Three Days in Lyon, 12 Hours in Paris
May 17, 2016 9:09 AM   Subscribe

A friend and I are taking a trip tomorrow to Lyon (from Berlin). We found this thread but want more information specific to Lyon.

We're most interested in eating and drinking, then probably architecture and museums, then shopping. I'd like to see/experience at least one thing essentially Lyonnaise and I have a pretty nice camera, so if there's something we shouldn't miss, I'd like to know.

On Sunday, I'll arrive in Paris (Orly) at 10am but have to be at Charles de Gaulle at 9pm maybe 9:30 at the latest. I kind of want to see the Venus di Milo. So Louvre, yes, not too keen on Le Tour Eiffel or anything that has a crazy line. Apparently if you order a ticket ahead of time, there are two back ways into the Louvre. I'd rather experience a few very satisfying things than run around and "do it all." I will have a carryon and a personal item with me, but it's Sunday, so...? Also I'm not into modern art or cosmetics or spending a lot of money, but am willing to spend some. I want 1-3 souvenirs. A postcard, something Parisian for me, and one for a friend.

Q: Best food / places of interest in Lyon and Paris? Bonus for less touristy and good photo ops.

Bonus last minute q: how do we get from LYS airport to vieux Lyon?? The transit map doesn't look promising. It's at Quai Romain Rolland near the Gare Saint-Paul.

Q: Is there a way to get my stuff to Charles de Gaulle without me / easily?

Q: Paris isn't TOO dead on Sundays, right? I could at least find a patisserie or park open. I'm almost positive the Louvre is open as well.

Thanks a million!!
posted by serenity_now to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Q: Best food / places of interest in Lyon and Paris? Bonus for less touristy and good photo ops.

There's Les Halles of course.
You can't miss Bernachon chocolate.
And Au Petit Vatel for Quenelles.
posted by vacapinta at 9:44 AM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Lyonnaise food is... Very strong flavoured. Chicken liver pâté. So it may be excellent but not something an American pallet is used to. At all. Give it a whirl but just be open to what "good" means.

Visit the park Tête d'or.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:57 AM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Do you like wine? If so, read on! If not, read on anyway, because you'll soon like wine.

Lyon is about half an hour's drive from the north Rhone valley, home of some of the world's finest wines. It's also largely impenetrable to the layman, doubly so if you don't speak French well enough to talk aquaculture with farmers. So you should get a guide! Three weeks ago, I used Vincent and his wine tour. It was unbelievably awesome. Guy was a winemaker for Domaine Drouhin (hugely prestigious brand out of Burgundy and now Oregon) and really knows his stuff. He picks you up at your hotel, drives you to various and sundry wineries, tells you more than you ever thought was possible to know about the region and its teensy microregions, and then drives you back while you bask in gentle wine-drunkenness. (Optional: if you ask him for dinner recommendations, he will call up and haggle with the locals about getting you a table at the last second) If I were going back, I'd spend a full day with him, but your mileage may vary.
posted by Mayor West at 11:13 AM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Lyon!!!! I loved that city so much I traveled 3 hours by train as often as I could to visit it. As I recall, the public transport (metro) was the cleanest I had ever experienced. The city is also extremely walkable--so if the closest you can get via metro to Vieux Lyon is just over the river, that is A-OK because you'll have a pleasant time crossing the bridge to Vieux Lyon. Definitely hit the Roman theater and cathedral on the hill. The interior of the cathedral is mind-bogglingly ornate and beautiful. There's another cathedral, more in the heart of Vieux Lyon, that has an astronomical clock and was the site of the wedding of Henry IV and some Medici lady.

There are some cool old textile firms still operating in that area, too, and an antique bookshop with very very old books for sale. It's all in pretty close proximity to the cathedral in Vieux Lyon, and (again) a very pleasant stroll. There is a museum of miniature things which is cool.

Finally, I'll quit yammering on about Lyon, but I ate what I consider to be the best meal of my life in a maybe-touristy enclave of bouchons in Vieux Lyon. There was boudin noir, baked apples, mashed potatoes, and cheap delicious wine, all on a menu for like 15 euro. Highly recommend.
posted by witchen at 12:00 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh, oops, I repeated my own previous comments from the thread you linked. But it only serves to emphasize my points! Lyon Lyon Lyon Lyon Lyon! LYON RULES.
posted by witchen at 12:08 PM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Getting from LYS to Vieux Lyon: Take the Rhône Express train from the airport and get off at Vaulx-en-Velin La Soie then take Metro A (direction Perrache) to Cordeliers. That will leave you a 12 minute walk from Quai Romain Rollard. You'll walk through the center of the presque'île which will be nice :) The Rhône Express runs about 15€ and the metro is 1.80€ for a single ride though you can also buy daily tickets and others. Cabs cost > 60€ from the airport so I don't recommend that.

Lyon is so walkable that you probably won't need to buy a metro pass. The bike share, Vélo'v, is an awesome way to get around and a 1 day pass costs only 1.5€ (7 day pass is 5€).

