When to fly
June, July and August are considered the peak travel months in Lyon, thanks to warm temperatures. July also sees Lyon’s annual celebration of Bastille Day, which brings fireworks and festivities to the city.
Cheap flights to Lyon can be found during the months of December, January and February, which typically see cold and humid weather. From late November right through until Christmas Eve, Lyon is the perfect city to get you into the festive mood offering a fairy-tale setting of two heart-warming Christmas markets, Criox Rousse and Festival de Musique Ancienne. Visitors can stroll through the sparkling lights and a Christmas farm to find great gift ideas, taste some of the local specialties or just soak up the joyful atmosphere the markets create. Many post-Christmas detoxes may need to be put on hold if you are considering travelling to Lyon in January to experience another wonderful event, the World Pastry Cup competition. The event sees over 7,000 competitors worldwide arrive to take part in the city’s largest pastry making competition which is a highlight of Lyon’s dates of gastronomic events. The competition takes place every two years so make sure to double check accurate dates before travelling.
Shoulder months of March, April, October and November can offer both pleasant sightseeing weather and more affordable flights.
The birthplace of gastronomy as we know it, Lyon has long been a welcoming playground for foodies — but there’s much more to enjoy in France’s third largest city. History and culture add layers of depth to this metropolis, whether it’s through the eye-catching architecture found throughout the city or the various museums exhibiting everything from world-class art to the history of cinema.
But back to the gastronomy: there’s no doubt that palate-pleasing dishes are one of the main draws in Lyon. Visitors flying to Lyon will have international cuisine and fine dining options abound, but the true star of Lyon’s culinary scene is the bouchon, a traditional, casual French restaurant where diners can enjoy authentic local dishes without breaking the bank. Although the latest concepts by the wealth of creative chefs who set up kitchens in Lyon will attempt to distract visitors from these inexpensive restaurants, a hearty plate at a bouchon is a must when visiting the city.
Beyond the dining scene, Lyon is a modern metropolis with plenty for travellers to enjoy. Historic basilicas and churches add a touch of charm to the city’s skyline, while the wealth of museums, theatres and art galleries ensure the local cultural scene pleases even the worldliest of travellers. Quaint neighbourhoods seem to teem with history and are well worth a stroll to see what welcoming cafes, shops and architecture lie around the corner. And when it comes time to return to the modern world, the economic centre known as the Presqu’ile awaits with assortment of high-end shops, restaurants and entertainment.
Getting around Lyon
Plenty of public transportation options make it relatively simple to get around Lyon. Buses, trams and metros serve the entire city, and Lyon’s public transportation is considered both safe and comfortable. Walking is another option to get around the city, as are bicycle rentals, which can be found at more than 300 self-service rental stations throughout Lyon. Taxis can be arranged by telephone, but it is the costliest option for getting around.
Getting downtown from the airport
Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport (LYS) is the closest airport to the city. The international airport is about 12 miles (19 km) east of the city. The easiest way to travel from the airport to Lyon is by the public tramway, which runs an express tram every 15 minutes. The tram ride between Lyon’s city centre and the airport is about 30 minutes, taxis and car rentals are also available at the airport.