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Vieux-Lyon in 1 hour

Guided tours
Vieux-Lyon in 1 hour

Set out on a 1-hour historical stroll around Medieval and Renaissance Lyon.

Short 1-hour version!

This first discovery tour of the Vieux-Lyon area invites you to walk through the cobbled alleyways of the Saint Jean area, via its internal courtyards and traboules, to discover the atmosphere which is so very characteristic. Urbanized as early as the Middle Ages, the area now boasts 24 hectares of buildings mainly dating back to the 15th and 16th century, combining Gothic and Renaissance architecture.
 
Go back to the times of the great fairs that secured the wealth and celebrity of the city and relive the history of leading local and Italian families who left their mark here. 
 
Your guide will reveal secrets and anecdotes that have made the reputation of this historic area, which is the first area in France to have been preserved and inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Tour provided by ONLYLYON Tourisme et Congrès's tour guides


Worth knowing

  • Please  ensure you arrive 10 minutes before the tour commences.
  • Booking is necessary.
  • Cancellation free of charge 72 hours before schedule activity.
  • Children and minors remain under the responsibility of their parents during this visit. The participation of an adult is mandatory for each reservation.

The guides

Delphine Delphine

Hej, hallo, hello, bonjour I'm Delphine, one of the twenty or so lecturing guides that work for the Guides' Bureau.Our service is incredibly rich: we all have our own profiles, our own interests, our own areas of study and our own favourite type of public.

And we all have one thing in common: LYON

What I love is the variety of its districts and their architecture, the wealth and diversity of its history and the Men who built it, the beauty of its monuments, particularly the light reflected from the façades that border the Saône early in the morning or at the end of the day; it's a trip in itself!

So after language studies which took me to live in Denmark and Germany, I returned to Lyon to work as a guide to lift the veil on "Myrelingues la Brumeuse"* and to share my enthusiasm with you who have come here to discover it or immerse yourself in it. (*title of a book by Claude le Marguet, set in 1536 in Lyon)

Paa gensyn, bis bald, see you soon, à bientôt !

Laurence Laurence

All I need is a sturdy pair of shoes and a good hat, and I'm ready to take you on a "voyage through our city" I'll be delighted to take you on a discovery tour of our "landmark" sights as well as my own favourites.

In other words, I'd like to help you gain insight into the soul of our city! And on the way, I'll tell you all about the history and art of our UNESCO-listed capital.

Jérôme Jérôme

During tours, people often ask me if I'm a student. I'm too old for that. I'm a historian without the qualifications. I'm an architect without the diploma. But I was born in Lyon, and I enjoy helping members of the public discover this city which is a lot more than just a row of lovely façades.

You have to get a feel for the substance of the past, the depth of roots, the art of construction, the relation with light, the appeal of good food, one's relationship with a site, and the diversity of the different areas.

What you see counts of course, but as far as I'm concerned, a tour is only successful when people have had a good time, when I've managed, throughout the tour, to take them behind the scenes, to give them a sense of how people lived in those days and how we live in the city today.

I'm often delighted to hear people say they want to come back and spend more time here.

Anne Anne

I started out by working as a lecturing guide for a travel agency for 7 years. Then I decided to settle permanently and resumed my initial job as a guide in my hometown.

I have a passion for History, and the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in particular, and the history of art, and therefore particularly enjoy being in this city which boasts several centuries of history.

I love good food, and really blossom in this capital of gastronomy, where good food is part of local culture. So I quite naturally took an interest in the history of food and chefs.

So many passions I intend to share with you during your next visit.

Kind regards from Lyon!

Anneliese Anneliese

Lyon has been my city of adoption for several decades now, so as a polyglot with a lovely Austrian accent to boot and a passion for Lyon, I'm here to take you on a discovery tour of the city and its surrounding areas.

I'll be delighted to guide you through this great city, from Roman times to the 21st century!

Catherine Catherine

"Look and listen to the stones of my city".

Teaching people to look, telling stories, making sense of things, that's mainly what motivates me in my job.

My own personal story has mainly unfolded in Lyon, which I have proudly seen blossom over the past decades.Sharing with visitors from all over the world -I speak English and German- the beauty of my city is a great pleasure to me, and an honour. But what I also like is talking to the locals themselves, while helping them understand the specific characteristics of their area.

Claude Claude

Lyon adopted me 34 years ago and I love it!

Studying languages and the history of art as well as having a passion for history determined my career as a lecturing guide.

Although I moved to Lyon by chance, I must admit I love this city and feel happy here!

