Lyon Saint Exupery Airport lies approximately 13 miles, or 20 kilometers, southeast of central Lyon. Its two runways support more than eight million passengers, from approximately 30 countries, each year. Air France has maintained a major regional hub at the airport since 1995. The airport features three U-shaped terminals, which connect at a point called "Le Centre". A wide variety of passenger services are located in Le Centre, including a concierge, currency exchange, infirmary, pharmacy, and children's play area.
Travelers requiring business services at the airport will find them in the centrally located airport Business Center. Wireless Internet, laptop and printer rentals, audio-visual equipment, secretarial services, and meeting rooms are available there.
Handicapped travelers are easily accommodated at this airport. Restrooms, ramps, and lifts are readily available. Passengers needing assistance with wheelchairs are advised to call ahead.
Things to Do
Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere
The Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere is one of the most popular attractions in all of Lyon, France. If you are interested in amazing architecture, this structure is definitely one that you do not want to miss. It has an unbelievably detailed interior, and a beautiful exterior that will leave fans of 19th century architecture in awe.
Lyon Segway Tour
That if you are interested in seeing the city of Lyon in a whole new way, consider booking a Segway tour. The Segway is one of the most unique ways to see the city without having to walk around everywhere. On the Segway tour, you will follow an experienced guide that can show you the inner workings of the city of Lyon. You get to experience the crisp Lyon air and soak in the culture at every stop.
Fourviere Hill is one of the most interesting attractions in all of Lyon. Here you will find ancient ruins from when the Roman civilization stretched across France. They have a number of Roman amphitheaters that have been preserved very well even though they are hundreds of years old. You can walk around the area on your own or get a guided tour from someone who can tell you about what all the ruins are. If you are a history buff, Fourviere Hill is a must see on your trip to Lyon, France.
Parc de la Tete d'Or
Another great attraction in Lyon, France is the Parc de la Tete d'Or. This is a beautiful public market has a lot to see and do for people of all ages. Here at the park, you'll find a zoo, a lake, and a rose garden, among other things. If you enjoy natural beauty, this park has some of the best that you will see anywhere in France. It is consistently rated as one of the top attractions in Lyon, France for people of all backgrounds. The best part is, it's all free. This can be a good place to go visit if you're running a little low on funds during your vacation.
Cathedral Saint Jean Baptiste
Another architectural highlight of your trip to Lyon, France is the Cathedral Saint Jean Baptiste. Named after Jean Baptiste, it offers some of the most amazing stained glass windows that you'll see anywhere in the world. The Gothic architecture really provides a look unlike anything else you'll see.
Getting Around Lyon
As the second largest metropolitan city in France, Lyon has a number of different ways of getting around the city. The Metro is one of the fastest and most efficient forms of transportation in Lyon. It consists of four lines: A, B, C, and D. On maps, the lines can be distinguished by their different colors, with A being red, B being blue, C being orange, and D being green. The Metro serves the center city and the surrounding suburbs.
Lyon also has extensive bus service. Buses can sometimes take the longest, as they are at the mercy of the amount of traffic on the road, but they can also be the most convenient, as there are many bus stops and buses often serve areas where the Metro does not.
Another great way to get around the city of Lyon and see some of the sights is via the tramway system. Lyon's tramway system has four lines: T1, T2, T3, and T4. The tramway serves a more limited area than the Metro or bus system, but unlike the Metro, you can get a good feel for the city by being above ground, and unlike the bus, you won't have to worry about traffic, as the tramway system isn't directly on the road. There's also an express tram that takes you to the Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport.
Similar to, yet different from the tramway is the trolley. Lyon's trolley system consists of three lines: C1, C2 and C3. Like the tramway system, trolleys are above ground and are a great way to watch the city pass by, as the trolleys cover some of the most popular areas of Lyon.
