Fabulous Festival of Lights in Lyon
The winter “Fête des Lumières” in Lyon is one of the city’s most exciting extravaganzas.
Festival of Lights in Lyon brightens up December’s streets with dazzling displays and creates a massive buzz across Lyon’s delightfully different districts.
It’s a long weekend of pure magic – and it’s all free.
Get planning for early December.
Even if Lyon has attractions to equal Paris, it’s still a destination that never seems to be overrun with tourists, even for its most thrilling events.
Since this festival is Lyon’s big crowd event, family-friendly and great for groups too, it’s best to arrive as early as Thursday to avoid the large weekend crowds.
Contemporary and elegance
Hotel Carlton Lyon is in an imposing Haussmann-style building dating from 1894 on Lyon’s grand Presqu’île.
It has a luxury spa with a hammam and a style that combines contemporary and elegant.
From candles to club culture
Lyon’s light celebrations began as a religious tradition in 1852 when citizens lit candles in their windows to mark the inauguration of a Virgin Mary statue at the city’s hilltop Basilica.
Now the light show has extraordinary hi-tech dazzle.
Its designers come from very different creative backgrounds – all experts in using technology to create innovative city and nightclub lighting, video backdrops and magnificent multimedia shows.
Unmissable sights at the Lyon City of Lights Festival
Each of the four nights of the Fête des Lumières features a different theme, changing colour schemes and an extraordinary atmosphere.
Designers worldwide compete to produce the most startling installations and displays, and the animated light shows everywhere around the city, highlighted by video, music, and sound effects.
This exceptional festival incorporates Lyon’s historic and contemporary architecture into an astonishing sight.
Its lovely riversides and parks also take centre stage.
The Rhône riverside transform into thirty miles of waterfront attractions, with an open-air dining area, a promenade, viewing points, artworks and nature trails.
It’s a spectacular backdrop for the illuminations.
Nights of enchantment
It’s by night that the festival really showcases Lyon’s incredible architectural heritage, with fantastic projections turning buildings into extraordinary artworks. – lasers, video, and fabulous fireworks.
It’s difficult to imagine how a whole city might look when completely transformed into a light spectacle.
The streets are crowded at the Festival time, but the atmosphere is more like street cinema than a wild celebration.
Most people come to enjoy the artistic spectacle, not to party, so families can visit and not have to battle huge hectic crowds.
Buy a Lyon City Card and save
To discover the best of Lyon during your stay at the festival, be sure to buy a Lyon City Card.
The city card allows you to explore the museums and attractions of Lyon while saving some of your holiday cash.
The easy-to-use card offers sightseeing freedom, helping you make the most of a short or a more extended stay.
Choose from 1, 2 or 3 consecutive day passes.
The card offers free admission to nineteen top museums in and around Lyon and unlimited public transport by bus, metro, tramway and the funicular that takes you up Fourvière hill for panoramic city views.