In 2016, Lyon was France’s #1 city in the worldwide Global Liveability Ranking. But how is it from a tourist point of view?
Not too far from the South of France, from the Alps and Paris with the high-speed train, it seems like a great starting point to explore France. Also, it has been known as the World’s Capital of Gastronomy for almost one century. It sounds like a great combination, doesn’t it?
If you have the opportunity to spend a weekend in Lyon, go for it. I wish I had more time!
I only had a couple of hours to explore the inner-city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s never enough to visit a place, but that’s sometimes all you have available because of other life commitments. Still, I’m glad I took the opportunity to have a quick look around, so I know it’s worth going back.
What can you see in two hours in Lyon?
We arrived by train at Pardieu station. From the start, we could see the Basilique de Fourviere that dominates the city perched on its hill. We walked around town with the objective to reach it. Like so many European cities, it’s full of beautiful buildings that could all be considered as monuments. No doubt why it is listed as a UNESCO site. We went to Place Bellecour, the Bonaparte bridge and finally arrived in the Vieux Lyon, at the bottom of the hill we were aiming for.
The Vieux Lyon is the best place to experience the local cuisine in small restaurants locally called “Bouchons”. We had fun going through a few “traboules”, pushing doors to find secret passages leading to a maze from one street to another.
We took the funicular, an old inclined railway from the 1850s, to climb to the impressive basilica. The view from up there is unbeatable. It was perfect to realise the potential of a longer visit, but mine had to come to an end already.
Have you been to Lyon? Share your recommendations in the comments below!
If you’re looking for a romantic, luxurious escape, have a look at accommodations in Le Vieux Lyon.
If you’re after a cheaper option in a lively area, I recommend booking in the Presqu’ile côté Terreaux / Pentes de la Croix Rousse.
Where is Lyon?
Lyon is in the south-east of France, not too far from the Alps and not too far from the Mediterranean coast. There’s a hi-speed train going from Paris to Lyon in only two hours.
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