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YON is the third largest city in France. It offers culture, a vibrant clubbing scene and gastronomic delights.

LMust sees for free Take a walk around Lyon Confluence, where the Rhone and the Saone meet. This was formerly an industrial wasteland, but has been regenerated thanks to a multimillion-euro urban renewal project. Now it is the site of bizarre energy efficient buildings, such as Le Cube Orange, an orange steel structure, its relation, Le Cube Vert, and a giant shopping centre called Pole de Commerces et de Loisirs Confluence, which spans two hectares.

The Parc Tete d'Or, or park of the golden head, is a 117-hectare green space north of the city centre, with a lake on which rowing boats can be rented in the summer, a small zoo, a velodrome, boules court, horse riding and a tourist train.

In a former sugar warehouse, La Sucerie, art exhibitions are staged during the Biennale d'Art Contemporain, and on the top floor is a night club. In the next phase of work in La Confluence, residential areas will be built, linked to the rest if the city by three new bridges. The project is set to finish by 2020.

Top sees for a fee The Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere is a church from which stunning panoramas across the city can be seen. From April to November, free one-hour discovery tours take in the main features of this 19th century church, from the mosaics which line its interior to the basilica and crypt. Alternatively there are 75-minute rooftop tours which finish on the stone-sculpted roof. Tickets must be reserved online in advance for the rooftop tour and cost [euro]7 for adults, [euro]4 for children. The basilica is open 8am to 6.45pm.

The Musee des Beaux Arts is home to works by Moet, Matisse, and Picasso. There is a free audioguide and the museum is open 10am to 6pm, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday to Monday, and 10.30am to 6pm on Friday. Entry is [euro]8 for adults, free for children.

The Musee Gadagnes is a 16th century mansion, home to a duo of exhibitions, the Musee d'Histoire de Lyon and Musee des Marionettes. The first depicts the development of the city, while the latter is dedicated to the puppet of Lyon, Guignol. Open 11am to 6pm Wednesday to Sunday, it is also home to gardens and a cafe, for a tranquil rest after exploring the exhibitions. Entry costs [euro]6 for adults, [euro]4 for ages 18 to 26, free for children.

Getting around TCL operates buses, trams, a metro and two funiculars between Vieux Lyon, Fourviere and St-Just. Tickets cost [euro]1.80 and are valid on all forms of transport, on sale from bus and tram drivers and machines at the metro entrances. A Lyons City Card for one, two or three days of travel costs [euro]22, [euro]32 or [euro]42 for adults and [euro]13.50, [euro]18.50 or [euro]23.50 for children, Eating out Les Halles de Lyon is a market crammed full of French delicacies. There are more than 50 stands selling everything from cured meats to wine, seafood to sweets and chocolate. Try the foie grasflavoured macaroons, buy a round of cheese from famous cheesemonger Mere Richard, then enjoy a sit-down meal and feast on produce bought in the market. At Canut et les Gones, on the edge of the Croix-Rosse quartier, a traditional bouchon - or tavern, try dishes such as lamb cooked in a variety of ways - roasted rib, crispy candied shoulder, and leg stuffed with black garlic and shiso leaves. Alternatively, sample pollack fish, grey shrimp and safran juice, watercress coulis, lentils, seaweed pak choi and broccoli. For a familyfriendly or low-key meal, head to In Cuisine in Place Bellecour, a little bookshop offering thousands of cookbooks. Diners can choose from a range of treats from the delicatessen, stock up on kitchen utensils, take cookery lessons for adults and children, or sit in the cafe and relax with a coffee and cake. Dishes include seafood stew and parmesan and artichoke tart.

Going out Lyons has a vibrant nightlife scene, from clubbing to wine tasting. The 1970s building, Marche Gare, holds 300 people and plays indie music. Meanwhile, Le Sucerie is a huge music venue, hosting internationally-renowned acts. For a chilled evening, La Cave d'a Cote on Rue Pleney is a wine cellar which dates back to the 18th century, where today guests can relax on the sofas or sit round communal tables, tasting wines from a vast menu and snacking on cheeses and charcuterie.

Compiled by Emma Curry Hotels LUXURY: Radisson Blu Hotel, Lyon: This up-market hotel features rooms with city or mountain views, a bistro and brasserie, a fitness room and business centre and a complimentary shuttle to the train station. 129 Rue Servient. From PS149 per night.

MID-RANGE: Hotel Alexandra Lyon: This relaxed hotel offers rooms with modern furnishings, a dining room, garden terrace and free Wi-Fi. 49 Rue Victor Hugo. From PS71.

BUDGET: Hotel du Helder: Basic rooms are individually decorated, and all have free Wi-Fi and televisions. Some have air conditioning, balconies and terraces. 38 Rue de Marseille. From PS49.

DESTINATION LYON Currency: Euros ([euro]) - PS1 = [euro]1.12.

Time zone: GMT+1hr.

The flight: FLYBE flies direct from Manchester to Lyon. Duration: 55mins. From PS93 return.

Best time to visit: The hottest months are July and August. Be prepared for rain from November to April and carry wet weather clothing. Some restaurants, hotels and attractions will close down during Bank Holidays - in May and August.

Visas, injections, precautions: None.


The Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere, Lyon PIC: Ivo Kruusamagi

Les Halles de Lyon PIC: Benoit Prieur

Le Cube Orange, Lyon PIC: Anthony

Lyon PIC: Jorge Franganllo
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:Jul 23, 2018
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