I love Lyon for its past and present that combine and merge in the melting pot of history, and are also apparent in its incredible vitality that many city's envy!

I adore the uniqueness of Lyon… its glorious Roman past which archaeologists never tire of revisiting, as well as Vieux-Lyon, its Renaissance area (second only to Venice) and its secret and mysterious traboules.

My love for Lyon also resides in my love of food, as this world capital of gastronomy boasts a record of one restaurant for 294 people!

I love Lyon for its culture, its biennials and its museums which are the stuff dreams are made of!

So many reasons that explain why I'm so very attached to Lyon and wouldn't leave it for an empire..., as far as I'm concerned, it's ONLY LYON!

Fabienne Fabienne

How lucky I am to have been able to study the history of art and archaeology in Lyon. It's magic! From the Roman theatres to the Musée des Confluences, past, present and future combine in beauty and harmony, just like the gold, silver and silk threads woven by the canuts.

Let's set out for a spot of "trabouling" with Rabelais' ghost, who will lead us from Hôtel-Dieu to the wealthy homes of the merchant bankers in Vieux-Lyon, stopping at inns, bouchons or star-rated restaurants on the way…

Let your eyes feast on the golden light that's worthy of Italy, and gilds the slopes of Croix-Rousse on summer evenings as you stroll along the embankment amid the seagulls and boats.

I love this city because life is so sweet here, and I love telling visitors all about it, as the enthusiastic urbanist in me sees the city as a living organism.

Claire Claire

I was born in the north of France and decided to come to Lyon about fifteen years ago to finish my studies… and I've been here ever since!

My interest in foreign languages and heritage led me to study for a lecturing guide diploma prior to branching out to accompany groups in France and abroad

Having starting out in Bourgogne, I now work as a guide in Lyon and the surrounding area (Vienne, Beaujolais, southern Bourgogne, Pérouges).

What I still really enjoy about this job are the human encounters and the wide variety of themes broached. It's never boring!

My favourite place in Lyon: Les Jardins du Rosaire… an absolute must!

Christian Christian

Bringing together the past and present, and knowing that the future is always built on what came before: maybe these are the reasons I decided to become a tour guide… Who knows! Adopted by the city of Lyon, over time I have become an adequate Lyonnais and I would even venture to say that I am now as passionate about this city as any local!

I spent my childhood between Corsica and Tarare, just to the west of Lyon, which goes to show that anything is possible! I then studied tourism in Nice and Paris and began a career in the travel industry. Later, returning to my roots to settle down was the natural choice for me.

Magali Magali

The decision to change my choice of studies to the History of Art at university, then to attend the School of Art and Communication was an obvious choice.

I completed by studies with a diploma to be a lecturing guide, which is an essential prerequisite when training to be a guide…

Having always lived between Rhône and Saône, I love travelling the length and breadth of Lyon. With each new viewpoint, I add new touches to my internal painting of its landscape.

In a city that lies at the crossroads of so many different influences, I never tire of going from one area to another, experiencing the change of century, architecture and atmosphere.

Discovering Lyon, is also about meeting the locals, past and present, that have marked the city, and to whom we owe our heritage, our particular characteristics, our "lyonnitude".

Bénédicte Bénédicte

My tours invite you to view the city like a tightrope walker balancing between light-heartedness and knowledge, gastronomy and architecture, silk and alchemy, football and botany, cinema and historic periods... And many other subjects that are the essence of Lyon.

Although I'm interested in the world in general, I chose to return to the city where I grew up, not to work but to pursue a passion: guiding visitors through Lyon, my home town. I will take you on a trip through time, from past to future, in a city where you can never be bored, and where there's something of interest for every generation. .

So if you want to discover the different areas in Lyon like a real little "gone" (street urchin), don't hesitate to follow me! I've worn out many pairs of trainers in the traboules and on the slopes of the three hills, I'm acquainted with Guignol's entire repertoire, and know where you can enjoy the best mâchons.

If you're interested, I'll be waiting under the horse's tail!

Charlotte Charlotte

Originally from the countryside surrounding Lyon, I went travelling around the world before returning to Lyon, which many French people rate as the most beautiful city in France, except for their home town of course!

As a child, I always associated Lyon with the zoo in Tête d’Or Park, with its bear, elephants, lions and other animals. Later on, as an apprentice archaeologist in Fourvière, I discovered the city’s history and heritage.

