Lyon rose up during the French Revolution to fight against the National Convention, leading to destruction of buildings and a period of rebuilding that followed. Today, it is a popular tourist destination for those who want to experience a taste of French culture but would prefer a different feel than Paris.
When to Visit Lyon, France
During December, the Festival of Lights draws a lot of visitors, so rates tend to be higher. The city also typically gets a lot of rain during the months of May, September, October, and November, so if you are planning outdoor activities, steer clear of these times of the year. Precipitation is common throughout the year, with an annual average of nearly 763 millimeters (30 inches) per year, so tourists may need to be flexible on activities based on the weather. If you don't mind the rain, you can get lower hotel room rates if you visit during off-peak seasons.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Lyon, France:
Lyon by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean nightly cost trends by star rating class in Lyon, France. You can use these illustrations to calculate the most cost effective time period to book a room in Lyon for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Lyon, France
One of the higher-end hotels in Lyon is the Cour des Loges, located on Rue du Boeuf. The property features an indoor pool, spa, fitness center, contemporary design elements, and a breathtaking covered dome atrium. Sixty-one guest rooms and four suites are available, and nightly room rates start at $234. It is very close to the Musée Historique de Lyon.
Another highly ranked luxury hotel in the area is the Hotel de la Cite, situated on Quai Charles de Gaulle in Lyon. It is a larger property, with 164 rooms spread out on six floors, including five suites. Pets are welcome at this hotel, and rooms include minibars, WiFi access, available 24-hour room service, and flat-screen TVs. The Tête d'Or Parc is just 20 meters from the hotel, one of the largest parks in France. It's a great spot for relaxing on a pleasant day or taking a morning jog around the track, and is home to a rose garden and city zoo. The Hotel de la Cite rooms start at $200 per night.
Le Gourguillon is an intimate luxury property that has only nine guest rooms available. Choose from deluxe or superior double room or deluxe or superior suite with a king bed. The hotel sits in the heart of Lyon, with a hanging terrace that allows guests to overlook the entire city. Each of the beautiful rooms has its own private Jacuzzi, facilities for making tea and coffee, a refrigerator, and flat-screen TV. Private breakfast is also served daily within each room.
Reasonably Priced Hotels in Lyon, France
Lyon is a large area, taking up nearly 50 square kilometers of land. As a result, there are plenty of hotel options available for travelers on all budgets. The Grand Hôtel de la Paix sits in downtown Lyon, with rates starting at $88 per night. It is less than half a mile from the Palais de Justice and Beaux Arts Museum. You can opt for a room with two double beds, two twin beds, or even a suite with a family room if you are traveling with a group. The hotel also offers packages that include daily buffet breakfast.
The Republik Hotel in Lyon is another budget-friendly hotel, where nightly rates begin at $84. Each of the 39 guest rooms offers free WiFi, a private safe, cable TV, coffee and tea, and a daily complimentary newspaper. The hotel also serves a daily buffet breakfast that includes a variety of French favorites, along with cereal, eggs, and beverages. A bicycle Velov station is within 50 meters of the front doors, making it easy to rent a bike for a tour of the city. It is also within a mile of many of the city's top attractions.
One of the most affordable hotels in Lyon is the Hotel Alexandra, where the room rate starts at $75 per night. Visitors can take a short three-minute walk to get to the Musée des Tissus et des Arts Décoratifs, a favorite art museum. Each guest room includes a flat-screen TV and access to complimentary Wi-Fi. It also has a terrace on site, and some of the rooms open directly to it for access. Daily breakfast is available for an extra fee, and guests can enjoy nice weather in the outdoor terrace seating.
Which Lyon hotels have real discounts?
There are a number of hotels that offer discounted rates to AAA members, military personnel, and seniors. AAA members get cheaper nightly rates at Mercure Lyon Centre Saxe Lafayette, INTER-HOTEL Au Patio Morand, and multiple Best Western properties in the area (Best Western Crequi Lyon Part Dieu, Best Western Hotel Charlemagne, and Best Western Richelieu Lyon Part-Dieu). Military and government personnel can qualify for discounts at Villa Florentine, Campanile Lyon Centre-Berges du Rhône, Cour des Loges, and Le Patio des Terraux. Senior citizens qualify for lower prices at Kyriad Lyon Croix Rousse, Villa Florentine, and Hotel la Tour Rose, as well as several others.
