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

Should you visit Brussels or Lyon?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Brussels and Lyon. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Brussels

Brussels is a historic, cosmopolitan, and multicultural city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Lyon

Lyon is a beautiful, cultural, and quaint city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. It also has that perfectly quaint feel that is like no other place. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

How is Brussels different from Lyon?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Brussels or Lyon better for Museums and Historical Sights?

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

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Brussels. Popular sights include Saint-Michel Cathedral, Place Royale, and the Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Lyon are among the most recognizable in the world. 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.


Is Brussels or Lyon better for Food?

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine in both Brussels and Lyon.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Brussels makes for a great culinary experience. While the city is most known for its waffles and fries, the diversity of dishes and international restaurant selection continues to grow. Other popular dishes include moules-frites, waterzooi (a stew), and stoemp (made with mashed potatoes and vegetables).

Known for it's food scene, Lyon is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. 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.

Is Brussels or Lyon better for Nightlife?

Party-goers will find similar levels of energy in Brussels and Lyon.

Brussels has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. The city's nightlife is quieter and more mellow than some other major cities around Europe. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of dance clubs and bars where you can hang out. Keep your wits about you after the sun goes down as some areas are a bit rougher than others.

Lyon offers plenty to do in the evening. 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.

Is Brussels or Lyon better for its Old Town?

Visitors enjoy the old town areas in both Brussels and Lyon.

There are many historical things to see in the old town of Brussels. The old town in the city center is where you'll find the greatest concentration of historic sights. The area is surrounded by tree-lined boulevards and is easy to explore.

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.

Is Brussels or Lyon better for Shopping?

Shopping in a popular activity in both Lyon and Brussels.

Brussels is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Although it's famous for diamonds, the city also has many shopping streets where you can find designer brands, vintage shops, and other unique boutiques that are fun to explore.

Lyon is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. 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.


Is Brussels or Lyon better for Families?

Both Brussels and Lyon are family-friendly destinations.

Brussels is a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has a number of unique kid-friendly activities including a Mini-Europe Museum, a Comic Strip Museum, and Train World. The city is also a chocolate lover's dream with many factories and chocolate shops around town.

Lyon is a very kid-friendly city. 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.

Is Brussels or Lyon better for Couples?

Brussels and Lyon both fun destinations for a couple.

Couples visit Brussels frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. From beautiful buildings and museums to shopping, dining, and chocolate shops, there are plenty of romantic spots around town.

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

Is Brussels or Lyon better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Brussels and Lyon are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Many backpackers visit Brussels. The city has an active nightlife and a number of hostels that are great for backpackers, but do take note that some areas can get a bit rough at night, so make sure you understand where you are.

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

Is Brussels or Lyon better for Students?

Brussels and Lyon are comparable places to visit for students.

Many students visit Brussels. The city has a number of universities that attract students from around the world. The multicultural setting is great for students of the world.

Lyon is a great destination for students. It is a very livable city with many fun cultural activities for students. There are many different entertainment options during the day, and during the evening there are plenty of places to hang out.


Is Brussels or Lyon better for Public Transit?

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Brussels and Lyon.

Brussels has a great public transit system. Transit options include train, tram, metro, bus and waterbuses.

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

Is Brussels or Lyon a more walkable city?

Brussels and Lyon both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Brussels is very walkable. If you stay in the historical area, it's easy to walk around and many boulevards are being converted to pedestrian areas.

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.

Brussels and Lyon: Pros and Cons

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


Should I spend more time in Lyon or Brussels?

How long in Brussels or Lyon?

In either Brussels or Lyon, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. You can fill a similar amount of time in either place.

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


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

One day in Brussels or Lyon?

Brussels 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. One day is usually enough time for a trip here.

The beautiful city of Lyon offers food and shopping. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Brussels or Lyon?

Brussels is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the shopping. 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 popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Lyon, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.


Five days in Brussels or Lyon?

Brussels is a historic 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.

Lyon is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Lyon, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.

A week in Brussels or Lyon?

The historic city of Brussels 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.

