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The Getaway Guide: Lyon

The Forme Travel Guide


As French people like to remind us, France is not only about Paris - and saying that Lyon is a smaller version of the French capital would be an understatement. From the Roman architecture to the gastronomic scene, Lyon is a perfect getaway for a weekend in France.

A view of the Basilic from the right bank, Quai de Saône | Rue Romarin, next to the Hotel de Ville district with local designers stores

Only two hours away from Paris via train, Lyon is renowned for being the food capital. Ditch the diet while you're there; visiting the city without trying one of their typical Bouchon restaurant would be a sin. The city has developed a burgeoning beer and nightlife scene over the past few years that rivals the French capital itself.

Inside the Fine Arts Museum | Vieux Lyon, the old medieval town

With its countless cobbled streets and bridges, Lyon is a great city to explore by walking or on a bike. You can choose from the beautiful quaies, the river banks of the Saône and the Rhône, the stunning Parc de la Tete d’Or, Bellecour– the heart of the city and also the shopping hub with all the best French brands and concept stores.

Also worth a visit is the medieval old town, France’s largest, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which feels like walking through a Harry Potter movie set with all the city’s hidden passageways; the Traboules.

From the Vieux Lyon, you can visit the Roman theatre and the breathtaking church on the Fourvière hillside - la Basilique de Fourvière - by taking one of the picturesque funicular railways.

Courtyard of the Fourvière Hotel on the hills | One of the stunning buildings in the Vieux Lyon

Next, the delicious classic French food, and all the exciting trendy bistrots: Lyon has great markets during the week-end, such as Marché Saint-Antoine, and the famous Les Halles. Lyon’s food halls are where you can buy from the best suppliers in France or eat at one of their restaurants.

Small distances, fascinating history, great shopping, tasty food, fun nightlife, and lovely locals without the downsides of mass tourism: time to add Lyon to your travel wishlist!

Saint Jean Square during the Sunday Market, facing the Fourvière Basilic | Vieux Lyon

Typical restaurants, Les Bouchons

  • Le Musée
  • Le Bouchon des Filles
  • Le Garet 
  • Daniel et Denise

Cafés, brunchs or afternoon break

  • Les Cafetiers
  • Le Palégrié
  • Bel Ami
  • Toru
  • Le Tasse Livre


  • The Monkey Bar - Cocktails and a scene
  • Opera House Rooftop - Beautiful view on the city
  • La Marquise - One the best boats to have a drink on the left bank
  • Comptoir du Vin - Authentic wine bar
  • Ninkasi - Lyon beer house
  • Le Clos de Fourviere - Fancy drinks in a 5 stars Hotel

Museums & Galleries

  • The Fine Arts Museum - The courtyard itself is worth a visit
  • The Contemporary Museum - Next to the stunning and relaxing park La Tête d’Or
  • Textile and Decorative Arts Museum

 Let The Forme's travel ready picks transport you across Europe to Lyon!

What to wear to explore Lyon