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Lyon is one of those cities you can return to again and again without tiring of them. It is not as dazzling as Paris, but the capital of French gastronomy is still easy to visit with your children. There are vestiges of different eras that are a testament to the city’s 2,000-year history. Lyon offers many tours, attractions and activities for children. A great way to save money is to get the Lyon City Card, which includes access to 24 museums, guided tours and public transportation!
1- Intriguing traboules
The word alone raises questions. “A traboule is a passageway that leads from one street to another through buildings and courtyards, says Delphine Godefroy, travel guide. It was the solution to save space in a city that didn’t have enough.” Discovering them becomes the ideal pretext to dive into the history of the city!
2- Fourvière and its surroundings
Unavoidable, the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière is the first tourist site of the department of Rhône. We start the adventure by taking the funicular, then we discover this impressive icon of the city, erected on the hill of Fourvière since antiquity. Just beside, a huge mock-up allows to better visualize the city, at our feet. The archaeological site of Lugdunum — home of the Roman colony gradually abandoned during the 3rd century — is also likely to impress the older children.
3- The Confluences Museum
Here is a museum that will please the whole family! The Confluences Museum, whose architecture is inspired by the meeting of two rivers — the Rhône and the Saône — offers visitors the opportunity to discover the origins of the world and its occupants. From dinosaurs to telephones from different eras and funerary rites, we get to learn about the humans of yesterday and today. Workshops are also offered for children.
4- Thematic guided tours
There are many tours adapted to children. Some examples? An urban walking rally or a guided tour by electric bike, a cruise with Les Bateaux Lyonnais, a walking tour of the Presqu’île with a lot of unusual information… Can’t find what you are looking for? The website of the Lyon tourist office is full of good ideas.
5- Parc de la Tête d’Or
Located at the centre of Lyon, this 117-hectare park is a magnificent playground. Throughout the year, activities, shows and events take place there. Little train, ponies, mini kart, merry-go-round… Enough to keep everyone busy!
6- The Puppetry Museum
The Puppetry Museum, which is located in the building of the Gadagne Museums, is situated in the heart of Vieux-Lyon (Old Lyon). If the famous Guignol is the star and main theme of the place, opened since 1950, he is far from being the only resident today! More than 300 puppets coming from the four corners of the world are in 10 rooms equipped with multimedia materials.
As in Paris and other French cities, you can find carousels in different neighbourhoods of Lyon. The one in Parc de la Tête d’Or, for example, was built in 1930. Generally, a great success with the little ones!
8- A roquefort ice cream?
We agree: children and adults alike will find the idea of this ice cream more repulsive than appealing (the author of these lines confirms that the taste is just as much). Nevertheless, Terre Adélice on de la Baleine Street in Vieux-Lyon is the address to keep in mind for a refreshing snack and unusual flavours. Nearly 100 flavours of ice creams and sorbets are concocted, from the most classic to the most audacious. Let’s mention that all the other flavours we tasted were delightful!