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.
Lyon, France, as viewed from the Saone River
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.
By backpackguru on Nov 18, 2011 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 on Aug 15, 2015 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 on Aug 15, 2015 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 on Aug 15, 2015 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.
Experience the Lyonnais Best Cuisine Eat well in Lyon on a budget and in the famous Bouchon to get the authentic Lyonnais experience. To pay less, consider choosing the Set Menus which always provide you with the cheaper prices. You can then pay for
By jadorelyon on Aug 15, 2015 in Food
Experience the Lyonnais Best Cuisine
Eat well in Lyon on a budget and in the famous Bouchon to get the authentic Lyonnais experience. To pay less, consider choosing the Set Menus which always provide you with the cheaper prices. You can then pay for 3 courses as little as 14.9 Euro. And what is more, when you eat in Lyon, you are sure to be served a lot and the top quality of meal! So the food is worth its price! Check out the bouchons prices beforehand and choose the ones which can serve you a meal for less than 20 Euro
Save money on Cultural Lyon: theatres, shows, museums, galleries etc
By jadorelyon on Aug 15, 2015 in Entertainment
Discover Cultural Lyon Cheaper
Get more out of the Lyon Events thanks to the cultural passes available at the Lyon Culture Website. You can also check for good offers here. There are many to choose from and the most popular are:
La Carte Musée; cost: 20 € for a year (free for under 18, homeless, handicapped etc). You can buy it at any museum which is included in the deal; you would need a photo of yourself. The museum carte will let you visit 6 Lyonnais museums unlimited times during one year. The museums to choose from are: Musée d’Art Contemporain, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Musée Gadagne, Musée de l’Imprimerie. Musée de l’Automobile Henri Malartre; Centre d’Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation
Le Pass’Culture; cost: €16 and you can use it to attend 4 shows at the following locations: Auditorium de Lyon, Complexe du rire, Espace Gerson, Espace 44, Les Subsistances, Maison de la Danse, Nouveau Théâtre du 8ème, Opéra de Lyon, Théâtre des Ateliers, Théâtre des Célestins, Théâtre de la Croix-Rousse, Théâtre des Marronniers, Théâtre Nouvelle Génération, Théâtre du Point du Jour, Théâtre National Populaire, Théâtre des Clochards Célestes, Fete Festival Nuits sonores (1/2 tariff appliqué), Choeur et Orchestre XIX – Direction Jean-Philippe Dubor, Institut Lumière, Théâtre de l’Elysée, Périscope, Théâtre Guignol de Lyon. You will buy this cart only at Lyon Campus, 25 rue Jaboulay Lyon 7ème and it is important to know that when you want to use the discount you need to make relevant reservations beforehand (at least one week before the show)
La CarteD which is only and FREE for students. They can use it in the following places: Le théâtre des Marronniers; Le théâtre des Clochards Célestes; L’Espace 44; Le théâre de l’Elysée; A Thou bout d’chant Le Marché Gare; Le Croiseur ; Le Périscope ; 6ème Continent; L’Ecole de Cirque de Lyon. You will buy it in any of the above places once you proved you are a student.
Le Pass Culturel Kiblind; cost:€50 for a year and you can use it 15 times in one of the following places: La Renaissance, Le Nouveau Théâtre du 8e, Les Ateliers, Le Toboggan, L’Iris, Le Théâtre Nouvelle Génération, Le Comœdia, Le Zola, L’Institut, Lumière, Le Clacson, Le Hot Club de Lyon, Le Marché Gare, L’Amphiopéra, L’Épicerie Moderne, L’Institut d’art contemporain. You can buy it online at Kiblind Website.
L’auditorium in Lyon; cost: €72.00 for a year for free entrance to about 50 shows. You can buy it online at their website.
Carte ONL; cost: €15 for a year and it provides you with the discount of 30% across all the shows plus you get invites for the exclusive events.
Save on accomodation in Lyon
By jadorelyon on Aug 16, 2015 in Accommodation
If you really want to save money on accommodation I would highly recommend choosing other than hotel options. You can simply book an apartment on airbnb or use a service called Nightswapping which let you swap a night with the locals. The above two options are very economical because you not only can get a really good price per night but what is more it will let you dine at the place. This is really useful, if you consider visiting Lyon for longer than going to restaurant every day will be very expensive, When you stay at the hotel you won’t have an opportunity to cook but when you stay at the apartment, it comes with the equipped kitchen therefore your food spending per day can be much cheaper and…healthier. Go for the picnic/packed lunches options during the day and simple dinners cooked in the evening at the apartment – these are the massive savings you can make when visiting Lyon. If you are not a fan of apartments and love your hotel stays & restaurants on evenings, use the most comprehensive hotel booking website – booking.com in Lyon. There are over 300 properties different price range to choose from. And if you want to learn more about Lyon & France have a look at my blog: shopaholivcfromhome.com.
Cheap Travel To Lyon
By jadorelyon on Aug 16, 2015 in International Transportation
When coming over to Lyon, from whatever place you are now; I would recommend using the latest offers available at the transport websites. The most popular and budget friendly ways of coming to Lyon are obviously trains, low cost airlines.
When coming by train you need to check for the latest deals and discounts available on the SNCF website here. Thanks to the really good 10 Euro tickets via Ouigo you might also consider doing some trips out from Lyon to discover more of France.
Flights to and from Lyon are still pretty expensive. The most popular airline is Lufthansa which provides the best quality and is very comprehensive when it comes to the destinations to Lyon. But don’t be put off, there are few low cost airlines available, a bit limited with the destinations but you can get a good deal. There are also additional destinations being introduced for the ski season and you can consider other airports around. The Grenoble and Saint Etienne airports instead of Lyon-Saint Exupéry (LYS)
And lastly keep an eye on shopaholicfromhome.com as I keep on exploring Lyon and France more with more tips and personal observations!
Use 2 Euro Shops
By jadorelyon on Aug 16, 2015 in Tips and Handouts
Yes, this it true! The expensive France will have budget cheap 2 Euro shops and I have already found 2 of them in the centre of Lyon. They are very small so you can miss them when passing by. The one is located next to the Terreaux Place and the other one near Bellecour, They are very good for everyday products, small presents, stationary, kitchen and bathroom items. You can save a lot but you need to be careful as paying only 2 Euro per product, will make you want more so you can end up topping up the shopping basket and spending much more than the symbolic 2 Euro.
Check out for more details about saving in Lyon at shopaholicfromhome.com
Save on the car park in Lyon
By jadorelyon on Aug 16, 2015 in Local Transportation
Parking in Lyon can be really expensive so before bringing a car here or hiring it, make sure that the hotel or apartment you booked, will provide you with the parking place. Also, when using your car in the centre, you are usually forced to leave it at the parking. There are plenty to choose from parking and off street parking slots but for an hour you will need to pay about 2 Euro! So imagine going to the Shopping Centre and doing ‘relaxing shopping’. So what you should consider when using your car in Lyon is:
Weekend FREE off street parking– yes on weekends you can park for free but be sure it’s very hard to find a empty parking spot
Leave your car in the Gare De Vaise Metro Station and use the public traffic. The parking here is very big so you will find a place and what is more when you buy a metro ticket you don’t need to pay for the parking!
And more experiences with Lyon and France are available on my blog: shopaholicfromhome.com. Hope you find them useful!