Bryan Dijkhuizen

We Discovered an Old Roman City in Lyon

Back in August, my sister and I visited Switzerland and saw the most beautiful nature and landscapes. You can read about some of that here.

We went to Geneva, which is the second most populous city in Switzerland and lies near Lac Léman (Lake of Geneva). In this city and part of Switzerland, they speak French, not German.

But do you know what the best part of Geneva is? You can see the Mont Blanc from there (if it’s a clear sky).

Certainly incredibly.

We had a little look at it and could see the contours of the mountain and the range around it.

But in Lyon, you can see this as well — that’s what we did last week.

Finding the Idyllic Old Town on the Hill

Our day started with walking from our hotel to the old Idyllic part of the city of Lyon: La Croix-Rousse.

It lies on a hill just north of the old city center of Lyon — it looks a bit like this:

Very pretty indeed.

To get up there, we used way too many stairs and we definitely should have taken a bus up the hill. But it was all worth the effort.

Look at the view we had.

Image by Author: Bryan Dijkhuizen

It was a bit foggy but we could look over the entire city (but later we would get even better views).

After walking around the quarter on the hill we wanted to visit the most famous and beautiful viewpoint of Lyon: Fourvière. This hill has some Roman History.

It used to be the Roman city of Lugdunum and even has an old abandoned Amphitheatre.

How to get on the hill?

You can take the Funicular (f2) up the hill from Vieux-Lyon and it only costs €3,50 ($3,80) for a return ticket. It takes you up the hill within 5 minutes and you’ll stand in front of the Saint-Jean Cathedral.

You’d have to walk around 10 minutes to get to the old theatre and you’ll see this:

Images by Author: Bryan Dijkhuizen

It’s pretty big and you can walk everywhere to experience what it feels like to sit in such a big old Roman theatre.

Drinking Coffee in Front of the Mont Blanc

Another tourist attraction on the hill of Fourvière is the viewpoint where you can watch all over the city of Lyon. Around noon the fog was gone and we had this beautiful view.

We decided to have a coffee in the cafe next to the viewpoint and there were still 2 seats available just by the wall that gives you the best view.

I’ll show you:

You can’t see the Mont Blanc in the pictures but it was visible from where we sat.

I didn’t expect it to be so close to us.

When we planned this trip to Lyon I was a bit sceptical. I’m not so fond of large French cities like Paris so I’d have to see and hope for Lyon to be a bit better and less crowded.

But Lyon surprised me.

Yes, it was crowded and there were a lot of people but I managed to enjoy myself walking in the old streets of the city of lights.

Especially in the older parts of the city. The new center part of Lyon is cool but not if you like cute French town vibes like we did — in Vieux-Lyon we discovered this cute coffee bar where we had a delicious Cappucino and a Cafe Latte.

Image by Author: Bryan Dijkhuizen

That was nice.

After having coffee there and exploring the more tourist old city center we had a great time and started appreciating the city as a whole.

Overall, if you like what I just described, you should visit Lyon at least once in your life.

For more travel photography I’d recommend you follow me on Unsplash, Threads, and Instagram.

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