10 things to do in Lyon on a limited budget, France

Independent travel to Lyon – prices and budget for a trip in 2022

Lyon is recognized as one of the best cities to live in all of France. For tourists there is also a lot to see here: ancient architecture, delicious food and, of course, a warm atmosphere.

A day of living in Lyon will cost $70.00 excluding airfare. For this money you can have a nice meal in a budget café, stay in a hostel or in a cheap hotel, and visit several museums of the city.

Leisure time in Lyon

The first place to see in Lyon is the historic Presquille. Here it is worth to take a walk to explore the interesting sights. The first point of our trip will be the Place Carnot and the last one will be the Place Terreau. If you walk along the main street of Lyon Rue de la République you will see most of the sights of the city. Here you can stroll along the main square of Lyon – Bellecourt , take a picture near the fountains on the Place Jacobin and admire the classic building of the Opera of Lyon.

But it doesn’t end there! Lyon is a city of squares and cathedrals. It even has a building that looks a lot like Notre Dame de Paris, the Saint-Jean Cathedral . However, even it is not considered the largest and most important in Lyon. From the Old City, take the funicular up to the Notre Dame de Fourvière Basilica. It looks like it towers over the whole of Lyon, with a gilded statue of the Virgin Mary on top. Many interesting stories, facts and legends are known about these sights by local guides, so Book guided toursif you want to learn more.

Another exciting way to get to know the city better is through quest game. With the help of your phone and access to the Internet you can solve the most mysterious riddles, learn ghost stories and the most interesting legends.

For convenience in the movement through the old city, I advise to use Hop-on Hop-off bus..

There are so many sights to see, not only in the historic area, but also in the modern area of Lyon, or more precisely, in La Confluence. There are so much more to see and do. You’ll see futuristic buildings, modern bars and stores, and even driverless buses!

For wine lovers this is also interesting. On the outskirts of Lyon is the village of Beaujolais with its vineyards. Learn more about the making of French wine and enjoy the rustic views of Lyon. You can choose from guided tour or on Segways.

Admission to paid museums starts at $10.00 and tours and excursions start at $20.00 .

When and how much better to go to Lyon?

The best time to travel is late spring. It is also best to go to Lyon in May or June . Although it has a fairly mild climate, it can be rainy in the fall and winter.

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Lyon has an incredibly beautiful lighting system, which can be replaced any other day in the evening, but during the festival you will be able to enjoy a laser show, installations and fireworks.

In 2 days you will see all the most familiar places of the city. If you want to walk around all the parks, squares and cathedrals, you will need at least 3-4 days.

Food in Lyon – what to choose and how much does it cost?

Lyon is not called the gastronomic capital of France for nothing. Every café and restaurant cooks with local products, to which you can’t complain about the taste and freshness. You can taste the national cuisine of Leon in special places – bouchons. There are many of them in the city center, so you won’t have to look for them for a long time. Be sure to try such dishes as “la quenelle au brochet” and “le tablier de sapeur”. The first is of minced fish and the second is of pork or beef.

Prices in Lyon – restaurants and cafes

What are the prices of cafes and restaurants in Lyon? Dinner in an inexpensive establishment for one person will cost – 15.30 $ .

Prices in cafes and restaurants
Lunch at a budget cafe 15,30 $
Dinner at a restaurant for two 59,00 $
Big Mac Menu at McDonalds 10,30 $
Craft beer on tap 0.5 7,70 $
Imported beer 0.33 5,90 $
Cappuccino 3,80 $
Coke or Pepsi 0.33 2,40 $
Bottle of water 0.33 1,50 $

Pay attention to the cheeses in France. Each region has its own distinctive type. In Lyon, these are the cheeses of Saint Marcellin and Saint Félicienne. Whereas Marcellin has a softer texture, Félicienne has a creamy flavor.

Saving money for the tourist is an important thing. Do you want to cook your own food? You can buy products in supermarkets, stores or at the local market.

In the market Le Al Paul Bocuse you can not only buy fresh seafood, but also buy ready to eat fast food.

Grocery Prices in Lyon

To help you better navigate your budget, I provide you with prices for some items in stores.

Prices in supermarkets
Milk 1 liter. 1,10 $
White bread 1,40 $
Eggs 12 pcs. 3,60 $
Local cheese 1 kg. 21,40 $
Chicken fillet 1 kg. 10,40 $
Apples 1 kg. 3,10 $
Bananas 1 kg. 2,30 $
Bottle of water 1,5 0,90 $
Wine (regular) 7,70 $
Craft beer 0.5 1,80 $
Imported beer 0.33 5,90 $
Pack of Marlboros 11,80 $

How to get to Lyon?

