A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Bern vs. Lyon for Attractions, Food, Old Town, and Nightlife

Should you visit Bern or Lyon?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Bern or Lyon? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Bern

Bern is a historic, charming, and beautiful city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Lyon

Lyon is a cultural, quaint, and authentic city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It also has that perfectly quaint feel that is like no other place. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Bern and Lyon: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for food
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere


How is Bern different from Lyon?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Lyon and Bern. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Bern or Lyon better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Bern and Lyon have interesting landmarks and museums for visitors.

Bern offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Visit the Einstein Museum, the Clock Tower, and Bern Cathedral.

The museums and tourist attractions in Lyon are world-renowned. There are many world class museums and historic landmarks in the city including Musée des Beaux Arts, Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine, and Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière.

Bern
Lyon


Is Bern or Lyon better for Food?

Most foodies will appreciate the restaurant options in Lyon a bit more than Bern.

For foodies, Lyon is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. Known as "the Gastronomic Capital of the World" this city stands above the rest when it comes to Michelin star restaurants (there are 17!), fresh ingredients, and unique local flavors. Favorite local dishes include pâté en croûte, rosette de Lyon, and saucisson brioché.

Bern has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The city has cozy cafes, high end fine dining, traditional eateries, and modern venues.

Bern
Lyon

Is Bern or Lyon better for Nightlife?

Both Bern and Lyon are comparable when it comes to partying.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Bern. There are bars, Irish pubs, and clubs around town.

Lyon has a large number of nightlife venues. The city has enough diverse neighborhoods that you'll find a scene that is great for everyone. There are dance clubs, cocktail bars, and wine bars that meet every personality and style.

Bern
Lyon

Is Bern or Lyon better for its Old Town?

It's fun to wander around the old towns in both Bern and Lyon.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Bern. The charming old town is filled with quaint alleys and sandstone buildings. It's a compact area that flows down a hill to the River Aare.

Lyon offers visitors a world-class historical old town to explore. This impressive old town climbs from the river into Fourvière Hill. It's a Renaissance era district with beautiful buildings and plenty of character. You can spend days wandering the quaint streets and popping in the world class restaurants.

Bern
Lyon

Is Bern or Lyon better for Shopping?

Both Bern and Lyon are good shopping destinations.

Bern is an extremely popular place for shoppers. The old town is filled with boutique shops and unique markets. The main shopping streets are Spitalgasse and Marktgasse and popular items to buy include jewelry, art, and watches.

Lyon is well-known for its shopping. The city has many trendy markets, pedestrian shopping areas, and character-filled boutiques. From the charming shops in old town to the chic shopping streets, there are plenty of places to splurge around town.

Bern
Lyon


Is Bern or Lyon better for Families?

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Bern or Lyon.

Bern is a very family-friendly place to visit. This charming town has riverside parks and pools, a zoo, a waterpark, and kid-friendly museums that the whole family can enjoy. You can also visit nearby Gurten, a mountain with tobogganing, concerts, and a mini ski resort.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Lyon is very family-friendly. The city has many kid-friendly museums including Musée des Confluences and the Cinema and Miniature Museum. There are also playgrounds, patisseries, and river cruises that you can enjoy as a family. Puppet shows are also fun, but do note that they're usually in French. While the restaurants are amazing for adults, it can be tricky to find a kid-friendly option with early opening hours that are convenient for little ones.

Bern
Lyon

Is Bern or Lyon better for Couples?

With fun activities for couples, both Bern and Lyon make for a good place to visit.

Bern is a very popular place to visit for couples. With charming restaurants, a beautiful rose garden, and nice hotels and spas, this town makes a beautiful romantic getaway.

Lyon makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples can enjoy wandering the beautiful Old Town, taking a river cruise, and dining on some of the best food in France.

Bern
Lyon

Is Bern or Lyon better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Both Bern and Lyon are popular destinations for backpackers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Bern. Like most of Switzerland, prices are a bit high, but there are some hostels and free activities that backpackers and budget travelers can enjoy.

Many backpackers visit Lyon. The city has several hostels and a number of activities that are fun for budget travelers and backpackers.

Bern
Lyon

Is Bern or Lyon better for Public Transit?

Both Bern and Lyon offer public transit options.

Visitors to Bern can move around easily with public transportation. There are trams and buses that run around town.

Public transit in Lyon is top-notch. The city has a metro, trams, and buses, that make it easy to get around.

Bern
Lyon


Is Bern or Lyon a more walkable city?

Bern and Lyon both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Bern is very walkable. It's fun to explore the old town on foot. It is compact enough to that you can see all of the highlights in a few hours.

Lyon is a very walkable city. The old town is particularly walkable, but the hills can make things a bit challenging. There are also a number of pedestrian streets around town.

Bern
Lyon

Should I spend more time in Lyon or Bern?

How long in Bern or Lyon?

In either Bern or Lyon, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Lyon than Bern because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Bern is 1-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Lyon is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Bern or Lyon? Ideal Length of Stay
    Bern 1-3 
    Lyon 2-5

One day in Bern or Lyon?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Bern. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One day is usually enough time for a trip here.

