One of Lyon’s many little-known secrets is the Tunnel de la Croix Rousse. Tunnels and passageways have a long history in Lyon, with the most famous being the traboules of Vieux Lyon and Croix Rousse (sort of interior passages used to transport silk and other textiles without going outside). The Tunnel de Croix Rousse – passing underneath the historic neighbourhood – was originally opened to motor vehicles in 1952. It wasn’t until much later, in 2013, that the pedestrianised tunnel was opened – just in time for the renowned Fête des Lumières, an amazing lights festival held over several days in December every year. But even when it’s not the Fête des Lumières, the whole length of the Tunnel de la Croix Rousse plays host to animations, colours, and short films projected on the walls and ceiling of this long pedestrian tunnel. For a city that prides itself on films, cameras, tunnels (or passages) and imagination, the Tunnel de la Croix Rousse is the perfect combination. Traversing this tunnel is far more than for getting from point A to point B – it is a veritable work of art, bringing the viewer into the heart of the city.
Pro tip: At 1.8 kilometres long (roughly 1 mile), biking through the tunnel is perhaps the easiest way to enjoy the show – walking will take about 25 mins. You can rent a city bike from any of the hundreds of stations of the Velo’V all around the city at a very reasonable daily rate. Learn more about the tunnel here. Animations from 16h to 20h on weekdays and from 14h to 20h on weekends.
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