In general I have never been a person who likes museums…bad school trips experience of the boring places with a lot of documents to read and history to learn but since i finished school and has not been forced any more to go to the museum I started to appreciate it. I did enjoy many museums in London, the top and well known ones like: British Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum and the Greenwich one was impressive. But my real love for the museums expanded in Lyon! Why? Firstly, it is because of the place and people living here. I can see how the city is taking care of their history and sharing with others and you start to appreciate it yourself! Then people…they live differently, they spend quality time outside homes and supermarkets. What I learn is that the one of the benefits of shops closed on Sundays, is that it makes people to fill the day with the better things to do…so the art galleries, museums and parks are full of families, couples, friends walking & admiring & learning & appreciating the art and history. There are many people but its never so crowded that you cannot enjoy the place. So this whole atmosphere of people and Lyon made me want to visit the Lyonnais Museums and I did visit many…Whenever I have a free time and whenever the weather is not that great, I will go to the museum …when the weather is better I will not stay at home either but come to the park for a change…so I have the List of Top Lyonnais Parks to visit already summarized and now I have created the List of the Top 20 Museums in Lyon…
- Maison des Canuts; House of Canuts; 10-12 rue d’Ivry; Tel: 04 78 28 62 04; Open daily from 10 am to 6:30 pm, except on Sundays. Price: Adults: 6.50€; students: 3.50€. Maison desCanuts in La CroixRousse is a place where you will find out the real story of Lyon silk-making. It is really worth having a guided tour where youwill 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. There’s also souvenir shop where you can buy silk scarves etc
- Musée Gadagne; Gadagne Museum; 1 place du Petit-Collège; Tel: 04 78 42 03 61. Open: Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to 6.30pm. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays! Price: Adults: 6€-9€, students: 4€-6€. FREE: for under 26 year-olds, job seekers, disabled people and their companion and with the La carte musées or La carte Culture. Gadagne 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 islocated in theVieux-Lyon in the impressive city’s biggest Renaissance building whichis listed as a World Heritage site. It is worth visiting the Lyon Botanical Garden of the museum, the little theater and checking out the temporary exhibitions.
- Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine; Gallo-Roman Museum; 17 rue Cléberg, 69005 Lyon; tel: 04 72 38 49 30. Open: Tuesday-Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. It is closed on Mondays! Price: Adults: 4 € , students: 2.50 €. FREE: on Thursdays! The museum islocated onFourvière Hill, at the center ofLugdunum, which is another UNESCO’s World Heritage sites in Lyon. It is quite impressive. Spread out across 5 floors, it displays 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.
- Musée des Beaux-Arts; Fine Arts Museum of Lyon; Palais Saint-Pierre, 20 place des Terreaux, 69001 Lyon; Tel: 04 72 10 17 40. Open daily except Tuesdays 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Price: Adults: €7 , students: €4. Free with the Lyon City Card. It is one of the biggest French museums and the must be visited Lyonnais museum. You can find it easily in the Place des Terreaux. It is located in the former 17th-century Benedictine abbey and has a beautiful 19th century garden. Simply it is huge, it comes right after the Louvre, Paris and i would recommend visiting it at least twice! Divide the exploration of the museum into 2 parts: The Antiquity & Sculptors Part and The Paintings Part. And finally what you can expect? Well: the 70 exhibition rooms and the impressive collection of the Egyptian coffins; medieval European woodcarving; Rembrandt’s earliest known work The Stoning of St. Steven from 1625; paintings by the Impressionists, andBraques, Picasso and Matisse just to name really a few…the rest to be discovered by you…
