• France's third largest city, Lyon is staging the 16 May final
  • Lyon men's and women's teams both hold records
  • Lyon is in the east of France, around 500km from Paris
  • The Stade de Lyon staged games at UEFA EURO 2016
  • A local saying: "if you skip lunch, you're not from Lyon"

2018 UEFA Europa League final: Guide to Lyon

Lyon is ...
• France's third largest city, and the main city of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
• A silk industry hub that has become a culinary hotspot.
• Home to Lyon's men's and women's football teams, both of which hold records for successive French titles.
• Twinned with Aleppo, Birmingham, Frankfurt, St Louis and St Petersburg, among others.
• Birthplace of Roman emperor Claudius, musician Jean-Michel Jarre and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Where it is
Originally a Roman settlement, Lyon is located in the east of France, around 500km from Paris, and roughly equidistant from Beijing and Seattle. The confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers forms a natural peninsula in the middle of the city, the Presqu'île, on which many of the city's famous attractions stand.

Stade de Lyon from the inside
Stade de Lyon from the inside©Getty Images

Stade de Lyon
• Also known as Parc OL, the stadium replaced Stade de Gerland as the home of Lyon in time to stage six games at UEFA EURO 2016.
• Sited in the commune of Decines-Charpieu, 10km east of central Lyon, the stadium is part of a complex spanning over 50 hectares and featuring a training ground for OL as well as hotels and office buildings.
• The Gerland hosted matches in the 1984 UEFA European Championship and 1998 FIFA World Cup as well as games in the 1972 Rugby League and 2007 Rugby Union World Cups.
• Lyon first played at the new arena on 9 January 2016 – a 4-1 victory over Troyes in which Alexandre Lacazette scored the first goal.
• A French women's record crowd of 22,050 watched Lyon beat Paris 7-0 in a UEFA Women's Champions League semi-final first leg in April 2016, and the venue will hold the first and last matches of the 2019 Women's World Cup.

Getting to and around Lyon
Lyon has two airports. Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport links the city to 120 destinations in 40 different countries. The Tram Rhônexpress connects the airport to Lyon Part-Dieu railway station in the city centre in under 30 minutes. The Lyon-Bron Airport to the east of the city is easily accessed by the city ring road.

For more information on how to travel to Lyon, and how to find your way to the Stade de Lyon, please consult our UEFA Europa League final supporters' leaflet, which includes details of the recommended departure points for fans of both clubs.

Where to stay
Lyon is a major business hub as well as tourist destination, ensuring there will be a wide range of overnight options for fans at the UEFA Europa League final.

UEL Village
For fans in Lyon on Tuesday and Wednesday there is a festival at Place Bellecour, which has become a temporary UEL Village. There is loads to do and see, not least the UEFA Europa League trophy, which will be on display until 17:30CET on matchday when it makes its way by FedEx to the stadium. Ruud Gullit (Tuesday) and Éric Abidal (Wednesday) will attend the festival at around 12:30CET each day.

The Lyon riverside at night
The Lyon riverside at night©UEFA via Getty Images

What to see
For culture
: The spectacular Confluence Museum covers plenty of bases, and the city has both modern and fine art galleries, plus an eclectic range of smaller museums dedicated to such topics as chocolate, dental surgery and the French Resistance.
For atmosphere: The old town: Vieux-Lyon features Renaissance buildings and townhouses, medieval streets and narrow passageways that contain some of the best bouchons – typical Lyon eateries.
For fresh air: Parc de la Tête d'Or in the north of Lyon acts as the lungs of the city. Extending over an area of 105 hectares, this is one of the largest urban parks in France.

Eating and drinking
In Lyon they say "qui saute un repas n'est pas lyonnais" ("if you skip lunch, you're not from Lyon"), a measure of the importance of food in local culture. The city has a huge array of eating establishments to suit all tastes, but those seeking something unique to the region should head to one of the aforementioned bouchons – informal restaurants showcasing local specialities like sausages, duck pâté and roast pork.

Memphis Depay celebrates a Lyon goal
Memphis Depay celebrates a Lyon goal©AFP/Getty Images

Football in the city
Founded in 1950, Lyon were moderately successful in subsequent decades and built up a healthy rivalry with neighbours St-Étienne, until the arrival of club president Jean-Michel Aulas in 1987. Ligue 1 champions for the first time in 2002, after a 3-1 win in a title decider against RC Lens, OL went on to lift seven consecutive league crowns, a record in France.

UEFA Champions League regulars throughout those years, they have changed their policy of late, banking on nurturing talent in their academy rather than signing stars from elsewhere. Their women's team, meanwhile, entered the 2017/18 campaign fresh from becoming European champions for a fourth time and landing an 11th successive national title.

Get out of the city
The remains of the ancient capital of the Gauls is found at the summit of Fourvière hill (accessible by funicular railway) and offers a magnificent view of the city – and on a clear day, the Alps. You can also admire the Gallo-Roman Theatre and the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, the latter known as the protector of the city.

The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière©UEFA via Getty Images

Do it in 24 hours
Breakfast: There are plenty of celebrated places to start the day on the Presqu'île – like Cordeliers, Bellecour or Perrache – and more still in Vieux Lyon, on the other side of the river Saône.
Up to lunch: The old town and museums are worth exploring, or alternatively check out the Croix-Rousse district with its covered passageways, built in the 19th century to shelter local silk from the rain.
Afternoon: The Parc de la Tête d'Or has a zoo and sports facilities, while the Part-Dieu Mall is right beside the direct shuttle to the Stade de Lyon. There is more shopping and space-age architecture in the Confluence area.
Evening and night: Enjoy the night air on one of the many barges on the Rhône which have been refitted as bars, and dine at one of the bouchons near the Hôtel de Ville. If you want to stay out late, the Old Town (Vieux Lyon) is the place to be.

Your French phrasebook
Hello: Bonjour – bon-jaw
How are you?: Comment ça va? – com-mon sa va?
Please: S'il vous plaît – seel voo play
Thank you: Merci – mare-see
Goodbye: Au revoir – oh-rev-wah
Where is the stadium?: Où est le stade? – oo-way lust-ad
Who do you think is going to win? Qui va gagner? – kee va gan yay?
Goal!: But – boo

Useful links
Official tourism site:
Lonely Planet:
Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport:
Lyon-Bron Airport: https://businessaviation.lyonaeroports.com/eng
Olympique Lyonnais official website: https://www.olweb.fr/en/

The Stade de Lyon will stage the 2018 UEFA Europa League final

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