Where We Are

Lyon has a population of 506,615 (2014)[1] and is France’s third largest city after Paris and Marseille. Lyon is the capital of the Metropolis of Lyon and its region. The metropolitan area of Lyon has a population of 2,237,676 (2013), the second most populous after Paris.[2]

Located in eastern France, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region,[3] Lyon is about 470 km (292 mi) from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) from Marseille and 55 km (34 mi) from Saint-Étienne. Inhabitants of the city are called Lyonnais.

The city is known for its cuisine and gastronomy and historical and architectural landmarks. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Historically, Lyon was known for the production and weaving of silk.

It played a significant role in the history of cinema: Auguste and Louis Lumière invented the cinematographe in Lyon. The city is also known for its famous light festival, Fête des Lumières, which occurs every 8 December and lasts for four days, earning Lyon the title, Capital of Lights.

Economically, Lyon is a major center for banking and the chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries. The city contains a significant software industry with a particular focus on video games, and in recent years, has fostered a growing local start-up sector.[4] Lyon hosts the international headquarters of Interpol, Euronews, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Lyon was ranked 19th globally and second in France for innovation in 2014.[5] It ranked second in France and 39th globally in Mercer’s 2015 Quality of Living rankings.


[1] “Séries historiques des résultats du recensement – Commune de Lyon (69123)”. INSEE.

[2]  “Villes de France”. INSEE. Retrieved 7 July 2015.

[3] Granger, Bill (14 June 1987). “What´s In A Name? Well, Excuuuuse Us, Nueva York, But We Shakawgoans Know”. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 1 October 2015.

[4] “Lyon entrepreneurship, Lyon company, Invest Lyon – Greater Lyon”. Business.greaterlyon.com. Archived from the original on 8 March 2010. Retrieved 3 April2011.

[5] “Innovation Cities Top 100 Index, 2014”. Innovation Cities Program. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2015.

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