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36 Hours in Lyon

Today we’re travelling to what many call the gastronomic capital of France and the world! Lyon, France is situated about two hours away from Paris and is one of the most underrated cities in Europe for its rich history, countless green spaces, and the quality and preparation of its food. 


DAY ONE


13:00 Market Shopping

Start your trip off by picking up picnic food at Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, an indoor market packed with stalls selling cheese, wine, meats, and apéritifs of the highest quality. Buy a bit of everything, especially at the stands selling cured and fresh meats that pair beautifully with Saint Marcelin, the local cheese of Lyon.


14:00 Picnic at Tete d’Or

Walk or take a quick tram to Tete d’Or, the largest urban park in France. It is incredibly beautiful, with endless spots to sit down and enjoy the green scenery. There are also a few indoor botanical gardens filled with unique plants and flowers that you can explore after your picnic. 


18:00 Dinner at Les Apothicaires

Start your culinary journey at a restaurant known for food perfected to a science. The former library has a Michelin star and a wonderfully cosy interior with jars, books, and warm lighting covering the walls. The menu has touches of Latin American roots and integrates seasonal vegetables into its plates.


DAY TWO


9:00 Breakfast at Pralus

Pralus is a Lyonnais patisserie famous for its delicious pink Pralulines. Stop here for breakfast and a coffee before your busy day. 


10:00 Explore Vieux Lyon

Walk around Lyon’s oldest neighbourhood filled with sights like the beautiful Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral and the Jardin Archéologique. It’s like taking a step back in time, and it’s easy to get lost (in a good way) in the beautiful streets that wind around the river.


12:00 Lunch at a Bouchon

A trip to Lyon is incomplete without visiting a traditional Lyonnais bouchon. There are only 20 authentic bouchons in the city, marked by a plaque to signal to passersby that this is no tourist trap. My favourite is Les Lyonnais Bouchon  the food is fantastic and relatively affordable considering the quality.


14:00 Explore Terreaux

Terreaux is my favourite neighbourhood in Lyon for its multitude of activities and sights to see. Visit Palais de la Bourse de Lyon, the beautiful palace pictured above. I also recommend Le Bal de Ardents, a bookshop with an arch of books at the doorway that makes a beautiful picture. 


18:00 Dinner at Carmelo

Carmelo has gained popularity over social media in the past year, but for good reason. Each room is intricately designed to fit a different theme, and the dishes range from truffle pasta to pizzas topped with smoked salami, with an incredible tiramisu for dessert. You may have to book in advance, but it is absolutely worth it. 


20:00 Night Out at a Jazz Bar

It’s a crime to visit any French city without hitting a Jazz bar, so if you aren’t too tired after dinner, head to La Clef de Voute, the famous dimly lit bar that plays jazz every night of the week. 


DAY THREE


10:00 Brunch at Cafe du Rhone

Before your journey home, allow yourself a last moment of relaxation at Cafe du Rhone, with guaranteed amazing food before you have to head back to your Tesco meal deals. Get a bottle of wine, sit by the river, and enjoy your last hour in Lyon!


Photo by Ana-Lucia Chalmers

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