Even if we praise the merits of smaller towns, we are always attracted by the tourist attractions of big cities but it is not always easy to go there, especially because of their price. So we decided to give you some tips and tricks to come and discover the beautiful city of Lyon!
Discover at low cost!
Coming to Lyon
In order to discover the city, you still have to find transport without breaking the bank. We offer you three main solutions that will allow you to come for reasonable prices:
Flixbus: if you come from another big city, it is quite possible that the company offers a line connecting you to Lyon and their prices are very attractive. So don't forget to check their offers on their website.
Carpooling: another advantage to big cities and Lyon in particular is that many carpoolers come or at least pass through the city. It's a major crossroads for traffic linking north to south and east to west. However, be careful of abuse, as some may charge much higher prices than the average. So make sure you compare prices before paying anything.
Train: this can be a cheap solution if you are careful. There are a few Ouigo lines that arrive in Lyon and generally cost less than the normal trains. You can also benefit from discounts if you book your trains in advance or take them during off-peak hours.
Now that you're in Lyon, what do you need to see or do? Let us show you three of our must-sees!
First of all, Lyon is the birthplace of cinema with the Lumière Brothers. So it's impossible not to go to the Rue du Premier-Film (First Film Road) and visit the dedicated museum. The entrance will cost you 7€, 6€ if you have a student card. Do you have some time to spare? Take a look at their program and take advantage of your visit to watch a film in their cinema!
Another must-see? Go to the peninsula to discover the Place Bellecour! 5th largest square in the country and even 1st pedestrian square in Europe, Bellecour is a great meeting place and host many events throughout the year. The statue in its centre represents Louis XIV and although less well known, you will be able to discover a statue of the Little Prince and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry to the south-west of the square. While you are in the square, take the opportunity to visit the Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie (International City of Gastronomy), which is located right next door and opened recently.
Last but not least, the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Located at the top of the Fourvière hill, this basilica was built towards the end of the 19th century to honour the Virgin Mary and thank her for her protection. Its inauguration marked the beginning of the illustrious Festival of Lights, an event that has become internationally renowned, when the city is illuminated by lumignons. Many light shows also happen throughout the city.
Tip: Lyon City Card
The city of Lyon is full of museums and activities, the problem is that most of them are not free. If you are a student, many places offer a discount but it may not be very high. So we looked at the Lyon City Card, a card offering free admission in many places and discounts in others. But is it really a good investment?
These cards are proposed by OnlyLyon and cost €24.90 for one day and €33.90 for two if you buy them online (€27 and €37 respectively if you buy it in a store). Given the amount of things to do in town, we recommend that you come at least for two days. So we've done our research based on the two-days card.
And... good news! If you make your choice wisely, you can make your Lyon City Card pay off pretty quickly. Activities that become free include an Unusual Visit to the rooftops of the Fourvière Basilica (normally 12€), a Cruise Stroll on the Bateaux Lyonnais (14€), or access to many well-known museums (e.g. Musée des Confluences, Musée Lumière, Centre d'Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation, etc.).
To make the most of your card, we advise you to make a little planning in advance and check the ratio between the costs with and without the card.
As they say, after the effort, the comfort, so after long visits a little detour to the delicious restaurants in Lyon is a must. Here are some of our good addresses:
€ : Crêperie la Marie Morgane (23 rue de la Charité) : you don't have time for a long break? We've found you a nice creperie in the Old Lyon.
€€ : Bistrot Orcia (15B rue d'Austerlitz) : you’ll find this bistrot in the heights of Croix-Rousse, not far from the metro station. It offers menus between 12,50€ and 22€ for lunch.
€€€ :Le Layon (52 rue Mercière) : small “bouchon lyonnais” towards the Cordeliers district in the old town. The menu prices for lunch are cheaper than for dinner and it's better if you book a little in advance. The “bouchons” are in high demand and fill up quickly.
For a short break we advise you to go to the Luminarium, a very nice tea room at the foot of the Fourvière hill in Old Lyon.
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