Lyon History Museum for adult groups

Are you looking for a cultural visit or activity for a group of adults ? Come and see what the Lyon History Museum has to offer !

Welcome to MHL !

The LHM is creating a new museum experience. Between 2019 and 2023, it will open a new permanent exhibition every year, on a theme linked to the city of Lyon. In total, four themes will explore issues relating to the Lyon of yesterday, today and tomorrow. 

Visitors can enjoy the new permanent exhibitions and then rejoin the former chronological pathway. 


Portraits of Lyon

As an introduction or foretaste, the Portraits of Lyon exhibition gives visitors the key pointers for understanding the modern city.

What is a city? What are the specific features of Lyon? Is Lyon a city like any other? Is its urban history special? How did Lyon become the city we know today? What are the challenges for building the city of tomorrow?

"Portraits of Lyon" is an overview of Lyon's history that combines historical and geographical data, symbolic and collector's items, fictitious testimonials, films and interactive models.

It comprises four exhibition rooms and a one-hour fun, educational visit with both sound and vision to understand Lyon.

The exhibition includes six fictitious witnesses telling their story against the historical background, collector's items, a quirky animation film, an immersive film about the modern city and a large-scale interactive model of Lyon with video mapping.

Lyon tells it like it is !

A visit to the permanent Portraits of Lyon exhibition for an introduction to the city's urban history.

What would be your portrait of Lyon? What words and images come to mind when you think of the city? This is an opportunity to talk about your own vision of Lyon with a guide.

Through the history of its urban development, learn how Lyon became the city we know today with its modern-day challenges.

Then explore the interactive model of Lyon with more than 100 points of interest located and narrated in pictures, including the City Hall, the Opera and Fourvière tunnel.

This visit has been designed to enable visitors to draw up a portrait of the city through questions and discoveries.

Duration : 1 hours or 11/2 hours

Available in French, English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.


Gadagne, a Renaissance complex

Housing the collections of the Lyon History Museum and Puppetry Museum, the Gadagne building is a collector's item in itself and a precious testimony to 16th century Renaissance architecture in Lyon.

Learn more surprising facts about the largest Renaissance property in the city of Lyon. During the visit, you will encounter some of its illustrious occupants in the historic rooms or on the staircase, who will tell you about its history. From the splendour of the Renaissance period, during which Italian banker families such as the Pierrevive and, of course, the Gadagne family, shaped the property, to the Falconet family. Today, the building houses two museums. This architectural complex, which has been a listed building since 1920, reveals some of its many secrets during this visit.

Duration : 11/2 hours

Available in French, English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese

City walks provide an opportunity for both local residents and tourists to (re)discover the city's heritage and delve into the ancient and more recent history of individual districts.

Organised by guides from different backgrounds, they feature a diverse range of views and points of view, bringing together the many ways of experiencing the city (by a historian, gardener, artist or local resident... each has their own vision of Lyon).

These walks form a bridge between the city's museum and its surroundings.

Before or after visiting the Gadagne exhibitions, enjoy a walking tour of the city and explore one of the many facets of Lyon's history and heritage.

A bird's eye of the city (5th district)

Walk up the hill to get a different view of the city!

From the narrow streets of the Saint-Jean district to the straight avenues of the left bank, from the City Hall to the building affectionately known the "Pencil", on the Saône or Rhône side, from the eastern plains to the hills, locate the topographical features of the city and identify the major structural landmarks that shape the urban landscape.

The Fourvière esplanade is a perfect place to view Lyon, to learn about the different phases of its development and better understand how the city is changing today and the challenges it faces in the future.

Come and get the keys to the city from the guide!

Meeting point : at the steps in front of the Fourvière basilica.
Duration : 1h


Vieux Lyon (5th district)

The Vieux Lyon is the emblematic district of the city, an unmissable tourist spot with remarkable architecture. Guides from the Gadagne are on hand to unravel preconceived ideas about the district.

It was the historic centre and the seat of economic, religious and political power during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, yet the district was on the verge of being demolished after years of impoverishment and replaced by a motorway in the 1960s!

That was before local residents made their voices heard!

The area was safeguarded in 1964 and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. This visit sets out to reveal the many facets and charms of the Vieux Lyon. The guide takes you into the heart of the district, pushing open the doors of its "traboule" passageways to unlock its secrets.

Meeting point : in front of the Cathedral / Finish: Place du Change in the 5th district, 100m from the Gadagne.
Duration : 2 hours

Pratical information

All activities are accompanied by a guide from the Gadagne

Gadagne collection visits and workshops can be held on :

  • Tuesdays from 9.15 am to 12.15 pm and from 1.15 to 4.15 pm
  • Wednesdays to Fridays from 9.15 am to 6 pm
  • Saturdays from 10.45 am to 6 pm


Outdoor activities can be organised from Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 8 pm.

Self-guided groups 

Groups of over 10 people can take a self-guided visit to the Gadagne museums from Wednesday to Sunday, from 1.30 am to 6 pm, depending on the available time slots.

Self-guided visits must be booked in advance.

Group size 

Groups must not exceed 25 people, including the leader, for both museum visits and outdoor activities. Groups in workshops must not exceed 12 people.

This number may be reduced during the Covert-19 pandemic.

Further information

  • E-mail :
  • Telephone : 04 78 42 03 61
  • Monday to Wednesday from 3 to 5 pm
  • Thursday & Friday from 10 am to 12 pm and from 3 to 5 pm.