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

Should you visit Marrakech or Lyon?

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

Should I visit Marrakech 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.

Marrakech

Marrakech is a ancient, cultural, and high-energy city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. 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. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

Marrakech and Lyon: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to Jemaa el-Fnaa Square
Things to Consider
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere


Is there more to do in Marrakech or Lyon?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Marrakech than Lyon, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Marrakech is more popular for its shopping, while Lyon is known for its museums, food, nightlife, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere. Marrakech is more touristy than Lyon and is popular for its colorful medina, festive night market, and beautiful palaces. It is also home to Jemaa el-Fnaa Square. Lyon is popular for its world-renowned cuisine, charming old town, and vibrant new town.

How is Marrakech different from Lyon?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Marrakech or Lyon?

Marrakech
Lyon

Lyon is an unbeatable place for its museums and history. Also, Marrakech is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Lyon has many famous sights for visitors. 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.

Many visitors head to Marrakech specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. While wandering the medina is an attraction in and of itself, there are also several sights that you should specifically check out. The iconic Djemaa el-Fnaa, or the city's main square, is best visited as the sun goes down. Other notable landmarks include Koutoubia Mosque, Majorelle Gardens, and Medersa Ben Youssef.


Is the Food Better in Marrakech or Lyon? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Marrakech
Lyon

Lyon is an unbeatable place for its restaurants. Also, Marrakech is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

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.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Marrakech makes for a great culinary experience. Moroccan food is amazing and you'll enjoy grilled meats, tagines, couscous, and more. The city is more touristy than some parts of Morocco so you'll find the quality of the food can vary a bit, but it's still a culinary delight. Marrakesh is also a great city for taking a cooking class.

Is Marrakech or Lyon Better for Nightlife?

Marrakech
Lyon

Lyon is an excellent place to visit for its evening party scene. Also, Marrakech is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife.

Lyon has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. 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.

Marrakech has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Although alcohol is hard to come by, you'll find it in most western style restaurants and high end hotel chains. The city has more bars and nightclubs than you'd expect. There's also a great nighttime energy with many locals heading outside in the evening. Jemaa el-Fnaa, the main square, comes to life with street vendors, performers, and people during the nighttime hours.

Is Marrakech or Lyon Better for its Old Town?

Marrakech
Lyon

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

With a famous historical old-town, Marrakech offers plenty to see. The historic medina is filled with spices, antiques, art, and pottery. The culture and experience of wandering the medina will have you feeling like you stepped back in time.

The rich history of Lyon can be explored in its historical center. 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 the Shopping Better in Marrakech or Lyon?

Marrakech
Lyon

Marrakech is an amazing city to visit for its shopping opportunities. Also, Lyon is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping areas.

The abundance of shops in Marrakech make it a world-class shopping destination. Shop your way through the street stalls and sample perfumes, spices, produce, and more. You'll find everything from souvenir trinkets to local items and authentic antiques.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Lyon. 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 Marrakech or Lyon Better for Families?

Marrakech
Lyon

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Marrakech or Lyon.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Marrakech. Kids will enjoy exploring a new culture and wandering through the medina. The food is very kid-friendly and during the evening the main square, Jemaa el-Fnaa, comes to life with street performers, vendors, and entertainment. Families can also take cooking classes or head into the desert for a camel trek.

Lyon is a very family-friendly place to visit. 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 Marrakech or Lyon Better for Couples?

Marrakech
Lyon

Marrakech is an amazing city to visit for its romantic activities. Also, Lyon is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for couples.

Marrakech has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. There are many wonderful restaurants and fascinating places for couples to explores. Wandering the medina or visiting the gardens make for a romantic and adventurous 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.


Is Marrakech or Lyon Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Marrakech
Lyon

Marrakech is an amazing city to visit for backpackers. Also, Lyon is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Marrakech. The city is very affordable and there are countless riads that are budget-friendly. There are enough backpackers around town that it's not hard to meet fellow travelers.

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

Is Marrakech or Lyon Better for Students?

Marrakech
Lyon

Lyon is an unbeatable place for its student-friendly activities. However, Marrakech is not popular with students.

Many students frequent Lyon. 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.

Marrakech is not popular with students.

Is Marrakech or Lyon Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Marrakech
Lyon

Lyon is an unbeatable place for times when you don't have a car. However, Marrakech is lacking in options for its public transit.

Visitors in Lyon can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. The city has a metro, trams, and buses, that make it easy to get around.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Marrakech. While there are local buses, most people take taxis around town when they can't walk. Taxis are affordable and convenient.


Is Marrakech or Lyon a more walkable city?

Marrakech
Lyon

Marrakech and Lyon are very good when it comes to walkability.

Marrakech is a very walkable destination. The medina is the best area to walk around but it's very easy to get lost. Outside of the medina you'll want to keep your eyes open for motorbikes and the occasional donkey.

