The Compact List of The Best 26 Events in Lyon
Fancy a party? Come over to Lyon. There is always something happening and you can easily check it out through the sites that give you suggestions for the weekend and also during the week. I usually keep an eye on: GirlsTakeLyon as they give you more girly & food & art & spa related ideas. Then there is LyonCrunch which brings you ideas for enjoying Lyon on the budget. Each Friday they publish their weekend ideas but they also make week suggestions for the events you can take part in. And I also like very much monweekend.com as they show the really Lyonnais and cultural events you can take part during the weekend. On top of that you can always have a look at my suggestions of Top 25 Things You Can Do In Lyon for Free. So yes…you are not going to be bored in Lyon but you might struggle with choosing what to do…so make sure you dedicate enough time to Lyon.
But on top of that Lyon host some big events, many of them actually. So I decided to share them with you. So here you are The Compact List of Best Events in Lyon…I found 26! Can you beat me?
- Festival French Kiss – this sounds very interesting, doesn’t it? So it stands out for the whole month of (and I need to disappoint you here) not kissing actually but for exploring the French music! I think it is still very interesting to attend. It is happening early in the year (Jan/Feb); 04 78 95 95 95
- Biennale Musiques en Scène – the event ideal for all the fans and admirers of the contemporary music. It’s a place & time to find out about the work which needs to be done to produce a concert. This one is taking place in between March and April; 04 72 07 37 02
- Quais du polar – this is the Festival of literature and film noir. It gathers the best authors of the crime story from all over the world. You can meet them face to face; get your autograph and even a photo. You can buy the book; you can listen to their seminars. It’s a heaven for all bookworms who love the criminal stories. Also happening in the Spring time; 04 78 30 18 98
- La fête du livre de Bron – the high quality literary festival which takes place in Lyon each year and it lasts the whole 3 days. There are about 50 guests invited – the writers. The book festival is dedicated to young people and pre-schoolers and there are many things, activities to amuse them. And on top of that there is a free entrance and the free parking…can you ask for more? 04 78 26 09 31
- Foire internationale de Lyon – not a show, not a festival but a type of a fair which is really worth your presence! Why? Firstly, it is 11 days, 1100 exhibitors and very good Lyonnais venue worth to be discovered. SO what exactly is it? Well, it is a huge exhibition of wide range of household, decoration, leisure and sports equipment. It is ideas for shops, businesses and also individuals. You can get ideas for home, decoration, gardens and explore the art. You can admire and also buy things. There is an impressive food corner with the French and International Food & Drinks and so you can taste the international cuisine; 04 78 17 62 72
- Moisson d’Avril – and what do you think about puppets? Do you like them, are you interested in finding out more about them or is that not your thing at all? Because I will have an event for you which is all about puppets. Happening in spring, it is a big puppet event which consists of the shows, workshops, seminars, animated movies, expos, spectacles, and so on. So it depends on how much puppets you can stand…; 04 78 28 92 57
- Les Nuits Sonores – one of the biggest European music festivals taking place in Lyon in May! It gathers worldwide famous artists, it represents all types and styles of electronic music. So if you are a fan, you will be happy to know that it is 120 hours of music non-stop! Get ready!
- La Nuit des Musées – cool event which let you explore Lyonnais museums different way cause during the night! And this is not all, it is Gratuit! Can you ask for more? Sign up asap and secure you place!
- Festival International en Beaujolais – this is a bigger event which spreads outside the Lyon yet its just around! It is an impressive festival for artists all sorts! So it invites and gathers people from all over the world. They get together to exchange, show and share their passion for art, photos, music, singing, dancing, circus, shows, theatre, and puppets and so on! So everyone can find something for themselves. Sounds good, doesn’t it? 04 74 68 89 38
- Les Invités de Villeurbanne – are you ready for more music? Because I will propose you 3 days of shows, concerts, spectacles and all for free! There are not only musicians but also actors and other artists who get together to entertain the fans who come to see them and enjoy the artistic atmosphere!
- Fête de la Musique – and music encore…well I mean and there is even more music in June! But we cannot miss this one as it is an event happening each year since 1982! This type of festival has an interesting form actually as it fills up the streets of Lyon with famous artists, professional musicians, dancers and the amateurs. There is music all the types to be heard and all for free! So arrive to central Lyon on 21 June and you will be sure to enjoy a walk, listen to the free music: pop, rock, rap, classical one, get a drink of a wine or beer sold in the streets and hopefully the weather will not disappoint you and it will be nice and warm evening & night to enjoy! I know it sounds nice, I have been and liked it a lot!
- Quartiers Nomades – Festival of Circus Arts organized by the Lyonnais School of Circus. Unfortunately circus is not my cup of tea so I haven’t been yet and cannot say too much. But I am tempted to visit this year cause I have never been to the circus art event and I like to explore new things; 04 72 38 81 61
- Tout L’Monde Dehors – will I sound boring if I come to you with another music festival? Well, do not complain! It is free, it is in Lyon, it is successful each year and it consists of free music, dance and theatre shows and if you imagine it is summer, what is the best place to enjoy the music? Of course outdoors, so here you are – the festival is open to all and in the open air!
