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Lyon - A stop between Paris and Provence

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How many hours would you recommend for TGV layover in Lyon ... 5 or 7 hours?

I would like to visit Lyon, en route from Paris to Aix-en-Provence, this July. We are leaving Paris on a Wed morning on the 9am train arriving in Lyon around 11am.

I've never been to Lyon and do not know how much time is needed to make the stopover worthwhile. I intrigued by the Old Town, UNESCO, Medival preservations and the gastronomy; so I was thinking of having a nice lunch and an opportunity to stroll the Old Town for the listed above interests.

If I leave on the 6pm train (7 hours in Lyon) I will get into the Aix-en-Provence TGV station around 730pm. I then have to pick up my rental car and then check into my hotel (4 nights at the Aquabella) in the city center, probably not settling in until 830pm, w/ just enough time to take an evening stroll the Cours Mirabeau and grab a late night bit to eat.

If I leave on the 4pm train (5 hours in Lyon) I will arrive in Aix at a much more reasonable time, settling in around 6:30pm; however I feel I may be rushing my time in Lyon too much - to the point of possibly making the layover stressful and counterproductive.

Any thoughts or insight on this proposed Lyon layover? Thanks!

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