Lyon city is based on the hills at the joining of the Rhone and Saone River and is the second largest city in France. While exploring this fascinating city, it is evident to see its old history almost on every street. Spread over a narrow peninsula of both rivers, on the right bank of the Saone, Old Lyon (Vieux Lyon) is a beautiful architectural landscape worth visiting. Lyon is also one of the main educational cities outside of Paris for university students to study and the city offers many museums to visit such as archaeological museum at Fourviere. Staying in Vieux Lyon was like taking a stroll in a French Renaissance history book, not to mention the choice of over 4,000 restaurants to choose from in the City, Lyon is well worth a visit!
Saving Money Tips | Lyon
France can be an expensive country but you can find ways to save money!
- Get a taxi straight from the airport– The tram from the airport runs frequently however for a youth this is around 13 euro 16 euro for an adult, it is slightly cheaper to buy your ticket from the machine rather than paying on the train. This will take you straight to the Paris: Gare de Lyon, if your hotel is near here then this is a good option however if you are staying in Lyon Old Town, it may be cheaper to get a taxi straight from the airport – A taxi from the train station to the old town is around 20 euro.
- Drink Deals – In Lyon there are some great beers and wines – the coffee is fantastic too! There a happy hour deals such as a pint of beer 4 euro between the hours of 5-7pm. It is much cheaper to buy a good bottle of wine from the supermarket to save money on alcohol.
- Food deals – Food is relatively expensive in Lyon, although you can get some great restaurants at reasonable prices! The supermarkets are small and you cannot get a meal for cheap so I would suggest doing your research on what restaurants to visit on tripadvisor. The average meal is around 13 euro per person.
- Hotel with breakfast – The breakfast in Lyon is always a treat, I would recommend getting a hotel with breakfast as this will set you up for the day and breakfast can be overpriced at the tourist spots.
- Flight Search engine – Our favourite! Use Skyscanner for the best flight deals – you can choose to view flights monthly to find which days are the cheapest to fly.
Top Things to do
Vieux Lyon – The old historical part of Lyon is full of charm with plenty of bars and restaurants to visit. The atmosphere has a relaxing feel and can get busy at times in the peak season, visit in the winter months to avoid queues.
Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere – This was one of the more impressive cathedrals that we have seen in France. And the spectacluar view of Lyon from the top of the hill means this a “must do” on your visit to Lyon.
Fourviere Hill – The views from Fourviere Hill are stunning. On a clear day you can see all the way to the mountains. Whilst the view is amazing, getting there can be a challenge – take the funicular and walk back down.
Where to eat | Lyon
Le Book-Lard $ – One of the tastiest restaurants around the “gastronomic capital” of France! Offering lots of options and daily specials at a budget price, this restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. The special touch to the food here is the chefs own touch to each dish and the staff here are extremely welcoming. This is a great way to try out French cuisine at affordable price.
La Bouteillerie $$-$$$ – A great way to enjoy quality wine and delicious french food in Lyon and the staff who work here are very knowledgeable about the wine and food on the menu. The wonderful part of dining here is the wine is all from local produce, one of the special dishes on offer is the cheese and charcuterie platter.
Le Neuvieme Art $$$$ – Offering a fine dining experience, this two Michelin star restaurant lives up to its reputation. The decor is modern and attractive and they speak good english, communication was no problem at all. The main attraction to this restaurant is the food, the 5 course tasting menu with wine pairings is recommended, with one of the best foie in France. An experience you will be sure to relish for a long time. The restaurant has a refined modern décor which I found attractive. I was conveniently seated where I had a nice view of virtually the entire dining area.
Where to stay | Lyon
Recommended Hotel – Fourviere (Lyon) $$$$ – As you approach this stunning hotel you will be blown away by the history and beauty of the building, which is a converted monastery. As you enter the hotel you are welcomed with an outstanding reception area and paintwork. The hotel is located on the very top of Lyon on the old town (Vieux Lyon) of the City. There is a steep hill to climb up or down which is approximately 25 minutes by foot, this can be tiring if you are making a couple of trips into the centre of town but there is alternatively an option to take the Funicular which is within 5 minutes walking distance from hotel and takes 5-7 minutes and arrives into Vieux Lyon. The hotel offers food all day and evening and the menus are in English also. Rangng from around 18 euro for a starter / main course 26 – 35 euro. The breakfast is highly recommended and is of a very high standard, offering fresh salmon, eggs, breads and hot food selection. The hotel rooms are minimalistic, comfortable and include a separate bathroom and toilet room, a desk and chair, spa robe and slippers and luxurious bedding. All rooms have access to wifi and the connection is best in the lobby/reception area. The spa was a nice touch for guests offering a steam room, shower with different features, outdoor heated swimming pool and a sauna. The staff in the hotel are very friendly and welcoming and speak fantastic english, the tour of the hotel was a special touch, be sure to ask the staff about the hotels rich history.
Ibis Styles Lyon Centre – Gare Part Dieu $$ – The hotel is ideally located and easily access from the airport and train station. The city center is accessible by public transportation. We arrived at the hotel early, however, our room was already prepared. We got a room with a window directly to the station and railway, but we didn’t hear any noise. The breakfast is pleasant and affordable .
Hotel Silky by HappyCulture $$ – $$$ – One of the main attractions for this hotel is its location, one of the best located in all of Lyon! Central to many of Lyon’s best shopping areas and restaurants. The hotel offers complimentary cheese and coffee in the reception area free of charge which is a nice touch for the guests. The rooms are small and cosy and the hotel is exceptionally clean. The breakfast is recommended with a great selections of fruits, teas / coffee, hot and cold food.