10 Things To Do In Lyon in May

Concerts, exhibitions, festivals, foodie events, May looks pretty much like a preview of the summer season in Lyon. Weather is (hopefully) getting better and warmer and on top of that, French folk look (almost) happy! That’s because of the three holiday weekends coming up, not necessarily the results of the presidential election…
Here’s a list of events you cannot miss.


Music and Shows

Nuits Sonores electronic music festival

If you are a fan of electronic music, you may have already put a tick on the 23rd May when the Nuits Sonores festival kicks off.

Korean band at Nuits Sonores 2016

Lyon’s big music fest, which drew almost 140,000 people in 2016, celebrates its 15th birthday this year. There are a lot of activities families and friends can get involved in for free during the day.
Afternoon concerts featuring Portuguese bands will take place at Les Subsistances (May 25-27, 3-9pm). A mini-festival for kids with street art, workshops, paintings in the same place (you need to register). And don’t miss the disc fair and the junk market on the closing day at La Sucriere.

Lyon vibrates to the beat of the festival with creative and collaborative events happening in unusual places. With great music to boot. An Initiation to tribal dances with costumes, wine tasting, oysters, a mini-concert in a 19th century fortress or a mix and bike tour…

This year’s list of events (Extras) will be released in early May.


Detox Party in Miribel-Jonage Park

The Detox Party schedulded on May 21st in Miribel Jonage Park has been postponed to June 11th. It is the perfect warm-up before the summer season. A new concept of a healthy party which is not so common in France.

Detox Party

Party goers will be able to eat and drink healthily with organic iced teas, detox juices and local street food. Others can relax in a chill bag on the beach, attend a yoga class, have a massage or practise fitness. After that, there will be  no choice but to join the dance floor for a more traditional party.

Miribel Jonage Park (Atol Beach, 15km from Lyon) 11 am to 11.30 pm
Rates: 23 euros, 6 euros (under 12-year-old).
Bus 83 from Vaulx-en-Velin La Soie or Laurent Bonnevay/Astroballe (Subway A), last departure at 8pm. For an even more detoxing experience, use the bike path…  


The Cranberries are back

The Irish band The Cranberries will be in Lyon on May 31 for a new accoustic concert, “The Greatest Hits Tour” featuring old songs like “Linger”, “Zombie” and “Dreams”.
Dolores O’Riordan, Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawlor will also perform new songs they recorded with the Irish Chamber Orchestra from the Limerick University.
An exciting comeback after a 5-year absence.


The Cranberries (concert)– May 31 – 8pm

Salle 3000 – L’Amphithéâtre – Cité Internationale –
10, quai Charles de Gaulle, Lyon 6
from € 45.50 to € 78.50 


100% Improv all in English

Get ready for one hour of fun and laughs on May 31st. The Improvidence, a well-known local theatre exclusively dedicated to improvisations proposes a 60-minute show with English speaking improvisers!
100% Improv Show – May 31 – 7.30 pm (1 hour).

Improvidence Theatre – 6, rue Chaponnay, Lyon 3 -Subway D Guillotiere or Tramway T1 Liberte
Rates: 12 Euros ( lower rate if you book online).


Culture & History

Traditionnal Renaissance Fair

Lyon’s Old district also known as Vieux-Lyon is considered one of the most preserved vestiges of the Renaissance era in Europe. The city celebrates this glorious past in May with a Renaissance festival which began in 1987 when city officials decided to resurrect the company of Pennons, a civilian force created in 1320 aimed to protect different parts of the city, but dismantled during the French Revolution.

The four- day festivities will start on May 11 with a parade between Bellecour and Terreaux (6pm). Two more parades will be held from Bellecour to St Jean on May 13th and 14th, starting at 11.30 am. A spectacular show with costumes and Italian flag-throwers. The old district streets will be full of troubadours and dancers throughout the weekend.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the festival, a Renaissance village will be re-created in Bellecour square with characters, daily scenes and workshops for kids.

Renaissance of Pennons and Fair– Bellecour and Vieux-Lyon – May 11-14 

Summer Exhibit at the Fine Arts Museum

Following the Matisse exhibition, Lyon Museum of Fine Arts proposes a summer exhibition featuring the work of Edouard Pignon (1905-1993), a colourist painter whose drawings were influenced by Matisse in the 1940s.