Those looking for reasonable group rates can check out the Grand Hotel a Boscolo – a first-class hotel that ranked highly among groups booking rooms. It is a large property that has 140 rooms. At the Mercure Lyon Centre Sax Lafayette, groups saved an average of 11 percent on their bookings. Group rates tend to be harder to secure during December, especially around the time of the annual Festival of Lights, as well as around holidays when travel is more common.
Best Value Options in Lyon, France
If you are looking for a great value, check out Residence Villemanzy – Lyon, which starts at $95 per night. Past guests have praised its central location, spacious rooms, and cleanliness. The Mercure Lyon Centre Saxe Lafayette is a bit more expensive, with room rates starting at $140 per night, but it received high ratings from visitors. The complimentary WiFi is fast and reliable, guests have easy access to the city center, and the rooms are large and comfortable.
Another hotel property that offers great value is the Hotel des Savoies. Guests ranked it higher than average, but the price starts at a very reasonable $59 per night. For a slightly increased price, you can choose a superior accommodation that includes a family room. The property includes 46 rooms on four floors, and recently underwent a renovation in 2005.
Top Attractions to Visit in Lyon, France
During your trip to Lyon, there are several must-see attractions and locations. One of the top spots is the Tête d'Or Parc, an expansive outdoor oasis with plenty to see and do. You can even participate in an electric bike tour that includes a ride through the park. If you love historical architecture, add the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere to your to-do list. This elegant church is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside, and inspires feelings of Old Lyon.
Film and cinema fans will enjoy a tour of the Musee Miniature et Cinema, where exhibits give visitors a look into the history of the cinema. You can even see some of the actual equipment and props used in well-known American films. Fourviere Hill also offers breathtaking views of the city below, while the Theatres Romains de Fourviere is an outdoor theater believed to have been used in ancient Roman times.
The Musee des Beaux-Arts is well worth the visit for those who enjoy learning more about art and history. Its exhibits include modern art, artifacts from Ancient Egypt, Impressionism, and more. Take a break from touring the museum in the serene courtyard, in the center of the property. Even the building itself is a work of art, featuring sweeping staircases and other design elements that take visitors back in time.
If you do find yourself in Lyon in early December, be sure to set aside time to attend the Festival of Lights. It lasts for four days (December 6-9) and includes a variety of daily themes and vibes for a truly unique experience at each event. Admission is free, and the entire festival pays tribute to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Nearly every home in Lyon will feature candles on display in the windows, which creates an indescribable effect throughout the city.
Lyon is a beautiful city that has a rich history. Visitors throughout the year can visit attractions and museums that honor its heritage. The real favorite among both tourists and locals is the Festival of Lights, which is well worth a visit. It is also home to a number of hotel options, making it easy to plan a vacation there on just about any budget.
A visit to Lyon Recapped
Appetizing, savory, and extremely delicious - the descriptions are meant to be addressed to food, but once you've been to Lyon, you'll agree that a town can be as flavorsome. Regarded as France's capital of gastronomy, Lyon's servings of tourism are every bit delightful. Lyon is the capital of Rhone, known for the production of silk and its collection of architectural and historical landmarks. The cultural hotpot is a UNESCO World Heritage Site - the passageways of Coix-Rousse have been around for more than two millennia. While munching a macaroon, you'll discover every corner is picturesque, as its depths have given birth to cinema's pioneers, August and Louis Lumiere. Lyon ranks among the world's greats for innovation, banking, and biotechnological industries. Visitors head for the Festival of Lights, a tribute to the Virgin Mary dating since the medieval times. Others pay a visit to the Saint Francis of Sales cathedral. The finest chefs of French cuisine live in Lyon, partly because of the wineries of Beaujolais and Cotes du Rhone that surround its borders. Do not leave Lyon without a taste of salade lyonnaise, andouillete pistachio sausage, and the bouchons. In the city, gluttony is never a sin.
'Man is rarely made by his virtues. Efforts are what count in the long run. There's no point to being a virtuous man who's of no help to the nation.'
These hard-hitting words by former French Prime Minister and a proud Lyonnaise might serve to readjust our moral compass, but they are quite true in a global sense, without much doubt. Lyon, in that sense, has contributed more to the development of France through a number of turbulent times, without glory, without expectations.