Lyon is very walkable. 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.

For even more information, also check out Is Marrakech Worth Visiting? and Is Lyon Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Lyon or Marrakech?

How long in Marrakech or Lyon?

In either Marrakech or Lyon, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Marrakech than Lyon because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Marrakech, and 2-5 days is enough time in Lyon.

Families should spend more time in Lyon than Marrakech. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Lyon, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Marrakech than Lyon. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Marrakech that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.


  • How many days in Marrakech or Lyon? Ideal Length of Stay
    Marrakech 3-7 
    Lyon 2-5

One day in Marrakech or Lyon?

Marrakech 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 here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

You'll find shopping and museums around the quaint city of Lyon. Visiting the old town is also a must. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Marrakech or Lyon?

Marrakech is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the shopping. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the cultural big city of Lyon. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.


Five days in Marrakech or Lyon?

Marrakech is a cultural 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 in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

You'll find nightlife and food around the historic city of Lyon. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

A week in Marrakech or Lyon?

Marrakech is a fascinating city where you can fill many days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Many people spend one week here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.

Lyon is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours in Morocco, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Morocco, The Best 10-Day Tours from Paris, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Paris.


Which place is cheaper, Lyon or Marrakech?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Marrakech is $69, while the average daily cost in Lyon is $136. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Marrakech and Lyon in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Marrakech $46
    Lyon $57
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Marrakech $92
    Lyon $114
Compare Hotels in Marrakech and Lyon

Looking for a hotel in Marrakech 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 Marrakech


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.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Marrakech Hotel Prices and Lyon Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Marrakech $6.30
    Lyon $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Marrakech

Also for Marrakech, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Marrakech Airport Transfer: $5.01
  • Transfer from Al Madina Airport: $5.79
  • Private transfer from or to the airport: $6.38
  • Marrakech : Transfer privé vers ou depuis l'aéroport de Rak: $6.38
  • Marrakech Airport Transfer (ONE WAY pick-up OR/OU ONE WAY drop-off): $6.51
  • Marrakech Airport transfer ( ONE WAY pick-up OR/OU ONE WAY drop-off): $6.51
  • Marrakech Airport Transfer ( ONE WAY pick-up OR/OU ONE WAY drop-off): $7.05
  • Marrakesh: 1-Way Private Transfer to Menara Airport: $7.45
  • Private Transfers to Marrakech from Ménara Airport: $7.59
  • Marrakech City Center Private Airport Transfer: $8.00
  • Private Transfer: from Marrakech Airport to your hotel: $8.10
  • Marrakech : Private Transfer to/from RAK Airport: $8.20

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Lyon

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


  • Funiculaire
    $5.63
  • Hop-on Hop-off Tourist Bus
    $21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lyon

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lyon:

  • Transfer Privé Lyon saint exupery airport to lyon : $119
  • Superior Private Transfer From Lyon City to Geneva City: $294
  • Private transfer from or to Lyon train stations - Lyon city by car or luxury van: $46
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in Lyon (hotel OR airport pick-up): $176
  • Private Transfer: Saint Exupéry Airport(LYS) to Lyon City Center: $51
  • Private Transfer: Port of LYON to Lyon Airport LYS in Sedan Car: $97
  • Private Transfer: Port of LYON to Lyon Airport LYS in Luxury Van: $103
  • Private Transfer: Lyon to Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS): $124
  • Private Transfer: Lyon City to Lyon Airport LYS in Luxury Van: $103
  • Private Transfer: Lyon City to Lyon Airport LYS in Business Car: $97
  • Private Transfer: Lyon Airport LYS to Lyon City in Luxury Van: $102
  • Private Transfer: (LYS) Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport to Lyon: $125

Is it cheaper to fly into Marrakech or Lyon?

Prices for flights to both Lyon and Marrakech 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
    Marrakech $13
    Lyon $45
Typical Food Prices in Marrakech

For Marrakech, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Orange Juice on the Square
    $0.30
  • Breakfast
    $1.20
  • Dates
    $0.60
  • Olives
    $0.90
  • Sandwich
    $1.29
  • Souvenir Spices
    $6.18

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Marrakech

For Marrakech, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Magical dinner in agafay desert with camel ride: $19
  • Marrakech desert: Agafay Desert Sunset Dinner Show: $21
  • Restaurant Dinner Experience with Hotel Pickup: $21
  • All-inclusive Dinner and camel ride experience in Agafay desert : $22
  • Dinner Show in Agafay Desert with Quad Bike & Camels: $22
  • Typical Moroccan Dinner at the inhabitant in Marrakech: $22
  • Sunset in Agafay: Dinner, Camel, Quad-Book Adventure with Viator: $22
  • Desert Dinner, Camel Ride, Sunset & Show: $23
  • Dinner in Desert Marrakech and Camel ride at Sunset: $23
  • Moroccan Cooking Class with a Local Chef: $24
  • From Agafay Desert Sunset Dinner with Live Show: $25
  • Dinner Magic in Agafay desert with transport from Marrakech: $26

