Lyon: Two Hours in France’s Most Liveable City

Lyon - Basilique de Fourvieres 01In 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 from 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 week-end 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 across Place Bellecour, the Bonaparte bridge and finally arrived in the Vieux Lyon, at the bottom of the hill we were aiming for.

Lyon - Cathedral Saint Jean  
Lyon -Saint George Church

Vieux Lyon - Bouchons

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.

Lyon - Traboule entrance
Lyon - Traboule

Lyon - Traboule 

We took the funicular, an old inclined railway from 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.

Lyon - View from Fourviere
Vieux Lyon - Fourviere Funicular

Lyon - panoramic view

 

Have you been to Lyon? Share your recommendations in the comments below!

 

Planning a trip to Lyon?

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.

View hotels in Lyon*

 

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.

 

Add this to your Pinterest board:

Visit Lyon in two hours

*These are affiliate links: I will receive a commission if you make a booking using this link. This will help me maintain this website. 

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I am a part-time traveler: I combine a full-time job with a passion for traveling. I love to share my trips and tips to inspire others to explore what's around them. Before moving to Australia, I lived in France, England and Turkey. I've finally found my balance in Brisbane.

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