Walls used like canvas: this technique is already tried and proved in Lyon. Well before street art became popular, huge frescoes coloured the streets of the city in the 1980s. Today, wall paintings, arty store fronts and underground works take up the slopes of the Croix-Rousse district. Get ready to climb up to the top of the hill in order to discover this unusual side of the city!
Start your exploration on Rue Prunelle and its colourful staircase. Walking along the Jardin des Plantes, keep your eyes open for various short-term creations like Kesa's vinyl collages or Toki Art's pill-like fictional characters. On Rue Saint-Polycarpe, look up for Caj's “Droit dans le mur” (“Straight into the wall”), two legs stuck in the air. Head to the top of the blue staircase by Wenc on Passage Mermet and carry on Rue Neyret where David Bowie's different coloured eyes painted by Big Ben make for a great hypnosis session.
Do not pass by the artful ground of this open-air gallery and look for its adorned mosaic. This is called flacking, a technique created in Lyon by artist Ememem, who transformed cracks in the concrete into colourful touches. Once you reach the Croix-Rousse plateau, you can end this urban stroll by gazing at a must-see: the Canuts wall painting. This huge 1,200 sqm window-dressing – the largest in Europe – was actually one of the very first murals in the city, and it changed over time. From silk workers to Vélovs, realistic details tell the story of Lyon in pictures.