City Pass Lyon: reviews, prices, duration & activities included

lyon city card

Have you always wanted to visit Lyon, the capital of the Gauls? To help you do just that, here’s a presentation of the City Pass Lyon, an essential part of your visit!

France’s third-largest city, this beautiful metropolis occupies a strategic position between the Alps and the Massif Central, at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. Lyon is home to a rich architectural heritage dating from Roman times through the Renaissance to the 20th century. From this illustrious past, the city has preserved its historic treasures, which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Vieux Lyon, Fourvière hill, Presqu’île and Croix-Rousse slopes districts. Is it a good idea to buy a Lyon City Pass to visit Lyon without a hitch? To help you decide, this article explains everything you need to know about this precious sesame!

What is the City Pass Lyon?

Place des Terreaux à Lyon

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Sander van der Werf

The Lyon City Card takes the form of a card in the same format as your bank card. It allows you to avoid using your credit card! This City Pass entitles you to free use of public transport, free visits to museums and temporary exhibitions, guided tours, river cruises and puppet shows. The icing on the cake is that you don’t even have to queue with City Pass Lyon! It’s a handy queue-busting ticket that saves you time on those free visits.

You’ll be able to use the metro, city buses and streetcars, and the funicular railway free of charge and without limit. Access to the TCL transport network is included in the Lyon City Card. Discounts are also available for stores, theaters and guided tours. This flexible solution adapts to your needs. There are four Lyon City Passes to choose from: 1, 2, 3 or 4 days. Let’s take a look at the must-do activities on offer.

Activities included in the Lyon City Pass

The Musée des Confluences

Confluences

Photo credit: Shutterstock – prochasson frederic

A museum of natural history, anthropology, societies and civilizations, the Musée des Confluences is a must-see in Lyon! A novelty in the world of European museums, it brings together all the sciences for a better understanding of the world. It is housed in an impressive deconstructivist building. Its panoramic platforms offer superb views of Lyon, the Saône and the Rhône.

Lyon Fourvière Gallo-Roman Museum

Le Musée gallo-romain de Lyon Fourvière

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Pierre Jean Durieu

Also known as « Lugdunum – Musée & Théâtres romains », this museum is, as its name suggests, nestled on the Fourvière hill. Dedicated to Antiquity, its rich collection and exhibitions will take you back in time. It’s a return to the days of Lyon, capital of the Gauls!

Lyon Museum of Fine Arts

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

Photo credit: Shutterstock – THIPPTY

Nestled in the Saint-Pierre-les-Nonnains abbey, better known as the Palais Saint-Pierre, Lyon’s Musée des Beaux-Arts houses one of Europe’s richest collections. It features works by the greatest artists, from Antiquity to the present day. You really shouldn’t miss it during your stay in Lyon!

A historical or unusual guided tour

Vue sur la basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière à l'aube, Lyon

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Kiattisak Anoochitarom

With the City Pass Lyon, you can enjoy a guided tour of Lyon’s must-sees, or a more unusual tour. During this tour, you’ll discover Lyon’s heritage and history accompanied by a professional guide!

You can also opt for an unusual guided tour of the roofs of the Basilique de Fourvière. From the top of this emblematic Lyon monument on Fourvière hill, you’ll enjoy an incredible panoramic view of the capital of Gaul!

A cruise on the Saône

Église Saint-Georges et passerelle traversant la rivière Saone, Vieille ville avec la cathédrale de Fourvière au magnifique coucher de soleil à Lyon, France

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Giancarlo Liguori

The City Pass Lyon includes one of the best things to do in Lyon: a cruise between the Saône and Rhône rivers! From the water, you can admire Lyon, its neighborhoods and its atmosphere, through the unique experience of a guided cruise. If you opt for this pass, book your cruise now to enjoy it during your stay!

