With your new life in Lyon, you'll probably want to get to know the local history and culture, and visiting the museums is the best way...
19 October 2015| Last updated on 31 December 2017
Visiting a museum is one of those things that we cannot make for free. This is a fact! But if you have a look at Aga's 15 Tips on How to Save Money in Lyon, you might have a chance make your trip to the museum on a budget.
The very useful and the most creative tip on saving money on tickets to museum would be if you buy a Lyon City Card for a day which cost 22 Euro and gives you free access to 22 museums! This is the best and the most economical way to pay for your visits! The only thing is that you need to be very well organised and motivated to wake up early and dedicate your whole day to the museum visits! So here you are – the top Lyonnais museums which you should visit!
Musée Miniatures et Cinéma
Museum of Miniatures and Cinema Sets. Located in the heart of the Old Lyon in a stunning 16th century building of the Maison des Avocats - now a UNESCO world heritage site, is a place you have to visit when in Lyon. It has 2 parts equally interesting: the Movies Special Effects and the Miniature Part.
Musée des Beaux-Arts
It is one of the biggest French museums and the must be visited Lyonnais museum. Located in the Place des Terreaux, in the former 17th-century Benedictine abbey, it is surrounded by a beautiful 19th century garden. So, if you want to do it properly, divide the exploration of the museum into 2 parts: The Antiquity & Sculptors Part and The Paintings Part.
Maison des Canuts
House of Canuts. Located in La Croix Rousse, the museum is a place where you will find out the real story of Lyon silk-making. It is really worth having a guided tour where you will be shown the silk production process, the very expensive and impressive silk products. The museum is actually tiny but for how much useful and interesting facts it has, it is really impressive. It has a very good souvenir shop where you can buy silk scarves and more.
Gadagne Museum which is a place where you discover the history of Lyon. But this is not all, It has a second museum inside - The Musée International de la Marionette which will present you about 2,000 worldwide puppets, starting with the Lyonnais Guignol, showing my beloved The Chat noir and reaching the puppets of Asia, Japan etc. It is located in the Vieux-Lyon in the impressive city’s biggest Renaissance building which is listed as a World Heritage site. It is worth visiting the Lyon Botanical Garden of the museum, the little theatre and checking out the temporary exhibitions.
Musée des Confluences
Confluences Museum. It is the newest, the most modern, the most expensive project which took years to be completed, finally arrived in Lyon. It is located on the confluence of the Rhone and the Saône, from where you can see how those 2 Lyonnais rivers join together. It display both temporary and permanent exhibitions which aim to tell you the story of the world, the origins of human presented through the evolutions, myths, different beliefs and religions. There is an interesting collection about mankind and other species of the earth and another one which looks at the subject of death. It cannot be missed!
Museum of the Brothers Lumière. Do you recall The Brothers Lumiere? These are the inventors of the cinema and they come from Lyon. So you have an opportunity to visit their father's amazing house - the Château Lumière, the nowadays Museum. And you will learn the story of the Lumière Brothers’ inventions. You will see the projections and interactive features on four floors, the first cameras, colour and 3D photographs, etc.
Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine
Gallo-Roman Museum. The museum is located on Fourvière Hill and it is quite impressive. It has 5 floors and present to you the statues, models of what the Roman town used to look like and some superb mosaics. The collection covers 5 centuries of preserving the Lyonnais heritage from across their ruins, inscriptions and objects, statues, currency, and ceramics.
Centre d’Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation
Located in the former military medical school occupied by the Gestapo, it reminds us that Lyon was the centre for the French Resistance during World War II. Nowadays, it is a place of respect which we pay to all who fought, died during war and the place where we learn the history of the resistance, deportation, Nazi occupation. The museum contains many books and historical documents, such as this one which contains the names of thousands of Jews sent to the death camps. It is one of the most leading museums in France which talks about the World War II.
Musée d’Art Contemporain
Modern Art Museum. Located in the Cité Internationale, it is a place where on top of the permanent collection of over 1,100 works of modern art it regularly displayed interesting temporary exhibitions. It has been founded in the 1984 and represents one of Europe's largest collections of modern art.
Automatons Museum; Foundation ASG-EMA
This is a quite new museum as it has been opened just in 1991. It presents a collection of 250 automatons, showed in scenes, and permanently animated. The current themes are inspired by everyday life scenes, the history of Lyon, popular tales, French novels etc. I would highly recommend taking a one-hour guided tour which is usually offered for groups, in French or in English. Just remember that the booking is necessary.
Musée Africain de Lyon
African Museum. This is the oldest museum in France dedicated to Africa, and one of the oldest museums in Lyon. The 750m² space offer the permanent collection of about 2,126 African objects. The museum’s collections specialise in West African objects.
Le Musée Urbain Tony Garnier
Tony Garnier Urban Museum. Located in the quartier des Etats-Unis, it presents its history starting from 1917. His founder - the architect Tony Garnier has been appointed to design the area and built it. He finished his project in the 1933. Now, his museum will let you discover the Cité de Tony Garnier of 1930s yourself through the set of 25 wall frescoes and the "show home" apartments from this period of time.
Petit Musée Fantastique Guignol
Small Museum of the Fantastic Guignol. Located in one of the best souvenir shop in Old Lyon, it is a small yet interesting museum created by the puppeteer Gepetto. It will tell you more about the Guignol and his friends. You will also learn from the famous Laurent Mourguet the process of the entertaining the customers in the puppet museum.
My name is Aga and I am addicted to shopping! So I have become ShopaholicFromHome who loves to shop from home. But this is not all. I have thousands of ideas per minute, per hour, per day…recently I have moved to Lyon in France! That’s why my main goal now is to explore France, experience French way of living, learn the language and eat a lot of cheese, baguettes, some snails and French frogs, drink wine and wear berets (apparently so French) but also I would love to introduce a bit of Polish culture and mentality into French lives.
If you have any questions, comments, do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to hear from you! Visit my blog for more information.
Back to Living in France >>