You must go to the Confluence Museum when you are in Lyon, your children will love it.  That was what most people said to us when we announced that we were heading to Lyon. Even the lady in the tourist office told us that our children would love it, but then that is her job! We had planned to arrive in style by boat, but a timetable misunderstanding saw us arriving by tram instead.

Musee des Confluences

The building is the star at the Musee des Confluences, it opened in 2014 and cost £200 million, its glass curves are meant to represent clouds.  It certainly reflected the changing stormy skies when we visited.  When we arrived a long queue snaked into the distance, full of other parents and their children.  We had a Lyon City card and so marched straight in, worth the price of the card itself!  Inside you are greeted by a choice of wide and inviting staircase or a wide spiral ramp that takes you up and round.  The interior is every bit as stunning as the exterior.

Musee des Confluences

What about the exhibits?  You need to climb high up those stairs to find the three main galleries.  Each one poses a question: Where do we come from? Who are we? What do we do? The questions provide little clue as to what you will see inside.  Stuff is the answer.  Much like the Castle Museum in Norwich when I was a child the Musee des Confluences has stuffed animals, shells, things of local interest and manufacture and objects of general interest.  The jacquard loom, forerunner of programmable computers, was invented in Lyon hence its display.  Quite what the neighbouring selection of pressure cookers had to with anything remains a mystery to me!

Musee des Confluences

Who are we?  Explores themes of biodiversity and evolution.  Stuffed, animals, dinosaur skeletons, shells, birds and butterflies are the order of the day.  They are all stunningly displayed, so much more interesting to look at than the cases of butterflies at Norwich Castle Museum.  There is also masses to look at, everything is labelled in French and English ensuring that you know which dinosaur you are looking at.

Musee des Confluences

Look up and you might see a satellite, look over there and there is a row of Egyptian funerary jars, look down and there is a 1000 year old Peruvian mummy.  Everything is interesting, even the pressure cookers.  Most of all it is beautifully displayed, this Sphinx would be interesting on any old base but it takes on extra glister when placed on a mirror.

Musee des Confluences

No museum is complete without a café.  At the Musee des Confluences its right at the very top of building all the better to take in that stunning architecture. Tear your eyes away from the structure to take a look at the confluence of the Rhone and the Soane rivers that gives the museum its name.

Musee des Confluences

So were all those people right to assume that the Junior CW’s would enjoy Musee des Confluences?  Yes!  It would appear that cutting edge architecture and good old fashioned stuff make for a good day out.


86 Quai Perrache, Lyon

Open: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 11am – 7pm
Thursday 11am – 10pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am – 7pm
Admission: Adults €9, Active young people €5, Free with a Lyon City card.

Lyon City Card: 1 day €24, 2 days €33, 3 days €42  for adults for more information click here.

For more ideas about what to see in Lyon with teens click here. Whilst we were out and about in Lyon we spotted lots of street art which you can read about here.


Musee des Confluences

Suitcases and Sandcastles


    • Catherine
      June 1, 2017 / 10:12 pm

      Time to hop on the Eurostar!

  1. June 2, 2017 / 9:14 am

    Over the years we’ve driven past many times and watched the building go up from building site mess to the stunner that it is now, but still haven’t been inside. I had no idea that it was full of such “old fashioned” stuff, what a contrast to the building itself! Next time we’re in Lyon we’ll try and make time for it, thanks for reviewing! #culturedkids

    • Catherine
      June 2, 2017 / 9:22 am

      Still trying to work out why those pressure cookers were there!

  2. June 2, 2017 / 4:27 pm

    Glad it lived up to all the hype. Occasionally that’s the time when a venue falls flat on its face as you’re expecting too much. No plans to go to Lyon soon but I’ll try to remember this if we do.

    • Catherine
      June 2, 2017 / 4:31 pm

      We did wonder what was that we would be seeing as nobody what was on display!

  3. June 2, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    Hi Catherine, what a wonderful sounding museum! Such a diverse collection of things under one roof has to make for a good day out. Maybe pressure cookers were invented in Lyon? Just a thought…


    • Catherine
      June 2, 2017 / 9:28 pm

      Maybe! Quite nostalgic to see my grandparents and parents models!

