The Berges du Rhône are the quays along the Quay of the Rhône in Lyon, which include a series of streets, walkways, steps and parks. The modern version of these Berges are relatively new, with construction taking place between 2005 and 2007.

The Facts

The origins of the Berges du Rhône date back to the 19th century, when a number of dams were built in Lyon to prevent flooding on the left side of the Rhône river.

The Fair of Lyon originally took place on the upper quays of the Rhône. However, in 1985 the event was moved from this location to Eurexpo in Chassieu. The vacant land was then used to build Cité Internationale, which now includes the Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, cinemas, an auditorium and the international headquarters of INTERPOL.

In more recent years, the Berges du Rhône were developed as a space for relaxation and leisure. As a result, there has been a number of walkways and cycle paths built along the quays. Originally, all along the Berges du Rhône there were several carparks. These were all removed to create more space to develop the quays.

How to get there

The Berges du Rhône stretches over a distance of 5 kilometres and an area of 10 hectares, which goes all the way from Parc de la Tête d’Or to Parc de Gerland. Anywhere in between these two parks, you will find the quays running along the Rhône as well as various walkways and parks.

Between Pont de l’Université and Pont Lafayette, you will come across a number of boats which have been renovated into bars and nightclubs, a perfect place to sit out and enjoy the scenery on the banks of the Rhône on a warm summers evening.

By the bridge Pont de l’Université, there is a public swimming pool called Centre Nautique Tony Bertrand. There is a full-size Olympic pool here which offers a perfect view of the river.

The Experience

The Berges du Rhône is a beautiful area of Lyon city. The development of the quays into a leisure area give it a relaxed atmosphere and it is a perfect place to have a stroll along on a nice day. There is always plenty of activity along these quays in the summer, with various skateboard parks and small football arenas spread out along the riverbank.

In summer, there is also a series of shallow pools filled up along the quays which many people paddle in to cool down on a hot day. Also, the Rhône swimming pool is a great place to go to relax for a few hours in the fine weather.

In the evening times, the Berges are still full of life thanks to the many bars and nightclubs located in the boats along the river. From the month of September onwards, the steps leading down to these boats are particularly busy as a result of all the students being back in college.

One thing to be wary of when walking along this section of the Berges in the evening, is pickpockets. So, make sure to keep a close watch of your belongings. During the day, this is rarely an issue.

Overall, the Berges du Rhône are a beautiful place to go for a stroll or a cycle, and is somewhere you should experience for yourself when in Lyon.