Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourviere

 
Thomas Millot

Perched above the rest of Lyon, the basilica is an iconic part of the city's skyline. Head up Fourvière Hill for the spectacular views both inside and out.

When you’re in Lyon, it’s almost impossible to escape the shadow of the basilica. The exterior design is a bit of an architectural oddity, opting for a mixture of two non-Gothic models of style, which was unique from other churches built around the same time. As a result, the exterior is a bit austere compared to the impressive, marble and stained glass interior. With intricate mosaics and attention to the smallest detail, the interior alone is worth the trek up the hill. After exploring the basilica inside and out, head to the Chapel of the Virgin located right next to the church with a terrace that has the best views of the city.

Best things to see at Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourviere

This nineteenth-century church stands tall atop Fourvière Hill. Decked out in gold and ornate patterns in greens, pinks, and teal blues, the basilica’s magnificence commands respect. Check out the detailed paintings of scenes from the Bible, but don’t stop there: head down to the crypt, a space just as ornately decorated as the basilica itself. Once you’ve finished, walk to the back of the building, where you’ll find a perch from which you can view the entire city of Lyon and the Saône River. Apart from the views, the basilica bears historical significance, as it is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, who is said to have protected Lyon during the Franco-Prussian wars.

Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourviere directions and parking

Best way to get to Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière

The basilica is located smack in the middle of Lyon—right where the Saône River bends—so it should be easy to find. There’s a train that can take you up the incline which boards at the Vieux Lyon metro station.

 

Best parking near Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière

There’s a free parking lot located right next to the basilica!

Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourviere FAQs

Do I need to bring anything in particular?

We recommend buying water before you get to the top, since the cafe near the basilica can be a bit expensive. If you are planning on hiking up, make sure you wear comfortable shoes.

 

Are photos allowed?

Photos are not allowed inside the church, however, you may take pictures of the outside.

 

Is the basilica accessible?

An elevator gives visitors access both to the crypt and the basilica. There are also wheelchair accessible guided tours available.