Lyon is a great place to explore. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

Which city is cheaper, Lyon or Brussels?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Brussels is €109, while the average daily cost in Lyon is €100. 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 Brussels and Lyon in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Brussels 58
    Lyon 42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Brussels 116
    Lyon 84

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Brussels 13
    Lyon 14
Typical Local Transportation prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Brussels are as follows:


  • Subway Pass
    4.50
  • Atomium train ticket (2)
    8.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brussels

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Brussels:

  • Private Airport Transfer: from Brussels to Brussels Airport (BRU): $25
  • Private Departure Transfer from Brussels City Center to Brussels Airport (BRU): $32
  • Private Airport Transfer to the City: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer: Brussels Hotel to Brussels Railway Station: $46
  • Private Business Transfer from Brussels Hotel to Brussels Airport (BRU): $49
  • Private Transfer to/from Brussels Airport (BRU): $50
  • Airport (BRU) Private Transfer: $53
  • Private Airport Transfer: Brussels to Charleroi Airport (CRL): $55
  • Private Airport Transfer: Brussels to Brussels Airport (BRU): $56
  • Departure Private Transfer from Brussels to Brussels Airport in Business Car: $57
  • Brussels City all area to Brussels Airport BRU - Private Airport transfer 1-7pax: $60
  • Brussels City all area to Brussels Airport BRU - Private Airport transfer 1-3pax: $60

Typical Local Transportation prices in Lyon

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


  • Funiculaire
    5.20
  • Hop-on Hop-off Tourist Bus
    19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lyon

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lyon:

  • Airport Lyon - private VIP transfer to Megève on Mercedes V-class: $649
  • Airport Lyon - private VIP transfer to Morzine on Mercedes V-class: $683
  • Airport Lyon - private VIP transfer to Tignes on Mercedes V-class: $683
  • Airport Lyon - private VIP transfer to Val-d Isere on Mercedes V-class: $702
  • Courchevel: Lyon Airport (LYS) Private Transfer: $728
  • Departure Private Transfer Lyon City to Lyon Airport LYS by Business Car: $66
  • Departure Private Transfer Lyon City to Lyon Airport LYS by Luxury Van: $87
  • Departure Private Transfers from Lyon City to Lyon Airport LYS in Business Car: $95
  • Departure Private Transfers from Lyon City to Lyon Airport LYS in Luxury Van: $103
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Grenoble-Isère Airport to Lyon City - One Way: $284
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport to Lyon City - One Way: $124
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Lyon-Bron Airport to Lyon City - One Way: $65

Is it cheaper to fly into Brussels or Lyon?

Prices for flights to both Lyon and Brussels 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
    Brussels 31
    Lyon 33
Typical Food prices in Brussels

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Brussels:


  • Ice Cream & Macaroons
    4.60
  • Dessert (Turkish Delights)
    4.75
  • Cheese
    5.60
  • Olives and Snacks
    6.98
  • Waffle
    3.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brussels

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

  • Classic Belgian cooking class and lunch: $79
  • Your Private Tailored Belgian Food Tour with a Local: $93
  • Private Food Tour – 10 Tastings with Locals: $112
  • Cooking Lesson and Gourmet Belgian-Inspired Meal with a Local in Brussels: $115
  • Private Brussels Food Tour (walking lunch or dinner): $373

Typical Food prices in Lyon

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


  • Pastry
    1.70

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.
    Brussels 18
    Lyon 16

Tours and Activities in Brussels

Here are a few actual costs in Brussels for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Brussels Autoworld Museum Entrance Ticket: $15
  • Pick Up from your Hotel in Brussels to Departure point Brussels City Tours: $22
  • Beer Tour: $27
  • Brussels 2.5-Hour Belgian Beer Tasting Experience: $29
  • Highlights and Hidden Gems Guided Bike Tour: $34
  • Private Tour with a Local: $40
  • Kanal and Molenbeek Runnning Tour: $44
  • Running Tour of the Historical Center: $44
  • The Best Of Brussels Walking Tour: $54
  • Belgian Chocolate Tasting Tour: $62
  • Private Tour w/ Locals – Highlights & Hidden Gems: $66
  • Artistic Bruges on a Private Tour with a local: $75

Typical Entertainment prices in Lyon

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


  • Lunch for 2
    45

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
    Brussels 10
    Lyon 19
Typical Alcohol prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Brussels are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    10
  • Beer
    6.00

Sample the Local Flavors in Brussels

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Brussels:

  • Brussels Pub Crawl: $14

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
    6.80
  • 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 comparing the travel costs between Brussels and Lyon, we can see that Brussels is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Brussels vs. Lyon Travel Comparison

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