One of the reasons that have made Lyon a very important city in the scheme of French interest is its strategic location. Located at a short distance from the powerhouses in Europe, Paris, Geneva and Strasberg, Lyon has had its share of trouble in terms of power struggle. The city had to undergo severely cathartic treatment from disintegrating Roman state for the beliefs of its Christian residents. But today, Lyon holds its head high as an important part of the national scheme of things as well as a very popular tourist destination.
Historically speaking, Lyon has been in existence for at least 2100 years. Non-official documents estimate the life of this city at 2500 years. One look at the architecture and the overall development of the cityscape is enough to know that the city has undergone many transitions that have rendered a look of desolation as well as style on its structure. Over the centuries, Lyon has stood tall to be an important center of learning, arts and culture, at times giving safe haven to renaissance masters from other parts of Europe.
This history of tolerance, prosperity, integrity to a bigger cause, and of course a natural cherishing of all things beautiful define Lyon of today. All travelers and tourists who wish to take a trip to Lyon should keep this in mind before embarking upon this journey of beauty, through, in and around Lyon.
Locating Budget-Friendly Hotels in Lyon
As mentioned earlier, Lyon is a city of import in today's time. Considering that aspect, it becomes quite predictable that the city boasts of a high standard of living, making it difficult for tourists to actually be able find reasonably priced accommodation options in Lyon.
That's true, however, only to some extent. In comparison with bigger cities like Paris and Marseilles, Lyon is much more mildly priced, meaning that it's cheaper to find budget friendly hotels in Lyon. To find such hotel establishments, you need look farther than the old city center of Lyon, as the highest concentration of sights to see in this area implies that this area carries the highest number of cheap hotels.
Got a Better Idea? Try Some Luxury Hotels!
Cheap hotels aren't everyone's idea of a trip. Some tourists do not mind or do not like to keep it short when it comes to spending on their holidays. For such revellers of good life, Lyon there are special treats in reserve, in the form of luxury hotels in Lyon.
These, much like luxury resorts in other parts of France (and, indeed, the rest of the world), are perfect for unwinding over a few days of nearly-royal treatment that's sure to get you up and running with full energy when you finish your tour and get back home and to more mundane things like home and work.
Pavillon de la Rotonde is the most lavish hotel in Lyon, always frequented by royalty, global superstars and visiting dignitaries from other states. Not too far in the queue is Sofitel Lyon, also similarly priced and regarded in stature. Villa Florentine is another luxury establishment for connoisseurs of extravagance and utmost comfort.
Amazing Sights of Lyon
The most beautiful sight that one can hope to see in Lyon is the city itself. The city has been in habitation continuously for over 2000 years, and hence, has been declared by the UNESCO as a 'global heritage site'.
Another part of Lyon that's sure to appeal to the tastes of lovers of art is the Renaissance District of Lyon. The district has a huge cultural and significance in the history of art, a factor that's very palpable from the moment you set foot in the district. Another popular sight is the Roman Districut of Lyon, a district where Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius' armies once ravaged and plundered the very heart of the city. Another important location in the Roman District is the birthplace of Roman Emperor Claudius, made popular by a semi-fictional account of his life 'I Claudius' by Robert Graves.
Park de la Tete d'Or is a famous botanical garden and park located in the center of modern Lyon cityscape.
Hotels in The Vicinity of Lyon Airport
Lyon has been blessed with a fairly busy airport that majorly caters to the European flight traffic. There are occasional flight connecting Lyon to non-European cities, most notably from the US and Japan. A deep network of domestic connection means that Lyon Airport is always the most likely place for tourists to enter Lyon from.
Considering this, it becomes important to see if there is a good congregation of lodging places in the near vicinity of Lyon Airport. Tourists would be glad to know that there are a handful of Lyon hotels that cater to both ends of the price spectrum, allowing tourists with all kinds of budgets to stay with them.
What Does The Weatherman Say?
Weather in Lyon is typically European, meaning that it gets colder around Christmas and hotter around June. Considering this, the best time to visit Lyon should be June-August. However, Lyon hotels are generally priced on the lower side around Christmas. So, you can save a handsome amount of money on your travel expenses if you visit Lyon during November-December. January-March is a season that's seen as proper winter, meaning that visiting Lyon is very cheap during these months. Considering these aspects (and a host of other seasonal events), you can pick out the best time to travel to Lyon.