For those who missed our first day in Lyon, please click HERE before continue reading.
Awoken by the morning sun of Lyon, we could feel the intensity of the long first day in all our muscles. Nevertheless we decided to ignore the veto that our feet were giving us for another day of walking, and after breakfast we decided to explore the culinary side of Lyon by visiting Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse. This is a fancy indoor food market, named after France’s famous cook Paul Bocuse (who unfortunately passed away not that long ago).
I must say that the variety of high quality food that the indoor market offeres is very impressive. Lyon’s trademark as French capital of food is presented by almost every vendor or small restaurant at the market and it is difficult to refuse all those delicious treats that are being offered. The only thing that will stand between you and the Lyon cuisine is the price… as it is quite expensive having a meal or a drink in Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse. This eventually drove us to a very fine sushi restaurant, situated across the market.
A city of many faces…
For the second part of our day, we continued our journey towards the old part of the city, which is called Vieux Lyon. We also had planned to visit the Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica that overlooks the city. To enter Vieux Lyon, one needs to cross the Saône river, and on this day there was also an antique and food market being organized on the river banks. Very nice!
What I really find cool about Lyon, is that every district has a totally different atmosphere. The fancy and modern Presqu’ile and Confluence, the artistic Croix Rousse and now Vieux Lyon, which has the look and feel of a traditional small village. Streets are small, houses are old and you literally feel history in every corner of the district. And yet again an outdoor art market, organized on the main square of Vieux Lyon. It felt like we took a short trip to a village outside Lyon, but we were still within the city ‘walls’. Strolling through the district is fun, but in the afternoon Vieux Lyon becomes very, very crowded, so better plan your visit in the morning.
Even the Romans chose Lyon
For moving up towards the Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica you will need to take a cute and cosy red (cable) train that goes up the hill. The trains are very old and still have their traditional wooden interior. The trip only takes a few minutes, upon which you will arrive at the square in front of the basilica. And such bad luck we had, as the basilica was closed for a private ‘party’ when we arrived, beh! Fortunately we did have the magnificent view over the city and the opportunity to visit yet another highlight of the city, continue reading!
As I mentioned in the first part of this blog about Lyon, the city bursts with history… from the cosy streets and the impressive French / Italian styled architecture, the magnificent squares and churches, the Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica and Vieux Lyon, but there is even more. The city also houses an ancient Roman theatre, called ‘Ancient Theatre of Fourvière’, which is also situated on a hill and where concerts and late night movie screenings are still being organized. The Roman theatre is situated just a few minutes walking from the basilica and is accessible to the public. As it is still in very good condition, the theatre is definitely worth a visit.
With yet another intensive day of exploring Lyon behind us, our feet were literally killing us. Thus we decided to end our ‘tour’ with another delicious dinner. For this we chose to look for and find a restaurant in the area where most of the Lyonnais eat out: Rue des Marronniers. Ok, that turned out to be quite a challenge – I am sorry, dear feet – as almost every restaurant was packed and we did not book a table at forehand. To tip you once more: book your restaurant in advance! Fortunately we managed to find a table at a delicious Italian restaurant, called Casabea. Where both service and food were of excellent quality.
Jeux des Traboules
And how time has flown… waking up for our third day in Lyon, which would also be our back-to-Berlin departure day. But not before we participated in one more typical Lyon adventure: exploring the traboules of the city. The what? The TRABOULES! These are small and hidden passageways that were used in medieval times to quickly move from one street to another without being seen. The traboules can be found in Vieux Lyon and are still being used by the locals. It was incredible to notice how Lyon is such a maze from the inside, which is totally unnoticed on the outside.
Well, that is it. Our story of our first ever trip to Lyon and why we love the city. There is so much to do and the atmosphere and culture of the city is just great. Lyon definitely tops our list as a future city in France to build a future life. So let us see what happens in about five years from now.
Have you also visited Lyon and have an experience to share? Feel free to add this to the comments section or write us about it via explore(at)trvlbugz.nl.