- Musée des Confluences, Confluences Museum, 86 Quai Perrache, 69002 Lyon; 04 28 38 11 90. Open: Tuesday to Sunday: 11am -7pm and until 10pm on Thursday. Closed on Mondays! Price: Adults:€9 , students: €6. Free: for children under 18, schoolchildren, students and apprentices under 26, holders of the ICOM card and the press card, and tour guides. The newest (opened in Dec 2014), the most modern (just look at it!), the most expensive project (cost estimated to be about €300 million) which took years to be completed, finally arrived in Lyon…yes arrived like a huge spaceship from the science fiction movie. Located on the confluence of the Rhone and the Saône, from where you can see how those 2 Lyonnais rivers join, it is huge and slowly being filled up with the temporary exhibitions. The permanent ones 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! [Photo Credit: Par Gérard (Travail personnel) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons]
- Musée des Tissus; Fabric Museum; 34 rue de la Charité, 69002 Lyon; Tel: 04 78 38 42 00. Opened: Tuesday to Sunday: 10am – 5.30pm. Closed on Mondays! Price: Adults:€10, students: €8. Free for kids and with the Lyon City Card. The Fabric Museum presents the 2000 years of history of textiles and the history of the Lyonnais silk starting from the Renaissance. You are going to see the rare Persian rugs, Coptic tapestries and the Spanish and Italian silk. And the highlights of the collection are the doublet of Charles de Blois, the Tree of Jesse, and the Empress Josephine silk dress of. There is also the Museum of Decorative Arts which will show you the home of a wealthy 18th century family and one of the richest collections of decorative objects from 15th and 16th century Italian Majolica, Middle Ages and Renaissance tapestries anda collection of clocks. It is also worth checking out the contemporary creations.
- Centre d’Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation; Resistance Museum, 14 Avenue Berthelot, 69007 Lyon; Tel: 04 72 73 99 06. Open: Wednesday to Sunday: 10am – 6pm . Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays! Price: Adults:€6 , students: €4. Free for under 18, with the La carte culture, La carte musées and Lyon City Card. 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 Lumière; Museum of the Brothers Lumière, 25 rue du Premier Film, 69008 Lyon; Tel: 04 78 78 18 95. Open: Tuesday to Sunday: 10am – 6.30pm. Closed on Mondays! Price: Adults:€6.5, students: €5.5. Free with the La carte culture, La carte musées and Lyon City Card. Do you recall The Brothers Lumiere? These are the inventors of the cinematography and thanks to them we watch movies today. Thanks God for it! So they actually lived in Lyon and so you have a chance to visit the place where the clever guys have been raised and came up with their ideas! Located in their father’s amazing house – the Château Lumière, the today Museum will tell you a 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 Miniatures et Cinéma, Museum of Miniatures and Cinema Sets; Maison des Avocats; Address: 60, rue Saint Jean Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 72 00 24 77; Open: Monday to Sunday: 10am – 6.30pm. Price: Adults:€9 , students: €6.5. Free with Free of charge with City Card or M’Ra Card. The Museum of Miniatures is my favorite Lyonnais museum. Located in the center of theVieux Lyon in a stunning 16th century building of the Maison desAvocats – now a UNESCO world heritage site, is a place you have to visit when in Lyon. It is pretty big. It has 2 parts: the Movies Special Effects displaying about 300 elements with the latest museum gain which is Alien Queen created by Hollywood studio ADI, and the Miniature Part with about 100 miniature scenes created by world-renowned miniaturist and lead by the miniaturist artist DanOhlmann, theMusée Cinéma et Miniature founder.
- Musée d’Art Contemporain; Modern Art Museum; 81 quai Charles-de-Gaulle; Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 72 69 17 17. Open: Wednesday to Sunday: 11am – 6pm. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays! Price: Adults:€9 , students: €6.5. Free with La carte musées and Lyon City Card. It is 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. The Mac Lyon hosts the Biennial Contemporary Art Festival.
- Musée de l’Imprimerie; Museum of the Printing Press; 13, rue de la Poulaillerie; 69002 Lyon; Tél. 04 78 37 65 98. Open: Wednesday to Sunday: 11am – 6pm. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays! Price: Adults:€6 , students: €4. Free with the La carte musées and Lyon City Card; Carte Jeune Musées; Carte Jeune Culture, Carte Culture, Citycard. Did you know that Lyon was an important center of bookmaking during the 15th to 16th centuries? Well, you can learn the detailed history of the printing, find out more about the graphic printing techniques and the cultural effect of printed books by visiting Lyonnais Museum of the Printing Press.
