Lyon, Rhone

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Lyon, France

When you're spending time in France's third largest city, you know you're in for a treat. Lyon - sometimes written Lyons in English - is the capital of the Rhone-Alpes region and boasts one of the preserved historical areas. The archetype of the heritage city as recognised by UNESCO, this vibrant metropolis has a lot to offer visitors - both casual explorers and intrepid adventurers.

Situated on the rivers Rhône (to the East) and the Saône (to the West), the districts of Lyon shape themselves around the meeting point of these two impressive waterways. Not only the physical shape of the city, but everything including the history, culture and future of this settlement is influenced by the rivers. Vast centres of industry were once based here, churning out silk, metal and other much-needed commodities.

The neighbourhoods of Fourvière, Vieux Lyon, Croix-Rousse and a large part of Presqu'île are designated World Heritage by UNESCO, making them excellent places to begin.

History enthusiasts should start at the Roman theatre in Fourvière, considered the most important ruin of the long-dead Roman city of Lugdunum, which previously resided here. The theatre is beautifully preserved and wandering the rows of seats is a thought-provoking experience.

Other great landmarks to explore include the Cathédrale St-Jean, the central square of Place des Terreaux and the Parc de la Tete d'Or. 

Then there are dynamic museums, a busy clubbing scene and plenty of nightlife to explore, while adventurous foodie fans can make the most of a world famous gastronomic culture. But at the end of the day, it's also easy to derive pleasure from finding a quiet square, sitting down with a coffee and watching the locals go about their daily lives.

To sum up, Lyon possesses a bit of everything, from history and culture to natural beauty. It is a fascinating place to explore, whether your river cruise takes you here just for an afternoon or even a couple of days.

Lyon, France

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