First we need to arrive in France. The nearest airport to Lyon with flights from Ukraine is Paris. There are two options for flights from Kiev to Paris: direct flights and ones without a connection. The cost of direct flight direct flight on average is $1,431.00 round trip.

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From Paris to Lyon you can take a bus or train. You can buy bus tickets at .and cost from $20,00 per person. Trip by bus will take about 6 hours. Much faster by train. Your journey will not take more than 2 hours and the ticket price is about $30,00.

The second way to get to Lyon is by connecting flight. If you fly out of Kiev it will cost at least $414,00 round trip. If you arrive at Lyon airport, go to the streetcar stop. For only $13.91, you’ll reach the city center in half an hour. Or you can order a private shuttle for $60.00 for a quick and comfortable ride.

Transportation in Lyon

Public transport in Lyon: how to use it and what it costs

Lyon boasts a fairly well-developed transportation system. There are several subway lines, streetcars, buses and even funiculars! In this city, all the little things are thought out for the convenience of people. There is no need to buy different tickets for different modes of transport. One is enough, with which you can transfer an unlimited number of times during the hour.

In all, there are several basic categories of tickets available for sale:

  • 1 trip – $1.89
  • 10 rides – $15.00 under 26, $17.48 after 26
  • 1 ride for two hours – $3.18
  • Night or evening rides (after 7 p.m.) – $3.18
  • 24-hour unlimited trips – $6.36
  • 48-hour unlimited trips – $11.92
  • 72 hour unlimited travel – $15.89

The best way for travelers to buy a local Lyon City Card, rather than a travel voucher. What are the benefits? First, you can safely use any public transport. The second is that you can go to 22 of the city’s museums for free. And thirdly, for the card users will open new discounts and promotions in some establishments and stores.

The cost of the card starts at $32.00 per day for an adult. You can purchase the card in advance at vetted website.

Alternatives to public transportation

Don’t like public transportation? No problem ! You’ll find plenty of alternatives in Lyon. One of them could be Renting a scooter or motorcycle. Renting a scooter costs from $30.00 per day.

Another option is rent your own car. This is a convenient way to move around the city. Prices start at $60.00 per car per day. Gasoline costs $1.70 in Lyon .

Lodging in Lyon

The choice of accommodation in Lyon is not as wide as in the French capital, but still there are good deals. As for hostels, there are not too many. The average cost per night is $25.00 .

  • Le Flâneur Guesthouse is a youthful place where there is a fusion of many cultures. In the evenings travelers have get-togethers, socialize, and sometimes even dance. For example, an evening of Irish dancing!
  • Away Hostel & Coffee Shop is located in a XIX century building, almost in the center of the city. Each room has a coffee machine, and downstairs a small coffee shop with fragrant pastries.
  • Ho36 Hostel is one of the favorite places of tourists, because everything is close by . Moreover, in the morning or evening you do not need to look for where to eat, because the hostel has a cafe that offers delicious breakfasts and dinners. The staff takes care of its visitors and if necessary, is even ready to provide you with a heated blanket.
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With hotels in Lyon, things are better. You can find cheap rooms starting at $40.00 and comfortable rooms starting at $70.00 per night.

  • Hôtel Le Boulevardier will appeal to lovers of antiques and antiquities. Since the hotel is built in a building from the Renaissance, the owners have maintained that atmosphere, so some rooms have stone or wooden beam walls. There is also a large collection of interesting antiques.
  • The Félix Dort is a clean, atmospheric hotel with a bright design . There are only a few rooms, but each has its own twist. For example, one is equipped with a swing and the other with a big round bed in the center of the room. Around the hotel there is a beautiful green garden.
  • The Mama Shelter Lyon may at first sight seem like an ordinary hotel, but when you start to notice the details, everything becomes clear. Their thing is the interesting decorations. You’ll find lots of colorful toys and paper balls in the rooms and garlands of children’s swim trunks in the public areas!

Liked Lyon? Do you want to stay longer? Then I suggest you rent an apartment. A month’s rent for a studio in the center of the city is $829.00 and $612.00 in other areas.

What to do in Lyon: 10 vacation ideas


Lyon’s warm climate, centuries-old history, interesting personalities, convenient and picturesque location – Lyon has everything to be an attraction for tourists. But that’s not even the most important thing. Lyon is one of the gastronomic capitals of the world! So the key attractions you will find in all the local cafes. Let’s talk about daily bread and other ideas for a pleasant vacation in this article.

Strolling through the world’s treasures

Narrow Street

Lyon’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Which means you can come to the center, or better yet, settle right there and just let yourself go wherever you want. After all, it will be beautiful and colorful everywhere!

