Lyon travel bucket list
If you are looking for a French city which can definitively compete with the lovely capital city that Paris is, I think you should opt for the beautiful and affordable – but no quality loss – Lyon!
More than simply listing the most famous monuments or places from the town, I thought about sharing my very own personal travel bucket list, with all of my favourites to help you to discover other sides of the city.
The first thing we think about when travelling, is famous monuments. There are plenty of them in Lyon! If your time is short, I suggest you visit these: the Fontaine des Jacobins in the 2nd arrondissement, the Théâtre Antique Gallo-Romain, the Basilique de Fourvière and the Palais de Justice (all) in the 5th arrondissement. I have to admit, I have a particular crush on the Basilique de Fourvière and the Fontaine des Jacobins.
After these incredible monuments, you’ll probably want to learn more about the culture and the history, so it’s time to talk about museums! For me the brand new Musée des Confluences in the 2nd arrondissement is a good compromise, because on one hand it offers beautiful collections and on the other hand the building has really impressive architecture! You can also visit the famous Centre d’histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation in the 7th arrondissement, which is located on the site of a former French military health school and focuses on French resistance and Jewish deportation in World War II. Alternatively, the Musée d’Art Contemporain, in the 6th arrondissement is located in the stunning Cité Internationale.
Probably the best place to admire the city of Lyon and enjoy an amazing view is at Fouvière hill. However, If you want to avoid the crowd, I suggest you to go to the Gros Caillou, which is just in two minutes walking distance from the Place de la Croix-Rousse in the 4th arrondissement. It offers a nice view of the east part of the city and also gives you the opportunity lie down for a moment.
If you want to relax along the water and forget for a while that you are in a big city, you really should go to l’Ile Barbe in the 9th arrondissement (picture below). It’s a marvelous place where you are completely disconnected from the world and from where you can’t even recognize Lyon! There is also the lake in the Parc de la Tète d’Or (6th arrondissement), where you can do some pedal boat and enjoy the sun and the calm for a while.
On the subject of parks, Lyon has some great ones too! Since the Parc de la Tête d’Or is obviously a must-see because of its nature, its free zoo and the range of activities you can do there, I would like to recommend the Jardin des Hauteurs, located in the Fouvière hill. This is a breathtaking place where time seems to have stood still.
For shopping addicts, you’ll be happy to learn that the Presqu’Ile is absolutely heaven on Earth, where you can spend a lot of time – and a lot of money too – to discover both the pedestrian streets and all the wonderful shops there. Your heart will beat much faster between the Rue de la République, the Place Bellecour, the Rue Victor Hugo and the recent Confluence shopping centre. But, for a quieter shopping time, the Croix-Rousse area (4th arrondissement) and the Vieux Lyon (5th arrondissement) have plenty of cute and boutique shops. There, you’ll find everything you want: clothes, food, accessories, souvenirs… My recommendation is Le Comptoir de Mathilde, a small shop where you can buy some mouthwatering chocolate spreads, oils, jams, chocolates, alcohols, toppings and sweets! Everything is homemade and delicious.
After an amazing and no doubt long journey throughout the city, you will deserve to get some rest in front of something to drink and/or to eat. For a French café, you can either go to the Café des Négociants or the Café Français in the 2nd arrondissement. Both can be quite expensive, but definitely worth it and somewhere you will be warmly welcomed. For an ice-cream worth the price, I suggest Amorino in the 5th arrondissement in the Vieux Lyon. They offer some amazing flavors that I’m sure you won’t forget. If you just want a drink during the evening, you can go to l’Endroit in the 6th and 9th arrondissement or the Ninkasi, which is divided throughout several bars around the city. At the Ninkasi, you can both eat some wonderful hamburgers and drink a homemade local beer. If you are really hungry after this wonderful tour, you can go to Pizza Pino in the 2nd arrondissement, or one of the numerous “bouchons Lyonnais” in the 5th arrondissement where you can enjoy local specialties.
I hope my personal bucket list will help you to create incredible souvenirs from your next visit in Lyon, and discover another, local insight in to Lyon. Do know that Lyon is very ready to welcome you. Maybe I’ll see you there soon! 🙂