Love food and you'll love Lyon. Love film and you'll love Lyon. Love the idea of exploring Provence and the French Alps, you'll in all likelihood approach them through Lyon, and it really is worth a stay or at least a long stop before carrying on. Lyon is known as the French capital of gastronomy - and given the reverence for food in France, that's really saying something. Lyon is also where the Lumière brothers developed the tools and art of modern cinema, and the fascinating Musée Lumière devoted to their achievements is well worth exploring.
Lyon's historical quarter and heart of the city is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within its cobbled streets lie many wonders, among them the 19th-century hilltop Basilique de Fourviere, a riot of mosaic and marble, and the famous traboule or tunnelled passageways built to transport silk safely in rainy weather - the city was a magnet for Italian silk merchants in the Middle Ages, and they built many of Lyon's finest buildings.
Now the city is a draw for foodies, and has been for a long time, thanks to having some of the finest French ingredients on Lyon's doorstep - the plumpest snails, Charolais beef, Poulet de Bresse, fine freshwater fish, and a huge range of charcuterie. There are some of the most famous Michelin starred restaurants here, including the legendary Bocuse, and any number of bouchons - the traditional Lyonnaise restaurants - serving up local and French classics.