Definitely +1 to Les Halles, visiting a Bouchon, and the cathedral on the hill.

The marché de la Croix-Rousse is fantastic and could give you some good photo ops. While you're up there you can visit the plaza near Le Gros Caillou which has a great view of the Alps. Also, I've been told the best chocolatier in Lyon is up there.. Sebastien Boulliet.

I love parc de la tête d'or and the rose garden is in full bloom right now! Also check out the banks of the Rhône and have a drink on a boat bar.

ETA: I forgot to say that if it is raining the Yoko Ono exhibit is supposed to be good!

I don't know of a good way to get your stuff to CDG without you but you could leave it at a train station. I know there are trains from Paris Gare de Nord to CDG so maybe that would be best?

Paris is pretty dead on Sundays. Patisserie might be hard but parcs will be open and full of Parisians enjoying the day (assuming it is nice out). Though I just checked and it looks like Pierre Hermé is open on Sundays so definitely head there! I loved every pastry/macaron I've tried there.
posted by newsomz at 12:45 PM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I loved the Musee D'Orsay, which is more or less across the river from the Louvre and is open Sundays. It is in an old train station and the building itself is gorgeous. And yes, the Louvre is also open Sundays. However one or both of these are likely to be crowded unless you get there pretty early. The Paris Pass will help you skip the lines, but I don't know if it's worth it for a 12 hour visit.

Here is info on leaving items at the Louvre (they have lockers, but also size limits)
Unfortunately it looks like you cannot bring suitcases into the D'Orsay or leave them in the cloakroom so that might not be the best suggestion (but I'll leave it here for others, or in case you are leaving your bags in a train station locker).

Uber is active in Paris - in fact we took it from the 9th arrondissements to Orly just this weekend.

Enjoy your trip!
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 1:46 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The RER B train is a good way to get into Paris and you can take it to CDG too. If you're at the Louvre, Angelina on Rue Rivoli is nearby. Their pastries probably aren't as good as Pierre Hermé but I love their drinking chocolate. Will have a lineup until about 6pm but you can reserve for breakfast or lunch.
posted by praiseb at 5:16 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I really enjoyed the World Puppet Museum in Lyon, which shares a building with a museum dedicated to Lyonnaise history. (I'm not a history, and not a puppeteer, but I found both fascinating. YMMV.)
posted by taltalim at 10:44 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: In Paris, you may need a place to leave your luggage. The Gare du Nord has self-service lockers and has direct train service to Charles de Gaulle. So when you return to pick up your luggage it'll be a straight shot

This is how I would do it:
1. After arriving at Orly, follow the posted signs to the Orlyval station.
2. Purchase a ticket at the station to Paris (there's a ticket machine at the station). It should be 12.05 euros.
3. Take the Orlyval to Antony station.
5. Take the RER B to the Gare du Nord station
6. At Gare du Nord, find the luggage lockers (consignes automatiques) and drop off my bags
7. From Gare du Nord, take the metro to the Louvre

More detail on the Orlyval connection to Gare du Nord
posted by timelord at 12:46 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A great meal: Le Bouchon des Filles.

A very interesting museum: Institut Lumiere
Also: Musee Miniature and Cinema
posted by mbarryf at 4:59 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you all so much! I'm still soliciting answers til Sunday. My airbnb fell through so we're at one on Rue Bellievre AND IT'S AWESOME. We went across a bridge to the tourism center and got some info. All answers were great so far, but I marked ones as best that I heard many times. Keep em comin, if anyone's still reading this!!
posted by serenity_now at 9:02 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you, thank you so much! Locker and transit information in Paris was very helpful. I went to the Louvre using the Passage Richelieu (passing by Palais-Royal), the Tuileries and Place de la Concorde, Sacre Coeur, and Les Deux Magot, and saw a ton of the city as well. You can see nearly everything from Sacre Coeur, and I saw the Le Tour Eiffel from Place de la Concorde. I walked almost everywhere, since the waits for transit were so long, probably because it was Sunday. I wanted to see more, but it was raining and my shoes were soaked through, and I walked like 100 miles already.

Here's what we did in Lyon and loved:

Park de la Tete D'or (we saw giraffes!), Les Halles, Bernachon chocolates, a bouchon meal (quenelles), the farmer's market on the presqu'ile near Pont Napoleon, the pedestrian market at Rue de la Republique, Musee Gadagne, Musee de la Resistance et Deportation, the green space on the Rhone between the bridges (but didn't do a bar boat), Croix-Rousse and the traboules, rode the Funicular to Fourviere, saw the theatre and ruins, also the ruins of the oldest church in Lyon, and Cathedrale St. Jean (we were staying in Quartier St. Jean, so we HAD to go in). I had to mark them all as best, because I really wanted to do everything, but I think I got a good cross-section.

Anyone else going to Lyon in the future, I'd recommend the tourist center at Place Bellecour, where you can get maps and info about tours and great advice. My trip was amazing, largely because of you all :)
posted by serenity_now at 11:52 AM on June 17, 2016

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