Lyon is perfect for just strolling about. The city, listed as Unesco World Heritage, feels almost bucolic, with its peninsula between the Saône and Rhône Rivers nestled cosily amongst designer textile workshops, and fuelled by warm, world-famous cuisine.
Wander around the Presqu'île
From Place Bellecour, head up Rue de la République, the main shopping artery, to the Printemps department store and its many name brands. Then cross the l'Argue Passage into the Golden Triangle, where quaint hat-makers and silverware shops take visitors back to the olden days. Rue Edouard Herriot, near Place des Jacobins, is lined with the likes of Hermès, Vuitton and Dior. Something is bound to strike your fancy at Village Market (8 Rue Confort), a concept-store selling books, ready-to-wear fashion and jewellery.
Rare treasures in Ainay
Rue Auguste Comte, south of Place Bellecour, is thriving with art merchants. You may stumble across an unusual, must-have antique at Marilyn's, number 55. At Arpin's, number 32, uncover tasteful plaids, futons and other high-end cushions designed by the two century-old spinning and weaving mill. After admiring what Lyon decorator Claude Cartier has staged at contemporary art gallery TwentyTwo, cross the Paul Couturier footbridge towards the Old Town to savour a slice of praline pie at La Marquise (37 Rue Saint-Jean), an emblematic Lyon bakery-tearoom.
Art-hunting at La Croix-Rousse
Lyon's traditional silk district also famous for its traboules, or passageways, now houses 70 artists at the Designers' Village in Passage Thiaffait (19 Rue René Leynaud). Take time to explore Sophie Guyot's workshop as well (8 Rue Saint-Polycarpe), a textile designer who revisits the contemporary silk scarf.
At the foot of the "pencil" tower, the five-storey Part-Dieu shopping centre is one of Europe's largest. Another must-see the Orange Cube, in the Confluence district along the Saône, a showroom for today's greatest furniture designers.