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Car Hire in Lyon

May 31, 2008
Forever tied to the silk industry, the dramatic efforts during the French resistance and splendid food, Lyon is one of France's most beautiful cities and definitely one worth discovering with car hire.

If the food is anything to go by, Lyon certainly knows how to welcome its guests. Now the gastronomic capital of France, Lyon's prowess in the kitchen stretches as far back as the first half of the 20th century when many families got rid of their in-house cooks. Instead of scurrying away to factories, these newly redundant women brushed themselves down and set up their own restaurants, finishing their careers up with the distinction of cooking for some of the finest French dignitaries of their time. Today visitors to Lyon can still dine like kings and queens at restaurants, bistros and bars all over the city.

Apart from its many fine-dining establishments, Lyon also offers a range of wonderful tourist attractions. As France's second largest city, it's not surprising that there's plenty to see and do. Take your pick from three large parks, 30 museums and scores of monuments referencing Lyon's historical heritage. Lyon is known as the 'city of light' due to its history that first began on Fourviére Hill, when the city was ruled by the Romans. Back then, Lyon was regarded as the capital of the three Gauls and it was during this time that Lyon underwent huge change in its economic, political, religious and military development. The spirit of 'Lugdunum' (city of light) as it was known by the Romans lives on today when every evening over 100 sites across the city are lit up to show the beauty of the city's architecture.

The city's Lyon Opera House is also a great place to discover Lyon's musical riches.

Located between the City Hall and Rhone River, the building itself is a magnificent piece of engineering. The first five levels of he opera house are underground while the glass exterior of the six higher levels sparkle in the sunlight. Opera-goers say the acoustics of the hall are so good that the opera house currently makes more recordings than any other opera house in France. While in town it's worth making a special effort to attend one of the many ballet and symphony performances that take place there throughout the year.

Residents of Lyon may take these places for granted but UNESCO certainly doesn't. The city is listed as a World Heritage site because of its lengthy and fascinating 2,000-year old history which is to be seen most obviously in the city's spectacular Romanesque architecture.

Renting a car in Lyon means you can sample the food, culture and history of Lyon at a pace that is entirely up to you.

Getting there: It's easy to reach Lyon from Paris. Simply follow the A8/E1 to Lyon and then take the E1/A7 west to Aix-en-Provence. If you find yourself driving to Lyon from Grenoble or the French Alps, take the A43 and you'll come to Lyon via the northwest of the city.
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