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Living in Lyon

Lyon, an Ideal Quality of Life


Listed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1998, the former capital of Gaul, Lyon, boasts over 2,000 years of history. Its exceptional heritage is enriched by the signature works of contemporary architects: Renzo Piano, Jean Nouvel, Santiago Calatrava, Coop Himmelb(l)au.

The city of Lyon is strikingly dynamic and culturally rich: museums, festivals, shopping, theater, opera, monuments, cinemas, parks, etc. The city’s cultural life is also punctuated with over 21,000 events throughout the year, ranging from exhibitions, concerts and plays, to festivals, biennial celebrations and much more. These include major international events such as the Festival Lumière (Grand Lyon Film Festival), the Biennale de la danse (Biennial Dance Festival), the Biennale d’Art Contemporain (Biennial Modern Art Festival), the Nuits Sonores (electronic music festival) or the renowned Festival of Lights.

The city is also renowned for its gastronomy, in large part thanks to Paul Bocuse, who has 15 Michelin-star restaurants, the future Cité de la Gastronomie and 4,000 eateries to his name. Lyon is the uncontested World Capital of Gastronomy.

With its promenades and leisure facilities along the banks of the Rhône and Saône rivers, the successful Vélo’V city bike system and its automobile equivalent, as well as the Tête d’Or Park – a veritable green lung at the heart of the city – and the complete renovation of the Confluence District, Lyon provides an ideal quality of life.

Lyon has an abundance of museums, from the Musée des Confluences (opened in December 2014) to the Musée d'Art Contemporain (Contemporary Art Museum), to the Musée de la Résistance and the Institut Lumière (Cinema Museum), where visitors are immersed in Lyon’s history and heritage. You can also stroll through the city’s historical districts, such as the Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon) and its traboules, the hillsides of Croix-Rousse, Fourvière and its stunning view of the city. Lyon is a city with a rich history and it is listed as a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site since 1998, making it Europe’s 2nd-largest Renaissance site after Venice.

Ideally located in the south-east of France, Lyon, capital of the Rhône Alpes region, is just two hours by TGV (high-speed train) from Paris and a mere 90 minutes from the Mediterranean coast and major Alpine ski resorts. You can fly to 115 destinations from the Lyon Saint-Exupery airport, which accommodates 8,5 million passengers each year.

Lyon has 550 sports clubs with120,000 members, as well as 220,000 people practicing various sports for leisure in both formal and informal settings, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the city’s parks, the banks of the Rhône and Saône rivers, and other public areas. Sports are accessible to everyone in Lyon! Lyon also boasts teams that play at the highest level of their sport:


  • The Olympique Lyonnais (OL), now playing in the new Groupama Stadium (East of Lyon, in Décines), which hosted the Euro 2016 soccer tournament. The OL grabbed everyone’s attention in the early 2000s by winning 7 consecutive titles as Champion of France. The OL also has one of France’s top women’s soccer teams, who won the Champions' League 5 times, and Lyon will host the Women’s Football World Cup in 2019.
  • The Lou Rugby team have been champions of France twice and now plays in the Top 14 (France's elite league) since 2016-2017, in Gerland stadium.
  • The ASVEL basketball team, presided by Tony Parker, which has won the French League 18 times

Amateur and advanced runners can take part in any of the city’s races, including Run In Lyon (in October), Lyon Urban Trail (in April), Ultra Boucle de la Sarra (in May) and the mythical Sainté-Lyon (in December).

The Collegium de Lyon Neighborhood: the Lyon Gerland Biodistrict

The Lyon-Gerland Biodistrict was launched in 2014, providing 5,000 jobs in health and biotech, 30 public laboratories and bringing together 2,750 researchers in one hundred hectares. This district is a hive of innovation that brings together higher education & research institutions, high-level infrastructure, key industrial players and a growing number of SMEs specialized in human and animal It is led by world-renowned companies, including, among others, Sanofi, Mérial, and Genzyme.

Lyon, Land of Innovation

Over the centuries, many Lyonnais have made their mark in the history of science, art and creation: the Lumière brothers (inventors of cinema), André Ampère (for his achievements in Physics), and Claude Bernard & Marcel Mérieux (in the field of medicine). Lyon has always been a land of innovation and it continues to develop research centers and scientific clusters at the cutting edge of life sciences, green-tech and digital technology. This dynamic city embraces growth and innovation, rivaling a number of other major European cities:

  • Number of patents registered; Lyon has the second-highest number of patents filed in France. Collaborations between companies and higher education & research institutions, as well as the total sum spent on research and development explain why!
  • Spending on research and development in the Rhône-Alpes region is comparable to that of Finland, Denmark, Madrid and Barcelona combined.

Moreover, 5 international competitive clusters are located in Lyon.

  • Lyonbiopôle (vaccines and diagnostics)
  • Axelera (chemicals and the environment)
  • LUTB Transport & mobility systems (urban transport systems)
  • Techtera (technical textiles)
  • Imaginove (content and digital usage)