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.
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.
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.
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.
Café des Gros Caillou
Hôtel de Verdun 1882
Le Potager des Halles
Cafe des Anges
Les Enfants Terribles
Halles de la Martinière
Boulangerie de la Martinière
Pop & Shoes
The Smoking Dog (with trivia on Tuesday nights in French & English!)
La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière
Fresque des Lyonnais
Hôtel de Ville
Musée des Beaux-Arts
Cathédrale de Saint-Jean
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
All photos were taken by Andie Furber on 35mm film.
Feeling inspired? Check out these other Elsie Green travel guides >