A lyonnais Guide for the Lyon Festival of Lights

How to do Lyon Festival of Lights like a local?

What you should (or should not) bring to enjoy the illuminations in Lyon: a lyonnais guide to the festival of Lights in Lyon.
Edit: 2023 edition



There is often the need to wait in order to visit some of the events, notably those at Place des Terreaux or if you should need to take the metro. The last few years have seen around 3 million people attend each festival.

There will probably be less people attending this year but there is likely to be a wait to access in the inner security area.


Place Terreaux, Lyon (France), Festival of Lights 2014

Place des Terreaux, Lyon, Festival of Lights 2014. © F. Crouzet/This Is Lyon


An umbrella

Waterproof jackets, hats and umbrellas can be very useful considering the unpredictable nature of the weather. Make sure you’ve also got some good walking shoes, a wooly hat and some gloves.
The weather has been relatively mild in recent years but there is always the possibility that it can be very cold in December.


A festival guide

Available from the small chalets (Place Pradel, Place de la République, Place Carnot, Place Edouard Commette) this will allow you to find your way around the approximately 70 planned events and installations.


Your smartphone

To easily view the festival guide using a special application and also share photos.
The City of Lyon is holding a competition for the “most liked” photograph shared to Instagram using the hashtag #FDL2023 so bring your camera and it’s tripod.

Get your Festival of Lights Android or IOS application.


Lyon (France), Festival of Lights, candles.

Lumignons (candles) at the Fete des Lumières in Lyon. © F. Crouzet / This Is Lyon.



Small votive candles to place outside on your window ledge before setting off for your evening stroll. You can buy these at the shop specialising in the Festival of Lights which is located at Place Bellecour, from Thursday 7th December until Saturday 10 December.


Please don’t bring!

A bus ticket

The TCL bus network is completely free of charge on December 8th from 4pm.
The area of the Presqu’ile is best accessed by metro. The stations will be well signposted and there will be modifications to the entrances and exits of stations.

There will also be no buses in circulation in the Presqu’ile or Vieux Lyon during the evenings of the Festival.

There will however be 4 bus lines “Full Moon” running during the night between 1h and 3h.
On Thursday the 7th and Saturday the 9th of December, you can travel with a special ticket which costs 3€.
More information at Lyon public transport website.

Your car

Definitely leave your car in the garage!
With the exception of the roads along the quays, all traffic will be prohibited in the Presqu’ile between Place Bellecour and Place Sathonay from 19h onwards.
The same applies to Vieux Lyon.
The city centre car parks will be closed from 19h onwards, the 7th to 10th of December and parking on the main streets of the Presqu’ile will be prohibited from noon to midnight.


Pushchairs or strollers

Certain areas can become very congested and it is therefore much better to carry children on your shoulders rather than using a pushchair.


For security reasons please avoid as much as possible bringing bags to the festival. They will all have to be searched before gaining admittance to the secure area.


Tips to Enjoy the Festival of Lights like a Local

how to reach Lyon city centre from Lyon Saint exupery airport

How to get to Lyon

Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport (LYS) 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.

Transport in Lyon

Directions for Getting Around the City with TCL, Lyon’s public transport system including metros, buses, trams, and funiculars.

Lyon like a Lyonnais