Lyon is major center with a reputation as the French capital of gastronomy. The city is known as the culinary capital of France.
Lyon having a significant role in the history of cinema due to Auguste and Louis Lumiere.
The local professional football team, Olympique Lyonnais has increased the profile of Lyon internationally through participation in European football championships.
4. Lyon forms the second-largest metropolitan area in France after that of Paris, with the population of its urban area estimated to be 1,348,832 and that of its metropolitan area 1,748,271.
5.Lyon also contains a significant software industry with a particular focus on video games
6.Lyon was historically known as the silk capital of the world.
7.The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
8.Lyon also hosts the International headquarters of Interpol, Euronews, International Agency for Research on Cancer.
9.Lyon is a pilot city of the council of Europe and European Commission Intercultural cities program.
10.Tour métallique de Fourvière, a landmark. This steel tower is like Eiffel Tower of Lyon.
Itinerary: Lyon in Two Days
Start your day with a delicious treat at one of the many cafes in the old Town of Lyon (Vieux Lyon). Grab a warm croissant, or try the local praline brioche. After your French breakfast, head to the Notre Dame de Fourvière and climb to the top. The view from this basilica is quite magnificent. Note that the basilica also offers guided tours and contains a Museum of Sacred Art that you can check out as well.
Next, continue to explore Vieux Lyon by heading to St. John’s Cathedral; the seat of Archbishop of Lyon. It is especially worth seeing when the bells ring. This happens daily on the hour from noon to 4 pm.
Near the cathedral, check out the Palais de Justice, a rather imposing neo-classical building where many famous trials took place. Grab some lunch in the Etats-Unis neighborhood before heading to the Musée Urbain Tony Garnier to learn the history of the area.
Once you’re done, walk south along the river Saone, and then head west to visit the St. Irénée church. This is the oldest church in the city well-worth a visit.
For the second half of the afternoon, explore the southern end of the Prequ’ile district. Do so by crossing the river via the Passerelle Saint-Georges bridge. Just a few blocks south, you will find the Basilica of Saint-Martin d’Ainay, a remarkable church with an interesting history. Close by, you will also be able to visit the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, a museum with a collection of more than 4,000 years of fabric and textile history. If doesn’t suit your fancy or you have done enough site seeing for the day, walk up to Place Bellecour, a large town square in Lyon. There, you can hang out, relax, people watch, or find you a cozy restaurant where you can enjoy a pleasant dinner to end your day’s worth of exploring.
Consider renting a bike on your second day in Lyon and head to the Parc de la Tete d’Or. If biking isn’t your thing, pack some bread, cheese and a bottle of local wine for a pleasant early afternoon picnic at this beautiful urban park.
From there, head to Croix-Rousse, once the old silk weaver’s district. Here, you’ll be able to explore the famous traboules. These are tunnels and alleyways that allowed the canuts on the La Croix-Rousse hill to get quickly from their workshops to the textile merchants at the foot of the hill; The “Traboule de la cour des Voraces” (Traboule of the Voracious Court) is the most famous in this district.
Continue to explore this district. When you’ve had enough, head to the northern part of Presqu’ile, the part you haven’t yet seen yesterday. A good to start is Place des Terreaux, a large square in the center of the city. This square is borders the Lyon City Hall and Musée des Beaux-Arts. Both landmarks you shouldn’t miss.
It is also easy to get to the Church of Saint-Nizier. This church’s name refers to Nicetius of Lyon, a bishop of the city during the 6th century.
After visiting the church, visit the second popular square in Lyon, Place des Jacobins. There is a pretty fountain at this square, along with many bars, cafes, and shops you can visit.
For your evening in Lyon, take a dinner cruise on Rhone and Saone rivers.
Traditional Dishes in Lyon
The traditional restaurants in Lyon are called “Bouchons” the origin of the word is unclear it literally called “cork”. They appeared at the end of the 19th century and flourished in the 1930s when the economic crisis forced wealthy families to fire their cooks, who opened their own restaurants for working-class clientele. These women are referred to as mères (mother) the most famous of them Eugene Brazier, became one of the first chefs to be awarded three stars by the famous Michelin gastronomic guide. She also had a young apprentice called Paul Bocuse. Eating in a good Bouchon is certainly a must-do. They serve the typical local dishes.
salade lyonnaise green salad with bacon cubes, croutons, and a poached egg.
saucisson chaud a hot, boiled sausage can be cooked with red wine “saucisson Beaujolais” or in a bun “saucisson brioché”.
quenelle de Brochet dumpling made of flour and egg with pike fish and a crayfish sauce (Nantua sauce)
tablier de sapeur marinated tripes coated with breadcrumbs then fried even locals often hesitate before trying it.
andouillette sausage made with chopped tripes usually served with a mustard sauce.
gratins dauphinoise the traditional side dish oven cooked sliced potatoes with cream
cervelle de canut “canut brain” fresh cheese with garlic and herbs.
rognons de veau à la moutarde veal kidneys in a mustard sauce. Delicious and textural experience.
