The third largest city in France, Lyon, rivals Paris with an ancient charm and new-born nightlife nestled at the foot of the French Alps. Christened ‘Lugdunum’ by the Romans in 43BC, it is a World Heritage site whose history you can easily discover on foot. Amphitheatres and architecture tell of its origins, whilst the traboules weave you through the story of its silk industry and the cobbled streets of the old town.
Musée des Confluences & MOB
Marvel at exhibitions and architecture at Lyon’s Musée des Confluences, hosting science, art and anthropology. Once you’ve satisfied your culture fix, head to MOB Hotel for a drink on their pink, plush terrace. If you time it right, you can peruse one of their vintage clothes sales too
Bars, restaurants, vintage shops – what else do you need? With the Hôtel de Ville on Place des Terreaux, you can even get a culture fix before going the roof top bar at l’Opéra de Lyon. Imbibe, indulge and invest in something to remember Lyon. Les Fromagivores is NOT to be missed.
Le Parc de la Tête d’Or
You must explore the largest urban park in France. Hop on line A or B of the Metro to explore the lungs of Lyon where you’ll find Botanical Gardens, an outdoor Zoo and a lake for some gentle rowing.
Les Quais du Rhône
Spend a whole day Riverside sunbathing at the Piscine du Rhône and, after working up an appetite, having some cheese and charcuterie in one of the many peniches (boat or barge bars). Pints can be expensive in France, so don’t miss happy hour when prices are halved. If you’re on a tight budget, get a €2 bottle of red and sit on the banks of the Rhône.
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The transport system does close at 00:30AM which means it is a bit of a pain getting around at nighttime, but on the weekends, hourly night buses run to most places in the city. The metro is very simple and equally effective. There are only four lines, making the underground easy to navigate. As a student it’s only €32 per month for an unlimited travel pass on the under AND over ground. The TCL app makes planning your routes a piece of cake.
Velo’V, Lyon’s equivalent to the Santander bikes in London. It costs just 30 euros (!) to have unlimited access and usage across a year.
If you’re looking to travel further afield, then check out OuiGo. They are a train service which provides routes from Lyon to stations which are in the suburbs of other French cities.
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