At the confluence of the Saône and the Rhône, near the Alps, Switzerland and Italy sits Lyon, a huge European intersection and meeting place since time immemorial.
Ancient capital of the Gaules during the Roman empire, merchant city from The Renaissance, Lyon owes it’s initial rise and prosperity to the silk trade and thereafter to the textile industry which is very much part of its cultural identity today.
For Food Lovers?
Not only is Lyon a land of infinite wealth it is also the food capital of the world.
All food lovers will enjoy Lyon’s specialities which can be found in “Les Bouchons”, small restaurants typical to the region. Here you will discover local dishes such as, “Cervelas”, “Rosette”, and “Paté en croute”. The city’s restaurants are filled with Michelin star chefs who will want to amaze you with their bold recipes which are reinvented every day.
We can also taste the wine of Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône and Bugey that call out to our taste buds from every street corner!
Staycity aparthotels Lyon are located in the 7th district, 2km from the train station Part-Dieu in the middle of the university quarter.
Very well served by public transport (tramways, subway, bus, funicular…), you will find everything in this district. The property is also a stone’s throw from Parc Blandan where we can rest in the sun for a nap at the end of the day while the children play.
Want to go in a restaurant nearby? There’s a great spot only 700 meters away, “Le Bistrot des Maquignons”. On sunny days, the terrace is the perfect place to have lunch al fresco. The food is delicious, the wine menu is rich and varied and you will get a warm welcome.
Note: The Lyon city card gives unlimited access to all public transport, 22 museums, guided tours of the silk workshop and a cruise on the Saône. Click here for more details ici.
For History Lovers?
We can start by diving into the original city, on the Fourvière Hill… and go there by funicular.
You will find Le Musée gallo-romain, located on the border of an archaeological site. It brings together all discoveries made from ancient Lyon, the surrounding area and many other places too. It will also give you the keys to discover the ancient remains nearby:
The theatre, one of the biggest and oldest in Gaule, could host almost 10,000 people.
The Odeon, a small theatre dedicated to music, built around 100AD.
From there we have multiple options:
We can walk to the Basilique of Fourvière which offers an amazing view of the city, or even go a little higher and try tree-climbing in the park for a spot of sport.
We can’t talk about history and Lyon without mentioning the “Canuts” or silk workers and the “Traboules” or covered paths they walked along. Entrances are often small as they were only for the workers to go from one building to another without using the streets.
They’re a surprising and beautiful architectural feature of the St Jean district (old town) and Croix-Rousse. Several tours are available here. We can also download an App here to help us discover these “Traboules”.
To learn more about the history of silk, head to “La Maison des Canuts” in la Croix-Rousse, where you’ll see the technique, creativity and community of Lyon’s 5 century old silk trade. Here you’ll see unusually tall buildings where were designed to accommodate the big looms.
The Croix-Rousse village like district is buzzing with a trendy and bohemian vibe, here you will find several small restaurants, nice markets, a creative workshop and a nice place to have a drink. We would recommend “le Bistrot fait sa broc“ on 3 Dumenge Road for just that.
A Walk in the Old Town?
St Jean is the biggest Renaissance district in the world after Venice, classified in world heritage. A popular place for tourists, we like the atmosphere here and enjoy getting lost in the streets. The best way to see St Jean? The guided tour.
For children (smallies and teenagers!) you can’t miss the museum of Gadagne. Located in a beautiful renaissance house, one part that is dedicated to the history of the city and the other to puppets. “Guignol” is the main character and a popular local hero, here we discover the history of puppets in France, Europe, Asia and Africa. The museum offer shows and also workshops to learn how to be a good puppeteer.
Along the River
On Sunday morning, we like strolling along the dock of St
Antoine to the dock of Célestins, into the market before going to the fish market and booksellers.
The museum of Confluence is on the south of the Presqu’île of Lyon, in an ultra moden building, here we find a collection of natural history, anthropology, society and civilization making it a unique place of infinite treasures. An absolute must see…
And that is just a beginning!
Hortense Desprez was born in Paris where she lived for many years before discovering other regions of her country. Eager to travel, she lived in Belgium for a few years with her family, they then moved to Andalucia and have recently settled in Normandy where she sources antiques for special events. Often on the road hunting for antiques, she regularly discovers great places that she likes to share.