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Lyon, France - is it worth a trip?

Old Oct 30th, 2009, 06:03 PM
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Lyon, France - is it worth a trip?

Hi,
I have been throughout France quite a bit, but never to Lyon. Can someone out there tell me if it's worth a trip? I am also thinking about going in January - is that a good or bad idea re: weather? How many days would you estimate and could you recommend any hotels and restaurants? Appreciate any help.
Susan
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Old Oct 30th, 2009, 06:07 PM
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We took the TGV train from Paris to Lyon about 10 yrs ago (wow, time flies!) and thought Lyon very charming. Old and new architecture well balanced, wonderful older sections and amazing food - its supposed to be the culinary capital I think. We stayed with friends just outside of Lyon, so not sure how long to suggest for your trip. Since its in the southwest, we then drove to Geneva and then to Italy.
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Old Oct 30th, 2009, 06:36 PM
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In my opinion it is one of the most charming places in France, everybody knows that food is exceptional, it is a beautiful city. There is the oldest part, medieval , dotted with little alleys and old buildings and a manificent gothic cathedral, then you have the area that is Louis XIV period, fascinating too, well I cannot tell you everything that is worth a visit. My answer y ten times :YES.
Go to://www.en.lyon-france.com/ which is the official site. There they have great week end offers. At the time we went the offer we took was one night free during the week end.
Read a little about this fascinating destination. Also de Office de Tourisme offer very interesting walking tours. Good luck.
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Old Oct 30th, 2009, 06:50 PM
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It's one of our favorite cities in France. You could probably cover most of it it 2 days, but wouldn't run out of things to see if you had 4-5.

We usually stay in Vieux Lyon (Old Town) at Cour des Loges. For food, google "Lyon bouchons" for info on the city's most traditional restaurants. There are also several Michelin starred options in (and just outside) the city. Most notable perhaps is Paul Bocuse.
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Old Oct 31st, 2009, 02:25 AM
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I second all the responses so far!

Weather in January: as Lyon has a continental climate, it gets very hot in summer and can get very cold in winter. However, there are usually plenty of bright (if chilly) days so even if it's cold there's a good chance the sun will be shining!
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Old Oct 31st, 2009, 04:12 AM
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The Gallo-Roman museum in Lyon is also fascinating.

If you read murder mysteries you might enjoy Katherine Hall Page's The Body in the Vestibule, set in Lyon
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Old Oct 31st, 2009, 04:39 AM
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Lyon makes a great deal more sense but why spend so much of one day on a train?

There are a large number of easy and worthwhile day trips from Paris.
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Old Oct 31st, 2009, 04:46 AM
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The OP didn't mention Paris, but Paris to Lyon on Eurostar is around about 2 hours...so I don't think that it will take them all day.....
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Old Oct 31st, 2009, 04:51 AM
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I very much liked my visit to Lyon. As well as the attractions mentioned, I would add Le Halles, named for Paul Bocuse. Go there hungry, and with money in your pocket.
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Old Oct 31st, 2009, 07:45 AM
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This thread now has me hooked on visiting Lyon. I was thinking about a stopping place between Provence and Paris and now the decision has been made. So thanks Susan300 for starting this thread.

Padraig - I can't readily make the name connection between Les Halles and Paul Bocuse. Can you further inform me please?
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Old Oct 31st, 2009, 07:50 AM
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Information on Lyon. Richard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/lyon
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Old Oct 31st, 2009, 08:40 AM
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If archeology interests you, Lyon has one of the best museums of its Roman past. Lyon was a principal military and political base during Roman Gaul.

Lyon's cathedral perches high above the city. Don't miss it and don't miss the view.

At one time, Lyon was the center of France's silk weaving trade. For all I know, it may still be. Anyway, there is a fascinating museum of silk fabrics in the city.
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Old Oct 31st, 2009, 09:09 AM
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Paul Bocuse is perhaps the most respected chef in France, and he runs his eateries in and near Lyon. They have named Les Halles in his honour. The market specialises in gourmet food, mouth-watering stuff, and there are a number of stalls at which you can snack -- expensively, but very well.
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Old Oct 31st, 2009, 02:39 PM
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What fabulous responses and information. Thank you all.
Happy Halloween!
Susan
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Old Oct 31st, 2009, 05:57 PM
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Lyon is like Portland in a way. Not too big, warm coffee houses, excellent and plentiful restaurants and pleasantly walkable. Plus, like Graziella mentions above, it has the bon-weekend deal. Ask your hotel about dinner reservations. My niece and I stayed in a very low budget hotel and even they had an 'in' at the restaurant around the corner.
One man told us there are really 3 rivers in Lyon. "The Rhone, The Saone, and the Beaujolais!" Probably as corny and old as the hills, but I loved it.

Vttraveler, thanks for the book recommendation. I'm all over it!
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Old Oct 31st, 2009, 07:12 PM
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I may be the dissenter here. I think it is "worth" seeing - it is certainly an interesting city with fantastic restaurants - but I didn't like Lyon as much I expected I would. I was there last March for a few days. I found it to not have the depth of a very big city but it is also too big to be really charming, in my opinion. It seemed more run down then I was expecting as I was under the (mistaken?) impression that Lyon is a very wealthy city but perhaps it was once, and is less so now.

I would also try not to go there on a Sunday as many stores and restaurants are closed that day. We arrived (from the US) on a Saturday and I was planning to go back to a bunch of stores that looked nice the following day and found most of them closed.

Having said that, if you have traveled extensively in France and are looking for something new, there is certainly plenty to do for an overnight. I just didn't find Lyon immediately appealing and think that as part of a combination trip with Paris, we should have gone to Strasbourg or somewhere more "quaint" as a contrast to Paris.

As far as hotel, I stayed at La Residence upon advice from this forum and did like the hotel. The restaurants are great too.
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 02:02 AM
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Hi sus,

>I have been throughout France quite a bit, but never to Lyon. Can someone out there tell me if it's worth a trip? <

Definitely.

I'll be writing about our recent visit in my trip report at
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...europe.cfm?125

I think that it could be worth 4-5 days.

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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 02:37 AM
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A few miles South of Lyons don't miss Vienne and its Roman ruins (theater, temple) and the Roman Museum of Saint-Romain en-Gal just across the river.
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 02:06 PM
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May I second La Residence? It was well located, not fancy, but very comfortable and adequate with nice bathrooms. The breakfast buffet was simple but also enough to give you a good start each day. The price was superb, but our stay was in 2000, so things may have changed. We enjoyed Lyon and that was where I experienced the best quenelles ever! They were mild, delicate little puffs of fish mousse floating in a rich cream sauce and run under a broiler to give a crusty finish. Divine.
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 04:47 PM
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Correction: our trip to Lyon was 2004. Slightly more recent.
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