Even before visiting it, Lyon has always represented an ideal city: not as big as a capital, South enough to be warm for most of the year and only a few hours from both the mountains and the sea. But now that I’ve visited? I’m even more convinced!
Where to eat in Lyon?
- Eating in the Vieux Lyon: we wandered for a while in the cute streets of the Vieux Lyon before chosing Le Petit Glouton, a typical bouchon. Bouchon is a cork in French but actually means a traditional restaurant in Lyon. We started with typical Rosette de Lyon, a sort of salami. On their menu, many typical dishes from the city: quenelles de brochet, andouillette lyonnaise, cochon de lait… I chose some veal and my best friend grilled pork together with gratin dauphinois. Delicious but not expensive!
- Turning back in time: go to Les fils à maman to discover what French children were eating when they were small: Kinder tiramisu, fish and chips, ham and cheese toast… but also nice cocktails like Sexe à la plage!
- Feeling like Vietnamese: not really close to the centre, but not far from our Airbnb, the Indo Cafe was recommended to us by a local. They never answered the phone to take our booking but we still decided to go and found the last available table on the terrace! Nice original cocktails. Choice of a few fresh typical Vietnamese dishes. Happy stomachs!
- Brunching in Lyon: We were told that Les Cafetiers was the place to brunch on a Sunday… and it was! We started with some banana bread, delicious pastries, a choice of hot drinks and a local appel juice and we continued with a choice between a salad or a granola together with a savery toast. 23€! And we couldn’t move afterwards!
- You’ve got a sweet tooth? You will have no difficulty finding pralines. Don’t mix them up with the Belgian pralines that are made of chocolate. These ones are pink sugar coated almonds. Mmmmhhhh…
Where to have a drink in Lyon?
- By the water: We had such a lovely reunion around moijto(s) on the terrace of La Marquise by the Rhone.
- Into beers? Head to Les BerThoM to enjoy all sorts of beers from around the world in a nice atmosphere. Btw les BerThoM is present in many cities in France. Cheers!
- Fancy: Groom is a very trendy place with tasty and house cocktails in the area of Les Pentes. Not cheap but very nice! There’s also another bar downstairs with a decent dancefloor.
- Irish pub: When having a look at the places to go out to in Lyon, I noticed that they were many many Irish pubs. We picked one to get more affordable drinks and more accessible music after Groom: the Flanigan’s. Quite nice, but not much different than any other Irish pub across the world!
Where to sleep in Lyon?
I arrived late on Thursday night and my best friend could only join on Friday so I decided to spend a night in a hostel. I had booked a bed in a 4-bed female dorm in the H36 hostel near the town hall. I arrived around midnight. When entering my room, I heard a voice whispering “We are already 4 here…”. I was thus upgraded to a single room with my own bathroom: yay! And check out the lovely patio!
We rented a small flat near Saxe-Gambetta on Airbnb. Very cute and perfect for 2 besties like us but unfortunately I cannot find it online anymore 😔
What to see in Lyon?
So many things to visit and places to see in Lyon. My week-end in Lyon was basically a reunion with my best friend after 2 years of only talking via Skype and Whatsapp so we spent a lot of time eating and talking. But here are however some nice areas and free places to visit:
- Croix-Rousse: a cute and hilly neighbourhood you will discover to go and see the famous an biggest mural in Europe: Le Mur des Canuts. Go hunting for the famous traboules in Lyon. They are sorts of small alleys that link two streets through a building via a courtyard. Very picturesque!
- Vieux Lyon: The narrow and very turisty streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the second largest Renaissance area in Europe, behind Venice. Also have a look at St Jean Cathedral and the Palais de Justice.
- The Fourviere hill: Despite 6 years of latin during high school, I had completely forgotten that Lugdunum was a very important Roman city in Gaul. I took a funicular run from Vieux Lyon metro station to Saint-Just, walked around the Roman theaters and then went up to the Fourvière basilica. Beautiful panorama from the top. You can then walk back down to the Vieux Lyon through the Jardins du Rosaire.
- Presqu’île: the peninsula between the Rhône and Saône rivers is an ideal place to go… shopping. Walk up from Place Bellecour , checking out lots of cute small boutinques, passing by Jacobins square and finish with a drink in front of the Bartholdi fountain (who also sculpted the Statue of Liberty!). The city hall is also quite impressive!
- Parc de la Tête-d’Or: a perfect place for a lazy Saturday afternoon walking around the ponds, playing exterior games or staring at exotic animals.