Where to go from Lyon?
April 17, 2008 10:25 PM   Subscribe

I'm thinking of taking a day/weekend trip from Lyon (Rhône-Alpes) to... somewhere. I'd like the destination city to be pretty close. Any suggestions?

(I've managed to scrounge up some additional cash since my last question. Yay!).

I'm trying to figure out what to do with a long weekend during a trip to Lyon. I'd love to go to Paris, seeing as this will be my first trip to Europe, period. Problem: the tickets are so expensive (80 Euros, 130CAD/USD) that I'm thinking of trying to find something closer, and, err, cheaper. (Just as a quick comparison: the cheapest trip to Milan costs about the same as the average trip to Paris, both via train.)

I'm really open to suggestions. I'm into art, architecture, religious studies, and history, so anything along those lines would be awesome. Tiny town known for its beautiful churches? Sure!

Thanks in advance.
posted by flibbertigibbet to Travel & Transportation around Lyon, France (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Grenoble is really pretty and not so far from Lyon. I spent some time there in college.

I also really like Annecy, it's just a cool and pretty town and I loved spending time there. You'll also be close to Dijon, Avignon (a good place to see churches), and Geneva, Switzerland (which I remember as being like "Disneyland for rich old people", but that's my youthful journal speaking).
posted by padraigin at 10:31 PM on April 17, 2008

You may have already done this, but check out the iDTGV section of the SNCF website. It looks like you can get Lyon-Paris tickets at around 30 Euros one way if you're flexible on dates.
posted by meadowlands at 10:44 PM on April 17, 2008

Response by poster: Yeah, unfortunately, for the two available dates for taking a day/weekend trip have pretty expensive prices for Paris. Sigh.

Thanks for being helpful, meadowlands!

padraigin: I really like the suggestion of Grenoble! Especially as it looks gorgeous, and the tickets are cheap, heh. I think I'm going to hold off on deciding Dijon, as I know we're going up to some area Burgundy as part of a class.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 11:45 PM on April 17, 2008

Best answer: Marseille is gorgeous, has a great cathedral, a park uptown and a picture-perfect port, and some very good food (plus fantastic natural scenery just out of town at the Calanques). There's also a small preserved medieval village called Perouges about an hour from Lyon by car, if you have one of those.
posted by jacalata at 11:59 PM on April 17, 2008

Geneva!! You get to add another country to your been-to list, it's less than 2 hours from Part Dieu and costs about 70chf/45Eur return. There's the UN, a lovely old town with cathedral and museums. Lots of religion-based history, art galleries, an amazing Russian Church and plenty of 3-4 hour trips to little places in the mountains or on the lake all by public transport, including boat trips on the lake to little villages / towns in France and Switzerland. I've not stayed in them (but heard good things) but there are at least 2 hostels within walking distance of the station.

And as a bonus if i'm around, I'll buy you a pint ;o)
posted by jontyjago at 1:26 AM on April 18, 2008

Best answer: Seconding Avignon. It's pretty easy to get to by train from Lyon and the old town and Palais des Papes are great for wandering around. Grenoble is a nice enough place, but I'm not sure that there's enough to keep you occupied for a long weekend. Geneva is good, but I've found it to be pricey. Sounds like jontyjago has a lead on some reasonable accommodation, though.
posted by Jakey at 2:26 AM on April 18, 2008

Best answer: If you're on a tight budget keep in mind Switzerland tends to be more expensive than France and Genève is the most expensive place of all. So, I would stick to France. If you can rent a car, and if I were you, I'd head south to the Provence, and ramble around, armed with a Michelin map and following the routes marked green (the scenic routes). If not, I'd head to Avignon or Aix-en-Provence. Both towns are beautiful and friendly and dripping with history, both have large student populations and lots of cheap/reasonable places to eat and drink. You could also head north to the Burgundy - Dijon is also a great town with loads of history, art, and more.
posted by derMax at 4:34 AM on April 18, 2008

Best answer: I'm going to second derMax and make sure that you add Les Baux de Provence (wikipedia, town site). Cuuute village with requisite old buildings and stuff, but what I really want to tell you about are the old Roman ruins outside of town. You can see some pictures here, as well as pictures from the bigger ruins at Arles. Another reason I liked the ruins at Les Baux is that the wind is so strong you can let yourself fall forward and be caught by the wind. Very fun!
posted by whatzit at 5:03 AM on April 18, 2008

Response by poster: I love you all! AskMe never fails.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 9:26 AM on April 18, 2008

Response by poster: Well, in the end, I got extra money specifically for a trip to Paris, so I went there. Yay! I ended up being so tired the weekend after (it was a school trip as well as a vacation) that I couldn't go anywhere else. Boo.

I'm keeping the answers I liked marked as favourited, in case I ever get to go back to Lyon. You all rock.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 3:41 PM on June 1, 2008

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