With three days in UNESCO-listed Lyon, you have plenty of time to experience the city’s history, cuisine, and surrounding vineyards. Cross the Saône and Rhône rivers, step into the cathedral, taste world-renowned wine, and more. Here’s how to make the most of 72 hours in Lyon.
Ancient Theatre of Fourvière (Théâtre Antique de Lyon)
6 rue de l Antiquaille, Lyon, France
Also known as the Grand Roman Theatre of Lyon, the Théâtre Romain, or simply the Grand Théâtre, the Ancient Theatre of Fourvière would be at home in the heart of Rome. The archaeological wonder, refurbished in the early 20th century, is one of the oldest such amphitheaters in existence; it was first built under Augustus and later expanded under Hadrian.
Accompanying the theater itself are other nearby ruins (thought to be a Roman temple dedicated to the goddess Cybele), the Odeon of Lyon (a smaller, neighboring theater, known for its detailed floor designs and formerly used for poetry readings), as well as the Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon, which offers more information about the site’s history. The theater is a highlight of Lyon sightseeing itineraries, including electric bike tours, hop-on hop-off bus tours, and history-themed walking tours.
Things to know before you go
- Bring a camera: given its position atop Fourvière Hill, the Ancient Theatre of Fourvière offers impressive views over the surrounding scenery and cityscape beyond.
- Due to steep inclines and its many steps, the theater site is not easily accessible to visitors with limited mobility.
- The theater and archaeological site are free to visit, though the accompanying museum requires entry fees.
- If you’re traveling in summer, don’t forget to bring sunscreen and water: the site is exposed to the sun and has little shade.
How to get there
The Ancient Theatre of Fourvièvre is located in Vieux Lyon—the city’s oldest district. To get there using public transit, take the Vieux Lyon - Saint Just funicular line to Minimes Théâtres Romains, or the Métro line D to Vieux-Lyon - Cathédrale Saint-Jean. The area can be reached by taxi or on foot, though expect a steep walk.
When to get there
The theater is typically open from 7am–7pm daily, and is still used for shows today, from classical music performances to concerts featuring A-list acts. An annual highlight is the Nuits de Fourvière Festival, comprising roughly 60 multi-disciplinary performances every June and July, including dance, music, theater, opera, circus, and others.
Once you’ve explored the Ancient Theatre of Fourvièvre, there’s still more to discover in Lyon. Continue to the hilltop Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, which has become an icon of the city, and an instantly recognizable part of its skyline. The Cathédrale Saint-Jean Baptiste is another important religious landmark in Vieux Nice, while the Musées Gadagne offers the chance to visit two institutions: one dedicated to the city’s history, and one to the history of puppetry.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Ancient Theatre of Fourvière (Théâtre Antique de Lyon)?
Attractions near Ancient Theatre of Fourvière (Théâtre Antique de Lyon):
What else should I know about attractions in Lyon?
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- Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière (Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière)
- Lyon Cathedral (Cathédrale St-Jean)
- Musée Miniature et Cinéma
- Old Lyon (Vieux Lyon)
- Lyon Palace of Justice (Palais de Justice Historique de Lyon)
- Célestins Theatre (Théâtre des Célestins)
- Bellecour Square (Place Bellecour)
- Lyon Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux Arts de Lyon)
- Lyon Opera House (Opéra National de Lyon)
- Lyon Les Halles Market (Les Halles Paul Bocuse)
- Tête d'Or Park (Parc de la Tête d'Or)
- Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (Musée d'art Contemporain de Lyon)
- Resistance and Deportation History Centre (Centre d'Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation)
- Lumière Institute (Institut Lumière)