If it’s your first time going to France, there is one city you cannot miss: Lyon. This sweet little town nestled between the Rhône and Saône rivers has long been known as France’s culinary capital. In fact, it used to be a destination only for foodies. But let me tell you, Lyon offers so much more than just good food! In fact, it is now an epicenter of silk production, gastronomy and commerce. Of course, don’t forget to reserve two days of your holiday to visit Paris. You can easily find a train from Lyon to Paris online, and a trip to France without seeing Paris just can’t be done. However, I recommend using Lyon as a home base. It is more intimate, less packed with tourists, and more affordable.
Here are a few fun things to do in Lyon while you’re there:
The cruise, offered by the Scenic Emerald, starts north of Lyon on the Saone. You will pull into the city in early morning as Lyon is just waking up. This is a beautiful time to arrive, as the city of 1.7 million people can get pretty bustling. The city center is built on a strip of land between the Rhone and the Saone, and the boat will take you around it and up the Rhone. The most amazing view is the Musee des Confluences, which you see at the southernmost tip of the peninsula. It is called the Confluence Museum because it is built where the Rhone and Saone collide. This gravity-defying work of modern architecture is splendid inside, but seeing it from the water is truly magical.
Once you’re done admiring this architectural masterpiece from outside, head on in! Opened in 2014, the Confluence Museum is dedicated to anthropology, ethnology and the natural sciences. Inside you will find an array of narrative exhibits that explore the stories of mankind according to every culture, tribe, state and people to ever walk this earth. It’s mission statement is to promote France’s dedication the easily accessible, quality, and affordable access to culture.
While Lyon is the gastronomical capital of the country, is has the fortune to be nestled between the world famous Beaujolais and Cotes du Rhone vineyards. So not only will you eat like a king, you will drink like one too! Lyon is famous for its pistachio-flavored pork sausages, salami, andouillette sausages, Saint-Marcellin, rosette, and quenelles, just to name a few. For sweets, get your hands on some bugnes, coussins and cocons. And don’t dare to leave the city without trying some Lyon chocolate. I promise, you won’t regret it!
Eating is serious business in this city, so you’re sure to be satisfied wherever you go. Even the lower budget places will astound you, pulling you in with savory wafts and leaving you feeling loved, content, and like you may never want to leave Lyon.