There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Lyon each year. The main ones are listed below.January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday) May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)
On the first of May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to close ones. Many vendors occupy the pavement on that occasion!May 8 : Victory Day (national holiday)
Commemorates the Allied victory in Europe that ended World War II on this day in 1945. Various ceremonies are held around town.June 21: Fête de la Musique (celebrated nationwide)
Also celebrated internationally as World Music Day, for this festival many free concerts featuring all types of music are held in the streets and various venues across Lyon.July 14: Bastille Day (national holiday)
This holiday celebrates both the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution, and the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. In Lyon, a dance party open to everyone is held on the left bank of the Saône (between the Maréchal Juin and Bonaparte bridges) and a traditional fireworks display is set off from Fourvière hill at nightfall.August 15: Assumption Day (national holiday)
This celebration, still very popular in Lyon, is marked by the faithful with religious processions and ceremonies through the streets. On this occasion, a fireworks display is set off from the Rocher du Basta and Grande Plage.Third weekend in September: European Heritage Days (celebrated nationwide)
The aim of the European Heritage Days is to open up numerous sites and monuments, many of which are normally closed to the public. A great opportunity for a lovely stroll through the city to admire architectural treasures!September : Everybody at the restaurant (Tous au restaurant – local event)
This event allows everybody to discover and enjoy the greatest restaurants all around France. Several restaurants in Lyon take part in the operation. Not to be missed!November 11 : Remembrance Day (national holiday)
On this day, citizens gather at the war memorial in Lyon to commemorate the signing of the 1918 Armistice officially bringing an end to the First World War.December 5–8: Fête des Lumières (local event)
Known for centuries as a city of light, Lyon has celebrated this unique festival for more than 150 years. First held on December 8, 1852 at the inauguration of a statute to the Virgin Mary, who is believed to have saved the city from the bubonic plague in 1643, the festival was initially celebrated by people throughout the city by lighting candles in their windows. Now held over four days at this same time of year, it has evolved into a high-tech extravaganza of light, accompanied by music and sound effects and visited by millions every year, in which leading artists and designers illuminate buildings, streets, squares and parks all over Lyon.December 25: Christmas (national holiday) December 31 : New Year's Eve (national event)
On the night of December 31st, the atmosphere is particularly festive on the streets of Lyon, with families and friends celebrating the new year.
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||0/32||6/43||47/1.9||Not the best period to go|
|February||1/34||8/46||44/1.7||Not the best period to go|
|March||4/39||13/55||50/2.0||Not the best period to go|
|April||6/43||16/61||75/3.0||Not the best period to go|
|May||11/52||21/70||91/3.6||Good period to go|
|June||14/57||25/77||76/3.0||Good period to go|
|July||17/63||28/82||64/2.5||Good period to go|
|August||16/61||27/81||62/2.4||Good period to go|
|September||12/54||23/73||87/3.4||Good period to go|
|October||9/48||17/63||99/3.9||Not the best period to go|
|November||4/39||11/52||82/3.2||Not the best period to go|
|December||2/36||7/45||55/2.2||Not the best period to go|
The airport is located 25 kilometres (16 miles) east of the city centre.
In Lyon, as in many of France's large metropolitan areas, public transport is the best way to get around.
Lyon's public transport system was awarded the Ticket d'Or (or Golden Ticket) and is considered as the most efficient among those operated by France's largest cities. It offers dense and extensive coverage of the metropolitan area (more information is available on the www.tcl.fr/en website).
Due to heavy traffic and limited parking options, visiting Lyon by car is not recommended. Should you still need to drive, various car rental agencies are located throughout town.
Useful tip: “Citiz”, a self-service car rental network is operated in Lyon. About a hundred cars are available 24/7, spread out through the 40 drop-off areas. From EUR 2 per hour.
Lyon offers several hundred kilometres of cycling paths. Bicycles can be rented from local bike shops or you can use Vélo'v, the city's public bike-sharing system, with 348 stations around the city. The first 30 minutes are free of charge, then EUR 1 for the next 30 minutes and EUR 2 for every additional 30 minutes.
Upon your arrival in Lyon, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.Lyon Tourist Office and Convention Bureau
Offers practical information (sightseeing, tours, heritage sites and cultural institutions, nights out on the town, etc.), maps and brochures for tourists on the city of Lyon and its region.
The currency used in France is the Euro (EUR).
ZAR 1 = EUR 0.06
EUR 1 = ZAR 16.67
The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.
See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Lyon counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.Vaccinations
There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to France. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
There are no specific food safety risks. French government authorities promote good hygiene practices and put in place strengthened control procedures for sites especially frequented by tourists during the summer months.Water
Tap water is safe to drink in Lyon.
As a general rule, a visa is required to enter France. The following foreign nationals are not required to carry a visa for stays of 90 days or less:
For stays of more than 90 days, a long-stay visa is required. Travellers from all other countries must be in possession of a visa, regardless of the length of their stay. Visa applications must be submitted to the nearest French Embassy or French Consulate in the country of permanent residence well in advance of departure. For further information, visit the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
The directory made available online by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French only) includes addresses and contact details for all foreign embassies and consulates in France: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/le-ministere-et-son-reseau/annuaires-et-adresses-du-maedi/ambassades-et-consulats-etrangers-en-france
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Lyon and France, be sure to check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country for the latest travel information and recommendations.
Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Lyon a little easier:
In Lyon like elsewhere in France, a service charge is always included in the bill. If you are particularly pleased with the service, you may certainly leave a few extra euros on the table. But this additional tip is neither expected nor necessary.