The Cité de la Gastronomie

Grand Hôtel-Dieu

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Pierre Jean Durieu

Lyon is a Mecca, if not the capital, of French gastronomy. Lyon’s Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie showcases the gastronomic meal of the French, listed as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. Located in the Grand Hôtel-Dieu, the Cité is entirely dedicated to gastronomy. Its permanent exhibition focuses on the link between nutrition and health. It’s a must-visit museum and venue in Lyon!

A puppet show

Guignol

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Nevskii Dmitrii

From classical repertory to contemporary creations, Guignol has stood the test of time, and is for everyone! If you’re visiting Lyon, you really shouldn’t miss the chance to see a Guignol puppet show. At the top of the Croix-Rousse, you can enjoy an interactive Guignol show: a delight for children and adults alike.

Price and duration of City Pass Lyon

Vue matinale sur la place Jacobins et belle fontaine de Lyon, France

Photo credit: Shutterstock – RossHelen

There are 4 different rates and durations for the Lyon City Card:

  • 1 day: €27
  • 2 days: €37
  • 3 days: €47
  • 4 days: €57

In all cases, your City Pass Lyon is valid from the moment you use it for the first time (24, 48, 72 or 96 consecutive hours). So our advice is: use it as early as possible in the morning to get the most out of it. Once collected, you have 18 months to use it.

Whichever City Pass Lyon you choose, you’ll also be entitled to the same benefits:

  • Unlimited access to the entire metro, bus, streetcar and funicular network,
  • Free admission to 23 museums and their temporary exhibitions,
  • Free cruises on the Saône and other activities,
  • A guided tour of OnlyLyon, your choice of must-see or unusual,
  • Free admission to daytime Guignol puppet shows,
  • Discounts in stores, boutiques and theaters

Please note that the Lyon City Pass is also available at the Junior rate, for ages 4 to 15, and at the Student rate, on presentation of a valid student card. The Lyon City Card allows only one entry per attraction, museum or guided tour for the duration of the card.

Important: There’s also a Lyon City Card Rhônexpress. It includes a round-trip Rhônexpress ticket between Lyon Saint-Exupéry airport and the city center, Gare Lyon Part-Dieu on the Villette side.

City Pass Lyon collection points

You can purchase the Lyon City Card on the official pass website managed by the city of Lyon, or on a tourist activities website. Immediately after selecting and paying for your package, you’ll receive an e-mail confirming your purchase. You’ll need to present this e-mail at the points where you can collect your City Pass Lyon. You can then collect it at the following locations:

  • ONLYLYON Tourisme pavilion, place Bellecour, Lyon 2e: open daily (except December 25 and January 1) from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
  • The Welcome area at Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport, located between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2: open every day from 8am to 7pm.
  • Part-Dieu Shopping Center Reception, level 0, Place de l’Eau: open Monday to Saturday, 9:30am to 7:30pm.

When you buy your Lyon City Card by phone or online, you can also opt to have your order sent to your home address. In this case, you’ll be charged an additional €3.50 for delivery within France and €6.50 for international delivery. Please allow 3 to 5 days for delivery within France, and up to 5 to 10 days for international deliveries.

Please note: you can also buy your City Pass Lyon directly from the points of collection listed above without reserving it in advance.

Our opinion of City Pass Lyon

In our opinion, the City Pass Lyon is an indispensable sesame for visiting Lyon in the best possible conditions. Flexible, affordable and practical, it’s easy to see why this pass has become so popular. As the card’s official website points out: 98% of customers are satisfied with their purchase.

After all, it’s easy to make the most of it. Without a pass, a day’s transport costs €6, admission to the Musée des Confluences €9, a cruise on the Saône €14 and a guided tour of Vieux Lyon and its traboules €12, i.e. €41. With a one-day pass, you save €14 per person! Before buying a day pass, we advise you to think carefully about the activities you want to do, to be sure you’re saving money. And remember to book your guided tours, cruises and other activities well in advance.

So, have you made your choice between the four packages presented? If so, we hope your City Pass Lyon will help you make the most of your stay and make it unforgettable!