Lyon or Dijon

Old Oct 26th, 2014, 06:59 AM
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Lyon or Dijon

We have 3 days, 2 nights left at the end of our trip in late March 2015 and are coming from Provence. Which city would you recommend to visit? We are flying out of Paris to the US on April 2nd. We love to relax, eat, drink wine and sightsee. We are taking the train from Avignon. Thanks for any recommendation.
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Old Oct 26th, 2014, 08:50 AM
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Lyon IME has a lot more more than does Dijon though it is a nice city but much smaller.

Lyon has its own cachet and is a gastronomic heaven (I understand - me not being a gourmet) I spent a week a few times in Lyon and never found it dull - a great city for walking - check out the ancient troubles in the old town - narrow passageways thru ancient buildings.

Lyon is also easier to get to from Avignon than Dijon.

Lyon as a city hands down IME.
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Old Oct 26th, 2014, 09:40 AM
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I suppose I would agree with that, although for only 2 nights, it really doesn't make much difference IMO in terms of running out of things to do. So there is no perfect answer, it's really your choice as to which one has more things you want to see. Surely you can eat and drink in both of them. I personally am not crazy about typical Lyonnais cuisine anyway, even if it is supposed to be a gastronomic haven (I feel the same way about Alsacienne cuisine). This is just a preference as to what you like to eat. They have very heavy, fatty food in Lyon, adulterated meat-centric (ie, various sausauge are a specialty, and various organ meats like tripe, lots of cream). I just really don't like sausage.

But, as I said, you cn eat and drink well in either.

Dijon is just as easy to get to as Lyon from Avignon, it's just closer, that's all. But then Dijon is closer to Paris. There are plenty of direct TGV trains from Lyon to Dijon, it's not difficult at all, however, they are in the afternoon. In the mornings, you do have to change in Lyon anyway. So that may affect your decision, and then what you plan to do at the end. You can take a TGV from Lyon to CDG airport (but not from Dijon direct), but it only would work if you had a flight rather late in the day as you don't get there until 10:30 at the earliest.
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Old Oct 26th, 2014, 11:37 AM
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Thanks for your replies. If Lyon is easier to get to Paris (CDG)then I will visit Lyon at this time. Will reserve Dijon and the rest of Burgundy for our next visit.
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Old Oct 26th, 2014, 01:43 PM
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Dijon is just as easy to get to as Lyon from Avignon, it's just closer, that's all. But then Dijon is closer to Paris.>

It may be easy to get to Dijon from Avignon but it takes on all but a few one change of train and overall 3.5 hours to 4.5 hours, from Avignon-TGV to Dijon vs 1 hour 5 minutes Avignon TGV to Lyon - 2.5 to 3.5 hourw quicker all told - yes Dijon is 20 minutes or so closer to Paris than Lyon time-wise but going to Dijon will take measurably longer - but it is easy to do. But Lyon is much simpler and cheaper in train fares probably and IME at least it is far superior in what to see and do than Dijon, nice as that town is.

Dijon could be nice if you want to explore the Burgundy wine villages between it and Beaune - and actually I would present Beaune as a better base than Dijon if into the wines - trains go to several wine villages along the Route des vins bourgogne or Burgundy Wine Road and Beaune is the commercial capital of Burgundy wines - some wine houses right in the city and it is a much nicer city IMO than much larger Dijon.

Be sure to book TGV train fares are in advance to score deep discounts - walk up fares can be 2-3 times as much. Check www.voyages-sncf.com and www.capitainetrain.com (same tickets on the same trains but the latter apparently is infinigtely easier for Americans to use with American c cards. For general info on French trains check these IMO superb sites: www.seat61.com - great info on discounted tickets; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com. Note discount tickets are train-specific and cannot be changed nor refunded I believe and as they are sold in limited quantities often sell out weeks/months beforehand.

as for TGV seat selection I love the Duplex trains - two-level trains because the seats on the upper level provide wonderful vistas of the signaturely bucolic French countryside - the lower level you may see little except track retaining walls and wind blocks, etc - IMO be sure to sit in the upper level and you can select your own seat on those sites I believe.
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Old Oct 27th, 2014, 11:06 AM
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Thanks for such great information, PalenQ.
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Old Oct 28th, 2014, 03:44 AM
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I would second PalenQ's excellent advice. There is a lot to do in Lyon besides eat and drink - look into the history of the silk industry, the Italian influence in architecture, etc. Plus, one part of town has become ultra-modern, while Old Town remains apart and full of charm.

I love Dijon, too - but it is a much smaller city - even with comparable food and interesting history and architecture, it's best combined with a longer tour by car or train of the rest of the area.
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Old Oct 28th, 2014, 09:07 AM
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Lyon (or it suburbs) have Paul Bocuse's flagship restaurant (*** Michelin stars of course) and some other of his eateries: (From Wiki):

<Bocuse's main restaurant is the luxury restaurant l'Auberge du Pont de Collonges, near Lyon, which has been serving a traditional menu for decades. It is one of a small number of restaurants in France to receive the coveted three-star rating by the Michelin Guide. He also operates a chain of brasseries in Lyon, named Le Nord, l'Est, Le Sud and l'Ouest, each of which specializes in a different aspect of French cuisine.
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Old Oct 29th, 2014, 11:50 AM
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http://www.en.lyon-france.com/Guided...-its-Traboules

I especially loved Vieux Lyon or the Renaissance District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring those mysgterious traboules, warrens of tiny passageways thru ancient buildings.

Cross the river and take the funicuclar up to the top of the famous pilgrimage church for wondrous views of all of Lyon.
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Old Oct 29th, 2014, 01:14 PM
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In Lyon, be sure to visit the Traboules in the morning

http://www.francetoday.com/articles/...traboules.html

Get a map of them at the tourist office. By law, many are required to be open for the visitors - but sometimes the residents resist a little. Look for a buzzer to puch to unlatch the front door. We found that some traboules were only open in the morning.

Personally, I prefer Dijon over Lyon - but there is perhaps more stuff to do in Lyon. My wife spent several hours in the Musee des Tissues while I sat at a cafe reading my tour book and having cokes & coffees. Better train options for Avignon->Lyon->CDG than Avignon->Dijon->CDG.

We had a very nice dinner at Le Passage in Lyon. One of our favorite restaurants in France is Stephane Derbord in Dijon. I'm a foodie/gourmet - but like Christina - "typical" Lyonnaise offerings don't appeal to me - although I like organ food (not tripe or kidneys, however).

Stu Dudley
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