Go for a walk through the main districts
It’s for sure the best way not to miss anything! Let down the metro and tie the laces of your best shoes : Lyon is made up of two hills and will take you up and down, and down and up. But by walking, you can let go your curiosity and discover each hidden corner and nice spot of the city.
La Croix Rousse (4th district)
Also called «Le plateau» because it is located on the top of one hill, it’s a true village within the city. This area is known as a family district and you will cross there many kids and their parents roaming the streets on their scooter, one of the main means of transport in Lyon! La Croix Rousse also offers a nice market, and the annual traditional funfair: «La vogue des marrons» (from the 1st of October to the 11th of November).
Tip: Have rest from «climbing» to the top of the hill by enjoying the view at the «gros caillou», one of the best vista point of Lyon (picture below).
Les Pentes de la Croix-Rousse (1st district)
Historically, this part of the city was the place of silkworkers and theirs shops. But since, the creative atmosphere has not disappeared. Look up, be attentive and you will see many street-art pieces along the slope. Also, many nice creators shops, some of them gathered in the « Village des créateurs» (Passage Thiaffait). Down the hill, huge painted walls illustrate the Lyon daily life (Fresque des Lyonnais).
Tip: almost exactly on the middle of the way, take a break by drinking a good coffee in one of the cosy coffee shop : Café Cousu (address: 14 rue René Leynaud).
La Guillotière (partly 3rd and 7th districts)
Currently, the rapidly evolving of this district makes it one of the most fascinating area of Lyon. To begin with, you will find a great mix of Mediterranean, African and Chinese cultures. Since a while now, the cosmopolitan aspect is completed with a creative and alternative environment. Street art spots, coffee shops, and cool guesthouses are growing in all parts of the district.
Tip: have a look at the Bahadourian grocery, established by Djebril Bahadourian in 1936, and let your senses get crazy with the smell and colours of spices.
Le Vieux Lyon (5th district)
This is the historical district of Lyon, ranked world heritage site by the UNESCO. Many tourists are attracted by this area where you can visit some of the Traboules (passageway crossing different building from one street to another), stroll in the cobbled streets, take a break in Irish pubs after visiting the movie and model museum or admire the stunning architecture of the Saint-Jean church.
Tip: if it is still warm (or even not!), take a great delight in eating a delicious organic ice cream at the “Terre Adélice” shop (address: 1 place de la baleine).
One more climbing effort up to Fourvière! This area, full of history, will take you from the Roman period with its old antic theater, where a music and theater festival takes place every year; to the 19th century and the Basilica of Fourvière, drawn from both Romanesque and Byzantine architecture. Right next to the basilica, don’t miss the amazing vista point on Lyon, even till the Alps.
Tip: before walking down the hill, push on to Saint Just and the “jardin des curiosités” which definitely offers one of the best views on the city. Then go down by the “Montée du Gourguillon”, one of the oldest streets in Lyon, a real piece of charm into the city.
Parc de la tête d’or (6th district)
This large urban park, one of the largest in France with an area of approximately 117 hectares, will enable you to breathe in the city; and enjoy a lake, a zoo, a botanic greenhouse, sporting activity as well as nice picnics with friends.
Les quais (Saône et Rhône)
Along the two rivers crossing Lyon, you will find great spots to lay down and catch some sunburns during the summer. On the Rhône side, a great number of barges offer terraces and some of them are becoming night clubs on the weekend.
Alternative guided visits
Lyon explorer is an organization offering free alternative walking visits in English, each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10am. No need to book, just show up to the Bellecour square at the feet of the huge statue.
Lyon City Greeter
Discover Lyon with an inhabitant! You just have to sign up on the link below, and one of the city greeter will share some time with you showing you their best places and their district, in other words: their very own Lyon!
The association OCRA enables you to discover the Lyon underground! The city has many very interesting and mysterious underground parts to see, and the OCRA offers to visit some of the safe sites for only 4 euros.
A wish of discovering anything specific connected to your taste ? Please don’t hesitate to contact me on Whats App, I will be delighted to answer you!
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