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Group Lyon

General Information

Lyon is the capital of the region Rhone-Alpes , the prefecture of the Rhone ''Departement" in France, with a total population of about 1,8 million (city + suburbs). It's the second biggest city in France (when including the suburbs) after Paris. Lyon is a major centre of business and has a big student population. Situated between Paris and Marseille, the city is perfectly located 2 hours from the French Alps ski resorts and 3 hours from the Mediterranean sea. Lyon is also well known as the French capital of gastronomy and has a significant role in the history of cinema. For more general information about Lyon, you can check out the page of Wikipedia about Lyon.


History of Lyon

Put here a little chapter of the history of the city, but not so long, the entire history has to be developped on the wikipedia page of the city.

The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to historic buildings from main periods between Roman Empire and XXth century. Lyon was historically known as an important area for the production and weaving of silk and in modern times has developed a reputation as the capital of gastronomy in France.

More informations about the History of Lyon on the page of Wikipedia about the city !

What to visit ?

Put here the most interesting parts of the city to visit, but not a complete list, the entire list of place to visit in the city has to be developped on the wikitravel page of the city.

From Fourviere Hill to Quartier des Etats Unis, through Vieux Lyon, Croix Rousse, Presqu'Ile, they are so many things to see : More informations about the places to visit in Lyon on the on the wikivoyage page of the city !

You can download some path here, in French or here for the famous "traboules".

Getting hospitality in Lyon

A good way to be sure to find a host during busy periods (summer and winter) is to search for people outside of the city. Public transportation is good and there are plenty of people living within a 10-15 minute bus ride to the city center.

For your information, the Lyon Couchsurfers and BeWelcomers receive a lot of requests each year for the festival of light

The Festival of Lights

This is the biggest event in Lyon and one of the biggest in Europe. Each year in December The Lyon community host more than 300 surfers from everywhere. During four days the city is illuminated in an artistic way. The most popular party of the city.

Going Out

Regular BeWelcome Lyon Meeting

Are you passionated by travels, you are creative, welcoming, open minded and wish to exchange with dynamic people ?

The meeting usually happens until late, or is followed by some other ones there or in another place.

Please, check the Lyon Forum to know where the meeting will happen this week ;)

The boardgames night

In the pentes de la Croix-Rousse, there are some bar games. All kinds of boardgames, but mostly alternative ones.

  • Moi j'men fous, je triche !: The fee is only 6 euros for the whole year. You can play any number of games, and invite (only once) one person of your choice. There you can also have some soft drinks and beers.

Openings: Tuesday to Friday from 7:00 pm to 1:00 am, Saturday from 3.00 pm to 1:00 am. Sunday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. 8, Rue Rene Leynaud, 69001 Lyon

  • Les Epinards: More than 1700 games, 350 games books and a bar

Openings: wednesday to Saturday from 7.00 pm to 1.00 am. Full moon night from 7.00 pm until the morning. Sunday from 3 .00pm to 1.00 am. 19 rue Sergent Blandan 69001 Lyon.


  • A great pub on the week end is the Wallace, located in Saint Jean. It is a huge pub on two floors, great for soccer match, Live music, 100 hundred different whiskies, ...
  • The boats : On the Rhone banks, we are used to hang out in some bar-converted river boats which also feature live music sometimes : The Sirius and The Marquise are two of the most notable ones.
  • L'Atmosphere : The best bar in lyon to party, meet people and have lots of fun, Montee des carmelites.

Things to do

Lyon holds the 2nd place among French cities for its nightlife! Vieux Lyon, the quays along the Saone, Presque-Ile, Croix Rousse and many other districts are overflowing with sometimes surprising but always fascinating, magical places.

Any ideas ? You could start your apero (french traditionnal drink about 18H PM) at Le Dahut des Pentes, and then get to Cafe Lecture, listenning to erotic poetry or surrealistic philosophy (?), then continue to La Belle Equipe (and taste their wonderful gratin dauphinois)... but it's still early, so you decide to visit the famous Atmosphere's free dance floor and make new friends bringing you to Le Bec de Jazz, meet the boss, Tchango Dei, great pianist... it's about 5 AM and you're hungry, hopefully, your trip goes on to La Catole and it's inimitable "tablier sapeur"... Oh ! Sun is rising ! don't worry, other nightclubbing places are waiting for you...


Lyon's inhabitants are in love of good food and wine combined with the region's delicious and varied cuisine based on local products have helped shape its special culinary culture, both gourmand and exacting. In Lyon, it is easy to find a place serving good food and very rare to find bad cooking. There are two famous places in Lyon to have a good dinner or to eat specialities : just take a walk in Vieux Lyon or on Rue Merciere (1er) and you will start to feel hungry ! These are best known places, but there are so many others you can't discover all in a year !

Be careful, the true typical "Bouchons Lyonnais" is quite hard to find and some imitations will disappoint exigent gourmets. Don't worry if you go to Cafe des Federations (1er), Chez Abel (2eme), Le Pailleron (3eme), Comptoir du Vin (4eme), L'amphytrion (5eme)... Few examples, and each lyonnais has got his own favourite cooks. A local association labels some "authentic bouchons"; the list can be found in this Wikipedia article.

Lyon is a cosmopolitan city and you can find a huge diversity of restaurants: traditional food (like "Bouchons Lyonnais"; 1st and 5th districts), Chinese (7th), Kebab (everywhere, but several around Les Terreaux), Exotic food, Mexican food, Russian food, Indian food, Italian food, etc. Since many students are living there, you can find an abundance of cheap restaurants, but also sophisticated (and expensive) ones. You can also enjoy dinner watching a show or singing karaoke in places like Le Papagayo or Viva Bodega!

The website lyonresto.com lists most restaurants in Lyon and features many customer reviews; unfortunately it only exists in French.

