Lyon Travel Tips. An article sharing travel tips about visiting Lyon. How to get there and more…
Mark Ford, Founder of Plus1 Travel
It’s great to have you here searching for Lyon travel tips. Lyon is France’s third biggest city with over 500.000 people living in the city. It’s a busy commercial interest center in east central France, and a Unesco world heritage site situated on the confluence of the Rhone and Sohn rivers. The historic city centre forms a peninsula called the Presqu’île between the two rivers. Here you’ll find the main square, the plaster Telo with the impressive City Hall and the fine art museum the musée des bois. Lyon housed in a former 17th century continent is one of the largest art galleries in France a few streets away. The Opera House is the home of the Opera Nacional de Lyon, the original 1831 Opera House was redesigned between 1985 and 1993. Take a stroll through the slopes of the old silk district which features medieval and modern architecture. To the banks of the river so here you’ll find a mural covering an entire building. It depicts 31 famous people from Lyon and is one of a 150 wall paintings in the city.
Lyon Travel Tips – How To Get From The Airport To Lyon
When searching for Lyon travel tips and how to get from the airport, Lyon is served by Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport located just over 20 miles from Lyon city centre. From the airport there is no direct bus, tram or metro. The two best options to get from the airport to Lyon are by the Rhonexpress tram or taxi.
The Rhônexpress is a tram shuttle service that operates between Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport and Lyon’s Part-Dieu train station. The tram stop can be found in the St Exupery train station.
Tickets cost €16.10, the shuttle runs every 15 minutes, and will take around 30 minutes.
Tickets can be bought online, from machines at the airport/tram stops or from the on board conductor for a €4 fee.
Taxis are readily available between the airport and the city centre can cost anywhere between €50-€100, based on the time/day and if you book in advance. A taxi journey takes around 25 minutes pending on traffic. Uber also operates in Lyon.
Lyon Travel Tips – How To Get Around Lyon
When searching for Lyon travel tips, the best way to get around Lyon is through a combination of walking and using Lyon’s public transportation system. Taxis and Uber are an option too, though they aren’t the most affordable means of getting around Lyon. Although travelers should absolutely explore Lyon’s neighborhoods, such as old Vieux Lyon and its new Confluence, via their own two feet, the city is far too spread out to experience just by walking.
Lyon’s network of more than 130 bus lines, five tram lines, four metro lines and two funicular lines is offered through Transports en commun lyonnais or TCL, the city’s transportation agency. Tickets for all forms of public transportation cost €1.90 for one hour of travel anywhere on the TCL network; there are also 24-hour tickets that cost €5.80.
There are bike rental shops spread out around the city, as well as Vélo’v, Lyon’s bike-share program. Biking can be a pleasant way to explore Lyon, especially along the riverfront. A one-day rental for the bike-share program costs €1.50.
Taxis can be found throughout the city, especially at the train stations, on Rue de la Barre, near the northern end of Rue Édouard-Herriot in the 1st arrondissement, as well as in Vieux Lyon’s Quai Romain Rolland. The two companies Allo Taxis and Taxis Lyonnais recommended by past visitors. Uber also operates in Lyon.
Best Places To Stay In Lyon
When searching for Lyon travel tips, Lyon is a great city escape with lots of great architecture, historical sights and gastronomy. However, deciding where to stay in Lyon without knowing the city at all can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve put together this simple guide on the three best areas to stay in Lyon.
La Presqu’Ile is the most central neighbourhood in Lyon. It includes the area around the city hall all the way down to the Perrache train station. Presqu’Ile got its name from its geographic location, on a stretch of land between the two rivers flowing in the city: the Rhône and the Saône. The two most important squares in Lyon, the Place Bellecour and the Place des Terreaux, are located in the Presqu’Ile. The Place Bellecour is the largest pedestrian square in Europe and often hosts some local events.
The Guillotière neighbourhood is located in the 7th district of Lyon, in between the Rhône river and the business district of Part-Dieu. It is a socially and ethnically mixed area, which means lots of different world food options are available around here!
Lyon’s Chinatown is also located in this area. Head there to get a true taste of Asia, taste some authentic Chinese food and, at the end of January, experience traditional Chinese New Year’s celebrations.
The Vieux Lyon was built during the medieval and Renaissance times. It is the oldest neighbourhood in the city, and has pretty much kept the same shape since.
The most interesting architectural feature of the area is something called the traboules, which are small, pedestrian passageways within the apartment buildings to go from one street to another. They go through courtyards which are usually well decorated and well worth a sight!
The Vieux Lyon is also a great place to try some local food.
Here you can set foot in one of the largest renaissance old quarters in Europe. In the 15th-17th centuries Lyons silk industry was thriving, and rich merchant families from across France, Flanders, Germany and Italy settled in the city. They built sumptuous homes, in the gothic, Italian renaissance and French renaissance styles, and there are still 300 of these remaining in the districts of Saint-Jean, Saint-Georges and Saint-Paules.
In Vieux Lyon and La Croix-Rousse Saône are an architectural feature unique to this city: Traboules are delightful renaissance passageways, some 40 of which are open to the public, running beneath buildings in the direction of the Saône River. They gave the city’s silk workers direct access to the riverbank, making it quick and easy to transport textiles, while also offering shelter from the elements.
This magnificent church, ever visible on the Fourvière hill to the west of the city, is one of a series of iconic hill-top churches built in major French cities in the late-19th century.
The basilica is in the oldest part of the city, Lyon’s pilgrimage site and where several Roman sites have been discovered. Go inside to see the extravagant interiors and the Museum of Sacred Art, and to ascend the north tower for one of Lyon’s best photo ops. The church is the focus for the famous Fête des Lumières, which takes place at the start of December every year.
Parc de la Tête d’Or
A little way north of the centre is one of the largest urban parks in the country, with a zoo and France’s foremost botanical garden within its boundaries. If you’re around in spring then the international rose garden should be one of your first ports of call in the city. The botanical attractions are spectacular too, with more than 20,000 plant varieties and the most graceful 19th-century greenhouses you could hope to see, thick with the scent of chlorophyll.
Presqu’île was man-made by a humungous 18th-century urban engineering project, draining marshes and connecting what was once an island with dry land. It’s where most things “happen” in the city, a district of glorious 19th-century architecture, wide plazas, shops, cultural institutions, restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs. Lyon’s opera house and city hall are located here, while if you’re peckish Rue Mercière is basically one long line of superb restaurants.
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon
Housed in a former abbey from the 1600s, the Musée des Beaux-Arts is France’s largest fine art museum after the Louvre in Paris. There are 70 rooms here, with paintings from the 1300s to the 1900s, sculpture and displays of both Egyptian and Oriental art. You don’t need more than a passing knowledge to be impressed by the wealth of famous French and European artists on show: Degas, van Gogh, Renoir, Cézanne, El Greco, Canaletto, Picasso, Max Ernst and Francis Bacon, and that’s just an overview.
Ancient Theatre of Fourvière
This monument is also high on the left bank of the Saône River.
And 2,000 years after it was built it is still a performance venue during the Nuits de Fourvière drama festival every June and July. At its peak it would have held 10,000 spectators, but only the middle and lower terraces of the caveat remain. Where the seating has been lost though, you can see the fascinating substructure of the cavea, which continues far up the hillside.