Lyon is a big city destination where you can fill many days. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

A weekend in Bern or Lyon?

Bern is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. A weekend is often enough time to spend here. The entire area has lots to do.

Lyon is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. A weekend is often enough time to spend here. The entire area has lots to do.

Five days in Bern or Lyon?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the beautiful destination of Bern. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Lyon is a authentic big city where you can fill many days. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Plenty of people spend five days here when traveling. Five days is often enough time to spend here.


A week in Bern or Lyon?

The charming city of Bern offers nightlife and food. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

The historic city of Lyon offers nightlife and food. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Which city is cheaper, Lyon or Bern?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Bern is $186, while the average daily cost in Lyon is $97. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Bern and Lyon in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bern $120
    Lyon $41
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bern $240
    Lyon $82
Compare Hotels in Bern and Lyon

Looking for a hotel in Bern or Lyon? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Bern


Hotels in Lyon


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bern $25
    Lyon $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bern

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bern:

  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Bern City - One Way: $105
  • Premium Private 1-Way Transfer to/from Interlaken: $250
  • Geneva: Premium 1-Way Private Transfer to/from Bern: $277
  • Private Transfer from Bern City Center to Zurich City Center: $318
  • Private transfer from Bern City to Zurich Airport: $416
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Basel City - One Way: $586
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Zurich City - One Way: $661

Typical Local Transportation prices in Lyon

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Lyon:


  • Funiculaire
    $5.04
  • Hop-on Hop-off Tourist Bus
    $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lyon

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lyon:

  • Private Airport Transfer: Lyon to Lyon Saint-Exupery International Airport (LYS): $47
  • Lyon City Card with Airport Transfer: $49
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Lyon-Bron Airport to Lyon City - One Way: $65
  • Lyon Private Transfer : Port of LYON to Lyon Railway Stations in Business Car: $65
  • Departure Private Transfer Lyon City to Lyon Airport LYS by Business Car: $66
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in Lyon (hotel OR airport pick-up): $75
  • Departure Private Transfer Lyon City to Lyon Airport LYS by Luxury Van: $87
  • Private Transfer to/from Lyon Airport (LYS): $91
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Gare de Lyon Saint-Exupery: $91
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Gare de Lyon Saint-Exupery to Lyon Hotel: $91
  • Private Departure Transfer: Lyon Hotel to Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport: $91
  • Departure Private Transfers from Lyon City to Lyon Airport LYS in Business Car: $95

Is it cheaper to fly into Bern or Lyon?

Prices for flights to both Lyon and Bern change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Bern $45
    Lyon $32

Typical Food prices in Lyon

Some typical examples of dining costs in Lyon are as follows:


  • Pastry
    $1.65

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lyon

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Lyon.

  • Lyon Old Town Walking Guided Food Tour: $68
  • Lyon 2.5-Hour Dinner Cruise: $72
  • Lyon Old Town Half-Day Walking Food Tour with Local Specialties Tasting & Lunch: $93
  • Lyon Old Town Five Tasting Stops Walking Food Tour with Lunch: $108
  • Lyon Quais Saint Antoine Private Gastronomic Food Tour: $111
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Lyon: $137
  • Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse Food Tour: $217
  • Food tour in Lyon: $258
  • Secret Food Tours Lyon w/ Private Tour Option: $296
  • Lyon Food Tour: $880
  • Lyon Food Tour: $880

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bern $25
    Lyon $16

Tours and Activities in Bern

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bern are as follows:

  • Tour with iPod Audio Guide: $20
  • Bern Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $45
  • 1-Hour Must-See Express Tour: $72
  • Tirano to St. Moritz: Bernina Red Train Return Day-Ticket: $79
  • Art and Culture Tour with a Local Guide: $83
  • Instagram Highlights Tour: $83
  • Bern Capital City Small Group Tour: $90
  • Best Introduction Tour of Bern with a Local: $91
  • 2-Hour Historical Walking Tour: $162
  • Schilthorn Piz Gloria (James Bond Location) Small Group Tour from Bern: $179
  • GAILY TOUR in BERN - Gay & Lesbian Tour: $187
  • Bern Capital City Private Tour: $194

Typical Entertainment prices in Lyon

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Lyon are as follows:


  • Lunch for 2
    $44

Tours and Activities in Lyon

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Lyon are as follows:

  • Vieux Lyon Cultural & Historical Walking Guided Tour (English): $3.82
  • Lyon City Historic Neighborhoods Guided Walking Tour (English): $3.82
  • Haunted Lyon City Exploration Game & Tour: $5.66
  • Private Lyon Ghost Tour: Haunted City Center Exploration Game: $8.70
  • Lyon Croix-Rousse City Tram Tour with Audio Guide: $11
  • Lyon Museum of Cinema Miniature Admission Ticket: $12
  • 1 or 2-Hour Pedicab tour of Lyon: $31
  • 2-Hour Highlights E-Bike Tour: $34
  • Lyon Small-Group Guided Electric Bike Tour with a Local Guide: $37
  • Lyon Like a Local Customized Private Guided Tour: $38
  • Lyon Highlights & Secrets Walking Guided Tour (small group) including Funicular: $41
  • 2-Hour Day or Night Pedicab Tour: $41

