France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Museums in Lyon, France
Lyon has over 20 museums covering a wide range of topics.




If you like museums, you'll find plenty to visit in Lyon. Here are some you might want to consider.

The Musée des Beaux Arts (Fine Arts Museum) is housed in a beautiful 17th century Benedictine abbey, just across the street from the Hôtel de Ville (map). The cloisters and lovely garden, with plants and sculptures, set the stage for your visit.

The museum's collections range from Egyptian antiquities to the impressionists to more modern art. It includes works by Monet, Renoir, Picasso, Chagall, and many others. It also has a small tea room where you can enjoy lunch or a drink. More...

The Musée des Tissus et Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Textile Museum and the Museum of Decorative Arts) are located in adjoining hôtels particuliers near the Rhône (map). The silk industry has been important to Lyon for centuries, and you'll see dresses, decorative fabrics, models of looms, religious vestments and more dating back as far as the 12th century. You can trace fashions and styles over the years through the exhibits.

The Decorative Arts Museum showcases furniture, vases, tapestries, ancient musical instruments (with occasional live concerts using them), silver, and hand carved wooden objects. Although many are from Lyon, other objects come from as far away as China.

The Musée Gallo-Romain, located next to the ancient theater on Fourvière Hill (map), is a beautifully laid out museum that presents many aspects of public and private life in Gallo-Roman times. There are lovely mosaics, sarcophagi, and life sized (and bigger) statues and carvings. You can see the huge bronze fragments of the Claudian Tablet, as well as other reminders of the economic and social importance of Lugdunum (ancient Lyon). More...

If you like cinema, head to the Institut Lumière, former home of the Lumière brothers. Although people may assume that the cinema was invented in Hollywood, in fact the Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, invented the Cinematograph in Lyon in 1895. Fittingly, it is located at 25, Rue du Premier-Film (map). The Institut is both a museum and an archive, and the focus of an annual Lyon Film Festival. More...

These are just a few of the museums of Lyon. There are others devoted to Guignols, or puppets, printing (historically an important Lyon industry), modern art, sacred art, folk art, and more.

And over 20 museums are included in the Lyon City Card, so you can take advantage of many of them for a reasonable price.

About Lyon

What to See & Do in Lyon

Lyon Transportation

Lyon Hotels

Lyon Restaurants

Lyon City Card

Tourist Information


Vieux Lyon


Roman Lyon

Lyon Churches

Boat Tours of Lyon


Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Beaux Arts Museum Lyon France


  Mosaic, Musée Gallo-Romain, Lyon      
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