Photo Credit: AF Sky Adventures
- Automatons Museum; Fondation ASG-EMA; 100 rue St Georges;BP 5015; 69245 LYON Cedex 05; Tél. 04.72.77.75.28; Open: Monday to Sunday: 2pm – 6pm. Price: Adults:€7 , students: €5. Free with Lyon City Card. This is a quite new as opened just in 1991. And it is a really interesting and unique place where you can admirea collection of 250 automatons, showed in scenes, and permanently animated. All the automatons presented in the museum arehand made in its workshop. The current themesare inspired by everyday life scenes, the history of Lyon, popular tales, french novels etc. The Museum of Automatons is ideal for kids but also very interesting for adults. 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 de l’Automobile Henri Malartre; Cars Museum, 645 rue du Musée 69270 Rochetaillée-sur-Saône; Tel 04 78 22 18 80; Open: Tuesday to Sunday: 9am – 6pm. Closed on Mondays! Price: Adults:€6, students: €4. Free with the La carte musées and Lyon City Card; Located in the 15th century château on the banks of theSaôn, the museum covers a space of the impressive 2500m². It is a place where you can admire about 150 cars (from 1890 to 1986) , 20 of which are unique models; 40 motorbikes (from 1903 to 1955) and 31 bicycles (from 1818 to 1960) as well as the racing cars whichare located in theGordini Hall. The museum is big so on top of that all there is also a Public Transport Hall with trams, trains, the “Ficelle” funicular fromFourvière and display of more than 120 period posters, engines and nearly 1000 collector’s old accessories. There is also a 3-hectare park, Children’s games and picnic area and obviously a shop!
- Fourvière Museum of Religious Art; Fourviere Sacred Art Museum; 8, place de Fourvière, Lyon; tel: 04 78 25 13 01; Open: Monday to Sunday: 10am to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 5.30pm. Price: Adults:€4 , students: €2.5. Located just next to the Basilic on theFourvière hill, it is one of the largest museums of religious art in France. There is a temporary exhibition of the Treasury ofFourvière s displayed. And on top of that the museum organises temporary exhibitions. The museum is a place where you can discover and admire the important collection of historical and artistic religious items, the sculptures, silverwork, silk and commemorative works, regularly displayed within the exhibitions.
- Musée Africain de Lyon; African Museum; 150, cours Gambetta; 69361 LYON; Tel : 04 78 61 60 98; Open: Tuesday to Friday: 11am – 6pm. Weekends: 2pm – 6pm. Closed on Mondays! Price: Adults:€8 , students: €4. Free with the Lyon City Card. This is the oldest museum in France dedicated to Africa, and one of the oldest museums in Lyon. Ithas been created in 1863. The 750m² space offer the permanent collection of about 2,126 African objects. The museum’s collections specialise in West African objects. So here in Lyon you can actually learn more about the everyday life,social life, and religious life of Africans.
- Musée des sapeurs-pompiers Lyon-Rhône; The Museum of Lyon-Rhône Firefighters; 358 avenue de Champagne – Lyon 9e; 04 72 17 54 54. Open: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 9am-12am and 2pm- 5pm. Prices: Adults: €6 and Students: €3, some discounts apply with the TIPTOP card. The museum has been founded in 1971 by the team of enthusiasts, firefighters and technical services in order to prevent the destruction of used vehicles. Located in the barracks of La Duchère, it presents the collections which are divided into several parts: pumps of the seventeenth to the present, various types and models ; small equipment and clothing: parts for extinction, rescue, resuscitation, diving, etc., unique collection of French and foreign helmets from the early nineteenth century to the present day (one of the largest collections in the world); a room of Remembrance: trophies, flags; vehicles: 100 vehicles from 1910. It presents the 250 years of firefighters history and it is the largest museum of firefighters in France. It has been awarded the “Museum of France” in 2005.