Lyon has 4 fully vegetarian restaurants that are also vegan-friendly and organic. For a gourmet experience, try out Toutes les Couleurs or Couleurs Des Mets. If you're on a budget, head over to Soline which features a more cafeteria-style menu. For soups and smoothies, try PlanBio. Many other places on this website. For a late-night veg snack, hit up any of the many kebab places mentioned above. Some of them feature falafel, such as Adonys (rue Puits Gaillot), but if not, most of them will offer some sort of vegetarian option.

L'eau Vive, Biocoop and La Vie Claire are popular natural food store chains in France with many locations in Lyon. At les Halles de la Martiniere you will find a grocery and a small food court. There are also several farmers' markets, some of which are organic. You can find a listing of the days and locations on the Lyon Tourism website.

Tip: The word for "organic" in French is "bio".

Nightlife in Lyon

Since Lyon hosts very different kinds of people, you will find a variety of places to have fun! From the numerous Irish pubs to the Australian ones, you will meet people always ready to party. To make the night last longer, there are a lot of clubs offering a diversity of atmospheres: electronic music, exotic, gay, gigs, for young or less young, etc.

For people fond of music, Lyon boasts several venues for concerts (e.g., Transbordeur, Bourse du travail, Halle Tony Garnier, Marche Gare, Ninkasi Kao, CCO Villeurbanne). There are also several pubs regularly featuring live music (e.g., KraspeK MyziK, Trokson, Bistroy, Eden Rock Cafe, K-bare) and many boats on the Rhone (e.g., Sirius, Marquise, Passagere). You can even find places to discuss more or less serious subjects or enjoy the theatre (e.g., Espace Tonkin, La Mi-Graine, le Fou Fieffe).

Lyon also offers many cinema complexes, both commercial and independent art houses. For different kinds of shows or to watch a play, there are several theatres in Lyon (e.g., Theatre de la Renaissance, de Venissieux, Les Ateliers, Les Clochards Celestes, Espace 44) and also the Opera of Lyon, the "Guignol de Lyon" (i.e., the famous puppets of Lyon) or many smaller places such as "Le Boui-Boui" or "Le Complexe du rire". For classical music, there are auditoriums and the Piano � Lyon, and some free events at the CNSMD


You can find some pathes here (in French). And another website with guides. Some of them can be joined with public transports.


  • For free you can go to public libraries when they are opened. click on the B letter on the map
  • Raconte-moi la terre : 38, rue Thomassin - 69002 Lyon, Tel. : 04 78 92 60 23

This space is a travel library but also an internet Cafe

  • OpenSource Cafe: 126, rue sebastien Gryphe - 69007 Lyon, Tel. : 04-72-73-45-76

The first internet space dedicated to the free linux system. More than 32 artisanal sirups and 15 fruit juices.

More than a laundry service , Le Lavoir des Pentes is also a cyberspace and a non alcoholic bar.




Guest Houses




Public Transportation

Lyon has several methods of public transportation:

  • Metro : 4 lines, one of them (line D) is automatic with a high rate of passage
  • Bus and trolley (100+ lines)
  • Tramway (5 lines)
  • Funicular (2 lines)
  • Bike : Velo'v, low cost bike hire service with a lot of stations throughout the city (15 euros per year)

You will find general information on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyon#Transport Wikipedia. On this page, we only put tips and details that are useful for Bewelcomers.

You can find a map of the TCL (Transports en Commun Lyonnais) public transportation network here (TCL).

Tickets & Fares

There are a lot of ways to use public transport tickets in Lyon. Firstly, Lyon is not huge and if you are young and healthy you can easily walk to all of the touristic and party spots. If you prefer to use the public transportation, it is probably best to buy a pack of 10 tickets. Your host may also keep tickets for his/her guests. Fares

  • A single ticket is 1.60 euro and is valid for 1 hour without return. (2.00 euros on board)
  • A pack of 10 tickets is 14.30 euros and 12.50 euros for students under 28 years old with a current student card.
  • A 2-hour-freedom ticket is 2.60 euros, but it can't be used before 9am.
  • A daily ticket is 4.90 euros. During July and August, people younger than 21 years old can get a special ticket for 1.10 euros.
  • A night-freedom ticket is 2.60 euros, valid after 7pm until the end of service.
  • A special return ticket for the funicular (useful for visiting fourviere) is 2.40 euros.

If you have a MasterCard or Visa with a chip (it doesn't work all the time, but you can try), you can rent a bike with Velo'v. There are 340 self-service kiosks in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to pick up and drop off the bicycles throughout Lyon and its suburbs. Ask locals for assistance or check out the English version of the website ahead of time (Velo'v); it may help since everything is in French!


Lyon has two SNCF train stations (Lyon-Perrache and Lyon-Part-Dieu), linking the city by TGV to Paris and the Mediterranean (about 2 hours each). To avoid TGV and expensive costs, you can use regional trains ( TER) or this website or ask at a SNCF ticket office for the train you want.

Lyon Airport

The Airport can be reached from the train station Part Dieu and the tram stations Vaulx-en-Velin La Soie or Meyzieu Z.I. with the Rhonexpress train Rhonexpress every 15 minutes between 6.00 am and 9.00 pm and every 30 minutes from 5.00am to 6.00 am and 9.00 pm to midnight.The price is about 14,50 euros one way and 25,50 euros go/return.


You can find a driver or passenger to share the ride and cut on travel cost. In France carpooling is very popular and is called "covoiturage". Try the following website :


Main spots here


In Case of Emergency

From fixed telephones:

  • Medical help/Ambulance - 15
  • Police - 17
  • Fire - 18
  • If calling from a cell/mobile telephone, dial "112" for any emergency situation

External links