Ask a local—these are e the unmissable events in Lyon for March 2020. Start at the Women’s Tennis Open, head to Vieux Lyon for St. Patrick’s Day, and check out the new Picasso in town. Follow that up with a taste of contemporary dance, digital art, spoken word, and Latino film. One thing’s for sure, this “things to do” list will keep you busy.
See where street art meets skateboarding culture
Street art and skateboard culture collide in a month-long exposition at the Galerie des Terreaux, Sprayboard, organized by Superposition and Daily Board. Comprised of 12 artists (from Paris, Montreal, Bruxelles, and Lima) customizing 44 pieces, this is the place to discover cutting-edge urban style.
March 5-28,11am-7pm. Entrance Fee: 1€.
Listen to the London Philarmonic Orchestra at the Auditorium de Lyon
This is the Rolls-Royce of European orchestras. Under the direction of Francois-Xavier Roth, accompanied by American Alisa Weilerstein, the London Philarmonic Orchestra graces the Auditorium of Lyon for a night of British compositions and the seductive melodies of Bartók.
March 24, 8pm. Tickets: starts 18€.
Expand your mind at Mirage Festival
The first-ever event dedicated to digital culture in Lyon, Mirage Festival has reflected upon the linkage between creativity, science, art, and technology for seven years. Check out the art exhibitions, musical performances, and the Mirage Creative+ Lab (where one can experience virtual reality like nowhere else). The event kicks off March 11 with sets from Schanuzi (presenter on Radio Nova Lyon) and the pan-African group Pam Sound System.
March 11-15 at the Subsistances. Entrance fees: 0-8€.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish pub crawl
St. Patrick’s Day is coming to Lyon, and how better to celebrate than with a pub crawl across Vieux Lyon and Croix-Rousse? Don’t be afraid to grab a pint of Guinness and say “kiss me, I’m Irish!” (Or, is that an Irish-American saying?) Be sure to check out our list of the top Irish pubs for the upcoming holiday.
March 17. All night.
Watch the best of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American film
Les Reflets du Cinéma Ibérique et Latino Américain is a film festival celebrating works from Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chili, and Peru. Organized by the trendy cinema Le Zola, things kick off March 13 and span across 9 screening rooms, 41 films, and 14 hours of footage.
March 13-27. Tickets: 5.80 to 6.80€.
Admire paintings by Picasso at the Musée de Beaux Arts
In 1997, actress Jacqueline Delubac entrusted priceless treasure—a Picasso entitled “Woman Sitting on the Beach”— to the Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon. Now, meet the inspiration behind the masterpiece in an exhibit comprising 150 works from European and American artists and the photography of Dora Maar and Eileen Agar. The theme this year is “baths.”
March 18. Entrance fees: 8 to 13€.
Run around in unexpected places with Lyon Urban Trail
Did you know that Lyon was home to the first Urban Trail in Europe? On March 29th, join thousands of runners (as of now, the website boasts 9,000 who are registered!) in a celebration of athletic and cosmopolitan achievement. Lyon Urban Trail promises to show you the city “like you’ve never seen it before.”
Choose from course lengths of 8km, 14km, 37km, or a 12km walk. This is the perfect way to discover hidden gems and secret neighborhoods—all while breaking a sweat!
March 29. Tickets: 12 to 46€.
Discover lesser-known music
The Salon International du Disque de Lyon is the place for buying and trading vintage records, CDs, DVDs, and cassettes. Collectors from as far as Milan, Barcelona, and Utrecht are ready to show their wares and talk about music. All genres are represented—not limited to blues, funk, rap, indie, metal, dance, techno, and rock. If you need a new Bowie poster for your room, this is the place for you.
March 8, 10am to 5:30pm at the Espace Tête d’Or. Entrance fee: 5€.
Introduce yourself to hidden gems in LGBT film
The 10th annual Queer Film Festival at the Public Library of Part Dieu will provide you with a sampler platter of LGBT artistic works. Everything from the political, to the sensual, to the playful, to the historical will be showcased. Featuring John Waters and Barbara Hammer!
March 4-12. Free to the public.
Applaud the world’s best female tennis players
Lyon welcomes its first female tennis Open 6e Sens starting February 29th and ending March 8th at the Palais des Sports de Gerland. Organized by the Lyonnaise player Caroline Garcia, this event unites 24 of the most elite female athletes—including Kristina Mladenovic and winner of the Australian Open, Sophia Kenin.
February 29- March 8. Tickets: 5 to 38€.
Unleash your inner decorator at Lyon’s oldest trade fair
(Update : event postponed from 16 to 24 May)
The Foire de Lyon, an international trade fair dating back to the year 1916, returns March 20th for 11 days and nearly 1,000 exhibitors. Categories include creation, decoration, kitchenware, furniture, homeware, fashion, beauty, leisure, pools, garden, wine, and food. Pro tip: tickets are reduced price when bought online.
March 20-30. Entrance fee: 6 to 8€.
Expand your wine palette at Vinomedia
Attention wine-lovers! The Espace Tête d’Or is welcoming its 38th annual Vinomedia event with 60 regional producers in attendance. Taste, buy, and meet some of the region’s most passionate makers and connoisseurs! Cheese will also be in attendance.
March 13-15 at the Espace Tête d’Or.
Experience Chinese-Lyonnais history through art
March 8-14th is the last week to see the exposition Les Caractères vivants at the Nouvel Institut Franco-Chinois—and what better time to see it, now that all the tourists have left? Yimeng Wu has spent years of research, notably at the Chinese Fund of the Municipal Library of Lyon, to interweave historical and personal memories into an illustrated chronology. Above all, this is a commemoration of Lyon’s ties with China.
March 1-14. Entrance fee: 2.50 – 5€
Listen to Opera with a modern twist…surrounded by stone muses
The Opera Underground, one of the coolest spots for experimental music in Lyon, invites you to experience a hybrid of electronic and opera against the backdrop of the city skyline. Enjoy the bar and the company of several seven-foot stone muses.
March 12, doors open at 6:30pm. Free to the public.
Immerse yourself in prose, poetry, and the spoken word
For the fourth year in a row, Magnifique Printemps has invited Francophone artists, poets, and writers to share their craft with the Lyonnais community. Spanning 15 days, with most events free to the public, this is the chance to find inspiration from the likes of Laure Gauthier, Mohamed Amara, Ainis Selena, and Paola Pigani. Be sure to bring a notebook and a pen.
March 7-22. Free to the public.
Participate in a multi-genre music festival across the city
Spanning some of the city’s coolest venues—le Transbordeur, le Fargo, le Périscope, le Jack Jack—comes the 14th Annual festival Les Chants de Mars. Celebrating local talent and lyrical music spanning pop, electronic, rock, and hip-hop, this is the opportunity to “rediscover the richness and the diversity” of the French language.
March 20-28. Concerts priced individually, between 5 and 23€.
Witness the coolest of contemporary dance at la Maison de la Danse
Established and up-and-coming dancers from across the continent are making an appearance at the month-long dance festival in Lyon. Among others, welcome the Aniki Vóvó Company, the A/R collective, Gisèle Vienne, Oona Doherty, (LA)HORDE collective, La Veronal, and Pierre Pontvianne. Themes range from the surreal to the emotional to the philosophical.
March 9-25. Tickets: 10 to 40€.