I have been to France multiple times mostly Paris and France’s Cote d’Azur. However, I have recently been advised by people I have met in my travels to also pay a visit to the city of Lyon, and being told that I would have been impressed by it. Curious about it, I have seen that Eurostar had convenient routes to it from central London (and of course Paris). So I decided to go and I have totally fallen in love with it, finding it even more beautiful and magical than what I have been described to me. Find below ?my recommendations on how to make the most of the city ?
WHERE TO STAY
Radisson Blu Lyon – My hotel choice for Lyon was the Radisson Blu. You can’t miss it as it is one of the two highest towers in town, from where to certainly enjoy the best views of the city both in the morning and at night. If you like waking up in the great spot to have your breakfast whilst overlooking the city THIS IS IT! Above all, it was just a phenomenal room and for sure one of the best bed I have ever slept on. Best night sleep ?
WHAT TO EAT
I asked a local what to eat while in Lyon. I was given the best recommendations and places to eat ?Happy to share the list with you:
Lyonnaise salad | Quenelles (pike dumplings with a Béchamel and crayfish sauce) |Tarte Lyonnaise (a characteristic red praline tart) | Cervelle de Canut (curd cheese mixed with garlic and herbs)|
WHERE TO EAT
Brasserie Georges – Finest food and beer of Lyon since 1836. This is literally the place TO GO TO for traditional finest food at very affordable prices. Additionally, the atmosphere is just so special and great ancient interior design. Go for the set menu with fresh and new local dish options.
PASSIONATE ABOUT FOOD?
Immerse yourself in the heart of Lyon gastronomy! See different food tours here.
If you are heading to Lyon for the weekend or 24h, let me give you a list of unmissable things you must see/go to because, despite its looks, Lyon is, in fact, the 3rd largest city in France.
- Basilica de Notre Dame de Fourvière: a 19th-century basilica overlooking the city. Absolutely precious by both its interiors and overall architecture. Most importantly it is FREE to access and where to get one of the best panoramic views of Lyon (especially at sunset.
- Old Town: Lyon is surrounded by two big rivers the Rhône and the Saône. Head to the extreme part of the town underneath the Basilica and enjoy that area which represents the ancient part of the Ville (French for ‘city’). Explore all the little alleys and cafe in there. Really magical atmosphere especially at night.
- See the Murals: second to Berlin, in Europe, Lyon has got some beautiful street art to experience, with over 100 stunning painted façades. The most famous is the Fresque des canuts, or ‘silk-workers’ mural, located in the Bohemian Croix Rousse on the Boulevard des Canuts
As Lyon sits between two rivers, what I enjoyed the most about this city is crossing bridges, as well as chilling by them, facing the opposite side of the river. Here are my top two favourite ones you cannot miss out on.
Passerelle du Palais de Justice
HOW TO TRAVEL AROUND LYON
I would say the best way to discover and really appreciate a town/place is to walk it all over. However if in short of time there are several means to get everywhere easily and with little ?
Buses, trams, a four-line metro and two funiculars linking Vieux Lyon to Fourvière and St-Just are operated by TCL (www.tcl.fr) – Choose the 24h ticket for under €6 to enjoy all of them. (getting this day pass will also get you to the Basilica too). Top tip: don’t just get a single ticket (€1.90) because it is not worth it as more pricey if you intend to use these transports at least 3-4 times.
…and to enjoy the rivers, choose boats (€4 per ticket) departing every 80 minutes between 10.20am and 9pm from riverbank docks on the Saône near place St-Paul and place Bellecour.