The best way to see the city's architectural heritage is by night, when over 100 sites are illuminated. Old Lyon, the banks of the Saône, the Presqu'île and Croix Rousse are the liveliest districts at night. There is a wide variety of bars and pubs scattered all over the city and it is not always easy to choose between Irish, English, Latino, Cuban and the exotic among the range of watering holes available. There are also traditional Lyonnais bars.
The presence in Lyon of prestigious cultural institutions, such as the National Opera, the Célestins Theatre and the Lumière Institute, contribute to the city's international reputation and strong cultural influence. Cultural events and institutions benefit from one of the largest chunks of Lyon's budget and it shows.
Excellent information about all cultural events in Lyon can be found online (www.eldorado.fr) and in local newspapers and magazines, such as Lyon Poche (www.lyonpoche.com), Le Petit bulletin (www.petit-bulletin.fr) and Lyon Capitale (www.lyoncapitale.fr). Information on Lyon's nightlife is available online (www.lyonweb.net/sortir.htm or www.sortirlyon.org) and in local newspapers Lyon Poche, Lyon Débrouille, and Le Petit Paumé.
Tickets for theatrical or musical events can be bought from the booking offices directly or from FNAC, 85 rue de la République (tel: 0825 020 020; www.fnac.com).
Café du Soleil
Café du Soleil is a traditional Lyonnais café, perfect for an early-evening aperitif. Situated in a small and charming area of Lyon, this is one of the oldest cafés in the city, having been here for two centuries, and a friendly alternative to the large fashionable nightspots of the city centre. You can also try Le 110 Vins next door for traditional Lyonnais fare and an impressive wine list of over 300 wines.
2 rue Saint Georges
Tel: 04 7837 6002.
Latin-style bars, such as Le Moana in Quartier St Paul, guarantee exotic décor and fantastic cocktails. Decorated with bamboo, coconuts, and tropical flowers, Le Moana also features three aquariums, including one with piranhas.
20 quai Pierre Scize
Tel: 04 7883 2959.
The New Albion is a popular English-style pub with two giant screens for concerts and sporting events, a dartboard and a wide selection of draught beers. There are also regular theme nights, quiz and gigs.
12 rue Ste-Catherine
Tel: 04 7828 3300.
Full of laser lights and mirrors, the cool and cosy L'Alibi plies an up-for-it crowd with eclectic sounds. Meet people from all walks of life and jive to all kinds of music ranging from pop, rock and techno to funk, soul and salsa.
13 quai Romain Rolland
Tel: 04 7842 0466.
New Hollywood has the biggest dance floor in Lyon and appeals to nostalgia fans with swing, jive and rock'n'roll.
6 rue Henri Barbusse
Tel: 04 7869 4277.
Yes Hot Spot
Popular with a trendy crowd, chill at Yes Hot Spot, a newer venue featuring three themed rooms - Party Room, Smoking Room and Paradise Room - and an intimate ambiance.
12 quai St Vincent
Tel: 06 2916 1415.
Le Marché Gare
Le Marché Gare, a recent addition to the scene, promotes new music from reggae to heavy metal.
34 rue Casimir-Périer
Tel: 04 7240 9713.
Le Transbordeur has two performance spaces; a larger one for established international acts and a smaller stage for local bands.
3 boulevard Stalingrad
Tel: 04 7893 0833.
This slick venue brews its own beer - choose from six different house beers - and has a regular programme of live bands and DJs.
267 rue Marcel Mérieux
Tel: 04 7276 8900.
The Auditorium is the permanent residence of the Lyon National Orchestra. Since 2000, this symphony orchestra, comprising 102 musicians, has acquired an international reputation throughout the world.
149 rue Garibaldi
Tel: 04 7895 9595.