These dishes are very tasty. They were originally workers foods, so they are generally fat and the portions are usually quite big. The quality is very variable since the bouchons are one of the main tourist attractions of the city. A good tip never trusts big signs reading “Veritable bouchon Lyonnais” genuine Bouchon or with a list of typical dishes on the front window. Those who need to write this are most often tourist traps. And if someone on the street tries to get you into a restaurant, refused!! a good bouchon, however, offers very good value for money.
A local association awarded the “Authentique Bouchon Lyonnais” label to 22 restaurants all over town but mostly on Prequ’ ile considering the quality of their food and wine the typicity of their decor and the owner’s strong personality! They have a metal plate on their facade representing Gnafron, Guignol’s friend, with his glass of Beaujolais.
In Bouchon’s and other lower to mid range restaurants, basic wines can be served by the pot, a typical bottle containing 46 cl and filled from a cask or wine box. The smaller fillette “little girl” contains 28 cl. This is definitely cheaper than a 75 cl bottle, but the quality is not always guaranteed.
The locals are generally fond of eating out and the best places get known quickly by word of mouth. moreover, the restaurants are quite small on average. It is strongly advised to book a table, especially for dinner, otherwise, you may end up in one of the multiple tourist traps.
Here are the Restaurants in Lyon where you can have a good food to eat
Address: 162 Cours du Docteur Long ( leferrari.com)
Despite its flashy name and chain restaurant appearance, Le Ferrari is actually a pleasant place to enjoy some good pizza, salads, and light dishes. The pizzeria is located on the far Eastern side of Lyon making it convenient to those in the periphery area near Genas Monchat. Dinner reservations recommended. Price 15-25 Euros
located on the southeast street of Place Bellecour
A traditional Bouchon restaurant with good food for a very reasonable price a complete menu fro 10 Euros.
Place des Terreaux
Abound mostly with the same price 4.50- 5.00 Euros for a kebab and frites/fries.
El Loco Latino
15 minutes across the Rhone from Hotel de Ville
Latino bar with low budget food of the day menu
Wallace Whisky Bar Lyon
5 minutes across the Saone from Hotel de Ville
It’s my favorite hangouts, a mixture of French and British food. Fish ‘n chips, bacon, and egg etc. Drinks staff are very sympathetic they can speak with you either English or French.
Many bakeries offer good quality sandwiches mode with a fresh baguette of course! Try example Chez Jules at 7 Rue Octavio Mey 69005 Lyon Gare Saint Paul if happens to take by train. or Le Fournil de L’opera at Place Louis Pradel 69001 Lyon
Address: 2 Rue Forces Tel. +33 47 83 77 154
Le Musee is an excellent traditional French restaurant in the central area of Lyon. The menu at Le Musee is composed of mainly French dishes with a particular focus on regional specialties including andouillette gratin, and quenelle de Brochet. The service is quick and the wait staff is pleasant and helpful with the menu. Portions are generous and the fresh quality of the meats and produce make Le Musee an obvious choice for dining out in Lyon. There is a good selection of regional wines, and the cozy atmosphere of the restaurant makes for a good place to dine with a small group of friends. The restaurant does get fairly busy at night. Dinner reservation recommended. Price 15.00-45.00 Euros.
Address: 6 Rue Hippolyte (archangecafe.com) Tel.( 33) 04 78 28 32 26
Archange offers a delightful French fine dining experience in the 1st arrondissement. The restaurant is modern and stylish with a casual feel and warm ambiance. The dishes are high in a quality, and the menu ranges from regional cheeses, and produce to specialty French dishes like the foie gras. The entrees include fresh seafood, choice cut of steak a,d lamb, and much more. Dinner reservations recommended.
- L’Ourson Qui Boit
Address: 23 Rue Royal Tel. (33) 04 78 27 23 37
L’ourson Qui Boit is a pleasant place to dine in Lyon offering an expertly formed fusion of Japanese and French cuisine. The menu has many favorite French options with a Japanese twist. The chicken mousse is an excellent appetizer to start with followed by the sesame-seared salmon. The service at L’Ourson Qui Boit is professional and efficient with helpful and attentive wait staff on hand. Dinner reservation is recommended. Price 20.00 to 35.00 Euros.
Address: 83 Rue Moncey Tel. (33) 04 72 61 15 69
A stylish and light decor make L’Alexandrin a pleasant and warm place to enjoy a meal in the third arrondissement. The restaurant has a modern look with a somewhat 80’s decor and colors. The menu has many regional and national favorites on it from a mixed amuse bouche of sweet, sour, and salty tastes to the delicious entrees of pig foot or salmon and polenta. The dishes served are competently organized and expertly presented by the professional wait staff. Dinner reservations recommended.
