Lyon

Feb 13th, 2004, 04:03 AM
  #1  
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Lyon

We are planning 6 day Paris trip and would like to include Lyon, is it worth the train ride? This is our 4th trip to France.
moondance is offline  
Feb 13th, 2004, 10:18 AM
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If it's for one day, I would say that it is not worth it unless you had a specific Lyon destination in mind--a 3 star restaurant perhaps? But then you would not be asking the question in such a general manner. Lyon is worth a stop of at least two nights.
Michael is offline  
Feb 13th, 2004, 11:12 AM
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Funny, my DH and I were just discussing Lyon this morning ourselves, wondering if we should visit or not.

For those responding to moondance, can you compare Lyon (big city) to Marseille (big city) or Nancy? We really don't like big cities, Paris being the exception to the rule.

Are most of the cultural/historical points of interest concentrated in a particular quartier (making a stay easier) or are they spread out helter-skelter? Thanks for your opinions.
klondike is offline  
Feb 13th, 2004, 12:07 PM
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My favorite parts of Lyon are very walkable and make it seem like a small city; from Perrache to Place Bellacour (between the Rhone and the Soane) and across the river into Vieux Lyon. The old town is very beautiful and really interesting. Take the funicular to the Cathedral. Only from there do I realize what a big city Lyon really is. Then walk down past the old Roman amphitheater. Back in Vieux Lyon stroll through the cobbled streets and peer into the traboules. Visit the shops and have dinner at one of the wonderful outdoor restaurants. It's magical.

Marsailles is completely different. It's interesting but for me it was one of those once is enough places.
Grasshopper is offline  
Feb 13th, 2004, 12:11 PM
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We took the Provence boat trip one year, which left from Lyons. On the return we were given a quick city tour. We then learned that Lyons is the gastronomical capital of France -- many of the finest chefs come from there. We truly regretted we had NOT booked a short stay there, but had to hurry back to Paris. It seemed like a charming city, had a beautiful old section, and seemed worth a visit. Hope this helps.
PamR is offline  
Feb 13th, 2004, 12:37 PM
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I don't agree at all that you shouldn't go to Lyon unless you can stay several days, and I myself would not consider a restaurant a destination for a major trip like that (moneywise, if nothing else). There are more important things to do in Lyon than that. I'll admit I'm not into that whole Michelin starred restaurant thing, though, and I can understand if you were why you might, but that is not the best or only reason to go to Lyon.

There is much of interest to see in Lyon and it's perfect for a day trip because so much is concentrated in a small central area, and of the variety of things to see, ease of metro use, and centrality of the train station. YOu can get there by TGV in only two hours.

Sure, Lyon may be worth a longer stop, but that doesn't meant you shouldn't go there unless you can stay longer. I don't get that. I think it's a perfect day trip. There are wonderful museums, an Old Town to wander around, beautiful public squares, interesting and unusual basilica, silk industry museums/factories, and beautiful views from the hill, and it is attractive. The decorative arts museum is quite good, and the textile museum is world-famous. There is also a silk museum and fine arts museum, and a museum about the guys who invented cinema, alhough I didn't get to those, and some Roman ruins.

My schedule was take the 8 am TGV and arrive by 10 -- I took the funicular up the hill for the wonderful views and saw the basilica, then came down and wandered around Old Town at the bottom of that hill a bit, then crossed the river to see the Hotel de Ville square (famous Bartholdi scuplture). I think I had lunch at some cafe then.

After lunch, I walked through place Bellecour to the museum area and visited the decorative arts and textile museum, as those are two of my favorite types. I finished up by walking to the train station area and had a light early supper before catching the 7-8 pm TGV back to Paris.

I don't really agree with that idea that you can't go somewhere unless you have days to spend as you may miss out on many enjoyable places to see and things of interest.
Christina is offline  
Feb 13th, 2004, 01:14 PM
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If you've been to France 3 times already and not visited Lyon, then I'd say it's definitely worth a daytrip, if only to let you see what you've been missing and maybe help you pencil a few more days in for your next trip
Xenos is offline  
Feb 13th, 2004, 03:47 PM
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I've not been to Marseille or Nancy, so I can't compare to those two cities. But I can compare Lyon and Paris. Just last year I spent 3 nights in Lyon and 5 nights in Paris. I enjoyed Lyon so much I'm going back for 3 more days in May.

I think the historical sites and museums are in a smaller area than Paris which is pretty compact. They are mostly centered on the Presqu'ile north of the Perrache train station then west across the river into Old Lyon: the art museum, the pretty winding streets of old Lyon, the basilica & Roman ruins, the fabric museum, etc. Unless you're into stairs you'll want to take the funicular up the Fourvier hill for the ruins and basilica. It's pretty steep.

I like Lyon because it doesn't have so much of the Paris big-city attitude. I actually get to practice my woeful French in Lyon. In Paris the people almost always switch to English because they don't have time to let me practice.

