A Complete City Guide to Lyon

A Complete City Guide to Lyon | WORLD OF WANDERLUST
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As the gateway to so many fantastic locations in the countryside of France, Lyon is an impressive city with many great pockets to discover. With a surprisingly good restaurant and cafe scene, Lyon is best discovered over a couple of days, though if you’re light on time, can be ticked off in a day of jam-packed adventures. My visit was that of the latter and went by in a flash – so here’s a look at the highlights of Lyon to help plan your own adventure!

A Complete City Guide to Lyon | WORLD OF WANDERLUST A Complete City Guide to Lyon | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Getting Around Lyon

Many visitors to Lyon arrive by train but no matter the mode of transport – get yourself to the centre of town and have your map handy – this city is huge and has so much to discover!

Because of the sheer size, I’d highly recommend renting a bike for the day or making use of the city bikes. This will enable you to cover so much more ground, as many of the cities’ offerings are spread out.

If cycling isn’t your thing, you can still see most of Lyon’s highlights on foot – but be ready for a big day clocking up the kilometres!

A Complete City Guide to Lyon | WORLD OF WANDERLUST A Complete City Guide to Lyon | WORLD OF WANDERLUST A Complete City Guide to Lyon | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

What to See in Lyon

Being such a huge city, there is plenty to see and do in Lyon. While a couple of days will see you explore the city at leisure, the best of Lyon can certainly be seen in one day.

Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière

A beautiful basilica overlooking the city with a really great view.

Vieux Lyon (Old Town)

The old town district is by far and large my favourite area to explore and I’m sure it will be yours, too. This quaint and charming neighbourhood is best explored on foot (think cobblestones and lots of them!) There are many charming restaurants and bakeries to be found amongst the souvenir shops and artisan stores.

Parc de la Tête d’or

If you find yourself in Lyon during the warmer months, then a picnic lunch in this beautiful 117 hectare public park is a must.


There are a handful of popular museums in the city (I can’t say I visited any because with just one day, being outside exploring was my priority!) The most popular are the Museum of Fine Arts and the Gallo-Roman Museum, exhibiting a range of Roman artefacts and antiques.

A Complete City Guide to Lyon | WORLD OF WANDERLUST The Best Cafes in Lyon France | WORLD OF WANDERLUST A Complete City Guide to Lyon | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Where to Eat and Drink

Lyon has an impressive food and drinks scene, with something on the menu for even the pickiest of eaters. I managed to find a great range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free friendly eateries as well, so read on for a (very) comprehensive list!

Cafes & Coffee Houses

Slake Coffee House – The best coffee in town (and great carrot cake too!)

Puzzle Cafe – Also the best coffee in town (qual standing) with a really relaxed “BYO Laptop” kinda vibe.

La Cafeteria – Great healthy and affordable lunch spot and really popular with the locals.

Breakfast & Brunch

Le Polo Club – Cosy little tea room with a British feel – custom teapots and all!

Le Grand Café des Négociants – Over the top, luxurious setting with a classic approach to brunch (think French pastries, OJ and plunger coffee).

French Fare (Lunch & Dinner)

Le Kitchen Cafe – Only 19 seats and arguably the most sought after spot in town. Here you will find a dessert bar (uh, yes!). Open for lunch only.

Cafe Sillon – Focus on fresh produce and an ever-changing seasonal menu.

Les Apothicaires – Four, five and six course dinners with a distinctly French approach to modern gastronomy. An awakening dining experience if ever there were just one to be had in Lyon.

Veggie Friendly Eateries (Lunch & Dinner)

Hank Vegan Burgers – Third location of the popular eatery from Le Marais, Paris. This is vegan junk food at its finest.

Against the Grain – Vegan cafe with really great soups, salads, wraps and light fare.

Toutes Les Couleurs – Fusion dining and fully vegan restaurant for a more refined evening meal.

Bakeries & Desserts

Boulangerie du Palais – Arguably the best in town. Be sure to try the local Brioche aux Pralines (sweet bread filled with pralines).

Patisserie Taffin – Delicate French pastries with a traditional approach.

Piece of Cake! – Your American-style baking goodies are all here in this simple approach to homestyle baking.

