Begin your adventure with a visit to Lyon, the third-largest city in France and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its charms are manifold, not least its gastronomy—there are more restaurants per square mile here than anywhere else on earth. It also has a beautifully preserved old quarter and an elegant town center of grand boulevards and public squares. There are several museums to visit, along with one of the few national operas outside Paris. Visit the Cathedrale of St. Jean where the King Henri of France married Catherine de Medicis, a remarkable marriage that joined two of the most powerful families of the early Renaissance. Stroll to the banks of the Saone where markets still thrive and where centuries ago Gallic slaves were traded for amphoras of Italian wine!
You can walk to many of the major sights from your centrally located, 3-star hotel.
Available only with the Air Inclusive Package.
DAY 1: Depart U.S. / Fly overnight to Lyon
Depart the U.S. for France. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.
DAY 2: Arrive in Lyon / Begin your Pre-Trip Extension
Upon arrival at Lyon Airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, fill in a PIR form before leaving the customs area—VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. Please note: Make sure that your VBT luggage tags are attached to your bags. This helps the representative identify you.
After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall and look for your VBT representative or driver, who will be holding a VBT sign. Your representative will welcome you to France and arrange for your transfer via taxi or van (approximately 40 minutes depending upon traffic) to your Lyon hotel. Important: If you are delayed in meeting your VBT representative at the Lyon Airport, please call 06 68 32 22 05 from within France. Outside of France, call +33 6 68 32 22 05.
VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel Booklet that includes information and recommendations for what to see and do in Lyon. VBT has included a one-day transportation pass for each day you are in Lyon. The whole city is yours from dawn to dusk to come and go as you please on the city's network of buses, trams and subway. Your individual passes will be given out upon check-in at hotel reception. Use the rest of the day to relax or to begin exploring Lyon. Please note that hotel check-in is at 2:00 pm, but the hotel will try to have rooms available earlier if possible.
DAY 3: Independent exploration of Lyon
Today, you may wish to start your visit by taking the funicular to the top of the Fourviere Hill, with its spectacular panoramic view of the city. You can also visit the basilica and the old Fourviere Roman theatres close by.
At the bottom of the hill is the old Renaissance district of Vieux Lyon. Be sure to visit Saint Jean Cathedral while discovering the area. Make your way through the traboules (silk workers passageways) while you admire the magnificent interior courtyards, wells and spiral staircases.
Cross the footbridge across the Saone River to the Palais de Justice. Walk around the Presqu'ile, where all the city's major buildings are found, including the Musée des Beaux-Arts, which houses one of the largest art collections in France. Among the museum's collections are ancient and Egyptian art, sculptures and paintings from the Middle Ages and by painters such as Manet, Monet, Picasso and many others.
These streets and their stately structures bear testament to the urban development of the city over the last 2,000 years and are part of the 1,235 acres of Lyon that have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For dinner, there is an endless number of places to choose from, whether the Bouchons (small Lyon restaurants), brasseries or the more prestigious eateries.
DAY 4: Independent exploration of Lyon / Join VBT Air Package guests
Take another day to discover Lyon. You may wish to explore La colline qui travaille, or the working hill – a term used to describe the Croix-Rousse, a quarter known for its long association with the silk industry. You can admire the walls of the Canuts (silk workers) by the Boulevard des Canuts and the Rue Denfert Rochereau. You also can visit the Soierie Vivante lace-making workshop, witness weaving techniques at Maison des Canuts or see demonstrations of the painting techniques used on velvet fabric at Atelier de Soierie.
This afternoon, why not take the time to rent a Vélo'V bike and go for a ride along the Rhone riverbanks up to the confluence of the Rhone and Saone rivers.
VBT Air Package guests arrive throughout the day.