Lyon Travel Guide

France  
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Courtesy of RossHelen/Getty Images

Getting Around Lyon

The best way to get around Lyon is through a combination of walking and using Lyon's public transportation system. Getting around Lyon by car, especially during summer's peak season, can be challenging (traffic jams and parking issues abound). Taxis and the ride-hailing app Uber are an option too, though they aren't the most affordable means of getting around. 

Most travelers fly into the Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport (LYS), an international hub. There are several options to traverse the 20-some miles from the airport to the city. There is a tram station connected to the airport that stops at Gare de Lyon-Part-Dieu, the city's main train station. Taxis are also plentiful and convenient; rides from the airport to the city center cost between 50 euros (around $60) and 70 euros (or about $84), depending on the time of day. Uber also operates in Lyon. Rental cars are available at the airport and within the city. 

If you're not flying in to Lyon, you're likely arriving by high-speed train from one of several nearby cities, including Paris, Marseille, Nice or Brussels. If you're planning a daytrip to or from one of these vacation hot spots, hopping on a train (operated by TGV) is the most convenient option.

On Foot or By Bike

Although travelers should absolutely explore Lyon's neighborhoods, such as old Vieux Lyon and its new Confluence, via their own two feet, the city is far too spread out to experience on foot alone.


Biking can be another pleasant way to explore Lyon, especially along the riverfront. You'll find bike rental shops scattered throughout the city, as well as Vélo'v, the city's bike-share program. A one-day rental for the bike-share program costs 1.50 euros (less than $2).

Car

Although a rental car can be handy if you're looking to explore beyond Lyon, it's not needed if you're planning to stick to the city. Driving in a new city is always a little challenging and finding parking here can be difficult as well. Keep in mind that though an international driving permit is not required in France, especially for stays fewer than 90 days, it is recommended.  

Public Transport

Lyon's network of more than 130 bus lines, five tram lines, four metro lines and two funicular lines is offered through Transports en commun lyonnais or TCL, the city's transportation agency. Although there are slightly different hours of operation for each, they generally offer service from 5 a.m. to midnight. Tickets for all forms of public transportation cost 1.90 euros (about $2.20) for one hour of travel anywhere on the TCL network; 24-hour tickets cost 5.80 euros (around $7). Keep in mind that the price of all public transportation is also included in the cost of the Lyon City Card, along with many other attractions and activities. 

Tickets can be purchased from vending machines at all subway and tram stations, as well as at kiosks displaying the TCL logo. 

Taxi


Visitors will find taxis throughout the city, especially in long queues at the train stations, on Rue de la Barre near Place Bellecour, near the northern end of Rue Édouard-Herriot in the 1st arrondissement, as well as in Vieux Lyon's Quai Romain Rolland. Allo Taxis and Taxis Lyonnais are two companies recommended by past visitors. Uber also operates in Lyon.

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