- Cityscape Care-free traboules
- City life France’s gastronomic capital
Often described, even by the Parisians, as being like Paris but without the crowds, France’s second city, Lyon, is a chic metropolis but with a style and frenetic pace all of its own.
Built on the confluence of the Rhône and the Saône rivers, the city has been an important centre since Roman times, clustered around the ancient Vieux Lyon district and the baffling warren of traboules (alleyways), the former heart of the silk industry. Beyond the city limits lie the rich heartlands of French gastronomy and the winelands of Beaujolais, Burgundy and Côtes du Rhône, providing Lyon with some of the finest of fine dining. When it comes to food, Lyon is second to none.
Do go/Don’t go
The crowds in Lyon never seem to be overwhelming, even in high summer when the temperature and humidity climb. Spring is pleasantly warm while autumn sees the surrounding countryside at its best and is the time for the grape harvest. Winter in the city is often cold and crisp.
Planes Lyon St-Exupéry airport has regular flights throughout the year from numerous destinations.
Trains High-speed TGV trains connect Lyon to the rest of France, and other European countries. The station is outside the city centre but linked by an efficient tram network. London to Lyon takes four to six hours with Eurostar, via Lille or Paris.
Automobiles A car is unnecessary in Lyon but essential if you want to get out to the vineyards and châteaux of Beaujolais and Burgundy.
- Taxis It’s possible to pick up a cab from one of the many taxi ranks, or hail one in the street.