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advice for four days in Lyon in March

CT
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advice for four days in Lyon in March

Flying to Lyon March 19. Spending weekend visiting son studying French at CUEF/Universite 3 in Grenoble. Then will be on our own exploring Lyon and surrounding area for another four days before we fly back to US. Would like suggestions on how we should spend those four days. Is this the wrong time of the year to visit vineyards? Are there one or two day trips (historical or wine-related) that you would suggest? Favorite restaurants in Lyon? Besides tripadvisor, all I have to go on is the Michelin guide....

Thanks for your help. I've planned some wonderful trips using advice garnered from this site. Usually we have more notice when we plan trips, but couldn't pin our son down (when to visit) until now.

Lyon, France
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1. Re: advice for four days in Lyon in March

There is plenty to do and to see in Lyon, such as my favourites you will discover just browsing this forum:

- discover the most beautiful Renaissance district in France, called "Vieux-Lyon = old city: enter every courtyard in Saint Georges, Saint Jean and Saint Paul areas;

- dream back to Roman times getting up Fourvière hill with the funicular, when Lyon used to be the capital city : 2 roman theaters, the ancient Roman road and a beautiful museum;

- then walk down the hill from Fourvière church by the most romantic stairs and narrow roads (montée Nicolas de Lange);

- discover the rich silk history at la Croix-Rousse: get down the hill using the passage ways called "traboules", a local "special" not to be missed;

- stroll along the shopping streets in the presqu'île (the neighborhood between the 2 rivers);

- relax in the quiet Musée Saint-Pierre inner garden;

- get to the Sunday morning markets along the Saône: food market and used books market on left bank, art market on right bank;

- stroll or bike along the new Rhône banks, you may enjoy a drink on one of the boat ...

- etc etc

You should tell a little more about you and your interests : are you into art/architecture, what do you like in cities ? and regarding restaurants, tell more about your budget and what you like.

May I suggest that you make a piece of work by yourself, browsing these 2 useful websites, and then come back with questions:

lyon.fr/vdl/sections/en/tourisme/fil_quartier

http://www.en.lyon-france.com/

Regarding your day trip question (again, you don't give much info: will you have a car or do you want to travel with public transportation, that makes a difference?). Yes, I think it is not the best season to visit vineyards. I often recommend a day trip to Annecy as the lake and the mountain scenary are amazing and the old city is very nice. You will see that foreign travellers generally loved it! If you have a car, you could get there from Grenoble before heading to Lyon, or get there from Lyon by train.

http://www.lac-annecy.com/

The other options are:

- Provence: why not Avignon, to get a feeling of South, it is a very fast train ride with the TGV

- Bourgogne : Dijon, and Beaune if you have a car, because it is related to your interest into wine;

You don't need too many guidebooks actually: get to the tourist information (on place Bellecour) when you arrive, they are very helpful and will give you a map, the traboules itineraries and loads of infos.

CT
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2. Re: advice for four days in Lyon in March

Thank you sooo much! I will go to those two websites and do some reading. We do plan to rent a car at the Lyon airport, when we arrive on Friday, and then spend Friday and saturday night in Grenoble visiting with our son. We would then move to Lyon for four nights and fly home on the next Thursday. As for hotels, we like to be comfortable, with private bath and good beds. Preferably not on a noisy street, but we do like to stay fairly central, preferably in a place that reflects the character of the city.

As for what we like to do, we are interested in history and culture, rather than shopping. I loved your suggestions regarding areas of Lyon to explore. Guess we'll need to do some more thinking about day trips, since we are out of season for vineyard tours.

I will post again after doing some more reading, and will get my husband to clarify more of the specifics, which he is better at than I am....

Lyon, France
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3. Re: advice for four days in Lyon in March

I recommend that you stay in the city center, to be able to walk everywhere. You won't need your car while in Lyon, so it may be wise to pick up a hotel that do offer parking facilities : Hotel Royal or Sofitel do, probably Boscolo, Carlton or any of the Mercure hotel too.

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4. Re: advice for four days in Lyon in March

How about a short trip to the medieval village of Perouges, about 23k. from Lyon. And make sure to have a tarte au sucre!