Typical Food Prices in Lyon

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


  • Pastry
    $1.84

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lyon

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

  • Croix-Rousse District Vegan Food Tour with Tastings: $64
  • Street Food Tour: $64
  • No Diet Club - Our best food tour in Lyon: $66
  • Afternoon Old Town Food tour: $76
  • Lyon 2.5-Hour Dinner Cruise: $80
  • Cultural Walking Food Tour in the Vieux Lyon District: $85
  • Walking Food Tour in Vieux Lyon: $86
  • Lyon Old Town Half-Day Walking Food Tour with Local Specialties Tasting & Lunch: $92
  • Old Town Food Tour: $96
  • Guided Food Tour with Tastings and Wine: $101
  • Guided Evening Food Tour: $101
  • Lyon Evening Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience: $103

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Marrakech $7.01
    Lyon $22
Typical Entertainment Prices in Marrakech

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Marrakech's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Palace Tickets
    $1.99
  • Golf at Atlas Golf
    $56

Tours and Activities in Marrakech

For Marrakech, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Marrakech Medina Walking Tour With Local Guide: $5.00
  • Marrakesh: Cactus Thiemann Entry Ticket: $8.30
  • Atlas Mountains Tour with Camel Ride: $9.00
  • Ourika Valley Day Trip From Marrakech Private Day Tour: $9.99
  • Marrakech Airport to Hotel – Your Premium Arrival Experience: $11
  • 1/2 day Guided Medina Walking Tour & Souks : $13
  • Marrakech:Quad Tour in Palmeraie: $14
  • Historical Marrakech Walking Tour: $15
  • Full Day Hiking Tour to Atlas Mountains from Marrakech: $15
  • Marrakech activities: Camel ride tour Marrakech: $15
  • Marrakech Sightseeing Tour: $15
  • Anima Garden Admission Ticket: $16

Typical Entertainment Prices in Lyon

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


  • Lunch for 2
    $49

Tours and Activities in Lyon

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

  • 1 or 2-Hour Pedicab tour of Lyon: $27
  • 1-hour tourist walk with guide: $38
  • Access to a Self-Guided Tour of the archaeological site of Lyon: $8.68
  • Access to a Self-Guided Tour to Traboules de Croix-Rousse: $8.68
  • Alternative Tour: Murals and Hidden Frescoes of Lyon: $46
  • An unusual city tour with sketches: $64
  • Audio-Guided Tour of the United States Quarter and Painted Walls: $11
  • Audio-guided tour of Old Lyon: $11
  • Audio-guided tour of the Fourvière and the Sacred Hill: $11
  • Beaujolais Crus Wines & Castles (9:00 am - 1:30 pm) - Small Group Tour from Lyon: $107
  • Beaujolais Wine Discovery - Half Day - Small group tour from Lyon: $107
  • Beaujolais Wine Discovery - Private Tour - Half Day: $250

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Marrakech $15
    Lyon $26

Sample the Local Flavors in Marrakech

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Marrakech:

  • Bar Crawl with Local Guide & Drinks: $28
  • Moroccan wine tasting workshop in Marrakech: $70

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
    $7.37
  • Bottle of Wine
    $16

Sample the Local Flavors in Lyon

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

  • Lyon : Music & Wine tasting tour: $96
  • Guided tour of Beaujolais by electric bike and wine tasting: $98
  • Lyon Old Town Food & Wine Tasting Tour including a Bouchon Lyonnais : $98
  • Golden Stones Beaujolais Wine Tasting Trip from Lyon: $105
  • From Beaujolais Region Wine Tour with Tastings: $105
  • Beaujolais: Half-Day Wine Tour: $105
  • Half-Day Côte-Rotie Wine Tasting Tour: $105
  • Beaujolais 100% wine tour Small-Group Tour with Tasting from Lyon: $107
  • Beaujolais Half Day Wine Tasting Tour: $107
  • Golden stones Beaujolais Wine Tour with Tastings from Lyon: $107
  • Guided tour and wine tasting Northern Rhône Valley: $107
  • The Original Syrah Wine Tour (9:00 am - 1:30 pm) - Small Group Tours from Lyon: $107


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Marrakech and Lyon, we can see that Lyon is more expensive. And not only is Marrakech much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Marrakech is in Africa and Lyon is in Europe, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Marrakech would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Marrakech 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 Lyon would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Lyon than you might in Marrakech.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Marrakech Expensive? and Is Lyon Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Marrakech or Lyon?

Marrakech has a larger population, and is about 78% larger than the population of Lyon. When comparing the sizes of Marrakech and Lyon, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.