  4. June 2, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    What an impressive building – and it looks like it is full of treasure – I love this type of place! #culturedkids

    • Catherine
      June 2, 2017 / 9:29 pm

      I’m with you, I love both a modern building and a museum of stuff

  5. June 3, 2017 / 11:44 am

    What an interesting place and the structure of the building is awesome. I love the view from the cafe too, just beautiful. Glad you had a fab time 🙂

    Thanks so much for joining in with #MMBC. Hope to see you next week x

    • Catherine
      June 3, 2017 / 11:52 am

      Lyon is a great place to visit for the weekend with kids

  6. June 3, 2017 / 11:57 am

    This sounds like such a fun, educational museum. It’s no wonder that kids love it. #CulturedKids

  7. pigeonpairandme
    June 5, 2017 / 1:37 pm

    I love these museums, which are just a mish-mash of different artefacts. A bit like stumbling through an interesting junk shop, only with more valuable treasures on display! The building looks stunning. #CulturedKids

    • Catherine
      June 5, 2017 / 2:49 pm

      I agree and it’s always thrilling to something you recognise from your grandparents house!

  8. June 6, 2017 / 1:01 pm

    What an eclectic museum ! Looks like a great day out. #culturedkids

  9. Wherejogoes
    June 7, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    This looks like a lot of fun, it’s always amusing when a random collection like pressure cookers pops up in a museum! I had no idea that a loom was the forerunner to the programmable computer so I’ve learned something before I’ve even got to the museum. Good tip about the Lyon Card. Thanks for hosting #culturedkids

  10. June 10, 2017 / 7:25 am

    When I started reading this I wasn’t expecting it to be about natural history and unusual exhibits given the style of the architecture. I’d definitely like to pay the museum a visit. #culturedkids

  11. June 11, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    What an absolutely fascinating place. I had never heard of it, but now fancy a visit – for the views, the actual building and more. It really sounds very unusual #culturedkids

  12. June 14, 2017 / 7:19 am

    I do like a good random stuff museum. And architecture. What a fabulous building. What on earth is a ‘confluence’ though?

    • Catherine
      June 14, 2017 / 7:21 am

      A confluence is where two rivers meet, in this case the Saone and the Rhone

  13. June 15, 2017 / 9:02 pm

    What an interesting juxtaposition of modern architecture (and presentation) and good old-fashioned “museumy” stuff. “Confluence” also can be generally used as a synonym for “convergence” or “merging”, which is quite apt really… Nice find – I will bear this in mind if we ever stop in Lyon (instead of just zooming past it on the autoroute). #FarawayFiles

    • Catherine
      June 15, 2017 / 9:04 pm

      Lyon is well worth a stop!

  14. Ruth
    June 16, 2017 / 3:19 am

    The museum looks wonderful! I enjoy visiting place like this. Interesting since I visited Koblenz recently and a lot of places were named “Confluente” or “Confluence” since the Moselle and the Rhine meet nearby. #FarawayFiles

    • Catherine
      June 16, 2017 / 10:34 am

      Koblenz is twinned with Norwich where I grew up and was the venue for our exchange visits, I remember it and her confluence fondly. Norwich is the at the confluence of the Wensum and Yare rivers, which whilst not as internationally famous as the Rhine, Mosel, Saone and Rhone are both beautiful!

  15. June 16, 2017 / 10:00 am

    Makes sense – confluence can also mean a coming together of people or things, or an assemblage – which is an awesome word. Cool buildling and great vantage point to be in the two rivers! My son was in Lyon earlier this year with his French class, I’ll have to ask if they visited here – typical teenager wouldn’t have shared specifics or remembered museum names! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

  16. Clare Thomson
    June 16, 2017 / 2:48 pm

    What an interesting sounding museum! And I totally agree about how the way museums choose to display their items effects how we see them. Putting that sphinx on a mirror is just genius! Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

  17. June 16, 2017 / 9:05 pm

    Lyon is such a cool town flying under the radar of some its more glam neighbours. We missed this so I guess we need to go back! Thanks for joining #FarawayFiles

  18. June 20, 2017 / 6:08 pm

    I visited Lyon a long time ago and saw very little of the area. Thank you for sharing your experience. #CulturedKids

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