France in March

Jan 19th, 2006, 12:11 AM
  #1  
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France in March

Hello all-
I am in the midst of planning a trip to France for a few weeks in March. I have done the whole Paris trip before and this time around I was thinking of Lyon. I've heard wonderful things but I was wondering if anybody had any advice on some daytrips that could be taken from Lyon or of activities to do while in Lyon. I know that in March the weather is bound to be chilly but being a Chicago native I think I should be able to handle it and I dont want that to stop any tips you all might have!
nutmeg876541 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 04:03 AM
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Lyon is a great place to explore on foot. Marvelous museum of Roman artifacts found during excavations. Most interesting Romanesque cathedral high overlooking the city. Museum of fabrics; Lyon was and still may be the heart of France's silk industry. Many, many good restaurants. Dress in layers, count on some rain. Not a problem for a Chicagoan. Check out Michelin Green Guide for out-of-town ideas. Lyon is a transportation hub, with excellent rail & bus services.
USNR is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 06:32 AM
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A nice half-day trip from Lyon is to the medieval village of Perouges, about 20 mi.north of Lyon. Accessible by car or bus.
grandmere is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 06:59 AM
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Perouge is a great idea.

When you have a few weeks, I'm sure there are so many possibilities but what about, after seeing the things closer to Lyon, taking TGV to Avignon or Aix-en Provence. The ride is only 1 - 1,5hrs and if you are well organized in advance, the Prem's fare for TGV can be €20-25 one way. And if you are used to cold weather, Lyon is a piece of cake. Could be chilly, could be gloriously sunny.
kappa is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 07:06 AM
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Lyon is a wonderful city - for sightseeing and for eating. I spent two days there in August and wish I'd planned for a whole week.

I would definitely plan to explore some of the traboules and miraboules in the Renaissance Vieux Lyon and in Croix Rousse. There are guided walking tours of these areas you can sign up for at the Tourist Office on the Place Bellecour. There's also a hop-on, hop- off bus that leaves from the Place Bellecour that is great for getting to know the city on arrival.

The trompe l'oeil murals throughout the city are a delight (you can get to know them on the hop-on, hop-off bus). A boat ride down the Saone is another way to get to know the city.

The Musée des Beaux Arts is relatively small but has a good collection. The Musées des Tissus is fascinating. The cathedral of St-Jean is a gem, and the basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière is worth trudging (or riding) up the hill for, as is the Roman amphitheatre that sits rather improbably on a hillside smack in the city.

The métro system is clean, simple, and efficient. We took it everywhere.

As I'm sure you know, Lyon is a foodlover's paradise. Go to the rue Mercerie - a long street lined with an amazing array of restaurants - walk around with your mouth agape and choose a place to eat. Everything we ate in Lyon was absolutely delicious, including the salad of pig's ears. Paul Bocuse has four brasseries there, but even the simplest little bouchon was serving mouth-watering fare.

Don't know about daytrips as we didn't take any - but Lyon is a major rail hub and I'm sure you could get to any number of places - if you wanted to leave Lyon, which you might not.
StCirq is online now  
Jan 19th, 2006, 07:47 AM
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Ah yes, the rue Merciere. Fifteen years ago, my husband and I spent a night in Lyon before catching a plane home. A woman who sat next to me on the plane to France had recommended the rue Merciere when I asked where to find restaurants in Lyon, so we walked and chose a place for cassoulet.

The reason I remember it clearly is not for the food but for the waiter, who became very excited when my husband pulled out his wallet with the little silver badge he got for donating money to the sheriff's department. We all know why he donated the money and why he kept that badge on his wallet. But the waiter asked if my husband would come inside and show all the other waiters a real sheriff from America. Not wanting to disappoint the fellow, my husband said oui, I'm a sheriff. Made the staff's day.

Thanks for the memories.
Nikki is online now  
Jan 19th, 2006, 08:13 AM
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Great story, Nikki
StCirq is online now  
Jan 19th, 2006, 08:40 AM
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There are some wonderful daytrips around Lyon.

If you have a car you can explore the old villages, hills and vineyards of the Beaujolais region to the north-wast, the stunning scenery of the Alps to the east, the medieval villages of Pérouges and Crémieux, the winding lanes and lakes of the Dombes region to the north east... Once you get out of the city it hardly matters which direction you take as there are beautiful places to visit all around Lyon!

If you don't have a car, there are still some worthwhile daytrips.
Train to the lovely town of Annecy in the Alps, bus to Pérouges (although there's an uphill walk from the bus stop to the old village), organised bus tour of the Beaujolais region (wine-tasting - although predictably the tours tend to visit the most commercial of the vineyards), boat trip down the Rhône to the city of Vienne...

As others have mentioned, there's plenty to do in Lyon itself - the Gallo-Roman museum and ancient Roman theatres, the basilica on Fourvière hill, the Vieux Lyon (UNESCO world heritage site) and traboules, the cathedral, the markets on the banks of the Saône and, for real foodies, the one up on the Croix-Rousse hill and the covered market (Les Halles) in the 3rd arrondissement, the extensive natural park and reservoir at Miribel-Jonage (accessible via public transport) where you can rent bikes, walk the trails, and even swim in the lake (though probably not in March!), boat cruises up the Saône or down to the confluence of the Rhône and Saône, the murals, the fine art museum, shopping on the Presqu'ile, the stunning Bartholdi fountain on Place des Terreaux, and, last but not least, the restaurants!

I lived in Lyon for a couple of years so if you need any specific info, feel free to ask.
hanl is offline  
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