- Le Musée Urbain Tony Garnier, Tony Garnier Urban Museum. 4 rue des Serpollières 69008 Lyon, tel: 04 78 75 16 75; Open: Tuesday – Saturday, 2pm- 5pm. Prices: Adults: €8 and Students: €6. Located in thequartier desEtats-Unis, it presents its history starting from 1917. His founder – the architect TonyGarnierhas been appointed to design the area and built it. He finished his project in the 1933. Now, his museum will let you discover theCité de TonyGarnier of 1930s yourself through the set of 25 wall frescoes and the “show home” apartments from this period of time.Tony Garnier has been undertaking some other projects especially withCiteCreatione and for which he had received many awards, and most importantly, in 1991 his museum has been awarded the Label the World Development Decade Cultural UNESCO.
- Ampère Museum; Museum of Electricity; Route Ampère 69250 Poleymieux-au-Mont-d’Or; Tel: 04 78 91 90 77; Open every Saturday 2 pm-6pm and Sunday: 10 am-noon and 2 pm-6 pm. Open daily for groups on request. Prices: Adults: €4 and Students: €3. Located in the house of theAndré-Marie Ampère – the French scientist (1775-1836) and Lyonnais, Museum of Electricity is a place, where you will get to know the important Amper’s work, where you discover the historical documents, explore the operating models of Ampere’s basic experiments in electromagnetism. You will alsohave a chance to explore other exhibitions which display the electrostatic machines, generators, motors and telecommunication systems, as well as electrical lighting and photovoltaic technology and the other ones which explain the Volta, Oersted and Faraday in more details.
- Doctor Mérieux Museum, Museum of the Doctors of Merieux; 309 avenue Jean Collomb 69280 Marcy-l’Étoile; Open all days except Monday, Tuesday and Saturday. Prices: Adults: €5 and Students: €3. It is a museum dedicated to the Biology where you will find out how the vaccine was discovered, you will understand better the infectious diseases, their diagnosis and treatments. But this is not all, because of the fact that the museum has been overtook and adapted to public by the famous Lyonnais Merieux family, it also has a section on where you learn more about the Mérieux family and its scientific pioneering in the interest of public health and medicine as well as their involvement into the development of the various companies.
- Petit Musée Fantastique Guignol, Small Museum of the Fantastic Guignol, 6 Rue Saint Jean, 69005 Vieux-Lyon, Tel: +33 (0)4 78 37 01 67. Open Monday- Sundays, usually 10.30am/1pm till 6.30pm. Price: Adults:€5, students: €3. Free with the Lyon City Card. Visit this small yet interesting museum created by the puppeteer Gepetto. Find out 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. The museum is actually located in one of the best souvenir shop in Old Lyon, so don’t miss an opportunity for getting yourself something Lyonnais!
So i hope you liked the list. Did i miss any museum you would recommend to visit in Lyon? Give me a shout and I will happily review. In the meantime, enjoy the list and add the Lyonnais Museums to your List of Things to Do in Lyon…for a quality & cultural experience in Lyon! And just one or two pieces of advice on how you can visit those museums cheaply...so here you are: there is a Cultural Cards you can purchase in Lyon and enjoy the free entry to the museums. I have written about them already here. Then there is the famous, free to get, Tip Top Card which gives many deals for the Rhone Alps and Lyon activities and museums as well. And lastly, there is ongoing deals to check at the Groupon Deal Site and Voucher Code Site. And lastly the Lyon City Card for a day, two or three…you pay a bit but get many benefits such a free transport and free access to many activities and all above museums. So make the most out of this!
By the way, did you know you can read, safe and use on the go this article and others when visiting different places? Well, there is such an application called with GPSCityMap which you can get for free here with my article. Happy travelling!