The Magic of Lyon’s Festival of Lights 2023: A Luminescent Journey Through Art and History

Published: 2023/12/07
From December 7th to 10th, 2023 Lyon transforms into a canvas of light and color every year, celebrating its traditional Festival of Lights. This year, the 2023 edition promises an even more spectacular display, merging art, technology, and history into a mesmerizing experience.
Whether you’re a tourist, a foreign student, or simply a lover of art and leisurely strolls, the Festival of Lights in Lyon is an event you can’t afford to miss.



The Historical Tapestry of the Festival

The Festival of Lights, or ‘Fête des Lumières‘, has its roots deeply embedded in Lyon’s history. Originating in the 19th century as a tribute to Mary, mother of Jesus, the festival has evolved from a simple display of candles on windowsills to a grandiose city-wide light show.
Today, it stands as a symbol of Lyon’s cultural heritage, blending the past with the present in a dance of light and shadow.

The Artistic Marvels of 2023: Technological Wonders and Artistic Minds

2023 Festival of lights in Lyon, France

2023’s edition is a testament to the fusion of art and technology. Cutting-edge lighting techniques and digital projections bring each installation to life, offering a sensory feast that challenges the boundaries of traditional art forms.
The festival is a celebration of innovation, where technology serves as a brush and the city as a canvas.

This year’s festival is a playground for the imagination, featuring installations that are nothing short of artistic marvels. From the grandeur of Place des Terreaux to the intimate corners of Vieux Lyon, each piece tells a story, inviting onlookers into a world of fantasy and innovation.
The festival showcases the work of both renowned artists and emerging talents, turning the city into a gallery under the stars.

A Dazzling Line-up of Artworks

Festival of Lights 2023: Lyon Tete d'Or Park

This 2023 Fête des Lumières features an eclectic array of artworks ranging from monumental light installations to intimate and poetic masterpieces.
We’ve highlighted some must-see attractions that are bound to leave you captivated:

  1. Cellulo/d at Place des Terreaux: A beautiful blend of Artificial Intelligence, classical film, and electro music, this installation reinterprets the Lumière Brothers’ earliest films with a musical score by Rone.
  2. Evanescent at Place Bellecour: Experience one of the main meeting spots of the festival, featuring awe-inspiring art, laid-back lounges, and vibrant bars and food stalls.
  3. In-live v360 at Place Antonin Poncet: Prepare to be amazed by a colossal creation from NohLab studio that will surely dominate the square.
  4. Ceux du fleuve (Those from the river) at Fourvière Hill: While its potential remains uncertain, we’re excited about the possibility of breathtaking installations adorning the Fourvière Hill.
  5. Soleil de Nuit (Sun at Night) at Célestins Square: Revel in the glitz and glamour of 1,500 dazzling mirrors combined to create an extraordinary disco ball effect by artist Sébastien Lefèvre.
  6. Nouvelle vague (New Wave) at Saint-Paul Station: Marvel at the artistic talents of four upcoming artists as they transform the station’s façade into an unmissable spectacle.
  7. Kernel3 at Saint-Jean Cathedral: Witness dancing flames come to life on the famous basin of Presqu’île, created by German artists Philip Schambelan and Michal Banish.
  8. Aj Vana Be at Bourse Square: Inspired by a NASA expedition in 1985, the Super Idée collective brings bathtubs and whimsy to the square for Festival goers’ amusement.


Practical Information for Visitors

Festival of lights 2023: from thursday 7 to sunday 10 december

  • Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

For the best experience, visitors are advised to start their journey at Place Bellecour, working their way through the city’s various districts.
Public transportation is readily available, but walking remains the best way to fully immerse in the festival’s charm.

For those new to Lyon, guided tours are available, offering insights into both the art and the history behind each installation.
Food and drink stands are scattered throughout the city, providing a taste of Lyon’s renowned culinary scene.

Read our dedicated article on How to do Lyon Festival of Lights like a local.

Information Points near Me

  • Chalet Pradel (1st) – Hôtel de Ville
    Saturday 2 and Wednesday 6 December, 12 noon to 7pm
    Thursday 7 to Saturday 9 December 12 noon to 10pm
    Sunday 10 December, 2pm to 8pm
  • Chalet République (2nd) – Cordeliers
    Saturday 2 and Wednesday 6 December, 12 noon to 7pm
    Thursday 7 to Saturday 9 December, 12 noon to 10pm
    Sunday 10 December, 2pm to 8pm
  • Chalet Commette (5th) – Saint Jean (Old Lyon)
    Saturday 2 and Wednesday 6 December, 12 noon to 7pm
    Thursday 7 to Saturday 9 December 12 noon to 4pm
    Sunday 10 December closed

Map of the 2023 Festival of Lights in Lyon, France

Map of the Lyon Lights Festival to find your way in 2023