LYON, FRANCE, OCTOBER 25, 2014 : Statues in the park of Palais Saint-Pierre. This Palace houses Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon and is a former Benedictine convent of the 17th century.; Shutterstock ID 226052629

Shutterstock / Pierre Jean Durieu

Musée des Beaux-Arts


This stunning and eminently manageable museum showcases France's finest collection of sculptures and paintings outside of Paris, from antiquity onwards. Highlights include works by Rodin, Monet and Picasso. Pick up a free audioguide and be sure to stop for a drink or meal on the delightful stone terrace off its cafe-restaurant or take time out in its tranquil cloister garden.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lyon attractions

1. Place des Terreaux

0.04 MILES

The centrepiece of the Presqu'île's beautiful central square is a 19th-century fountain made of 21 tonnes of lead and sculpted by Frédéric-Auguste…

2. Opéra de Lyon

0.16 MILES

Lyon's neoclassical 1831-built opera house was modernised in 1993 by renowned French architect Jean Nouvel, who added the striking semi-cylindrical glass…

3. Musée de l'Imprimerie

0.21 MILES

From early equipment through to computerised technology, this absorbing museum traces the history of the city's printing industry.

4. Place Sathonay

0.21 MILES

At the foot of Croix Rousse, this tree-shaded square has a small village atmosphere, with its bars, restaurants and cafes.

5. Fresque des Lyonnais

0.27 MILES

Well-known Lyonnais peer out from this beautifully executed seven-storey mural, including loom inventor Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752–1834), Renaissance…

6. Le Petit Musée Fantastique de Guignol

0.34 MILES

The star of this tiny, two-floor museum is Guignol, the Lyonnais puppet famous for its slapstick antics and political commentary. Various animated scenes…

7. Musées Gadagne

0.36 MILES

Housed in a 16th-century mansion built for two rich Florentine bankers, this twin-themed exhibition space incorporates an excellent local history museum,…

8. Palais de Justice

0.45 MILES

Facing the river in old Lyon, the grandiose neo-classical Palais de Justice is well worth a gander.