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Two Days In Lyon- Where to Stay and Eat

Facts: We are traveling with another couple to France in late September 2022: three days in Paris, two days in Reims, 5 days based in Beaune exploring the vineyards and towns of Burgundy et al, and then Lyon to return our car before taking a flight to Italy. As I die hard Francophile, I could not just pass through Lyon without stopping to enjoy this remarkable city. So I must convince my travel companions on making this extra stop for just a day or two. Prefer experiencing local French food and wine, la Vieux Lyon et traboules before we leave France. No museums. Want to walk the city and experience Lyon as if we were locals.

Question: Where can we stay that we can walk to Vieux Lyon easily and also walk to local restaurants? Suggestions for "must experience" local restaurants? Suggestions on getting local taxi or UBER to the Lyon Airport in Saint Exupéry from the Hotel?
Any other "must see sights before we leave France" ?


Posted by
273 posts

As a former resident of Lyon and a former resident of Bourgogne, I would say your plan to spend so many days in Beaune and few if any in Lyon is completely backward. Lyon has much, much more to offer than Beaune.

It's not even close.

It's completely out of balance for anyone who knows the two locales well. Vieux Lyon and traboules are a small part of what Lyon offers -- those attract mainly tourists unwilling to learn more about Lyon and the surrounding area

I'll think about your situation and offer more specific suggestions in the future. But I would suggest you do a bit more research into Lyon yourself; away from Vieux Lyon. That's where the tourists go. Few residents bother with it.

And -- Lyon has so many good restaurants that it's rather simplistic to describe any particular restaurant as "must experience." What are your food preferences? What kind of restaurants do you prefer? Those factors should weigh more heavily on a decision to visit a particular restaurant than putting a notch in your belt about visiting what someone, somewhere, identifies as a "must experience" restaurant.

Other than "no museums" (why?) I wonder what your interests would be.

As for getting to and from the airport, I would recommend ditching Uber and take the RhônExpress tram. It's very convenient and takes you from the airport to Gare Part Dieu.

Posted by
11257 posts

I was in Lyon last month.

I wanted to stay central so I stayed at the Mercure Centre Beaux-Arts. Ten minute walk to Vieux Lyon.

I can recommend Restaurant Le Merciere at 56 Rue Merciere. (Rue Merciere is one restaurant after another.) It's a five minute walk from the hotel. I had the foie gras and the Quenelle. Excellent.

I agree that you should add an extra day to Lyon. Afterall, Lyon is the food capital of France. I also agree that most of the restaurants in Vieux Lyon seemed to cater to tourists.

Posted by
5623 posts

My stays in Lyon have been in the Croix-Rousse neighborhood, the old silk worker’s district, above town. The outdoor Croix-Rousse food market is not to be missed. One notable restaurant up there is Le Canut et Les Gones.

You can rent an atmospheric former silk worker’s apartment, renovated, with some room now that there’s not a huge loom taking up a lot of the space. I’m not certain whether one apartment would provide enough space for two couples, so two apartments might be needed. Check the Vrbo Website and see what the listings will sleep. It’s not a long downhill walk to Vieux Lyon and the lower town. Getting back is uphill, of course. Although the apartments can be really hot earlier in the summer, September could be much more comfortable.

A market/cooking class with Lucy Vanel might be worth considering, too:

Posted by
4 posts

Merci beaucoup pour votre conseil! Thank you very much for your guidance. We are renting a house in Beaune as a home base so we can explore the various vineyards thoroughout Bourgogne. This a primary goal of one of our group. If we need to alter the days between Lyon and Beaune, bring it on. Thank you for redirecting us to the more non-tourists areas of Lyon.

Posted by
7611 posts

I'm like you and would much prefer time in small cities/countryside versus more time in a big city, i.e. I COMPLETELY see the attraction of five days in Beaune.

Cities are a bit “meh” for me since I live in one!

Posted by
1 posts

I have enjoyed meals at some of the finest restaurants in my hometown of New York City and many cities/countries. My most memorable meal was at the Michelin-starred 'Le Neuvième Art' in Lyon. Spectacular food and presentation.

Posted by
4264 posts

You didn't ask for suggestions for Beaune, but I will offer one anyway. The restaurant at Hotel de France, LE TAST’VIN. The cuisine is French and well priced. We thought it was a great find.

Posted by
43 posts

Recently returned from Beaune. One suggestion to make is for you to make restaurant reservations VERY early for your time to stay there. We enjoyed Beaune very much, but were only able to eat dinner at only one of the many recommended restaurants. We ate at Piqu'Boeuf which was great. The other recommended restaurants were on the same street as Piqu'Boeuf except for one. All were on Rue Madelaine. Have a great trip.

Posted by
532 posts

We stayed 4 nights in Beaune and I would happily stay there longer.

We also spent 4 nights in Lyon, so I would recommend adding some days there if you can.

This was one of the best apartments we have stayed in. In Vieux Lyon but walking distance to so much. We took buses, walked, and metro to get around.

We ate here:
Magical, every bite was wonderful. From our apartment it was just a walk across the beautiful bridge.

Posted by
8775 posts

@rizell, I booked that apartment for 4 nights in April many months ago. It’s good to know another forum member has stayed there.

Posted by
14 posts

This thread has been a great help.

I'm headed to France in June for a friend's birthday party. I'm doing the wine route in Alsace then down to Lyon and then up to Britany and Normandy. I was originally thinking 3 full days in Lyon (I'll be in France 3 weeks this time and it's probably my 6th trip to the country). It's sounding like I need more time in Lyon. I LOVE the AirBnB listed above.

I like to absorb cities while there rather than rush. And I love cities even though I live in one of the largest on the east coast. Sounds like I need more than 3 days....thoughts?

Also can someone who has stayed at the AirBnB linked above tell me if the stairs are an issue with heavy suitcases. I have arthritis at the age of 56 so I'm not looking for a huge workout.

As for eating, I plan to wonder the streets and find some of the bouchons.

Posted by
63 posts

I want to make sure you are aware the fabulous Paul Bocuse restaurant is there. Not walking distance but a must go if you are in Lyon.

40 Quai de la plage , 69660 Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or