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How to explore Lyon while avoiding the crowds?

Experiences to live

Last updated date : 20/03/2024

Dodge the crowds while visiting all of Lyon’s main attractions, including the traboules, museums and parks. Here are a few tips to see Lyon at your own pace.

Place de la Basoche, Vieux-Lyon © Romain Biard / Shutterstock _1041637660

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Visit the lesser-known traboules

La Cour des Voraces © Delphine Castel

In addition to those of Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon), there are many traboules (hidden passageways between streets) to be discovered on the slopes of Croix-Rousse hill.

One of the most spectacular is the Cour des Voraces. We recommend walking through it in both directions, as it offers two distinct experiences.

Here is our selection of ten beautiful or picturesque traboules not to be missed on the slopes of Croix-Rousse hill.  

Please remember to be quiet to avoid disturbing local residents.

Explore Vieux Lyon on a weekday

Yanis Ourabah

Bursting with Renaissance charm, the narrow streets of Vieux Lyon were once thronged with fairgoers. Now, they are an irresistible tourist attraction, particularly on weekends.  
If you want to avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit this part of the city during the week. You can then take the time to explore the neighbourhoods of Saint-Georges, Saint-Jean and Saint-Paul in peace and quiet.  

In summer, try to come in the morning to stay cool while enjoying the beautiful colours of the cobbled streets.

At lunchtime on weekdays, restaurants in Vieux Lyon offer affordable set menus to discover our local cuisine.  

One-hour guided tours of Vieux Lyon organised by the Tourist Office are available every day during the week. 


Peaceful spots to eat outdoors

To enjoy your salad or sandwich, you can find a haven of calm, even in the heart of the city, away from places that get too busy at lunchtime. 


Discover Lyon’s museums outside of peak visiting times

More than thirty museums in Lyon await you every day to explore their collections. The best times to visit are during the week, as well as at the end of the day or even in the evening.

Between midday and 2 pm, the Musée des Beaux-Arts (Museum of Fine Art) organises 30-minute flash tours dedicated to a single artwork, called the ‘Fast and Curious’. 

At the end of the day, the Musée Cinéma et Miniature (Cinema and Miniature Museum) offers a reduced admission to visit the exhibitions from 6 to 7 pm. 

Many of the city’s museums, such as the Musée des Confluences and the Musée d’Art Contemporain (Contemporary Art Museum), regularly organise nocturnal tours, combining exhibitions, activities, concerts, debates and screenings. 

Musée de l'Automobile Henri Malartre ©


Planes, cars and firefighters: three legendary museums

Professions like pilot, racing driver and firefighter have always thrilled kids and grown-ups alike. Discover three museums in Lyon that hide some amazing treasures from an exciting past.

Enjoy Lyon’s parks 

On sunny weekends, Tête d’Or Park is a magnet for joggers, strollers, families and visitors. To make the most of it, aim to arrive early. Begin your visit at the entrance named ‘Porte des Enfants du Rhône’. Walk along the lakeshore and past the rose garden to the zoo, which opens at 9:30 am. Make sure you don’t miss the park’s botanical garden and greenhouses.

Zoo - animal park

Zoo de Lyon

Parc de la tête d'Or - 69006 Lyon 6ème

Voir la fiche

Blandan Park, in Lyon’s 7th district, boasts a military history dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. The park has a network of fortifications and a dozen buildings, including the former barracks. It also offers two play areas with huge slides, children’s trails, a skate park and pétanque pitches.  

Gerland Park is located just next to the river Rhône. You can get there by walking down the path that runs along the riverbank. It is formed of two vast lawns and different gardens.

Perched up high, two green spaces offer some stunning views of Lyon: Jardin des Curiosités and Jardin des Chartreux. 


Ten parks and gardens for a green break in Lyon

Whether you are looking for a green space to go for a walk, do some sport, tire out the children, or read a book in a calm setting, our little guide to Lyon’s parks and gardens has the perfect spot for you.