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3PMs 2 days in Lyon in June...How to make the most of them

Three of us are arriving on Sat. June 17, staying at hotel near train station til renting car Tues. June 20 and heading southwest for 4 days. Section in RS France 2017 book on Lyon mentions many sites closed on Mondays. So.... that puts the pressure on making the most of Sunday and leaving outdoor no admission req'd sites for Monday.
Sounds like we should get full day pass to cover all sorts of transit and some museum admissions.
Any ideas on how to make the most of our time? Perhaps clusters of "must sees" near each other and always always interested in tips on where to eat . Another forum posting by R.Beebe who malheureusement only has 24 hrs rec'd suggestion of Daniel et Denise Do you agree?
Merci beaucoup, Sandy

Posted by
297 posts

I would walk across the Pont Bonaparte to Vieux Lyon, across from the Saone River. Explore the narrow streets, squares, and look for the Traboules (hidden passages). Take the funicular up to the Basilique de Notre Dame de Fourviere for the fantastic views of Lyon and the interior of the Basilique for their interesting mosaics. Afterwards, walk downhill a bit and walk among the Roman Ruins. There is a museum there, but we did not go. The funicular down is almost across the street.

You don't want to miss Bernachon Chocolate shop as they have the best chocolate bars (filled with salted caramel is our favorite) anywhere. We enjoyed walking along the River Rhone watching the kids play at the playground at one end and the skateboarders at the other end (between the bridges).

Posted by
297 posts

The Musée Gallo-Romain is worth visiting if you're visiting Fourvière, but as you note, it's closed Mondays. However, the Musée des Beaux-Arts just off of Place Terreaux is open Mondays. Bartholdi's sculpture of Amphitrite with horses is currently being restored, but it may be back in its place on Place Terreaux by mid-June (news reports mentioned its return in either May or June 2017.

A visit to the Musée des Beaux-Arts followed by a walk south on Rue de la République past several fountains, a jog west to Place Jacobins (beautiful sculpture and fountain there), and then a continuation on down through Place Bellecour and rue Victor Hugo to Place Carnot would be a good way to spend a Monday. All of this is in the Presqu'île area of Lyon. Although a bit touristy, if you cut over to rue Mercier there a lot of restaurants with outdoor seating that fill the street.

If you don't mind crowds, a good Sunday morning activity is to visit the Marché Saint-Antoine along the Saône River (it's at its biggest on Fri, Sat, and Sun). It seems as if it runs for a kilometer. It's big. Another big market is the Croix Rousse market (it's at its biggest on Tue, Fri, Sat, Sun).

If the weather is good, I would recommend heading over to the huge Parc de la Tête d'Or, renting bikes (Velo'v) and riding around the park. There are sculptures, gardens, trees, open areas, 18th century greenhouses with different climate zones. It's like the city's backyard and is packed with families on weekends. A weekday morning visit would be better, in my opinion.

Some restaurants I liked when I lived there, which are not necessarily on anyone's "best" list:

  • Toute une Histoire

  • Canuts et les Gones

  • Le Florentin

  • M

  • Arsenic

  • Le comptoir du vin

  • Le Gourmet de seze

  • L'Ourson qui boit

  • La Gargotte

  • Daniel et Denise

  • Le Jura

If you want to visit a bouchon that looks as if it plopped out of the 18th century with few changes since then, in the 3rd arrondisement is Comptoir Abel. Not the most creative food by any measure, but interesting nevertheless.

If you find yourself near the old Brotteaux train station at meal time, the Brasserie des Brotteaux has beautiful tile work and decent food.

If you like to eat with a view, I've heard Les Terrasses de Lyon is pretty good, though I haven't been there.

Posted by
24 posts

Thanks Gail for the easy to follow suggestion -- walking across bridge, exploring the old town and taking the funiculaire to C de ND
and possibly walking down a bit to the Roman ruins
You've gotten my mouth watering for the chocolates w/caramel centers...Will Bernachon Chocolate be easy to find? Is it by the cathedral or ruins or somewhere along the Rhone?

Posted by
297 posts

It's 9 blocks from Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, an indoor market and they are both about 10 blocks in from the Rhone River.
Not an exciting neighborhood, but safe to walk. As far as I know, Bernachon is only sold in one other place, A l'Etoile d'Or in Paris, and Denise marks them up, to about 10 euros/bar on average. Bernachon, to us, is the #1 reason to go to Lyon, which we did in 2014. We found the city to be delightful and hope to go back.

Posted by
24 posts

Hi K
Thank you for your detailed ideas and especially taking note of our Sunday and Monday being the full days we'll be in Lyon.
I'm thinking we'll get one of those all day transit passes for one of the days. Once I get a little more oriented w/the city street plans available in the RS book and online, I'll be able to sort out where the markets and the park are.
and lots of eateries too.
Thanks v.much, Sandy

Posted by
297 posts

On the Trip Advisor site for A L'Etoile d'Or, you can see photos of her shop and the bars.