In 2018, I vouched myself to explore more of what France has to offer, and for my first destination I chose Lyon, the third-largest city in France, after Paris and Marseille.
The convenience and comfort of the train system especially makes it easy to discover other parts and regions. Just a 2 hour train ride from Paris, Lyon makes a perfect destination for a weekend getaway.
Things to know before you go:
- Lyon is known for its cuisine and gastronomy. As my trip was only for the weekend, I did not have enough time (or belly) to try all the amazing restaurants I discovered, but that just means I will have to return!
- The city was historically an important area for the production and weaving of silk.
- The city is also known as the Capital of Lights, earning the title thanks to the light festival (Fête des Lumières) which begins in the beginning of December.
Where to stay:
- Hotel Silky: Located in the heart of Lyon, Hotel Silky is ideal for exploring the city and discovering all its attractions. Decorated with threads and fabrics, the hotel was inspired by a merchant’s mansion from the Epicurean era when Lyon was a crossroads for the trading of delicacies. The rooms are adorned with warm and charming atmosphere, with moldings and canopy beds.
- Everyday from 6pm to 8pm, the hotel offers a happy hour where you can enjoy a glass of wine, charcuteries, with local specialties.
What to do:
- Rue du Président Edouard Herriot: The most vibrant shopping street in Lyon, linking the two famous areas of the city; Place Bellecour (south) and the Place des Terreaux (north). Shops include Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Sephora, Aesop…
- Place des Jacobines: Created in 1556, the square belongs to the zone classified as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
- Place Bellecour: This is the largest pedestrian square in the center of Lyon.
- Vieux Lyon: meaning the “old Lyon,” it is the largest Renaissance district in Lyon. Although it is a bit of a hassle getting up to the top, the view makes it all worth it..
- City Hall
Where to eat:
- Le Desjeuneur: Probably the most trendiest brunch spot in Lyon. We went on a Sunday and unfortunately were not able to even put ourselves on the waitlist as the wait was expected to be more than 3 hours. I did manage to go back the next day, which was definitely quieter, but I wish I had ordered the pancakes instead of my yogurt as it was rather watery.
- La Boîte à Cafe: This place came highly recommended and it wasn’t hard to see why. The coffee and the service was equally outstanding.
- Konditori: Delicious brunch in a relaxed atmosphere.
- Les Cafetiers: another good coffee shop with some healthy food options.
… and here are the restaurants I did not get the chance to try but would have loved to: