Please sign in to post.

Lyon airport to Place Bellecour

I've searched for previous posts on this topic, but they're either very old, or not exactly for me. I've read about the RhoneExpress tram but wasn't sure about the stops.

Can someone tell me a good, public transportation route/way to get from St. Exupery Airport to my B&B, a few blocks from Place Bellecour? I'd appreciate the help. Using the RhoneExpress interactive map, it ends up at Gare de Lyon? Then, a 35 minute walk? Is there public transportation from there? Maybe I've missed something.

Anyway, I always like public transportation, but not if I can't figure out where it goes! THANKS in advance! :)

Posted by
439 posts

Hello Susan, the issue here is that you can't get to Place Bellecour from Part-Dieu without changing on the metro line.

You can catch Metro B (blue) towards Gare d'Oullins for two stops and change to Metro D (green) towards Gare de Vaise for two stops to get to Place Bellecour. (Note:Both ends of the green line head towards "gare de V" names which is less than ideal.) The trams stop right in front of the train station - which is under renovation and torn up at the moment - so you would effectively need to cross through the train station to the metro station Vivier Merle on the other side.

You could also take Tram 1 and transfer to Metro D but that's just different not better. It's not a great solution.

The Lyon metro stations are well laid out - roomier, less quirky and with more escalators than the Paris metro - but depending on luggage going through the train station to the metro and then changing the metro and getting to your hotel could be a bit of an adventure.

Since we were face with time constraints and bags I actually gave up and got a taxi from Part Dieu to a hotel near Bellecour at rush hour and it was 18 euros but probably a little less at a different time with less traffic getting across the river.

It really seems like you're stuck with the RhoneExpress so that's what you're looking at. Take a serious look at the Lyon card depending when you're getting in and how long you're staying. If it covers the RhoneExpress costs it could be cost effective and it also covers all local mass transit.

Let me know if you have any questions or any of this is unclear.

I really like Lyon - have a great trip!


LYS and Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu are at the ends of the line for RhônExpress, so it's very easy to use. You can save a little money on your ticket by buying it online ahead of time and either printing it out or using the RhônExpress app.

Once at Part-Dieu (which, by the way, is undergoing a multi-year massive expansion to bring it up to a size compatible with current traffic) you have, I suppose, four options:

  1. Walk
  2. Hail a taxi
  3. Take the Metro, as described above by Tod
  4. Take a bus (line C9)

No. 1 is cheapest, No. 2 is the most expensive, and Nos. 3 and 4 have a nominal cost (1.90€ for a single ticket, 17.30€ for a carnet of 10, reducing the per-ticket cost by about 9 percent) or you can buy one of the various timed cards, which I've personally never used because I just use my refillable photo TCL card. Information on fees ("tarifs") and routes are on TCL's website. If you'll have a working smartphone, TCL's app is one of the better ones -- much better than Paris's transit app.

My recommendation would be to take the bus -- it's simpler than the Metro, you don't have to go up and down on escalators, elevators, or stairs, and you can see the town as you go from Part-Dieu to Bellecour.

Note that there are several exits out of Part-Dieu, so make sure you take the right one: you'll want the Vivier Merle exit, marked "Porte Rhône." You'll know you're at the right exit if there's an orange La Croissanterie sign off to your right and a blue O'Conway's Pub sign off to your left. If you see an exit labeled "Porte Alpes" with escalators going down off to your left and an Esprit store to your right, you're 180 degrees away from your desired exit.

Anyway, exit out of Part-Dieu and head diagonally across the place toward the left corner. The C9 stop in the direction Bellecour has been moved during construction to in front of the library ("bibliotheque"). Here is TCL's note about the "perturbation" on C9 because of Part-Dieu construction. And here is a photo of the front of the library so you'll know what it looks like. If you need help, feel free to ask one of the TCL employees you'll probably see at Part-Dieu.

When you find the C9 stop, make sure it's the one labeled "Bellecour" because that's (of course) the direction you want to go. If the C9 stop is labeled "Hôpitaux Est" that's going in the opposite direction of what you want. Here's TCL's schematic map of the C9 route.

Once you get to the Bellecour terminus for line C9, the stop is just beyond the southwest corner of Place Bellecour on a street bordering the much smaller Place Antonin Poncet, just in front of the large post office and the distinctive clock tower across the street from post office ("Clocher de la Charité, dating from the late 1600s).

Good luck. Lyon's transit system is good, easy to use, and extensive.

Posted by
5648 posts

Rhonexpress stops at Vaulx en Velin La Soie, where you can change to metro line A, direct to Bellecour. The change is just a few steps. This is far more convenient that going all the way to the mess that is part Dieu.

Posted by
12 posts

We are staying at a hotel on Place Bellecour, and will each have a suitcase and a carry-on bag. The Rhonexpress sounds good, and I think we will get the Lyon City Pass/card. I could use some advice on the best way for us to get into Lyon. We’re in good shape, in our 70s, but don’t want to carry bags up flights of stairs.

We have experience with the RER from CDG into Paris, and also the Metro. There, we were fine with the RER, but lugging suitcases on the Paris Metro is not something we like to do. Is the Lyon (continuation segment) section from either Vaulx-en-Velin or the train station like the Paris Metro? We’re fine with taking the Rhinexpress to either stop, then a cab.

What would you recommend? Which stop, what’s the second portion like? Many thanks!

Posted by
5648 posts

The Lyon métro uses wider trains, and all stations have elevators, so it is much more accessible than the Paris metro.
Hence taking the metro with luggage from Vaulx en Vélin la soie to the center is not a big issue.
However, you have a LOT of luggage. So it might be best to order an uber or get a cab at the airport, it's about sixty euros to Lyon or a bit less vs. thirty for two Rhônexpress tickets alone.

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you so much. We take one carry-on size wheeled suitcase and a smaller bag (like a small duffel). Your description of the Metro helps a lot. I’ll see what my husband says, and if we do opt for the Metro I’ll try to remember to post a report.

Posted by
537 posts

The metro is quite easy from Part Dieu. We took it to our apartment in Vieux Lyon which is just across the river from where you will be and we were there within 20-30 minutes. The trains are fast, clean, modern.