Travel Budget for Lyon

Rhone-Alpes, France

How much does it cost to travel to Lyon?

How much money will you need in Lyon? €93 ($115) is the average daily price for traveling in Lyon. The average price of food for one day is €29 ($36). The average price of a hotel for a couple is €78 ($96). Additional pricing is in the table below. These average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
How expensive is Lyon?
  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Food2 Meals for one day
  • Water2 Bottled water for one day
  • Local Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day
How much money do I need for Lyon?
  • Pastry
Lyon flights, hotels, and rental cars
Lyon tours and activities
Lyon airport and hotel transfers
More information
Lyon On a Budget
Lyon Lyon, France, as viewed from the Saone River
Lyon is the capital of the Rhone-Alpes region in France. It is the second largest metropolitan area in the country and offers a lot of food and cultural opportunities. It has become a diverse and international city as the number of students and the multicultural population continues to grow. The city's population is around 480,000 but the metropolitan area has about 2.1 million residents. The city is quite historic as it was founded by the Romans and there is still a lot of history throughout. It has also been designated by UNESCO.

Today the economy in Lyon is centered around an oil refinery that is located in Feyzin, as well as the chemical plants that are along the Rhone River. Other important industries include pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. The economy is diverse with medical research, automotive plants, banking, insurance, and IT services also contributing.

The climate in Lyon is "semi-continental" meaning its winters are cold and snow occasionally falls. Summers can be hot and temperatures may reach 35 degrees Celsius. Rain is moderate year around and thunderstorms are common during the summer months. A great time to visit is during the spring or fall.
The city itself has many sights including Fourviere basilica, Saint Jean cathedral, Musees Gadagne, Parc de la Tete d'Or, Saint Bruno church, and Parc de Gerland. Many of the sights are concentrated in Old Lyon, and the area is generally quite compact and walkable. A popular activity in Lyon is to explore the many interesting and diverse neighborhoods. There is impressive architecture throughout and many areas are pedestrian friendly. A great time to explore is at night when many of the most famous buildings and landmarks light up.
The geography of the city is affected by the two rivers that run through it, both of which flow north to south. These rivers, the Rhone to the east, and the Saone to the west, divide the city into several neighborhoods, each worth exploring for their own reasons.

Fourviere hill is known as the "hill that prays" because it has a large number of churches throughout it. Old Lyon is the sight of much historic architecture, and Presqu'ile makes up the true heart of the city. Croix-Rousse has unique architecture and historically was home to many of the silk workers. Confluence is an evolving neighborhood that is transitioning into a very contemporary area. Part-Dieu is the main business district, and Brotteaux is the wealthiest area.

The city also plays host to several great festivals including, most famously, the Festival of Lights in December. There is also the Nuits de Fourviere festival between June and August and Nuits sonores is centered around electronic music and takes place in May.

Other interesting activities in the city include going to the opera, taking in a show, taking in a movie, or enjoying a sporting event such as rugby or football (soccer).
Food and Dining
There are plenty of excellent restaurants in Lyon. Most display their menus outside and the prices include service and tap water. You aren't expected to tip unless the service is particularly phenomenal. This is particularly true in the budget restaurants. Like elsewhere in France, you'll typically find the best deal at lunchtime in most restaurants, when there are often "specials" available. Dinner is generally more expensive.

Traditional restaurants in Lyon are called bouchons and arose during the late 19th century and grew during the economic crisis. These restaurants were opened by cooks who had previously worked for wealthy families who could no longer afford to employ them. They serve traditional local dishes such as salade lyonnaise, saucisson chaud, quenelle de brochet, and andouillette.

Because Lyon is considered a food destination, restaurants can get quite crowded and they are usually very small, so reservations are recommended. Ask around for restaurant recommendations, as the locals know the best options.
Most of the city's attractions are concentrated in the city center, which can be explored on foot. You can walk between Place des Terreaux and Place Bellecour in about 20 minutes. The city's public transit system is very good and most parts of the city can be accessed by metro, at least in the city center, eastern suburbs and university campuses. Stations are usually about a ten minute walk apart. There are four metro lines and trains run every 2 to 10 minutes depending on the line and the time of the day.

Taxis are available but tend to be expensive. They have a good number of extra charges including fees for luggage, more than three passengers, animals, and transport to or from the train station or airport.
1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase.

Plan Your Trip!

Budget Your Trip lets you plan and track your travel expenses.
Sign Up to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Search for Travel Costs

Travel Tips

Local Events

By backpackguru in Entertainment
If you want to do something a little off the beaten path from what the typical tourist might do, pick up one of the weekly magazines that announce ongoing events. There are two magazines, either Le Petit Bulletin, which is free and found at cinemas, theaters, among other sites, and the Lyon Poche, which is provides an online listing of events.

You may have to reserve tickets ahead of time depending on the venue, so do plan ahead. Some venues may even sell out months in advance if it's a top selling act.

Save money on your visit to Lyon

By jadorelyon in Tips and Handouts
How to Save Mone When Visiting Lyon and Make the most out of the City!

Purchase the Lyon City Card

This is very savvy way of discovering the city! Handy, useful & easy to get and help you experience all the best what the Lyon can offer. So you can buy it for a 1 or 2 or 3 days. It provides you with the FREE access to many museums, shows, guided tours, programmes etc; it gives you reduced prices on leisure activities, along with the unlimited use of the public transport system. Discounts are also provided on the hop on hop off bus tour, the opera and theatres, bicycle and electric taxi tricycle hire, France Adventures and the aquarium. You can buy it online and get 10% off or in the Lyon Tourist Office at the Place Bellecour or Vieux Lyon for €22 or €32 or €42.

Save money on your transport in Lyon

By jadorelyon in Local Transportation
Save on the transport in Lyon

Make the most of the tickets fares for the bus, tube. Depending on how long you are staying in Lyon, you can consider buying the Lyon City Card for a day, two or three. The very good deal is the all-day ticket which costs €5.10, the only evening ticket costs €3 while the single ticket costs €1.80 and it allows you to use the transport within the hour. Remember if you buy it in the bus you will pay more €2 so ideally you get it at the tube stations and ideally you get the carnet of 10 so you pay less per ticket. The TCL tickets allow you to use buses, trams, metro and two funiculars linking Vieux Lyon to Fourvière and St-Just. It is not worth trying to use the transport without a ticket in Lyon as there are many unexpected checks and you will pay a fine!

Use the Vélo’v System for the cheaper and hassle free sightseeing in Lyon

By jadorelyon in Local Transportation
Use the Vélo’v System for the cheaper and hassle free sightseeing in Lyon

Another option for a cheaper way to go around Lyon is to use the Lyon’s bicycles which are available in the whole city for anyone. They are free to use for the first 30mins to get from one point to another, you just need to register before and pay a deposit and then depending on the type of subscription; you will pay a bit more when using one bike for a longer then free 30mins. Otherwise you can keep changing every half an hour… So its not only a good way to save on transport but also great way to explore Lyon.

Some of the links on this website are affiliate links which help to financially support this site.