Lyon, a city of culture

With a background of 2,000 years of history and numerous cultural venues and events, Lyon Metropole offers you lots of possibilities to get your fill of culture!

Lyon, a city of heritage

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lyon is a city with a rich history and characteristic neighborhoods. From archeology to modernity, from the Old City to the Confluence district, Lyon is filled with sites to discover.

Visiting Lyon

You can choose either a traditional or an original way to visit metropolitan Lyon:

Your cultural guides

Discovering the surrounding area

Would you like to spend some time outside the city? Visit the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, filled with heritage architecture and landscapes.

  • Cultural sites include the medieval town of Pérouges and Postman Cheval’s Ideal Palace;

  • Explore the nearby natural heritage at sites like the gorges of the Ardèche; the lakes of Annecy, Aiguebelette and Le Bourget; or the Balme caves. And don’t forget the Beaujolais area if you’re a wine lover.

In both summer and winter, you can enjoy the nearby ski resorts, with the possibility of one-day round trips to the area.

Museums in Lyon Metropole

Our selection of not to miss museums:

Confluences Museum, 86 Quai Perrache, Lyon 2. Free for students under 26

Museum of Fine Arts (MBA), Palais Saint-Pierre, 20 place des Terreaux, Lyon 1.€4 for visitors under 25; free of charge with the Museum Card.

Abode of Chaos, 17 Rue de la République, Saint-Romain-au-Mont-d‘Or. Free of charge


Discover all the museums of Lyon Metropole on the Tourist Office and Convention Bureau website.

Cultural highlights in Lyon Métropole

Major cultural events and many artistic venues make Lyon Métropole a very dynamic area. Around 21,000 events are scheduled throughout the year! Concerts, theater, festivals and biennials: they’re all yours to enjoy!

Events by and for students!

Since there are 165,000 students in Lyon, you’ll find lots of events by and for them in the city:

  • 24 Hours of INSA: Organized by a student association, this festival welcomes around 40,000 participants each year and is the largest student festival in France! It features concerts, entertainment and races during a weekend in May.

  • Student Initiative Forum: for one week in November at the Maison des Étudiants student center in Lyon, you can discover all the things you can do besides study when you commit to and participate in various types of associations.

  • NEM: The Nuit des Étudiants du Monde (World Students Night) is a special student evening event at the start of the university year. Foreign students are invited to participate in a festive student event that is international and free of charge.

  • Sors de ta Piaule (Get Out of Your Room) Festival: The Gaelis student association and the CROUS propose three weeks during the year (at separate times) for participating in cultural activities, from cooking to reflexology.

  • Artlezia Festival: express your creativity with this multidisciplinary student art festival. Concerts, theater, dance and painting are on the program.

  • Karnaval Humanitaire Festival: concerts and entertainment in support of a humanitarian project!

  • On the Green Road Festival: organized by the “On the Green Road” association, which is in residence at the Lyon Métropole Maison des Étudiants student center, this festival proposes workshops to share thoughts on environmental and climate challenges. 

And there are many others to discover throughout the year! Stay tuned with our agenda (french only).

Events with an international aspect

  • Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights): an emblematic tradition in Lyon, this festival on December 8 draws two million visitors to the city every year! Numerous artists lights the city during four evenings.

  • Nuits Sonores: this is France’s top electronic music festival, bringing together over 140,000 participants for five days (and nights) at several venues around Lyon Metropole.

  • Lumière Festival: each year, this festival focusing on film pays tribute to the career of a famous name in film and rolls out the red carpet for a number of prestigious guests.

  • Lyon Biennial: this is a Contemporary Art Biennial on odd years and a Dance Biennial on even years, with activities throughout the city in September and a big parade through the streets.

  • International Taste Biennial: As the capital of gastronomy, Lyon makes it a point each year to honor dining pleasure!

Major festivals of Lyon Metropole

Many music festivals are held each year in the metropolitan area, including the emblematic Nuits Sonores, as well as:

  • Nuits de Fourvière: in June and July, major international artists perform in the antique theater of Lugdunum. Stay alert, the event is sold out very quickly!

  • Woodstower: this festival featuring concerts and entertainment takes place on the last weekend in August at the Miribel-Jonage Park. There’s also a winter version, known as Wintower!

  • Reperkusound: this festival of electronic music lasts for three evenings, with lots going on.

  • Démon d’Or: this “diabolical” festival invites you to the verdant setting of the Monts d’Or for three days of musical entertainment.

  • Les Chants de Mars: this five-day festival takes place over the metropolitan area. You’ll find concerts and other entertainment in music venues, MJC centers, bars, etc.


What’s going on elsewhere in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes?

  • The Musilac festival at Aix-les-Bains on the shore of Le Bourget Lake features three evenings of concerts with international artists.

  • Jazz in Vienne presents jazz concerts in a Roman theater.

Did you know?

With your “Pass Culture”, you have access to three major festivals in Lyon Metropole:

Woodstower: one voucher = one entry for friday or saturday night,

Nuits Sonores: one voucher = €11.50 discount on a chosen spectacle

Nuits de Fourvière: one voucher = €11.50 discount on a chosen spectacle

And also...

  • Lyon BD Festival: one month of events around the metropolitan area that focus on cartooning, with encounters, performances and live shows.

  • Quais du Polar: this festival highlighting mystery novels proposes encounters, projections, investigations and other chilling activities!

  • Bron Book Festival: dozens of authors of contemporary novels are present for encounters and conferences.

  • Intergalactiques: this is the Lyon science fiction festival featuring Sci-Fi films, a flea market and apocalyptic workshops!

  • Lyon e-Sport: video game player competitions (most notably on League of Legends), as well as stands and cosplay, are waiting for you here.

  • Lyon Street Food Festival: have you tasted typical Lyon gastronomy? Sample street gastronomy during this delicious festival.

  • Sixième Continent “Tous à la Guill’”: this festival organized by neighborhood associations is held mainly in La Guillotière and at Gerland Park. There are concerts, entertainment, an association village and deregulated prices in an eco-citizen atmosphere!

Tout l’Monde Dehors / Fêtons l'Eté: all summer long, 300 outdoor entertainments are organized in Lyon; all are free of charge and open to everyone. With a choice of concerts, films and open-air guinguettes from mid June to early September, you’ll have a great way to spend your time in Lyon!