Lyon, France

If Paris, Lille and Rotterdam made a love child, Lyon would be the resulting baby. With its three distinct neighborhoods–City Center, Old Lyon and Confluence–there is plenty to explore!

Also, if you happen to have money to blow, Lyon is said to be the city with the highest number of Michelin stared restaurants per capita. Considered the “Pope of French Cuisine”, Paul Bocuse founded his restaurant at 40 Quai de la Plage. If you have 300 Euros to spend per person on a meal, I hear that this is the place to be! Opened and awarded three Michelin stars in 1965, Paul Bocuse’s restaurant is the longest restaurant to have maintained that prestigious standing.

A special thanks to Paul from Free Tour Lyon for all of his tips and information.

Fourvière HillOld LyonCity CenterCroix-RousseConfluence
The name Fourvière comes from “Forum Vieux”. Lyon was initially founded by the Roman General under Caesar in 43 BC on the hill above what is today Lyon. The reason for setting the city up on a hill was for protect against enemy invasion and against river floods. During Roman time, Lyon was the second largest city of the Roman Empire with fifty thousand residents, after Rome with one million residents. (For reference, Paris had six thousand residents at the time.) Lyon was then the capital of the Gaul region.

When the Roman Empire fell apart, the Romans took their knowledge of aqueduct building with them. This forced the Lyonnais to go down to the valley in order to have access to water. Today, the greater city area has two million residents.

Lyon’s modern city center is located in the district Presqu’île, meaning almost island and named such for obvious reasons. It was pretty much completely remodeled in the 19th century and explains its striking resemblance to Paris, remodeled at the same time.

Named the “hill that works”, Croix-Rousse is the industrial part of Lyon. It is where all of the textile factories were during the peak of the silk industry. In comparison, the Fourvière Hill is called the “hill that prays”.

The Confluence neighborhood is the newest neighborhood in Lyon. It is named Confluence because that is the area where the two rivers–Saône and Rhône–converge.

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