I hope to share my passion for art and history with you during your stay and take you back through time as you discover the birth of this great city in the traboules (hidden passageways) of Vieux-Lyon (Old Lyon), imagine the sounds of the silk looms on the slopes of Croix-Rousse hill (where the silk industry once thrived), and learn about Lyon through its painted walls in the city centre. In short, I want to share my love for the city!

From Fourvière Basilica to the museums in the Presqu’île district, I know how to get children interested in history and heritage, without forgetting the parents of course! My tours are lively and dynamic, so you can feel the heartbeat of my city and feel at home.

Far away from Lyon, my specialism at university was Egyptology, and my second passion is Japan: once you get me started on these subjects it’s difficult to stop me!

Véronique Véronique

When seeking to share Lyon's heritage with people, I like to broach the question from the viewpoint of technical skills and know-how, and even economy, whether it's architecture and town planning, or vineyards and gastronomy.

Fiona Fiona

Located at a geographical crossroads, the city of Lyon has always warmly welcomed people of various origins, whether it’s for a drink, a meal, a stay or to live, as it did for me.

As a tour guide, I get to meet people from various regions, countries and cultural backgrounds every day. This is why I decided to study foreign languages (English and German).

Originally from Picardy, I settled in Lyon after tasting life in the laid-back Loire and bustling Paris. In the end, I had the greatest affinity with Lyon.Like Lyon, I love food: the Capital of Gastronomy is a mouthwatering place to be! Like Lyon, I have the gift of the gab: this city has more than 2000 years of history and anecdotes to tell. Like Lyon, I am curious: you need to explore behind the city’s façades and through its traboules to really get to know it. Lastly, like Lyon, I like a laugh: the city’s famous puppet Guignol and its cafés-théâtres are a delight!

Come with me to discover what you share with Lyon!

Fabien Fabien

Ch'ti d'origine et gone de cœur, je m'appelle Fabien. Diplômé en Histoire à l'université du Littoral (Pas-de-Calais) et titulaire de la carte de guide-conférencier depuis 2015, j'ai été frappé à mon arrivée par la beauté enchanteresse de la ville Lumière.

Et depuis, j'ai eu le plaisir de la faire découvrir à tous types de publics (enfants, scolaires, adultes) à travers son centre historique et ses périphéries, notamment le musée des Confluences.

Passionné par le patrimoine sous toutes ses formes (historique, naturel et géologique), ma curiosité m'amène à en apprendre toujours plus sur ces vieilles pierres lyonnaises qui ont une histoire que l'on n'oserait pas soupçonner !

Venez la découvrir !

Dorothée Dorothée

J’ai quitté ma Bretagne natale pour explorer d'autres contrées plus lointaines. Et après quelques séjours aux Etats-Unis, en Grande-Bretagne et en Espagne, où je me destinais à enseigner le français, je suis devenue accompagnatrice-touristique, puis guide conférencière.

C’est à Lyon, ma ville d’adoption, pour laquelle j’ai eu un véritable coup de cœur (pour son patrimoine mais aussi, je l’avoue, pour ses pralines roses !) que j’ai posé mes cartons.

Fascinée par les patrimoines multiples qui font la richesse de notre planète, je me passionne pour le patrimoine naturel, l'architecture antique ou contemporaine, pour notre héritage culturel et artistique, ou encore pour un personnage historique... Sans oublier notre patrimoine de tradition orale qui reste le plus fragile à transmettre : celui de l'univers des contes et légendes, que j’affectionne particulièrement.

C'est avec plaisir que je partagerai avec vous les petites et grandes histoires qui fourmillent à Lyon.

Ségolène Ségolène

Un voyage autour du monde m’a conduite de New-York à Sydney, d’Auckland à Oslo, de Bangkok à Tokyo… Emerveillement et choc des cultures ont déterminé ma vocation et m’ont orientée vers une formation de Guide Conférencière à Paris.

C’est avec un œil neuf que j’ai redécouvert les richesses de ma petite patrie lyonnaise, le plaisir de débarouler la grand ’côte ; de lézarder sur les quais de Saône, de fuir la canicule dans l’ombre d’une traboule …

Jadis Lyon fût surnommée Myrlingue la brumeuse ; les brumes se sont envolées mais à Lyon, à la confluences des cultures , on continue à parler une myriades de langues ! A notre époque où tout s’accélère, découvrons ensemble au rythme lent de la promenade, deux millénaires d’histoire lyonnaise.

Laissez-moi vous conter le Lyon d’hier à aujourd’hui et je suis sûre que, comme moi, vous y prendrez un grand plaisir.

