The third largest city in France, Lyon is the capital city of the  Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. While it may be best known as one of the best student cities in the whole world, it also has a lot to offer travelers who decide to stop by and see what it has. 

In fact, the city's old town, known as Vieux-Lyon or Old Lyon, is actually on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List. The Renaissance-era streets gives tourists a glimpse of the area's old-world charm as well as its history and culture. 

Should you ever find yourself in the heart of Lyon's old city, here are five must-see sites that you should not miss out on. 

Basilica of Our Lady of Fourvière 

Otherwise known as La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière, Fourvière Basilica, or Basilica of Fourvière, this cathedral was inaugurated in 1896. However, the interiors were not completed until after World War II. 

As its name suggests, the cathedral is devoted to the Virgin Mary. Inside, a series of six mosaics can be found "that retrace her history in France and Christianity," according to the Visit Lyon website

Maison Thomassin 

Considered one of the oldest residences in Lyon, Maison Thomassin still has elements that date back to 1298. According to Google Arts & Culture, the house was rebuilt in 1493 at the initiative of a merchant named Claude Thomassin. The home was then named after him.

Today, Maison Thomassin is one of the best examples of Gothic-style architecture in Lyon. 

Musées Gadagne 

No visit to France will ever be complete without stopping by a museum. When in Vieux-Lyon, make sure to make time for the Musées Gadagne. 

Located in the center of Vieux-Lyon, Musées Gadagne can be found in in the Hôtel Gadagne and considered a historical monument in the city. It is composed of two museums, a garden, a restaurant, and a shop where visitors can buy some souvenirs to take home with them. 

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St. John's Cathedral or Saint-Jean Cathedral

Another religious attraction that you should not miss out on when in Vieux-Lyon is the St. John's Cathedral or Saint-Jean Cathedral. Built from 1180 to 1480, it shares its name with its location, the Saint-Jean district, and the street where it stands, Rue Saint-Jean. 

One of its main features is the astronomical clock, which strikes at noon, 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. It is also home to an organ that now consists of 50 pipes. 

The Traboules of Vieux-Lyon 

When in Vieux-Lyon, it is impossible not to come across one of its many traboules. A "traboule" comes from  Latin term "Trans ambulare," which means "pass through." 

What a traboule essentially is is a shortcut in the form of internal passage. These traboules allow people to "communicate from a street to the other one by crossing one or several buildings and run," according to Visit Lyon. 

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