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Lyon Festival of Lights: All you need to know

Vue de nuit sur la rivière Saone jusqu'à la cathédrale de Fourvière dans la ville de Lyon.

Night view over the Saone river to the Fourvière cathedral, in the city of Lyon.

The Lyon Festival of Lights is one of the most eagerly-awaited festive season events in France. Every year, the fabulous city of Lyon sees 1.8 million visitors arrive from all over the world for the four-day festival. The urban landscape is lit up by all sorts of different creations: lighting, video and graphic artists, designers, architects and street performance troupes all play their part.

These artists offer new and surprising installations and animations every year, creating a festive, magical, urban atmosphere. The beautiful city becomes a shining showcase for their ephemeral works.

Watch an overview of previous years’ installations here:

When was the Lyon Festival of Lights 2021?

The Lyon Festival of Lights took place from Wednesday 8 December to Saturday 11 December 2021. On December 8 and 9, it was from 7pm to 11pm and on December 10 and 11, from 8pm to midnight.

What can I see there?

In 2021, over the four nights, various artists illuminated:

  • The “presqu’île”
  • The old city
  • The rivers
  • Lyon’s largest parks

A magical atmosphere will pervade throughout the city. As soon as night falls, you will be able to set out to discover around thirty installations, that will amaze you!

For the 2021 edition, Lyon honoured water and nature, by offering them as a theme to the artists. As a result of the recent health crisis, some artists have been inspired to develop virtual creations, which will also be a new addition to this festival.

Lyon lights festival
Fête des Lumières – Lyon

Here is some information about two of the main installations:

1 – Ricochets at the Parc de la Tête d’Or:

Ricochets is an animation imagined, created and set up in the park by the Public Lighting Department. The lake around the Ile aux souvenirs was used to make light ricochets. The trees in the park were dressed in 1200 luminous decorations.Lyon-visite.info

2 – Visions on the Fourvière hill, visible from the quays of the Saône

Visions was inspired by the symbolism of the major monuments built from the bottom to the top of the Fourvière hill: the Palais de Justice (nicknamed “The 24 columns”), the Saint-Jean Cathedral and the Fourvière Basilica, as well as the river at the foot of the hill.Lyon-visite.info

We can assure you that Lyon’s Festival of Lights is well worth it! Whether it’s your first visit or not, you’ll be charmed by the city and its installations. However, as mentioned above, the installations are only visible after dark, so if you also want to discover Lyon, you’ll have the whole day to do it.

Take the opportunity to discover Lyon

Take advantage of your visit to discover the best of Lyon! Read our article on the unmissable things to do in Lyon: discover the city’s culture, nature and fresh air in the best possible way!

Lyon river
River Saone in the city of Lyon at night

For young and old alike

This is really an event not to be missed! Both adults and children will be amazed by the light shows. Make sure to hit one of the Lyon tourist offices to ask for a festival playbook when you arrive. It will suggest tours and give lots of information about the different installations. This will make the event even more fun.

However, as is the case during many festivals, the city experiences an influx of millions of visitors during the four days of the Lyon Festival of Lights. This means that the streets of Lyon and its transport system will be packed and you can expect to see a lot of people during your visit. So, make sure to always keep an eye on any little ones, keeping them close by. Also, don’t forget to bring good shoes and something comfortable and warm to wear, as you will be walking the streets of Lyon all day and evening.

We hope that all this information will be useful to you and that it will allow you to enjoy Lyon, and the Fête des Lumières, as much as possible. Don’t forget to follow us on social networks and tag us on your photos (@campsited) if you go!

A quick recap on what you need to know

When was the Lyon Festival of Lights 2021?

The Lyon Festival of Lights took place from Wednesday 8 December to Saturday 11 December 2021.

What are the times of the Lyon Festival of Lights?

During the week: Thursday and Friday, it was from 7pm to 11pm

Weekend: Saturday and Sunday, it was from 8pm to midnight.

How do I get to Lyon for the Festival of Lights?

You can get there by car, by bus such as Flixbus or BlaBlaCar Bus (mainly from major cities), by train (to Perrache, Part Dieu, Saint Exupéry stations) or by plane to Lyon Saint Exupéry airport.

How many installations are there at the Lyon Festival of Lights?

You will find about thirty installations and animations, spread across several areas around the city.

Is the Festival of Lights suitable for children?

Yes, both children and adults should consider visiting Lyon during the Festival of Lights. You can go to one of the Lyon tourist offices when you arrival and ask for a playbook. They include tours and lots of information about the different installations, especially for families. This will make the event even more fun for your children.

Is the Lyon Festival of Lights free?

Yes, you can enjoy the light installations and animations for free.

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