Lyon is the capital of the French administrative region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. A city of half a million, Lyon alone is the country's third-largest city, but its metropolitan area is only second in population to Paris. Lyon is mostly known as the gastronomic epicentre of France, with one of the highest concentrations of restaurants per capita in the country. Lyon was a former Roman provincial capital and thus has extensive Roman ruins. Architecture in old Lyon ranges from 12th century to modern, and is primarily influenced by its position in the Renaissance as a centre of silk production.
Founded by the Romans, with many preserved historical areas, Lyon is the archetype of the heritage city, as recognised by UNESCO. Lyon is a vibrant metropolis which starts to make the most out of its unique architectural, cultural and gastronomic heritage, its dynamic demographics and economy and its strategic location between Northern and Southern Europe. It is more and more open to the world, with an increasing number of students and international events.
Lyon may not have world-famous monuments such as the Eiffel tower or the Statue of Liberty, but it offers very diverse neighbourhoods which are interesting to walk around in and which hide architectural marvels.