Lyon is a city situated between Paris and Marseille in the east-central part of France. It is popularly known to be the gastronomic capital of France due in part of the presence of many fine French chefs in this city. Although it is highly likely, this was not the reason why I chose Lyon to be a part of my recent trip to France. Hehehe. It is mainly because of the fact that a big part of Lyon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – you can never go wrong with these kinds of places and I actually dream of being able to visit all of these heritage sites.
Anyhow, I stayed for 4 days in Lyon and I think it is enough for me, depending of course on what you want to do while there. The main purpose of my trip is to see the main attractions offered by the city and of course to eat. 🙂 The old city of Lyon is a very walkable place however, steep climbs might be involved specially in the Croix Rousse area. To see the most out of Lyon, I highly recommend getting their Lyon City Card. I took their 3-day pass which costs EUR41.00:
24hr – EUR21.00
48hr – EUR31.00
72hr – EUR41.00
Discounted rates are available for children and students and the guy at the tourist office made me smile when he asked for my student ID card. This is why I like going to Europe, people thinks I’m younger than my age. LOL. I bought my city card from the tourist office in Place Bellecour however, you may also order your Lyon City Card online – Lyon City Card Order Form.
The city card gives you access to the following:
* Entrance to 21 of the cities museums and temporary exhibitions
* Reservations for the guided tours (must be done ahead of time since it gets full pretty fast)
* Boarding for a cruise on the Saone
* Tickets for a puppet show
* Silk Workshop visits
* Unlimited access to public transportation
Along with the city card, they will also give you a map which is actually very convenient to use. There are a lot of museums around Lyon, from puppet museum to automatic museum to cinema and miniature museums. I am actually not really into these kinds of things but the ones in Lyon are different and I found it quite interesting, some are rather creepy specially those museums involving their famous puppet – Guignol. I didn’t know until I went to Lyon that I am afraid of puppets. LOL. The normal entrance fees to museums is between 7 to 10 euro so by getting yourself a city card, you have definitely saved a lot already. The card also gives you unlimited access to their public transportation. It is highly recommended I tell you specially if you’ll do a lot of discovering of what this city has to offer. The ride alone to the Fourviere which is one of the main attractions will cost you about a few euros and I will have to tell you that you must see it during daylight and go back at night as it gives you an amazing aerial view of the whole of Lyon.
Lyon is good for families since the museums that they have will be thoroughly enjoyed by the kids who are not afraid of puppets I must say. Hahaha. They also have a huge park called Parc de la Tete d’Or which has a zoo, sports facilities and a huge lake. The city also receives a lot of art students due to its very picturesque facade. You will see many of them with their notebook and pencil trying to capture the beauty of Lyon thru their drawings. Lastly, as a single female traveler, I never had any problems while roaming around the city at night by myself. I think the city is relatively safe since I never felt threatened while I was there.
The only problem I faced with Lyon was it lacks signage. I had a hard time finding each museums that I’d like to go to because there were little or no street signage and most importantly, the establishments/museums were not properly signed as well. It’s good though that I had no particular itinerary to follow and I can do whatever I want as I please. Another thing that I noticed about Lyon was it’s quite expensive, specially the souvenirs. The fridge magnets will not be less than EUR3 and you really have not much of choice since the souvenir shops are rather scarce. Oh well.
All in all, I loved Lyon. I loved the traboules, the Fourviere, the food, the scenery and the people. Will I ever go back? Yes definitely, I would love to be there during the Fete des Lumieres (Festival of Lights) which is celebrated every December.