Elected European Capital of Smart Tourism in 2019, Lyon is more dynamic than ever. Renowned for its gastronomy, its culture and its rosy facades, the former capital of the Gauls is as charming on the Saône side as on the Rhône side. With two people, you can let yourself be carried away by its bon vivant character.
Tailor-made itinerary for lovers in the heart of Lyon
Taking the temperature of Old Lyon
If this is where you come for the quality of the bouchons lyonnais (typical brasseries of the city) - present on every street corner - you should know that the Vieux Lyon district is also an atmosphere in itself. We can't recommend enough that you stroll through its tiny cobbled streets, its traboules (small secret passages located between buildings and inner courtyards) and take a long look at the magnificent astronomical clock of the Cathedral Saint-Jean.
Hand in hand, we then take the funicular or, for the bravest, the stairs, and head for the Fourvière hill . Otherwise known as "the hill that prays" by the locals, it offers a plunging view over the roofs of Lyon. On a sunny day, the panorama is incredible. While you're there, you can take advantage of the opportunity to contemplate the emblematic Fourvière basilica and its imposing religious fortress behind you.
The charming and colourful park of Les Hauteurs, where it is good to count your blessings together. On the way back down, you can take a walk along the quays of the Saône. It is here that you can contemplate the beautiful medieval and Renaissance facades.
For a lunch break, head for the charming Croix Rousse district . HQ of artists and café theatres, it is also the meeting place of the bon vivants with its cheerful Marché Alimentaire et Fleurs . A real village in the city and a Lyon institution.
At snack time, strolls on Lyon's Presqu'île
When it's time to digest, we go for a walk in the south of the historic Presqu'île, in the Confluences district. A recent district where urban planning has been completely redesigned by architects. The proof is in the pudding with the grandiose Musée des Confluences . Like a spaceship in the city, the "Cristal-nuage" was created in 2014 to tell the story of Lyon. The visit is really worth it, as much for the content as for the form.
On your way out, you can take a breath of fresh air on the banks of the Rhône, before taking a well-deserved nap in the sublime Parc de la Tête d'Or . The city's green haven par excellence. In addition to being gigantic, it has a zoo, a lake, thousands of trees and lots of greenery.
For a sweet treat, go to Pralus to buy a tarte praline to eat in or take away. The shop is located halfway between the Musée des Confluences and the Parc de la Tête d'Or.
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At dinner time, bouchon atmosphere
In the early evening, back to the Presqu'ile, on the side of Place Bellecour (3rd largest French square after the Concorde in Paris and the Quinconces in Bordeaux). Built in the 12th century, its buildings have been classified as Historic Monuments since 1930. More than an aesthetic place, the Place Bellecour and its surroundings are above all the heartbeat of Lyon at nightfall.
Here, you can dine and party in the adjacent streets. Note to self: go to rue des Marronniers and rue Saint-Catherine.
For a typical dinner : book chez Mounier . Family friendly, warm and a local cuisine that warms the heart. It is the Lyonnais "bouchon" par excellence, with the added bonus of a soul.
For a romantic dinner : La voute (chez Léa) , certified authentic bouchon nestled at the foot of Fourvière hill. As well as having a refined décor and a full-time pianist, the restaurant serves excellent Lyon cuisine. An institution.
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For a nightcap: rue Sainte-Catherine, of course. Impossible to list all the bars, there are far too many per square metre. But whatever happens, you're sure to have fun.