How To Spend 48 Hours In Lyon, France

How To Spend 48 Hours In Lyon, France

Written By: Adrien Thammavongsa

Hi guys! I’m Adrien and I am friends with Monique and Katie and I thank a lot for letting me write this post. I spent my entire childhood in Lyon (yes I’m French!) and because I went back there last week, with a lot of excitement I’m about to tell you what to do in 48 hours in Lyon.

First, you have to know that Lyon is one of the biggest cities of France and I like to call it “Mini Paris” because the architecture is really similar and you also have completely different neighborhoods. But enough with the introduction, let me help you plan for your next trip to Lyon!

1st Day:

Breakfast at L’institution : L’Institution has been an iconic establishment in Lyon since its construction in 1864. It was entirely redecorated by Jacques Garcia in 2013 and today it reflects current trends, offering a chic yet cosy style inspired by the flamboyant interiors of the 19th Century and juxtaposed with contemporary art.








Walk to the Place des Terreaux : Follow Rue de la République and you will end up at the famous square located in the center of Lyon. The fountain originally located in the center of the square (and now on restoration) is iconic aswell. The Place des Terreaux because of all the shops, restaurant and bar is a place where many people from Lyon like to spend their time.









Go on an adventure in this neighbourhood!  It is such a young and cool (a bit gay) neighbor. I’m sure you will find your way to the Oper de Lyon located behind the Place des Terreaux and right in front of you will see the Mairie du 1er of Lyon.

A bit hungry? Dont worry! I know a really cool place that recently opened: NoZe café & food.


Now that you’ve eaten, cross the bridge and to the Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon). As a comparison,  this neighbor is a lot like Montmartre in Paris. It is the largest Renaissance district of Lyon in the 5th arrondissement. I hardly encourage you to stop at the Basilica Notre Dame de Fourvière. It was built with private funds between 1872 and 1884 in a dominant position overlooking the city.

Ice cream at René Nardone Glacier: In the early 70s, they developped the brand, the reputation of which,beams over Lyon and the region. René Nardone has become the leading manufacturer of ice-cream in Lyon. It is a must go spot.

Time to cross the bridge again and head to Rue Mercière. This time I’ll let you choose your restaurant because there are too many good places to eat on this street since it is well known for its large choice of restaurants! (If you wanna eat Lyonnais go to a “Bouchon Lyonnais”)

After your dinner and this very long day, go get some rest because I have much more left for you to do tomorrow!

2nd Day:

Morning at the Musée des Confluences: It is a science centre and anthropology museum which opened on 20 December 2014. The deconstructivist architectural design, said to resemble a floating crystal cloud of stainless steel and glass, was created by the Austrian firm Coop Himmelb.










Let’s Brunch at Mama Shelter Lyon! (BBQ De La Mama every Sunday) If you hadn’t heard about the Mama group, your day has come. “In Lyon, we wanted to make a place both of and in the city, a place to gather and rest, the comforts of home with the thrill of being in a city as delicious and lively as this one. And at the end of the day, Mama’s.”












Shopping at Confluence: The Mall opened in 2012 and is now considered one of the go to places of the Lyonnais people. Unlike other malls in France, this one is really spacious so you’ll be able to spend a good time there, shopping or just window-shopping.



Let’s take a Vélo’v! Yes, Parisian did not invent Véli’b they copied the idea from Lyon! So take one and bike along the Saône until you get to Bellecour area!

Place Bellecour: it is one of the largest open squares in Europe, and the third biggest square in France. In the middle is an equestrian statue of king Louis XIV by François-Frédéric Lemot (1825). The square also has two pavilions, housing the tourist information office of Lyon and an art gallery. It is a symbolique place for the Lyonnais and you can’t leave Lyon without seeing it.









Drinks at Le Diplomatico: It is my favorite place in Lyon to have a coffee or a drink. They have large choice of drinks and food but most of all you’ll enjoy a wonderful view of the Basilica Notre Dame de Fourvière that I will not show you because you have to see it with your own eyes! Enjoy your drinks and the view because the night is just getting started.











Dinner and clubbing at le Selcius: Historically the building was a saline warehouse, where the salt was transported from south to north by boat. They have a terrace to die for, 2 chefs Jean-françois Incana and Jimmy Asloune and at midnight the restaurant transform into a nightclub so enjoy the night!



I hope this post will give you the urge to visit Lyon and if you need more advice I will be pleased to answer any questions below.

Thank you!