Chic, Cultured And Appetizing

Boasting world-famous ski resorts like courchevel right next door, lyon is a perfect travel paradise with its museums, architectural masterpieces and gourmet restaurants.

Sister-city of Sinop, Lyon boasts a large number of must-see treasures. Traboules, or Old Lyon, is on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. Derived from the Latin ‘transambulare’ meaning passage, these structures, a mix of tunnels and passageways, were first built in the 4th century.

Today you can walk, and touch history, in the traboules, which enabled merchants to transport goods easily from the river to the city during the centuries when it was the center of the silk trade. Built as a girls’ school in the 17th century, Lyon Town Hall adds splendor to a quiet city square. And Notre Dame de Fourviève Basilica, built on a site dominating the city in the second half of the 19th century, is one of its symbols. Fontaine des Bartholdi is a lovely fountain built by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who also fashioned America’s Statue of Liberty. For those keen to include the pricey shops and restaurants on their itinerary, Presqu’île between the Rhone and Saône Rivers is the place to go. Lyon is not known as the capital of gastronomy for nothing. It boasts the most Michelin-starred chefs in the region. The city’s central district, its name means peninsula. But it would be unfair to think of this merely as a seat of luxury, for the streets of Presqu’île are home to historic buildings that have lost none of their beauty.

Bellecour is one of Europe’s largest squares. The statue at the center is of the French king, Louis XIV. Antique buffs meanwhile should head for the Auguste Comte district and Villeurbanne Market. St. Pierre Palace is a giant art museum with seventy some halls. The blocks of colored antique marble at the Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilization, where you can also enjoy a view of the city, are well worth seeing on your tour. But the museums that might interest you in Lyon are not limited to these. Also known as the city where the Frères Lumière were born and raised and invented the cinema, Lyon also has a museum devoted to these two renowned brothers. When you emerge from a museum in Lyon, it’s pleasant to take a river cruise and view the sunset from the city’s famous La Feuillée Bridge. Try Lyon, you’ll like it.

GETTING THERE
Turkish Airlines has Istanbul-Lyon-Istanbul flights daily. Flight times are 9:10 a.m. and 3:05 p.m. from Istanbul and 12:25 p.m. and 6:25 p.m. from Lyon. www.turkishairlines.com

DON’T MISS
Parc de la Tête d’Or and Jardin Botanique de Lyon are two Lyon gardens beautiful for their colors and head-spinning scents. Not far from the city, the Beaujolais region with its vineyards and grape harvest tours is also worth seeing. And in December and January the city’s major buildings are illuminated in a veritable festival atmosphere. www.onlylyon.org