Popular Lyon Shore Excursions
Fourviere Hill has it all -- an unbeatable panoramic view, a mini-Eiffel Tower (not open to tourists), an 1870's basilica (open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Roman ruins. The Amphitheatre des Trois Gaules (built circa 19 A.D.) is fenced in so you can view it only from the outside. Ride up and down the hill on the funicular for an extra novelty.
In the city center, keep an eye out for more than 100 trompe l'oeil murals and wall-sized frescoes, which tell the various stories of Lyon. Some stretch several stories high, from street level to top floor. At the outdoor Musee Urbain Tony Garnier (4 rue des Serpollieres), 30 inspiring murals are painted on the buildings of a housing project.
At night, more than 150 buildings and monuments are illuminated, with some using light projectors to create colorful patterns and images. Don't forget to step out on a balcony or open deck to view them from your ship.
If you're looking to do some souvenir shopping, the car-free Rue St. Jean in the Old Town is Lyon's mecca for souvenir shops. Wear flat shoes that can handle this cobblestone street. The parallel Rue des Trois Maries, between Place de la Baleine and Rue du Palais de Justice, is a quieter option when the crowds are hectic. This area also houses many bouchons (traditional restaurants), although these are aimed at tourists and do not necessarily serve the most authentic local cuisine. Ideal for cruisers, outdoor second-hand book markets are set up along the Saone at Quai de la Pecherie. The titles are mostly in French, but you will find lovely vintage maps and postcards. (10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday)