Founded by the Romans in 43 BCE, Lyon holds its own as France's third-largest city with a buzzing cultural and gastronomic scene. It's also the birthplace of cinema, with a popular museum dedicated to the Lumière brothers' groundbreaking invention, now located in their former house. The city sits at the confluence of the Rhône and the Saône rivers and is the capital of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
The undeniable centrepiece is the UNESCO-listed Renaissance old town, known as Vieux Lyon. Here you can wander through secluded passageways called 'traboules', originally designed to let people pass discreetly from street to street without leaving the building. It's a great place for map-free stroll, but be sure to make stops at Rue Saint-Jean to see the stunning Gothic cathedral, and Rue du Bœuf for its designer stores and Michelin-starred restaurants.
Other main attractions include the Parc de la Tête d'Or, the Fourvière basilica and a huge number of museums including the eye-catching Musée des Confluences, Musée des Beaux-Arts and Musées Gadagne. Add to that a thriving nightlife and shopping scene, and you'll see why Lyon is a city that has it all.
Planes and trains are the easiest ways to reach the city, with Eurostar services arriving at Part-Dieu station and flights touching down at Saint-Exupéry Airport, 25 km east of Lyon.