There are three whole districts of the city at your disposal that remember counts, kings, dukes, merchants and are simply steeped in the city’s centuries-old history. Don’t be surprised when you come across medieval narrow alleys and even ancient Roman structures.

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Take a shortcut through the traboules (Traboule)

Traboules are narrow alleys or corridors for moving quickly from street to street. They are a hallmark of Lyon architecture. There are about 500 traboules in Lyon – a record number, the likes of which are not to be found in any other city!

Try to find the longest one; it connects 27 rue du Bœuf and 54 rue Saint Jean. It’s a fascinating walk but make sure you don’t get lost!

Immerse yourself in Roman culture.

Roman ruins

As we said before, there’s no need to leave Lyon! The well-preserved Gallo-Roman amphitheater is next to the famous Notre Dame de Fourvière basilica on the hill of the same name. The amphitheater was built in the 2nd century A.D. and held public executions, burnings of followers of Christ, and oath ceremonies for the Caesar.

Next to the amphitheater you would find a slightly more modest-sized odeon. People gathered there less and more for pleasant gatherings – readings, plays, concerts. Then you can visit the museum of Gallo-Roman civilization and get acquainted with rare finds of Roman culture and everyday life.

Taste the local delicacies at the Paul Bocuse market

Almost no one disputes the claim that France has the best cuisine in the world. Well, Lyon has the best cuisine in France! This also applies to the quality of products. The market of Paul Bocuse (famous chef) is a large indoor market, where more than fifty vendors offer simply excellent products. There are farmers, winemakers, cheesemakers, and other grocers.

French markets are as much an integral part of French culture and daily life as are oriental bazaars somewhere in Turkey. Plus you get a pleasant bonus: the possibility to buy excellent souvenirs.

Address: 102 Cours Lafayette

Open 7:00 – 22:30 p.m.

Taste the local cuisine in the Bouchon


In the historical center of Lyon there are a lot of traditional Lyon restaurants with an authentic French atmosphere and traditional dishes of the region. They are called bouchons.

Here you can taste the famous local dishes:

  • rosette de Lyon – pork sausages dried for 2-3 months at a certain temperature;
  • salade lyonnaise – a Lyon salad of greens, boiled eggs, fried bacon and croutons;
  • gratin dauphinois – potatoes baked in a creamy sauce in the oven;
  • Célestine roquette – chicken sauteed with mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic and parsley in a wine or cognac sauce;
  • boudin aux pommes – blood sausage garnished with apples;
  • petit salé aux lentilles – pork stewed with lentils;
  • and many, many others.

Many establishments also serve special seasonal dishes. For example, during the hunting season, in autumn, you’ll get to try game.

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Visit the Lumière brothers

The inventors of cinema were born and lived in Lyon. Be sure to visit them! Their house is now a museum that displays their most iconic inventions, posters, photos, films and much more. There’s even the world’s first movie set! Can you remember the name of the film? It was The Workers’ Exit from the Factory.

You can trace the history of the development of the new art form in another thematic museum – the Museum of Miniatures and Movie Decorations. Many of the exhibits of this museum you have already seen on the screen! For example, Harry Potter’s wand.

“Should I go to Lyon?

Watch the sunset on the Croix-Rousse hill


The Croix-Rousse area isn’t something travelers who stop in Lyon for a day don’t get to see. However it is worth seeing: Les Murs Peints, the largest and most famous mural in Lyon. It is on 36 Boulevard des Canuts.

During the daytime you can just stroll around the neighborhood and enjoy the architecture, and in the evening watch the sunset in the Serizet park 354 meters above sea level. The view of the city from here is gorgeous!

Go to Le temps des copains (The time of friends)

This cozy secret bar is decorated in the retro style of the 70’s and 80’s. The walls are hung with portraits of French music icons of those years, and in the back of the room there is an old jukebox, and it works. The special atmosphere of the institution allows you to get acquainted closer with France, taste local wines, relax and even sing karaoke.

Address: 18 rue Longue

Open: 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Find out what music is missing at the Opéra de Lyon


The Opéra de Lyon building was built back in the 18th century, but by now only the foyer and façade remain of the old theater. The rest of the building was added in the XX century to replace the lost one.

Many people know that according to Greek mythology there are nine Muses, but on the facade of the Opera de Lyon you find only eight. Which one is missing?

Spend a day in the Alps


Annecy is a small town almost on the border with Switzerland. Of attractions here, not only the mountains and the clearest lake, but also the traditional comfort of French small towns. Its old buildings in an unusually bright color scheme will not leave you indifferent. Be sure to enjoy a picnic by the lake overlooking the mountains – an unforgettable experience!

In the winter months, go to the Alps can be not only for beauty but also for active recreation. Trains and buses leave Lyon every day for various alpine resorts in France and Switzerland.

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