CT
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5. Re: advice for four days in Lyon in March

I have more questions. Went and looked at the recommended websites and also did some other reading and searching. I sent an enquiry to Boscolo hotel, to see about parking. The Mercure Grand Chateau Perrache has parking, but is right next to the train station. Would that be noisy? Which of the other Mercure hotels would you recommend, as far as location? There are so many in Lyon, and I couldn't really tell where they were.

I also wondered about the Hotel La Residence. How is the location of that hotel? It seemed to have good reviews at tripadvisor and in our Michelin book. It seems to be near the underground parking?

As far as day trips, I tried to read about Annecy, but was having trouble with the website, so wasn't able to really read about the old town. My husband is still interested in going to a winery for a tour. He read somewhere that some are open again in March. Wondered if you could recommend any. Also a day trip to a medieval castle might be fun.

Thank you again for all your help.

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Hotel La Residence
Hotel La Residence
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Lyon, France
CT
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6. Re: advice for four days in Lyon in March

Still can't get the Annecy website to work properly, but have more hotel questions.

The Boscolo looks like a really nice location. They seem to have onsite parking but for 26 euros a nite! How far to public parking, and would that be cheaper? What about the public parking near the La Residence?

Those seem to be the two hotels I'm choosing between right now. the Boscolo seemed much more expensive until I found the advanced booking/2 or more nites rates. What is your advice as far as location between these two? The only central hotel with parking onsite that doesn't seem to charge is the Mercure Chateau Perrache, which is right next to the train station, so we aren't sure about that, and it would also be more expensive....

Lyon, France
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7. Re: advice for four days in Lyon in March

Yes, parking is expensive in the city center; public transportation is excellent and the general policy in France is to foster people not to use their car in the city center. Here are the public parking fares:

lpa.fr/lpa/…202008.pdf

Regarding hotel choice: La Résidence is very centrally located, you should know it is located in a pedestrian street, may be not very easy to acceed as you have a car, but they have parking facilities. I would say it is a good budget hotel, may be a little shabby compared to Boscolo. Not the same hotel range anyway.

As an alternative, have a look at Grand Hötel des Terreaux or Hotel des Artistes.

CT
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8. Re: advice for four days in Lyon in March

I think that you are right that my husband will be happier at the Boscolo than La Residence, and we would be able to drive up at least to unpack our car. I can't tell where the nearest parking would be for the Boscolo. My husband reads/speaks French, so will give himthe parking rates brochure.

I did look at those other two hotels. They are just as expensive as the Boscolo, in fact more expensive because the Boscolo has a special rate now for 2 or more nights, which is 425 euros including breakfast (if I can ever get the reservation to go thru online). So let me know which is the parking for the Boscolo, and we'll find it on the map....

any suggestions on wineries that might have tours? your favorite castle? We'll definintely spend at least two full days exploring Lyon, but could do one or two trips out of town as well.

Your favorite local restaurants? My husband speaks French, and has used his French in France, so we aren't limited as to where we go perhaps. We've heard that Lyon is the restaurant capital of France!

Lyon, France
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9. Re: advice for four days in Lyon in March

You have several public parkings close to Boscolo hôtel, the map is here on Lyon Parc Auto website (detailed maps available if you click on each parking yellow spot, so you will see the precise location / your hotel address):

www.lpa.fr/lpa/lesParcs.aspx…

The nearest parking is the Republique one.

I am really happy to help, but you should use the search box to explore the infos that are already on the forum; for example regarding my favourite restaurants lists (and a few others!):

tripadvisor.com/…11333931

CT
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10. Re: advice for four days in Lyon in March

If I'm understanding the Google map, the Hotel des Artistes is right across the river from the Old City, and the Boscolo Grand is also in the Presquille area, but overlooking the other river? Just can't figure out where the parking is for the Boscolo. The descriptions/reviews for both hotels seem fine, but we get the sense that the Boscolo's rooms are spacious, whereas the des Artiste rooms are small. Hmmm. Any suggestions on how I can figure out where the parking garage is that is closest to the Boscolo? I've marked both hotels and the Celestins parking garage on my Google map.