Address: 227 Créqui Tel. (33) 04 78 62 29 54
Lyon Dakar is a delightful Senegalese restaurant in the center of the 3rd arrondissement. The menu has some delicious and well-balanced meals like the beef stew, marinated grilled fish, spiced meats, peanut dishes, and more. Service is efficient and pleasant with several attentive and helpful servers in hand. The restaurant is warm and semi-casual making it a nice place for couples and groups to dine. Dinner reservations recommended. Price 15.00 to 45.00 Euros.
Address: 76 Rue d’Anvers (33) 04 37 28 08 77
A stylish and fancifully decorated restaurant, Wasabi is simply an experience to behold in the Saint Michel area of Lyon. The distinctively Japanese menu and decor are warm and inviting to guests. The menu consists of generously portioned high-quality dishes of fresh seafood, noodles, soups, salads, and more. The sushi is expertly prepared and the amply portioned bento boxes make for an excellent lunch or dinner. Service is attentive and professional with attentive wait staff on hand. Dinner reservations recommended.
Address: 20 Rue de la Charite Tel. (33) 04 72 77 79 00
A delightful French restaurant with a warm and modern interior makes La Tassee a good option for dining out in Lyon. The menu consists of delicious high favorites as stuffed rabbit loin, escargot, braised steaks, etc. The restaurant has friendly and helpful wait staff, and the wine list is fairly extensive. Dinner reservations recommended.
Address: 42 Cours Franklin Roosevelt Tel. (33) 04 78 24 37 98
Benachon is one of the best places for dessert in Lyon, through guests can enjoy the lunch and dinner options as well. The restaurant is a brasserie and specialty dessert shop with a wide-ranging menu. Suggest stopping in for a president cake and cafe au lait, or the Croque monsieur and a glass of wine. Bernachon has a beautiful interior of marble, recessed lighting, and fine place settings. The wait staff is pleasant and attentive and the service is swift.
- La Lambretta
Address: 74 Rue de Marseille Tel. (33) 04 78 58 87 61
La Lambretta offers some of the best Italian fare in the city for a budget price. The restaurant is conveniently located just a few blocks south of the Jean Moulin University in the 3rd arrondissement. The menu is extensively and offers delicious fresh pizzas, high-quality salads, and homemade desserts of chocolate mouse, crème brulees, and of course espresso as well. Service is quite efficient and the quality and portions of the food are good. Dinner reservation recommended.
Le Resto d’Alice
Address: 34 Rue Sergent Blandan (Rue de Capucins begins just south of Croix Paquet metro station, take it 300m west, note street changes name) Tel.(33) 04 78 28 09 33.
Small bouchon with cute rustic interior and patio located on a nice green plaza. The Andouillette and gratin dauphinoise are particularly good. Service is very friendly. Also surrounded by the interesting looking eating options and convenient velo’v station on a plaza. Full dinner with dessert and wine 30 Euros.
Address: 20 Rue Mulet (just off Rue de la Republique)
Very nice little restaurant with great Lyon food and very lovely decor. Very reasonable wine prices as well.
Bouchon Chez Paul
Address: 11 Rue du major Martin 69001 Lyon (MHotel de Ville) Tel. (33) 04 78 28 35 83
A very good bouchon serving huge portions. Noisy and friendly. Full menu 25 Euros.
L’Art et la Maniere
Address: 102 Grande rue de la Guilotière 69007 Lyon (M Saxe-Gambetta) Tel.(33) 04 37 27 05 83.
Closed Saturday, Sunday, and Monday dinner. Small no- tourist restaurant in a no-tourist area. Short menu but very creative high-quality cooking. Good although short wine list at reasonable prices. Lunch from 16 Euros dinner 26/33 Euros.
Espace Le Bec
Address: Le center, upper-level St. Exupery airport, Tel. (33) 04 72 22 71 86
Before boarding your return flight you can treat yourself to a last fine meal in Lyon. This place was opened by Nicolas Le Bec, who runs the most trendy gastronomic restaurant in the city and offers quality bistronomic cuisine 2-course menu from 20 Euros,3 course menu from 25 Euros.
Le Bistrot de St-Paul
Address: 2 Quai de Bondy, 69005 Lyon (B: C3-Gare St. Paul) Tel. (33) 04 78 28 63 19
This restaurant serving mostly specialties from southwestern France (duck, foie gras, cassoulet, etc) has become locally famous for its “crisis” menu, at lunch you can decide what the price of your menu should be. Most people, however, pay the normal price or even more because the food is worth it!
