24 hours in Lyon: To - Do List

4th Jun 2014
Photo of by Elena

Inside Basilica de Fourviere

Photo of Inside Basilica de Fourviere by Elena

Basilica de Fourviere

Photo of Basilica de Fourviere by Elena

Le Crayon (The Pencil)

Photo of Le Crayon (The Pencil) by Elena

Lyon Trams

Photo of Lyon Trams by Elena

View from Veux Lyon

Photo of View from Veux Lyon by Elena

Roman Theatre

Photo of Roman Theatre by Elena

zoo and botanical garden at Parc de la Téte d

Photo of zoo and botanical garden at Parc de la Téte d by Elena


Photo of Traboule by Elena

Touristy Veux Lyon

Photo of Touristy Veux Lyon by Elena

View at Croix Rousse

Photo of View at Croix Rousse by Elena
Today, I’d like to introduce you Lyon - the capital city of Rhone-Alpes region, the so-called gastronomic capital of France and a lovely city to spend a day (or few) in.  Being a popular hub for all ski and mount lovers, it’s totally worth taking a longer connection and cheaper tickets and spend a day exploring this incredible and ancient city. 

How to get to Lyon:

- By plane.
With Saint Exupery Airport hosting lots of low cost airlines like EasyJet, Germanwings, Air Arabia, Transavia and Wow Air getting really cheap airplane tickets is just a matter of few clicks and dates adjustments. Besides, I’ve chosen Lyon as my connection flight to Corsica ‘cause it’s been way cheaper than flying via Paris or Geneva.
You can get to the city center in less than 30 mins by taking Tram Express for just 14.50 euro one way.
By Train
It takes around two hours to get to Lyon from Paris and a trip from Geneva will take two hours too in case you take a direct train and 3+ hours for connecting rides and it can cost as few as 14 euros one way! Check out my guide to navigating French railroad for tips on buying cheap TGV tickets.
Things to do in Lyon
  • Climb up the Fourviere hill
  • Crash on a lunch snack at ancient Roman Theater
  • Wonder around narrow streets on Vieux Lyon
  • Grab your ice cream at Terre Adelice.
  • Try finding and sneaking to one of the many Traboules.
  • Visit free zoo and botanical garden at Parc de la Téte d'Or 
  • Climb up Tour du Crédit Lyonnais
You can opt for a short funicular ride that costs around 2 euro (and totally not worth it) or opt for budgeting stairs. You won’t be able to miss marvelous Basilique de Fourviere built 19th century and dedicated to Virgin Mary, who saved the city from a cholera epidemic back in 1823. The famous Festival of Lights is held annually on December, the 8th with billions of lights set all around the city in her honor. The decor inside is breathtaking with walls covered with vivid mosaics and stained glass windows. Don’t miss the crypt on the ground floor which is less ornamented, yet amazingly beautiful too. Check out the viewpoint right behind Basilique de Fourviere to get the best view on Veux Lyon orange tile rooftops and sparkling Saone River that flows around the Old City.
Photo of Basilica of Fourvière, Place de Fourvière, Lyon, France by Elena
Photo of Basilica of Fourvière, Place de Fourvière, Lyon, France by Elena
The history of the city goes back almost two thousand years to the times of ancient Romans who settled here around 1st century B.C. The amphitheater is the oldest one in France and is extremely well preserved. Grab your sandwich and a blanket to crash with the locals for a picnic enjoying amazing view of the city right in front of you.
Photo of Amphithéâtre des Trois Gaules, Rue Lucien Sportisse, Lyon, France by Elena
Though the Old city is pretty crowded and full of tourists, once you turn to a minor street you’re thrown back in time for at least 200 years. Narrow cobbled streets and amazing Renaissance buildings still remind of the days when there was no Wi-Fi and MacDonald’s.
Photo of Vieux Lyon, Lyon, France by Elena
Photo of Vieux Lyon, Lyon, France by Elena
Photo of Vieux Lyon, Lyon, France by Elena
A small stall situated at place De la Baleine in the heart of the Old City offers a wide range of flavors. More than you can actually imagine! Have you ever tried pine ice cream with cedar nuts? Or white goat cheese flavored ice? There are around a hundred of tastes to choose from J
Scattered around the old town these secret passageways connect one building to another with long arch passes and spiral staircases. Were commonly used by the locals in the medieval times to get navigate through the city without actually going out. Most of them are privately owned, so unless you take a tour it can be pretty tricky to sneak into someone’s house. Most of them are situated in Vieux-Lyon and one of the most famous Traboule of the Voracious Court located in the Croix Rousse district.
Photo of Traboules Trail, Lyon, France by Elena
This place is just huge and you can spend here at least three hours till you manage to cross it all over. Though, try not to go here on Sunday. I’ve finally understood where all the French go on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Photo of Parc de la Tête d'Or, Lyon, France by Elena
Or just “Le crayon” (the Pencil) how the locals call it. Situated right next to Part Dieu railway station this 32-stored skyscraper was built in late 70s and is the 9th tallest building in France. The first 10 floors are occupied by Radisson hotel and the rest are office buildings. The last store has a bad and a panoramic view resto. Though, the prices are pretty high, still having a glass of fine wine and terrific view is totally worth it!
Photo of Restaurant Le Crayon, Rue Baraban, Lyon, France by Elena