica lit in the background. 


La Croix-Rousse

The singular district that used to be the city's leading space for the silk industry lies on Croix-Rousse hilltop, the remains of which can be seen at Montée de la Grande Côte, already an important street in the Middle Ages. As a result of the influence of several religious congregations, several buildings emerged, such as the Church of Bruno des Chartreux, the only baroque temple in the city, or the Convent of Saint Marie des Chaînes

Artisans and silk merchants moved to this neighbourhood and inspired the serene and peculiar atmosphere of its streets, next to the famous traboule de Cour des Voraces.  

Without a doubt, another reason for which Lyon is so well known is the Lumière Plan, which involves lighting over 200 buildings and monuments of interest, inspired by the Lumière Brothers, creators of cinema and whose birthplace is now the Institute Lumière, also known the "Museum of Light", which showcases rare objects and devices and which has a huge film screening room for lovers of cinema. 

Travel to Lyon by train

Now that you have all this information, wouldn't you like to be there now to see it with your own eyes? Book your train ticket to Lyon now!​

We will take you there in the most comfortable, fast and sustainable way, thanks to our Alta Velocidad (high-speed) International trains travelling between Spain and France. Have you chosen the destination of your next cultural visit? Choose how you would like to travel and what you would like to visit and we will define the destinations and means of transport. Have you found out about our discounts? Take advantage of these offers and get the best price on your train ticket.