I like the lower costs. Food and lodging are roughly 30% less in Lyon. I'm always in for the deal. Now with the euro strong I'm really in for the deal. I have a weekend special in May averaging 43 euro a night for 3 nights with breakfast thrown in 2 of the 3 mornings. It's the same hotel I stayed in last spring. The rooms are bigger and nicer compared to my hotel in Paris in December for 63 euro a night.

Another advantage, Lyon is considered the gastronomical capitol of France. I had some great food there: pike quenelles, salade lyonaise, tripe, all manner of things. I liked the cheese that translated as "weaver's brains." Kinda like eating chive chip dip without the chips.

It's a Friday and I feel like going out on a limb. I'm almost certain I prefer Lyon over Paris. The 3 nights in May are going to determine for me if Lyon will be "my" city when I go to France.
indytravel is offline  
Feb 13th, 2004, 03:59 PM
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Moondance, I've been to France 5 times, but never to Lyon. Last time I was in Burgundy for 2 weeks, and considered going down to Lyon, but didn't. In May I'm going to Provence for 2 weeks, but just decided to cut Provence short 2 days, and spend 3 nights and 2 1/2 days in Lyon. I'm going to take an early AM TGV direct to CDG from Lyon for a 12:30 flight back to the U.S. I've only heard wonderful things about Lyon, and if you do a search on this forum, you'll see!
Sue4 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2004, 05:19 PM
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Indytraveler what is the name of your hotel in Lyon and where is it located?
ita is offline  
Feb 13th, 2004, 05:29 PM
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I'm staying at the Hotel Dubost. It's on the north side of the Perrache train station on the Place Carnot.

www.hotel-dubost.com/site_eng/index.html

Usually the area around a train station in Europe is unpleasant, but I didn't find this at all near Lyon's Perrache. The Place Carnot is pretty. It's a short walk north to Place Bellecour or across the Saone (I think, I get it and the Rhone mixed-up) to old Lyon.

Last year I had a room in the back on the internal courtyard, not much of a view but quiet.

This spring I think I'll ask for a room on the front of the hotel. The Place Carnot is pretty quiet for a train station area and I think I'll like the view. I will be there Saturday night and Sunday morning there's a market in the Place, but I can take the market set up noise. I'll have to head down and check out the puppys for sale. Last year they were so cute.
indytravel is offline  
Feb 13th, 2004, 06:00 PM
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Indy, What about the trains? Were they noisey?
Grasshopper is offline  
Feb 13th, 2004, 06:35 PM
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I was really surprised grasshopper. I didn't hear a train the entire time.

The room was looking into a large internal courtyard that was completely enclosed with other buildings. But if there was any train noise, it didn't make it over the buildings into that courtyard.

Maybe some of it is that Perrache is more of a regional train station now with Part-Dieu being the major one. I'm not sure if many trains go in and out of Perrache at night.

I will also mention that I had read that the area south of the train station "dropped off" in terms of quality, appearance, safety, etc. I don't know. I never had the need to go south of Perrache.
indytravel is offline  
Feb 13th, 2004, 11:29 PM
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Indy, we stayed at the Ibis on the south side of the station and it does have a seedy feel to it. It was the only bit about Lyon that I didn't like, because I always felt nervous going back there at night. Next time we'll stay on the other side.

I loved the Sunday morning market in Place Carnot too, btw and the big one along the riverside.
Xenos is offline  
Feb 14th, 2004, 03:17 AM
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Xenos, did you make it to the huge covered market over by Part-Dieu? It's supposed to be reminiscent of the old "Les Halles" in Paris.

I didn't go last year and I'm trying to decide if I want to this year. I'll be in Lyon for May Day, Sat. May 1st. I'm assuming it'll be closed that day.
indytravel is offline  
Feb 14th, 2004, 08:10 AM
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No Indy, we didn't make it to that market. Is that the one that's only open on Saturdays and Tuesdays? If so, I think we had planned to go there on the Saturday, but when we woke up it was such a glorious hot, sunny day (well hot for October anyway) that we decided to go to Meximieux-Perrouge instead, which was a really nice day out and we had a fantastic lunch at the Ostellerie du Vieux Peroges
Xenos is offline  
Feb 14th, 2004, 06:05 PM
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Oh thanks Xenos. As if I don't have enough planned to do in Lyon, you're adding more!

Did you take the train or drive to Meximieux-Perouges?
indytravel is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 01:19 AM
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We took the train. It's a bit of a walk from the station to the old village(about 20-30 minutes, mostly uphill, IIRC), but well worth it.

If you do go by train, be sure to ask for tickets to Meximieux-Perrouge, otherwise you can cause some confusion. We almost got sent to Perugia in Italy
Xenos is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 06:20 AM
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We will be in Lyon next October. Where is Meximieux-Perrouges and what is the attraction?
ita is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 07:02 AM
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It's a medieval walled village about half an hour's train ride from Lyon. Photos and link to the Ostellerie website -
http://www.randylofficier.com/lmperouges.html
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