While Paris is a city of lights, romance, and glamour, we like to think of Lyon as her more understated little sister. Lyon has long been an Elsie Green favorite, and we call it home during our regular sourcing trips to the French countryside. Over the last 11 years of EG, we've discovered all her greatest secrets. We love exploring the nooks, crannies, cafés, and boulangeries that make her special.

la croix rousse lyon france

Situated between 2 rivers, the Rhône and the Saône, Lyon is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The food, scenery, and truly exceptional people make it (dare we say it) our favorite city in France. Paris, je t'aime, but Lyon has my heart.

quai saint vincent lyon

Before the pandemic, I was living in Lyon with exceptionally generous friends of my parents. I worked in two French elementary schools teaching English, and I count it as some of the best months of my life. I was able to speak French every day with my host parents, walk to my local boulangerie for croissants des amandes, and travel to cities in Europe I've always dreamed of visiting.

la croix rousse lyon france

Sadly, I had to come home early at the onset of the pandemic, but Lyon remains one of my most treasured places. To share her magic, I've compiled this guide to the city. On your next trip to France, take a weekend trip from Paris and spend long days exploring her tiny, narrow streets. You may just fall in love, like us.

les pentes de la croix-rousse lyon france


Le Luminarium
Café des Gros Caillou

hotel de verdun lyon france


Hôtel Saint-Vincent
Hôtel de Verdun 1882

blue door in lyon france


Le Potager des Halles
Cafe des Anges
Les Enfants Terribles
Brasserie Georges
Halles de la Martinière
Frîtes Alors!
Maison Hand
Carmelo Trattoria
Les Desjeuneur
Chez Lucien
Copper Roots
Restaurant Albert

quai de saone


Boulangerie Saint-Vincent
Boulangerie de la Martinière
Chez Thomas

view from fourviere


Pop & Shoes
Soeurs Genes

mini brass lyon model


The Smoking Dog (with trivia on Tuesday nights in French & English!)
Monkey Club
Ayers Rock
Le Grooverie
Les Muses

croix rousse train


La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière
Fresque des Lyonnais
Hôtel de Ville
Musée des Beaux-Arts
Les Traboules
Vieux Lyon
Cathédrale de Saint-Jean
Place Bellecour
Parc de la Tête d'Or
Jardin Botanique de Lyon
Zoo de Lyon
La Fête des Lumières (if you are there early December!)
Les Bateaux Lyonnais

hotel royal lyon france place bellecour

All photos were taken by Andie Furber on 35mm film.

Feeling inspired? Check out these other Elsie Green travel guides >

Andie Furber