As 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. 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 culture scene pleases even the worldliest of travellers. Quaint neighborhoods 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 its wealth of high-end shops, restaurants and entertainment.
When to fly to Lyon
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. Shoulder months of March, April, October and November can offer both reasonable sightseeing weather and more affordable flights.
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 Lyon.