Villeurbanne, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France, is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage and a range of attractions for visitors to enjoy. As a neighboring city to Lyon, it offers a fantastic blend of historical sites, modern architecture, green spaces, and a lively atmosphere. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Villeurbanne:
1. Place Grandclément
Start your exploration of Villeurbanne at Place Grandclément, a lively square lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops. It’s a great spot to relax, enjoy a coffee, and soak up the local atmosphere.
2. Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon (MAC Lyon)
Located in Villeurbanne, MAC Lyon is a renowned contemporary art museum. It showcases a diverse collection of contemporary artworks and hosts temporary exhibitions by both national and international artists.
3. Parc de la Tête d’Or
Just a short distance from Villeurbanne, Parc de la Tête d’Or is one of the largest urban parks in France. Spanning over 290 acres, it offers beautiful gardens, a large lake, a zoo, and even a rose garden. It’s a perfect place to relax, have a picnic, or take a leisurely stroll.
4. La Doua Campus
Villeurbanne is home to the La Doua Campus, which is the main science and technology hub in Lyon. Explore the campus and visit the iconic Cube Orange, a futuristic building that houses a variety of scientific research laboratories.
5. Théâtre National Populaire (TNP)
If you’re interested in performing arts, head to the Théâtre National Populaire. This historic theater hosts a wide range of theater performances, dance shows, and other cultural events throughout the year.
6. Institut d’Art Contemporain (IAC)
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Located near Villeurbanne, the IAC is a contemporary art institution that focuses on promoting experimental and innovative art forms. It features exhibitions, installations, and performances by emerging and established artists.
7. Cité Internationale
Located on the banks of the Rhône River, the Cité Internationale is a modern architectural complex that houses a range of facilities, including a conference center, a casino, hotels, restaurants, and a cinema. Take a stroll along the waterfront and admire the contemporary buildings.
8. La Soie
La Soie is a district in Villeurbanne known for its shopping opportunities. Visit La Part-Dieu mall, one of the largest shopping centers in Europe, where you can find a wide range of fashion brands, restaurants, and entertainment options.
9. Local Cuisine
Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in Lyon’s famous gastronomy while in Villeurbanne. Try traditional Lyonnais dishes such as coq au vin, quenelles de brochet (pike dumplings), and cervelle de canut (a cheese and herb spread). Explore the local bouchons, traditional Lyon-style restaurants, where you can savor these specialties.
10. Maison du Livre, de l’Image et du Son (MLIS)
Visit MLIS, a cultural center dedicated to literature, visual arts, and sound. It houses a library, exhibition spaces, and hosts various literary and artistic events, including book readings, film screenings, and workshops.
11. Marché de Villeurbanne
If you prefer a more local and authentic market experience, head to the Marché de Villeurbanne. Open on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, this market offers a wide variety of fresh produce, regional specialties, cheeses, meats, and more. It’s a great place to interact with locals and discover local flavors.
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Sports enthusiasts can catch a basketball game at Astroballe, the home stadium of the ASVEL Basket team. Experience the electric atmosphere as you cheer on the team and witness some exciting basketball action.
13. Théâtre National Populaire (TNP)
In addition to hosting performances, the TNP also offers workshops, classes, and events that cater to both adults and children. Take advantage of their educational programs or participate in a theater workshop to explore your creative side.
14. Cultural Events
Villeurbanne is known for its vibrant cultural scene. Keep an eye out for various festivals and events that take place throughout the year. From music festivals to art exhibitions, there’s always something happening that will captivate your interests.
15. Urban Street Art
As you explore Villeurbanne’s streets, keep an eye out for its urban street art scene. From colorful murals to thought-provoking installations, the city’s walls serve as a canvas for local and international artists. Take a self-guided tour or join a guided street art tour to discover these hidden artistic gems.
16. Maison du Peuple
Step into the Maison du Peuple, a historical building with a fascinating architectural design. Originally a cooperative building constructed in the early 20th century, it now serves as a cultural and community center hosting exhibitions, concerts, and other events.
17. La Rayonne
La Rayonne is a cultural space and creative hub located in Villeurbanne. It hosts a range of artistic activities, including exhibitions, workshops, and performances, showcasing the work of emerging artists and fostering creative collaborations
Attend a live concert or performance at Transbordeur, a renowned music venue in Villeurbanne. It hosts a diverse range of local and international artists across various genres, making it a hotspot for music lovers.
19. Parc de la Feyssine
Nature enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to Parc de la Feyssine, a beautiful park that offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. Explore its walking trails, bike paths, and enjoy the tranquil lakeside views.
20. La Girafe
Head to La Girafe, a unique art installation located near the entrance of Parc de la Tête d’Or. This towering giraffe sculpture is a popular spot for photos and offers a whimsical touch to the park’s surroundings.
21. Maison du Chamarier
Visit Maison du Chamarier, a charming historical house that has been transformed into a museum dedicated to local heritage. Explore the exhibits showcasing traditional crafts, artifacts, and the history of Villeurbanne.
Places and Things To Do