Lyon also has a funicular system with two lines, which can be a fun and unique way to see the city. Both funicular lines start at the Vieux Lyon Metro station. The funicular line heading to Saint Just offers services between that neighborhood and the city center, with a stop along the way at the Roman ampitheater at Minimes. The other funicular line to Fourvière is a great way for tourists to see some of the highlights of Lyon.
Tickets for any of Lyon's public transportation system are easy to purchase. You can buy a single ticket, a carnet of ten tickets, or a day pass, which offers unlimited rides on the Metro as well as all buses, trams, funiculars, and trolleys.
Shopping in Lyon
Rue de la République
This is by far the most popular pedestrian shopping destination in the entire city of Lyon. This is the place where locals and visitors alike come to spend time with one another and where several festivals and events are held throughout the year. Between Monday and Saturday of each week, the shops are open. Stores sell everything from home goods and clothing, but it is not an area where shoppers will find upscale purchases or designer boutiques. Two other roads run alongside Rue de la République and offer similar shopping opportunities. These are the Rue de Brest and the Rue du Président Edouard Herriot.
St. Antoine Market
Located between Quai St Antoine and Quai des Célestins, the St. Antoine Market is a must visit shopping destination for anyone interested in purchasing fresh local food ingredients or homemade goods made in the traditional Lyon fashion. It has been a central location for decades, but the market is open only during the mornings between Tuesday and Sunday.
The various regions of France is known for producing spectacular wines, and Lyon is certainly no exception. Visitors and locals who want to purchase the best of local wines to drink or to bring home as souvenirs should be sure to visit the Vercoquin. This wine store boasts thousands of different varietals and even allows shoppers to open and taste their newly purchased bottles right in the connected wine bar.
While there are many traditional French shops and markets in Lyon, there are also plenty of exotic and fascinating stores offering wares from around the world. Bahadourian is one such example. The large shop sells all things exotic including Asian toys and handmade crafts. It is also the perfect place to get a taste for North African foods and desserts, which are sold warm and ready to eat right in the store or the adjacent cafe.
This older section of the city boasts Renaissance architecture and medieval buildings sure to impress. It is also a center of commerce for locals and tourists alike. While streets like Rue St. Jean and Rue la Boeuf are home to a large number of stores and cafes, the clientele is typically international visitors. Prices may be higher here than in some smaller shops outside of the city center, but there is no better place to find souvenirs and handcrafts made right in the city of Lyon.
Dining in Lyon
This restaurant has the rustic exterior that you would expect to find in France. The menu consists of Asian food. If you are planning to eat here on a holiday, you should make reservations because the restaurant can get full quickly. The sushi is freshly made each day. It is one of the top items on the menu. The chef will come to your table and demonstrate the proper way to prepare sushi if they are not busy.
Le 14 Fevrier
This is a classy French restaurant that is modern in design. Only 14 people can eat in the restaurant at one time. The chocolate mousse is a delightful dessert. Champagne or wine can be ordered with your meal. Breads are served before your meal, but you should not eat a lot because the main dishes are filling.
If you want a cozy place to eat with someone special while you are in France, this is one of the places that you should visit. The risotto is one of the best dishes, and the crème brulee is a dazzling dessert. The front of the restaurant has curtains in the windows so that you have privacy from the outside world while you are eating. There are three different menus to choose from.
Au Petit Bouchon Chez Georges
Whether you are getting the salad or a bowl of fish stew, the items on the menu are sure to leave a flavorful taste in your mouth. Many of the dishes are different than what other restaurants serve. Braised potatoes are a nice compliment to the steak, or you can get a thick fillet of white fish.
You don't have to go to Japan to get a wonderful Japanese meal. If you order off of the set menu, you receive four courses that include a dessert and appetizer. If you don't like Japanese, you can order from the French menu. The lobster is one of the top items that people order.
You are in for a sweet treat when you visit La Tassee. The pastries are light and fluffy, and they melt in your mouth. The sauces that come with the pastries are fruity and delightful. The restaurant has two rooms that you can eat in. each meal comes with a sampling of cheese from the area.