Want to know how to conquer Lyon, France in 48 hours? I’ve got you covered.
If you are like me and my sister you will arrive around 2 pm into the Lyon train station from Charles de Gaulle. From there you can either take the easy route and hop in a cab or take the bus which cost €1.25 per person. We opted for the bus. Of course with this way you might lose a little time but it makes for a good story. For example standing at the wrong bus stop for about 20 mins, then getting to the right bus stop, then getting on the right bus but the wrong direction and trying to ask in French if you are going the right way all while jet lagged…like I said lost time but good story. We hopped off the bus at the Opera house because our Airbnb we rented was in that area. Once checked in the first thing you need to do is get food. We walked to try to get in at a bouchon (will share my bouchon experience in the next post) but they were closing because it was the in-between lunch and dinner time so instead settled for the cafe outside our apartment. We got a cheese platter and beef tartare and enjoyed our first of many glasses of wine. We ate as much as we could and then decided we could not stay awake a minute longer. We had a good amount of cheese left and being the good Americans we are wanted to take it home. Kara went inside and asked for a box; nothing. Then in my broken French I asked our server “take food with me.” I never learned box in French. Apparently you need to learn that because once again nothing happened. We really were going to start napping at the table so we did the only thing we could, took our napkins out and put the bread and cheese in it and left. Serious times call for serious measures.
Next nap for a few hours then wake up refreshed and explore the city at night. Walk to Place des Terreaux and enjoy a cappuccino. We next tried to go again to a bouchon and were laughed at by the same guy who laughed at us earlier when he said they were closed when we told him we didn’t have a reservation. If there is one thing I learned form this trip is MAKE A RESERVATION. Even if the restaurant can accommodate you they won’t unless you have a reservation. I’ll say it again because it is that important; MAKE A RESERVATION. We went across the street to La Creperie du Major and had crepes. It was a cute little place with interesting fairy paintings on the wall but was super cozy and had fabulous crepes, savory and sweet. Next enjoy the rest of your Saturday night at Les Berthoms then get a goodnight’s rest.
Day two; wake up. Call and make a reservation for lunch and then head to Marché Saint-Antoine right on La Saone. Anything and everything you could imagine food wise was available to be purchased. Such fresh produce, meats, seafood. I felt like I had died and gone to farmer’s market heaven.
Next head to your bouchon lunch. Do not miss this. It was amazing and what Lyon is known for(Details in next post). Help digest your food and start the hike up Fouvière Hill. Here you get a great view of the city as well as La Basilique Notre Dame and the see the Roman ruins. Walked back down and head to Vieux Lyon and look at one of the oldest cloaks in Europe on Cathédrale Saint-Jean.
Keep exploring Vieux “Old” Lyon and the cobble streets. At this point we headed back to the apartment and took a quick power nap. Head back out to the city for beers at The Smoking Dog in the old part of town and then finish with wine at Le Baroc Bar right off the river. A perfect way to say good bye to the city you have now fallen in love with. This is a perfect Sunday which is a little more difficult to plan since most places are closed.