Valentina Valentina

De mon Italie natale, je suis arrivée à Lyon pour y passer un weekend et je n’en suis jamais repartie ! Et c’est avec un bel accent qui chante que je vous fais découvrir ma ville d’adoption qui m’a séduite en un clin d’œil pour son histoire et sa gastronomie.

Mon amour pour la France commence il y a vingt ans. Alors jeune étudiante en histoire des arts à Naples, je préparais mon Erasmus à Lille. Le feeling grandissait et, pendant huit ans de Dolce Vita à Rome, mes escapades dans les archives de Paris et de Marseille étaient fréquentes. Enfin c’est Lyon qui m’a retenue, capturée et subjuguée en mêlant mon intérêt pour l’art et la gastronomie.

C’est avec passion que je vous conterai sa fondation par les Romains, avec gourmandise que je vous parlerai de bouchons et de plats typiques, avec mystère que je pousserai les portes des traboules, avec élégance que je vous promènerai le long des grands boulevards du 19ème et enfin c’est avec un peu d’ironie et d’irrévérence que je vous raconterai l’histoire de Guignol.

As low as €10.00

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This visit is included in the Lyon City Card!

The essential tourist and cultural pass to make the most of your stay in Lyon!

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Location
& practical information

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Duration

1h00 visit

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Type

Guided tour on foot

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Prices

Adult

€10.00

From 8 to 18 & students

€6.00

Children under 8

Free

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Meeting place

Place Saint-Jean, next to the statue - Lyon 5th.

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Access

Metro D > Vieux-Lyon

Customer reviews Ils ont fait cette visite
131 Review(s)

Getting to know Lyon

star star star star star

by

Our guide was very efficient, knowledgeable and easy to listen to.
The short tour was interesting, but I had hoped to see a little more of old Lyon. Maybe a shorter introduction in the square?

My first journey to Lyon

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Thank you so much. It was really nice journey for me.

Wonderful French City

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I bought the 4 day pass, and it was worth the price. Metro was accessible and convenient to use. I went to the confluence museum and the fine arts museum as well as used the boat tour and the walking tour. The tours gave interesting information, and the museums were very impressive. Could easily spend more than 4 days in Lyon. The tourist office was also helpful, easy to find, and had free bathrooms in the back which were much appreciated.

Easy to find location and helpful staff

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The staff at the main tourism office in Place Bellcour are kind, patient, and fluent in multiple languages. I had no issues communicating in English and they made the process of picking up my city card easy! They also asked if I’d like to book my free events such a walking tour and boat cruise so I did not have to return to the office to do so.

Travelling Lyon with Lyon city card

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I had a wonderful time in Lyon, I was in the city for three days and I had a really good time travelling to the old city, enjoying lyonnaise cuisine, seeing the two cathedrals and the cruise along saone.
I am very grateful to the office of tourism, for helping me plan out my travel including informing me of the museum closing days and interesting exhibits in the city during my days. The Lyon city card was an added benefit as it gave me free transport and free/ heavily discounted access to most other places or activities.
It was a very well done tour and it could only be planned so well because of the guidance by the office of tourism, Lyon.

Excellent and informative walk

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Very informative and interesting walk around old Lyon. Well worth doing. Guide was very charming. We saw places and discovered things we would not have seen by ourselves.

We had a great time

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Our three days in Lyon were exceptional, even if the weather wasn’t.
Old Lyon was our favourite with its Traboules and Boucherons, they give the place such atmosphere, helped of course by the unique architecture. We enjoyed a one hour walking tour of this area led by a very knowledgeable lady
Les Halles by Paul Bocuse are amazing with an exotic collection of fine French food and, better still, having the opportunity to sample it on the spot.
We found the city’s intergrated transport system brilliant and easy to use.
Special mention to the amazing Basilica and the Cathedral. Both inspirational places.
Good assistance from the professional folk at the Tourist Office who were very helpful indeed.
Congratulations Lyon.

Response from ONLYLYON Tourism

24/05/2024 by Laetitia, Lyon City Expert

Thank you so much for this great feedback !

Tour

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by

Good tour. Marie was great. Very busy as it was a holiday week. The office didn’t tell us, but Marie took good care of us.

vieux lyon

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We met our guide on a rainy day but the tour was so interesting that the weather was of no consequence. Starting in the Church and then passing by landmarks and through the traboules our guide was the source of a flow of excellent, relevant and historical information that brought the history alive for me.

Very good tour

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The tour was great. A good blend of stories, history, and humor

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