Festival of Lights

The “Fête des Lumières” is Lyon’s most popular event drawing 3 million visitors to admire the illuminations and nighttime light shows in December.


This tradition began on December 8th 1852 when the Catholic population celebrated Virgin Mary by lightning candles on windowsills.

Local still illuminate their windows but Lyon’s historical areas has become renowed contemporary light artists playground.

This Is Lyon guides you into this 2018 festival edition (6-9 December) : where are the unmissable illuminations, where to eat, what to do in the daytime, how to visit Lyon with fun ?

How it all began

The first light shows took place in Lyon on 8th December 1852 for religious reasons. Here’s the real story of the most popular event in Lyon.

how to reach Lyon city centre from Lyon Saint exupery airport

How to get to Lyon

Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport is just over 20 miles away from Lyon city centre. The ‘official’ ways to get to and from the airport are the Rhone-Express tram or taxi.

Insider Tips

lyon ferris wheel bellecour fête des lumiere
Top Things to Do in Lyon during the Festival of Lights 2017

Cool guided tours, Christmas markets, great concerts, Ferris wheel ride…

My first Fête des Lumières in Lyon

My first “Fêtes des Lumières” in Lyon, back in 2014

My Two Nights at the 2016 Fête des Lumières in Lyon

Our American contributor Jenna enjoyed the 2016 Fête des Lumières in Lyon despite the crowd. A story about vin chaud, mud, churros, machine guns, music and flames

“To take good photos of Lyon, you need to take your time”

Photographer and visual artist, Guillaume J. Plisson, specialist in Lightgraff, unveils his top tips to take stunning pictures during the Festival of Lights.

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