Starting on May 18th, visitors can admire one of the artist’s paintings (Ostende, 1946-1953) made during a trip to Belgium. The centerpiece of the exhibition, which illustrates a turning point in the work of Edouard Pignon after World War Two, is a donation from the artist’s son made to the museum.

Edouard Pignon exhibition – From May 18 to August 28 – Museum of Fine Arts
Terreaux Square – Subway A/C Hotel de Ville.



Food Truck Lyon Festival

Food Trucks are becoming gourmet, healthy and very trendy including in the capital of gastronomy.  15 local food trucks will participate in a 3-day festival near l’Ile Barbe in mid-May.

An opportunity to taste all sorts of street food in a friendly atmosphere.

French crepes, waffles, gourmet burgers, gluten-free products, traditional or exotic dishes, Greek food (pita) and even fish and chips!

You could also attend a relaxing yoga class, have a drink in a guinguette cafe or buy local products in a farmer’s market.

FoodTruck Lyon Festival – May 12-14 – Domaine de l’Ile Barbe – 1, Place Henri Barbusse, Lyon 9.
Bus 40 Ile Barbe (then cross the bridge).
Friday: starting at 5pm / Saturday: 10 am – midnight / Sunday: 10am – 6pm.

“A la Piscine”, A New Restaurant between the Rhone… and the pool

Starting on May 12th, going to Tony Bertrand outdoor pool in the banks of the Rhone river will not necessarily mean swimming laps or taking a sunbath on concrete slabs.
From this day onwards, there will be a restaurant named “A la piscine” (At the pool) on the floor of the entrance building with terrace offering an outstanding view on the river and the city landmarks including Fourviere basilica.

Rhone Swimming pool arches.

The second particularity of the new restaurant will be the opening hours. Dinner will be served until midnight! (8pm on Sunday).

The food is not likely to disappoint ewith two top chefs. Delphine Gabillard, who worked with Alain Ducasse in Monaco and Pierre Naudoin,whose mentor is Alain Passard, a three Michelin star vegetarian chef based in Paris.

They intend to cook with healthy, seasonal and local products. Of course, wines will come from the Rhone valley and other vineyards around the river from Geneva to the Mediterranean.

There will be also a kids’ corner with board games, books, workshops and a vegetable garden.

May 12 – 6 pm, opening of the new restaurant “A la piscine” at Tony Bertrand Nautical center.  

Quai Claude Bernard – Lyon 7 –

7.30 am-midnight (Wednesday-Friday) / 9am-midnight (Saturday) / 10am-8pm (Sunday).

Rates: 19 euros (lunch), 29 euros (dinner).



Europa League Semi-Final Olympique Lyonnais vs. Ajax Amsterdam

The end of the soccer season will be much more exciting than expected for local fans.
Lyon is still on course to win the Europa League Cup (which would be historic) and a ticket to next year’s Champions League after narrowly beating Besiktas in a suspense-filled penalty shoot-out in the previous round.

Parc OL Stadium

The Olympique Lyonnais will play against Ajax Amsterdam in the semi-final second leg on May 11th in its home stadium. The first leg will take place in Amsterdam the week before.
The winner will face Manchester United or Celta Vigo in the final which will be held on May 24th in Stockholm.
Olympique Lyonnais vs. Ajax Amsterdam – May 11th – 9.05 pm – OL Park


Open Parc Tennis ATP Tournament

May will also be an exciting month for patient tennis fans who have not seen an ATP Men’s tournament in Lyon since 2009.

Forget about Lyon’s tennis Grand Prix held in the Palais des Sports in Gerland. The first Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes tennis tournament will take place in Tete d’Or Park (6th district) from May 20 to May 27 right in the middle of Roland Garros Grand Slam tournament in Paris.
This new tournament was initiated by French player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
A couple of other top players will participate, including Milos Raonic, ranked number 6 in the world ATP Rankings. Australian player Nick Kyrgios (No.15) will also be here as well as US player Donald Young (No. 44).
Spectators can come on May 20 for free to see qualifying matches.

Open Parc tennis Men tournament – Tete d’Or Park – Lyon 6 – May 20-27
One Day ticket: 15-48 euros / 3-day pass: 69-99 euros


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