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bern $20
    Lyon $18

Typical Alcohol prices in Lyon

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Lyon from other travelers:


  • Drinks for 2
    $6.59
  • Bottle of Wine
    $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Lyon

Also in Lyon, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Northern Rhône Valley Cheese & Wine Tasting Half Day Tour from Lyon: $111
  • Lyon Old Town Food & Wine Tasting Tour including a Bouchon Lyonnais: $112
  • The Original Syrah Wine Tour - Afternoon - Small Group Tour from Lyon: $114
  • The Original Syrah Wine Tour - Morning - Small Group Tours from Lyon: $114
  • Beaujolais Gourmet Wine Tour with Tastings from Lyon: $123
  • Macon & Beaujolais Wine Tour - Full Day - Small Group Tour from Lyon: $147
  • Cotes du Rhone Wine Tour - Full Day - Small Group Tour from Lyon: $153
  • Northern Rhône Valley Day Tour with Wine Tasting from Lyon: $160
  • Burgundy South of Region Small Group Day Tour with Local Wine Tasting from Lyon: $160
  • Beaujolais Region Vineyard Day Tour with Wine Tasting from Lyon: $160
  • Côte-Rôtie & Vienne Region Roman History with Wine Tasting from Lyon: $243
  • Rhône Valley Terroir Private Tour with Local Cheese & Wine Tasting from Lyon: $280


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Bern and Lyon, we can see that Bern is more expensive. And not only is Lyon much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Lyon would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Lyon and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Bern would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bern than you might in Lyon.


When is the best time to visit Bern or Lyon?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Bern or Lyon in the Summer?

Both Lyon and Bern are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Bern for the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Lyon in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Bern is around the same temperature as Lyon. Typically, the summer temperatures in Bern in July are around 21°C (70°F), and Lyon is about 22°C (71°F).

It's quite sunny in Lyon. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Bern. Bern usually receives less sunshine than Lyon during summer. At this time of the year, Bern gets 250 hours of sunny skies, while Lyon receives 285 hours of full sun.

In July, Bern usually receives around the same amount of rain as Lyon. At this time of the year, Bern gets 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while Lyon receives 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Bern 21°C (70°F) 
    Lyon 22°C (71°F)

Should I visit Bern or Lyon in the Autumn?

Both Lyon and Bern during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Bern in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to Lyon for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Bern is generally around the same temperature as Lyon. Temperatures in Bern average around 13°C (55°F), and Lyon stays around 14°C (56°F).

In the autumn, Bern often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Lyon. Bern gets 126 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lyon receives 127 hours of full sun.

Bern usually gets less rain in October than Lyon. Bern gets 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Lyon receives 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Bern 13°C (55°F) 
    Lyon 14°C (56°F)

Should I visit Bern or Lyon in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Bern and Lyon. Most visitors come to Bern for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Lyon because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Lyon can be very cold. Bern can be very cold during winter. Bern is cooler than Lyon in the winter. The temperature in Bern is usually 3°C (37°F) in January, and Lyon stays around 4°C (39°F).

Bern usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Lyon during winter. At this time of the year, Bern gets 65 hours of sunny skies, while Lyon receives 62 hours of full sun.

In January, Bern usually receives around the same amount of rain as Lyon. At this time of the year, Bern gets 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Lyon receives 55 mm (2.1 in) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Bern 3°C (37°F) 
    Lyon 4°C (39°F)

Should I visit Bern or Lyon in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Bern as well as Lyon. The spring months attract visitors to Bern because of the natural beauty. Also, the activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Lyon this time of year.

In the spring, Bern is around the same temperature as Lyon. Typically, the spring temperatures in Bern in April are around 11°C (52°F), and Lyon is about 11°C (53°F).

In the spring, Bern often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Lyon. Bern gets 164 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lyon receives 174 hours of full sun.

Bern usually gets less rain in April than Lyon. Bern gets 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain, while Lyon receives 65 mm (2.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bern 11°C (52°F) 
    Lyon 11°C (53°F)

Typical Weather for Lyon and Bern

Bern Lyon
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 4°C (39°F) 55 mm (2.1 in)
Feb 4°C (40°F) 51 mm (2 in) 6°C (42°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 50 mm (2 in) 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Apr 11°C (52°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 11°C (53°F) 65 mm (2.6 in)
May 15°C (60°F) 76 mm (3 in) 15°C (60°F) 85 mm (3.4 in)
Jun 19°C (65°F) 74 mm (2.9 in) 19°C (66°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Jul 21°C (70°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 22°C (71°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 20°C (69°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 21°C (70°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Sep 18°C (64°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 18°C (65°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Oct 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 14°C (56°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 8°C (46°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Dec 4°C (38°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 4°C (40°F) 57 mm (2.3 in)


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Bern vs. Lyon Travel Comparison

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