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Loved Lyon !

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Auckland Region...
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Loved Lyon !

Wish we had booked more days - three was not enough ! We didn't know what to expect, but I can only tell you we were so pleasantly surprised what an interesting city Lyon is, with a good 'vibe' - it is so often by-passed. I wanted to post a brief run-down on how we spent the 3 days there, so if anyone is 'thinking' about going there, an idea on what can be done - and there was plenty we didn't get to do.

Day 1 - Arrived mid afternoon by train from Paris. Stayed next to the train station (there was a reason behind this). Settled into hotel, then got the metro into Place Bellecour and picked up maps and brochures from the Tourist Office there. Decided to stick to exploring the Presquille due to the time. Walked the narrow streets lined with cafes, visited Place Terreaux with the Fontaine Bartholdi, saw Hotel-Dieu, walked to the Frescos by the river, then stopped for a drink in a narrow street side bar before finding our restaurant for dinner.

Day 2 - Got the train to Annecy (2 hours) - a really nice journey. It was market day and luckily a lovely day, had time to explore the market, walk around, stop for coffee - the old town is not that big, but you want to wander at a leisurely pace. Very picturesque with the lovely canals, hanging flowers, not forgetting the Lake itself! We had pre-booked a 'splurge' lunch out in Annecy le Vieux, so enjoyed a few hours there, before getting a bus back to the town, and taking a short Lake Cruise. Took the 6pm train back to Lyon. (The reason we stayed next to the train station) - it was worth the full day trip, still relaxed, and so beautiful, especially on a nice day.

Day 3 - So much to see today ! Started at Les Halles, Paul Bocuse indoor market, since it was a short walk from our hotel - small, but amazing, expensive but quality. Took the metro to Bellecour again, as wanted to walk over the pedestrian bridge to Lyon Vieux, there was a market by the bridge. We had a map and walking plan, to visit the Traboules, Cathedrale St Jean, and end up at the top of the hill and the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere that we had seen looking down imposingly from above since we arrived. Have to admit, either couldn't quite find some of the Traboules or some of the doors were locked, we got a little 'lost' but did see some, and ducked in to others when we saw people going in - sort of ditched our walking tour, and just meandered around the heavily cobbled old streets. Decided to get the Cable way up the hill - at the top happened upon a concert at the Roman Ruins, so stopped for a while and watched. Of course you are rewarded with great views over Lyon from the top at the Basilica, you can really see the layout of the city in front of you, the two rivers cutting through, dividing it into 3 distinct sections. It was a neat walk down the hill (much less taxing) -have some great photos, especially as we got closer, of the very narrow alleyways, stepped and heavily cobbled streets. In the old town, so many cafes, bars places to sit and watch and chill, and some great restaurants, you do have some great choices, not just bouchons. Had another excellent dinner out.

We could easily have spent another day there - I guess because we took the day trip to Annecy, it was to the compromise of seeing more of Lyon. Next time we will visit the museums, we are sorry we didn't get into La Croix Rousse district, where the silk was made.

Maybe it's not for everyone - after Paris, it feels more 'gritty' - but it also feels 'different' so you shouldn't be comparing it. I'd love to go back - some day.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Loved Lyon !

Thanks for that. We are just in the process of booking a few nights as part of our next holiday and it looks very interesting. Where did you stay?

Antwerp, Belgium
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2. Re: Loved Lyon !

Thanks, Markandsue-84 , for your review, as I'm also planning my trip to Lyon.

And it will also be a short one, only two days. First full day we are going to exploire the city center, do you think we will need a day-metro card, as I we will take a funicular and in the evening we will have to take metro several times or only evening metro card should be sufficient?

Also where can you buy a metro card?

Lyon, France
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for Lyon
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3. Re: Loved Lyon !

Thank you so much for your review Markandsue-84! As you could see, very few travellers take time to come back on Lyon forum for sharing their thoughts and actual experiences, which is always very useful for your fellow travellers, also rewarding for us experts!

Could be useful to add a few information if you don't mind, such as the places you had lunch/dinner ?

Auckland Region...
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4. Re: Loved Lyon !

Hi Lynn B - We stayed at the Mercure Lyon La Part Dieu - I don't usually go for 'chain' hotels, but in this case we wanted something near the Train Station. The rooms are a really good size, clean, and sound-proof. Literally 3 minutes walk from the exit of the station - so nice to be able to just wheel your bags there. Read the TA reviews, they are all pretty much as we found it to be (tho' we did not have breakfast or eat there).

Hi Lulushke- Yes I would think the day pass would be good for you. If I remember rightly, after 3 trips it would pay off, and you can use if for the funicular. If you are going out in the evening just check the timetable, it is a smaller network, and the trains do not go all night.

only-lyon - firstly, thank you ! we looked at your posts for a lot of information - we were even advised by regular travellers to France to not stop in Lyon, they said it's just a place you go through to get to where you are going - ? Maybe that's why it was such a surprise to discover what a great destination Lyon is. So much history, you can see it, so easy to wander / walk around or get to the main places to see. We loved the atmosphere of the Old Town especially. I have posted reviews on the restaurants we went to, but would be more than happy to give them another 'shout out':

Lunch in Annecy was at Clos des Sens - a real 'splurge' but totally worth it !

We had evening meals out at Les Restrouvilles - great family run restaurant, and La Gargotte, where I think I had one of the best nights out in our 3 weeks in France, the food was great, good atmosphere, and the hardest working, and amiable host/owner. Other than those, we picked up something at Les Halles market for lunch, Paul's in the Train Station, and very nice/ fancy icecream in the a small cobbled square in the old town (sorry, I don't remember the name).

Crescent Head...
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5. Re: Loved Lyon !

Thank you. My husband and I had a week in Paris last year and loved it but we are going back next August and were thinking of Lyon - we want to stop in one pace for a week so I am looking at what to do in Lyon and as you did a day trip/s. We will be travelling by train and don't want to drive but are very happy to use any local transport.

Le Bugue, France
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6. Re: Loved Lyon !

Yup. Fabulous city.

7. Re: Loved Lyon !

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