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The Best Day Trips from Lyon

Vienne – Very nearby small city with well-preserved Roman ruins. 30km South of Lyon.

Pérouges – Small medieval town that is used as the set to many films (because it is that cute it looks like a film set!) 40km from Lyon.

Domaine de Lacroix-Laval – Beautiful estate with manicured gardens and an impressive conservatory. 13km from Lyon.


I visited Lyon as part of an Avalon Waterways River Cruise – which is a great way to see the highlights of Provence and Burgundy in a week sailing! All opinions and oodles of photos are my own! 

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

April 15, 2018



  1. composetomanoj@yahoo.co.in'


    May 10, 2018

    France is one of my dream destinations to explore. I am familiar with Paris through books, travelogues, and movies. But this’s the first time I heard about Lyon. It looks amazing and blessed with historical beauty and architectural wonders.

    Thanks for sharing everything about Lyon in detail. It is very useful.

    All the best,

  2. cyong74@scribblinggeek.com'

    Scribbling Geek

    April 22, 2018

    I passed by Lyon some years back, had time to spare, but chose to linger at the train station. What a silly mistake!

  3. babycarenyc20@gmail.com'


    April 19, 2018

    Wow!! Superb and excellent blogs. I would like to read your next write-ups again.
    Thanks for sharing and i will visit these place definitely.

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    April 18, 2018

    Waw very nice city actually are looking of your city

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    April 17, 2018

    I too love these destinations, they all are enriched with the basic needs of a traveler like places to visit and dishes to eat. Thanks for sharing this post.

  6. vaughn.laura@mail.com'


    April 17, 2018

    I love Lyon, it’s such a beautiful city. Not as popular (or as crowded) as Paris, but definitely worth visiting. I visited in February. I only had a couple of days to see everything, but proud to say I manage to check all the major sights. It even inspired my own blog post on what to see in Lyon when you are short on time.

  7. proema01@luther.edu'

    Maja P

    April 17, 2018

    I’ve heard a lot about Lyon’s food scene but didn’t know much else about the city! Love your photos in this post – it looks so beautiful there! 🙂

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    April 16, 2018

    great article thanks for your guide your images is soo amazing.

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    April 16, 2018

    France is so beautiful according to your article must visit to this location. keep sharing

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    April 16, 2018

    Hello, nice view about Lyon, we want more post like this 🙂 (gastronomy and architecture are some of the bests things in Lyon)
    I permit me to add a street-art map of Lyon, maybe some of readers going to like and use it…
    here you are !

  11. melissatatum14@gmail.com'


    April 16, 2018

    Lyon is a great place to enjoy your trip. France is full of surprises and Lyon is one of the best among those, I really like your photos, they are just clicked in a perfect manner.

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    April 16, 2018

    that foods making me hungry so beautiful and how blessed you are brook saward cant explain

  13. faith.contiki@gmail.com'


    April 16, 2018

    Love this part of France but have not yet listed Lyon… i always find myself in the countryside surrounding the big city.

  14. d-karstens@t-online.de'


    April 16, 2018

    Thank you so much for this post! I moved to Lyon last year, so calling such a beautiful city my hometown now. But still, thanks for the tips, there are some places I never been so it’s time!

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    April 16, 2018

    Wow, I absolutely love your photos!!! Thank you for sharing your guide to Lyon with us, I’m going to France this summer and am considering traveling to Lyon!

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    April 16, 2018

    I’d love to get back to France to start exploring more than Paris.

  17. Brooke Saward

    April 16, 2018

    I believe it is considered the gastronomic capital of France!? Even above Paris!

  18. Brooke Saward

    April 16, 2018

    OH thank you so much! That is such a huge compliment. I’ve shared lots of tips on my Youtube channel too, including a bit about what I use each piece of equipment for 🙂 Really hope it helps! xx

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    April 16, 2018

    Brooke, your photos are SO STUNNING that I’m now going back and reading all your posts on photography. You’re killing it! I am going to Europe this fall and I really need to up my game.

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    ivana split

    April 15, 2018

    Great to know that this town has a great restaurant scene, because I’m a total foodie. Wonderful guide to Lyon. I do hope to visit it some day, it seems like such a gorgeous city. Thanks for sharing.

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