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Lyon in early April

Exploring staying in Lyon for 5/6 nights in early April to minimize hotel changes. Is there enough to do in and around the city? We have never been in Southern France. Best area to stay? Will be traveling by train.

Posted by
3794 posts

What is the rest of your route looking like?
Otherwise there is plenty to do in Lyon for 2-3 days, and several worthwhile day trips and half day trips are possible, so I would say that there is enough to do!

Posted by
3101 posts

Personally, I could easily be happy in Lyon for 5-6 nights. We've stayed in Hôtel des Célestins - it's a great, central location. For that amount of time though, you might consider an apartment. Try to plan your visit so that you're there for the weekend market along the river. There are other great markets in Lyon as well.

Posted by
5617 posts

Sharon’s right. The Croix Rousse neighborhood has an amazing market, an that’s where I’ve had weeklong apartments on separate trips.

It’s the food capital of France … maybe take a cooking class or 2, in addition to museums and other activities?

Posted by
25 posts

Rick Steves has a very knowledgeable and skilled guide there...Virginie More...and she has a great BB near by.
ALWAYS good to get LOCAL knowledge.
She's been featured on Rick's shows.
I'd reach out to her ASAP.
We were very fortunate to have her as a guide on a RS tour...a very good experience!
Beautiful region of France...enjoy!

Posted by
74 posts

Coming from 3 nights in Geneva. Not interested in an apartment but will look into the recommended Hotel and B&B. Definitely interested in food (and wine) so that is one reason the area interests us.

Posted by
3794 posts

Ok, coming from Geneva, no need for day trips towards the mountains. A few suggestions if you feel you might "exhaust" Lyon:

  • A good half-day trip is Pérouges, a very pretty medieval hilltop village easily accessed by train from Lyon (station is called "Meximieux", and it's a 25-minute walk to the village).

  • Just as easy is Vienne, a mere 20 minutes away by train from Part-Dieu. Remarkable Roman remains and archeological museum.

  • For a fuller day and a flavor of Southern France, I would consider Nîmes. The TGV is very fast, 1.20 hours, but requires advance booking. It would be tempting to add nearby Pont du Gard as well, but that might be too much for a day.

Posted by
3 posts

Lots to see and do in Lyon, Roman ruins, tours of old town, food tours etc. I was there at a similar time a couple of years ago. The weather was pretty good but did notice an icy wind at times but just dress accordingly. I stayed in the Okko hotel which was very good, great breakfast and snacks available all day but I think a hotel on the presqu'isle is more convenient. Highly recommend Beaux Arts museum.

Posted by
26 posts

There is a lot to do in Lyon - in addition to what's already been mentioned, I'll add the Musée des Canuts (silk workers - a major theme in Lyon history). Depending on your interests, the orchestra hall (Auditorium) is wonderful, and the Opéra is also noteworthy. By train, you could easily get to Grenoble (hour - hour and a half) where there's also a lot to do (cable car in town, old fortifications, museums). If you rent a car for a day, you could access the countryside around Lyon, such as the Beaujolais (vineyards), the Monts du Lyonnais, and to the south, the Gorges de l'Ardèche which are pretty amazing. It all depends what you like to do.

Posted by
1777 posts

Good day trip options from Lyon’s Part Dieu train station are:
Nimes Pont du Gard (1h 30m). Afterwards hop back on the train to the Nimes Centre (15m).
Beaune (1h 45m)
Annecy (2h)

Posted by
74 posts

So many great recommendations! Love that we get to explore history, food, wine and charming towns all in one visit. Sounds like 5/6 nights will be perfect!

Posted by
3794 posts

MaryPat, while there are plans to reinstate service to Remoulins station, there are no trains to Pont du Gard. It is best reached by bus from Nîmes station (or Avignon Centre, but that's not good for the OP).
There is indeed another station called "Nîmes Pont du Gard" which can be a source of confusion, but that should be AVOIDED, it is in the middle of nowhere without good public transit.

As for Annecy: feasible from Lyon, but better from Geneva.

Posted by
1777 posts

There is indeed another station called "Nîmes Pont du Gard" which can be a source of confusion, but that should be AVOIDED, it is in the middle of nowhere without good public transit.

Balso, so Pont du Gard is best by car not train then?

Posted by
3794 posts

Yes. Best by car, doable by bus from Nîmes or Avignon. No trains.