Perfect 4 Day Itinerary for Lyon, France
Lyon – the Capital of Gastronomy! The second largest city in France was full of culinary greatest and we can validate it is worth every calorie. I knew we would be returning the France as we had such a fantastic trip to Paris and wanted to explore more of of the country. Lyon continued to pop up so we knew there was something special going on there. My birthday trip seemed like the perfect time to work Lyon into our 2019 travel schedule. Ahh fall in Europe – the Lyonnaise cuisine, the Cote du Rhone wine, the streets full of bakery smells filling the crisp air. We fell in love with Lyon as we felt it had the perfect balance of historic preservation and modern living style. Every meal was exceptional, pinching ourselves that this place exists. With many activities in and around the city, Lyon made for a perfect getaway.
Know before you go
- Learning basic french will take you a long way with the locals- simple hello, goodbye, thank you, please, do you speak English?, will afford you all the kindness that locals have to offer. That being said, we also had no problem finding English speakers.
- The city is very walkable and this is the best way to explore the city.
- Make sure if you have a credit card with no foreign transaction fee – highly recommend getting one if not – that will be fine for your trip. You can also take out euros to use.
- Getting to Lyon is easy as it is the second largest city in France. If you are not in diving distance, there is an airport that can be used or you can take a train from Paris which takes about two hours.
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Where to stay?
There are three distinct parts of to Lyon – the “old city” (Vieux Lyon) on the left of the Saone River, the part of Lyon on the right side of the Rhone River, then the island in between the Saone and the Rhone Rivers. I decided on staying in the middle island as it was a central location to all the different areas of Lyon. This Airbnb is just a short talk from the main train station and worked perfectly for our trip.
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What is there to do?
- You must not miss the rooftop tour at the basilique – do not just go inside La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière but sign up to go on the Fourvière Rooftop Tour. We almost missed it and it would have been tragic!
- Discover the Cote du Rhone wine region – we booked with Lyon Wine Tours – Northern Cote du Rhone for a full day wine tour which was wonderful.
- Get lost in Lyon! Wander the streets and absorb the magic.
- There are many surrounding towns that make for a great half day trip – we discovered the medieval preserved town of Pérouges.
Where to eat?
Food is an essential part of the journey through Lyon so do not miss it. The decisions will be tough as there are over 1,500 places for food in the city.
- You must visit a bouchon for classic dishes – still drooling thinking about that meal!
- Lunch stop should include L’instant Fromage for all your cheese dreams to come true.
- Want to experience one of the top dining experiences in the world? Make a reservation at Paul Bocuse.
- We had fantastic meals that were unbelievable creative and delicious at La Boeuf d’Argent and La Mutinerie so I can definitely recommend them as well.
- If you are there over the weekend, do not miss the Saint Antoine Market – it is simply amazing and was inspiring to cook at home.
Here is a perfect itinerary to spend 4 days exploring Lyon!
|Day 0||Arrive in Lyon|
|Day 1||Explore Lyon:|
– Les Bateaux Lyonnais Boat
– Park Tete
– Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste
– La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière with Fourvière Rooftop Tour.
|Day 2||Day trip of choice: Pérouges|
|Day 3||Wine tour:|
Lyon Wine Tours – Northern Cote du Rhone
Or day exploring more of Lyon
|Day 4||Saint Antoine Market |