- Nuits de Fourvière – From June to August, two months of concerts all styles and forms concerts and dance all style and forms! It is the most popular and famous music festival which takes place on the open air, at my preferable place in Lyon in the Gallo-Roman theatres of Fourvière. Be careful as tickets are being sold out very quickly. Because on top of the fact you can listen to a great music, watch amazing spectacles, the atmosphere created is amazing. Can you imagine yourself sitting in the ancient amphitheatre and relaxing , in the nearby ruins? Unmissable! 04 72 57 15 40
- Festival Jazz à Vienne – ok, so not Lyon but really nearby and really very good event for all Jazz fans and not only. This is 2 weeks of great jazz atmosphere created by the best Jazz musicians! If you are not tempted yet I will add that the concerts take place at the Vienne Roman amphitheatre. So can you get yourself in the ancient theatre during the warm summer evening, listening to the good jazz tunes…do not miss out and register at the ticket office: 04 74 78 87 87 – 0 892 702 007
- À chaud ! – As simple as that – the artistic festival of theatre, literature and …gastronomy! Yes, I am sure you will not argue….all of the 3 areas are the art, and all are closely connected with Lyon; 04 78 39 10 02
- Les Escales Cinéfil – If you like or if you want to learn more about the French movies – short, long; animation, fiction productions as well as/or watch the documentaries and listen to the concerts in the open air? Well, then I have a Festival for you! All the best of French and it is not only French from France but French from all over the worldwide! Discover more of French….in Lyon!
- Les Musicades – did you hear about the chamber music? Yes, no or you are not sure? Well, whatever it is, Lyon hosts an international festival of chamber music, which gathers many European musicians. Get ready for September! 04 72 00 20 98
- LES BIENNALES in Lyon, few types so everyone will find something for themselves! So we have
- Biennale d’Art Contemporain – (odd-numbered years) the big contemporary art festival happening in Lyon every odd-numbered year. Well known and popular artists bring over to Lyon their artistic objects, paintings, furniture. They show their passion and art to the admirers and fans who come over…are you one of them? 04 27 46 65 65
- Biennale de la Danse – and if you prefer or like equally the dance and music, take part in the big international dance event in Lyon. It takes place each even-numbered year. In the venue which you have to get the ticket to access, you will have a chance to see and admire different types and styles of dance. But this is not all, as there will be parade in the samba style (!) in the rue de la République, between Les Terreaux and Bellecour and the cool thing is that it is totally free of charge to watch! 04 27 46 65 65
- Les Journées Européennes du Patrimoine – this is really amazing if you love art & history and culture! These are The European Heritage Days which are happening across the France and Europe actually, but when you think about Lyon, you can imagine it is big. Why? Cause Lyon has so much to offer! So, the Big Event is happening each year in September since 1984. The third weekend of the month September all the historical sites, museums, monuments are open to public and totally free of charge. So this cultural event is very popular and very good but the downside of the event is the fact that …you can expect a lot of people, queues and you cannot avoid it! So depending on how big cultural fan you are, how much you want to save money on the visits to the Lyonnais museums and sites, how much motivated you are to get the free entrance and how patience you are…I will recommend this event to you or not; 04 72 00 44 00
- Vogue des Marrons – starting in September and being carry on for one month and a half, this is a time when Lyon offers you hot chestnuts! So come over for a typical French snack and I will assure you, you will not be disappointed as on top of that the chestnuts there will be the white wine which you can taste as well. And Lyon does not forget about the little ones and during that time, it offers the candy floss and fairground rides in many places for kids. The best ones to check is the boulevard de la Croix-Rousse, place des Tapis and place de la Croix-Rousse.
- Festival Lumière – do you know that Lyon is the place where the cinematography has been born? Do you know that the Lumiere Brothers come from Lyon? So you can only imagine how important and appreciated the cinema is for Lyonnas people and not only. There is a big cinema heritage to discover in Lyon and here comes the event, a big event! In October, the Institut Lumière organizes the whole week of the cinema celebrations! The celebrities arrive to be admired and there is more! The Festival gives you a chance to learn a lot about cinema by exploring old productions, digitally restored and new copy projected. It’s not going to be boring at all, there is a mixture of classic, rare and popular cinema to be discovered; 04 78 76 77 78
- The “Sens Interdits” International – each year since 2009, the artists from all over the word, and the artists of all horizons, styles and themes come over to Lyon to take part in the Theatre Festival. Will you be a one of them to share your art or admire the art of others?
- Salon de l’Automobile – 10 days of the automobile of all sorts! If you like to discover, experience the shows, performances, contests, entertainment of all types connected with the automobile, check out the year and make sure it is the one named by the odd-number, then you know that this is a year of Festival l’Automobile; 04 78 17 63 23
- Beaujolais Nouveau – November is the month of the wine – Beaujolais Nouveau. To be more précised it is actually the third Thursday of November each year when people gather to celebrate and taste and drink of the newly launched wine of Beaujolais Nouveau ; 04 72 10 30 30
- Lastly but most importantly! Fête des Lumières – the truly unmissable & truly the Best if the Best Festivals I have taken part in! Happening each year in December in order to give respects to the Stain Mary of Fouviere! It all started with the tradition and lightening little candles in the windows and balconies of the people of Lyon to say thank you to the Virin Mary. But year by year, one day event become 4 day huge event! It starts usually 4-5th December and finish on 8th. It’s a time when the whole city is decorated with the artful installations. There are music and lights performances on the all historical Lyonnais sites and monuments. The lights expositions are located in the whole city and so you walk around when it is dark and hopefully warm and you can admire all of them. The event became known and famous worldwide. Its popularity and reputation brings more and more fans to Lyon each! It’s around 2 million people who join Lyonnais to enjoy the Festival of Lights. This event made me truly speechless! Come and see yourself…
Impressed? Well I can imagine I didn’t got all of the events but main ones…So I hope you get some (many) ideas on the things you can do in Lyon. What interested you the most? Is it The Festival of Lights, the music spectacles in the ancient theatre on the Fourviere Hill or maybe cinema, or crime book, food or BD? Whatever your likes are and preferences, you will find them here in Lyon. Just make sure you will have time to do all you want!