After Paris, Lyon is France’s most dynamic and attractive city. Here’s proof.

With a population of over 2 million, the Lyon urban area plays a dynamic role well beyond its borders. Thanks to its central location in Europe, the area has long been a crossroads and trade capital.

Today, many decision-makers and entrepreneurs consider Lyon the best alternative to Paris for doing business in France. The Lyon region has many advantages that earn it top ranking in economic terms and for culture/tourism.

In economic terms, Lyon has built its vitality on a very solid base, making it France’s second business capital. The industrial sector of the Lyon urban area counts 76,000 jobs in 3,000 companies, which is second only to Paris. The salaried workforce in the area is 640,000, with 57,000 of those jobs in foreign-owned companies. The area’s force of attraction can also be seen in the number of innovative companies relocating or getting started here: 15,000 companies set up in the area in 2014 alone. There is also an abundance of business locations and dynamic areas in the vicinity: Saint-Etienne Métropole, Plaine de l’Ain, Porte de l’Isère and ViennAgglo round out the possibilities for entrepreneurs coming to the region.

In terms of culture, Lyon regularly hosts major events: from the alternating biennial festivals of Dance and of Contemporary Art, to music festivals (Nuits de Fourvière, Nuits Sonores) and the traditional Festival of Lights, the city of Lyon attracts growing numbers of tourists (over 5 million in 2015). The city’s architecture, lifestyle and line-up of events throughout the year contribute to its appeal and confirm its position as France’s #2 city for culture.

Every year, Lyon reconfirms its force of attraction by hosting some 40 trade shows and conventions of an international scope, ranking it second for trade events. As   France’s second university city, Lyon welcomes 140,000 students, including 13,000 from abroad. Every academic field of study can be found at the highest level in the city and greater metropolitan area (including Saint-Etienne’s national school of engineering and Université Jean Monnet).

The Lyon area is a place to learn and put knowledge into action. Growth in the area continues to attract students and entrepreneurs.