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What to do in Lyon?

First time travelers to Lyon in October. . . Suggestions for a fun filled 3 days?

Posted by
7295 posts

Reserve well in advance for three-star Michelin restaurants, if your wallet and liver can handle it.

Posted by
3594 posts

In the 18th century, Lyon was a major center for the silk weaving; and its products, as well as those of other countries and periods are displayed in the excellent Musee de Tissus. One thing I advise you to avoid is the cruise on the Saone. For me, it ranks as one of the most disappointing tourist experiences I've ever had. What you can see from the river is nowhere near as good as what you can see on land, and the narrative was sleep-inducing. Not cheap, either.

Posted by
11294 posts

Rick Steves France has a very good chapter on Lyon, with all the details you would need for a three day visit. For me, the most memorable things were the Resistance Museum (which has stories of collaboration as well as resistance), the Lumiere Museum (as a film buff, this was important to me), and the general vibe of the city. It's a lovely place to just walk around, and it's my favorite city in France after Paris. One thing not in the book, at least in 2008 when I went, was the city park, which was nice on a sunny weekend (I always enjoy seeing a city at play).

On the negative side, the much-vaunted traboules were a bit disappointing, after all the hype; they're just passageways. And do learn what museau du boef, andouillette, and tete du veau are, so you don't order them unless really want them. (I thought Rick was exaggerating when he talked about the prevalence of unusual animal parts on many menus, but he wasn't). However, quenelle de brochet is delicious; it's like a VERY high grade gefilte fish.

Posted by
16893 posts

The Musee des Tissus was a favorite of mine, too. Of course, our tour groups used to go to the Roman theaters and Gallo-Roman museum and up the funicular to the Notre Dame Basilica. On my first visit, I marveled at how many fountains and water features decorated the city center, despite already being surrounded by the river. The opera house is a good example of how the French like to meld modern and historic architecture.