Address: 52 Rue Mercière (M: Cordeliers) Tel. (33) 04 78 42 94 08
Monday, Sunday lunch; and dinner. Serves all day (12pm-12AM) on Saturday. In another street full of tourist traps, this restaurant offers very good, classical local and french cuisine. Try the grenouilles (frogs) Very nice terrace. Good wine list at interesting prices. Full menu €23 to € 27.
Address: 30 Rue du Boeuf 69005 Lyon (M Vieux Lyon) Tel.(33) 04 78 38 24 30
very good classic French cuisine, made from quality products, in a nice decor. One of the best places in the area. Lunch from €13, dinner €23 -38.
Le Potager des Halles
Address: 3 Rue de la Martinière 69001 Lyon (M:Hotel de Ville) Tel. (33) 04 72 00 24 84.
Closed Sunday and Monday. This restaurant serves traditional French cuisine made from very good and very fresh products, with a Mediterranean influence. Very good wine list too. The lunch menu is an absolute steal! Lunch €15, dinner €32-35.
- Brasserie Georges
Address: 30 cours de Verdun (Located behind Perrache Station) Tel.( 33 )04 72 56 54 56.
An exceptional traditional Brasserie, serving traditional food with an Alsatian leaning in a fine interior. A Real Art Deco treat. Founded in 1836, with a traditional of high-quality service. It also contains a brewery and bar and the interior is worth a look even if you don’t want to eat. From € 25-35
1 Quai de Commerce, 69009 Lyon (M: Gare de Vaise) Tel. 33 4 37 64 64 64
A brasserie owned by Paul Bocuse, near the River Saone. The specialties are fresh fish and cuisine of the Caribbean. Full menu from € 24.
Address: 54 Quai Pierre-Scize, 69005 Lyon (B: 19/31/40/41 Homme de la Roche) Tel.33 4 78 29 40 10.
Closed Saturday, Sunday, Monday lunch. A “modern/classic” cuisine served with great professionalism in a very nice decor. a wine list so big they have to carry it around on a trolley. Good value for money. Full menu from €50.
- L’Auberge de l’lle
Address: Place Notre-Dame, ile Barbe 69009 Lyon (B: 40/43/41 lle Barbe
One of the best places in Lyon, in a 17th-century building on a lovely island on the Saone. Menus €95/125.
La Mère Brazier- Mathieu Viannay
Address: 12 Rue Royale, 69001 Lyon (M: Hotel de Ville) Tel.”” 4 78 23 17 20.
The restaurant opened in 1921 by the legendary Eugénie Brazier was recently taken over by the talented young chef Mathieu Vianney and awarded 2 stars by the Michelin guide only a few months after its opening. Revisited all-time classics (Bresse poultry with truffles, artichokes with foie gras) Lunch menu €35, dinner menus €55/75/95
- Paul Bocuse (Auberge du Pont de Collonges)
Address: 40 Rue de la Plage, 69660 Collonges-Au-Mont-d’Or Tel. (33) 4 72 42 90 90
The master of all chefs. Taste the legend of “Monsieur Paul” who is over 80 years old and still runs this palace restaurant and several others. From €100.
Ice cream, pastries, etc.
- Nardone 3 place Ennemond Fousseret/26 Quai de Bondy, 69005 Lyon( B: C3 Gare St. Paul: M: Vieux Lyon) Tel. (33) ‘ 78 28 29 09
Summer: Monday- Sunday 9am-1am, winter Wednesday- Sunday 10am-7pm, closed December 31- March 10. Delicious ice cream with very pleasant terrace. Completely overcrowded on sunny weekends, be prepared to queue, but it is worth the wait if you are a real ice cream fan. From €7.
Boulangerie du Palais
Address : 8 Rue du Palais de Justice, 69005 Lyon (M: Vieux Lyon) Tel. (33) 4 78 37 09 43.
In this small bakery, you will find good praline tarts, a popular local dessert.
Les Enfants Gàtés
Address: 3 place Sathonay, 69001 Lyon (M: Hotel de Ville) Tel. (33) 4 78 30 76 24
Very good ice cream, on a lovely neighborhood square. Also a good Sunday brunch.
Pain et Cie
Address: 13 Rue des Quatre Chapeaux, 69002 Lyon (M: Cordeliers) Tel. (33) 4 78 38 29 84. This place is popular for its Sunday brunch. Brunch €18.
Lyon was named “capital of gastronomy” by the great gastronomic writer Curnonsky in 1935, at that time there were no exotic restaurants, no diets and nobody was talking about fusion cuisine or bistronomy. Fortunately, the local gastronomy has considered evolved since then and there is now far more to dining in Lyon than the bouchons. Kebab shops, Asian foods, bistros, three-star restaurants. Lyon has them all.