London to Lyon

All Photos (c) Donna Dailey

Lyon is one of our favourite cities in Europe and we really recommend a London to Lyon trip. The Rhône and Saône rivers converge in Lyon, squeezing part of the city centre between their two arms to create the Presqu'île (or 'peninsula' district). To the north of here stands the hilly Croix Rousse district, where the city's silk-weavers used to live. West across the Saône is Old Lyon, the wonderfully atmospheric medieval quarter of the city, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Above here is Lyon's other hilly district, Fourvière, with its Roman remains and Gallo-Roman museum, and the distinctive Basilica of Nôtre-Dame gazing back down across the river.

Lyon vies with Marseille as being France's second city (it depends how you count the numbers), but it prides itself on being the first city, gastronomically speaking. Parisians might disagree, but visitors will find the food in Lyon as good as anywhere. With several outstanding museums, a prosperous air, good shopping and its attractive setting around the banks of its two rivers, Lyon is one of Europe's gems.

Flights from London to Lyon
Lyon's international airport is known as Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS), and the flying time from London is about 90 minutes. 

British Airways flies from London Heathrow to Lyon and has several flights each day.

easyJet has several Lyon flights every day from both London Gatwick and London Stansted, and usually has the cheaper fares. In December 2015 easyJet also starts flights to Lyon from London Southend Airport.

Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport
Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport is 16 miles southeast of the city centre. There are shuttle bus services every 20 minutes into the centre, stopping at the two main railway stations, Gare de la Part-Dieu and Gare de Perrache. Both of these have Métro stations.

London to Lyon by Train
During the summer months Eurostar operates a direct service from London to Lyon several days a week, but less frequently outside of summer. The service goes on to call at Avignon and Marseille. See their website for the London-Lyon-Avignon-Marseille timetable.

At other times there are numerous daily trains to Lyon from London but they involve a change, usually in Paris, where you will need to get from the Gare du Nord station to the Gare de Lyon by Metro or taxi.

Train tickets for all services can be booked through the Voyages-Sncf website.

Lyon Train Stations
Note that Lyon has two mainline train stations, Gare de la Part-Dieu and Gare de Perrache. Both of them have Métro stations. Make sure you get off at the right one for your final destination as many trains stop at both stations. Gare de Perrache is the more central station for city centre hotels and sightseeing. The Paris-Lyon TGV train stops first at Gare de la Part-Dieu before continuing on to Perrache - but always check.

Buy Our Lyon and Beyond Travel Guide

Lyon Travel Guide
Naturally we recommend our own Lyon and Beyond travel guide (left) for your visit to Lyon. It is available for the Kindle and contains practical information, guides to the top sights in Lyon, maps, lots of colour photos, our picks for eating, hotels, shopping and sport. It also has a detailed section on what to do outside Lyon, including a full guide-within-a-guide to the lovely and lively nearby town of Saint-Étienne. You can buy it at Amazon UK, Amazon USA, and other Amazon stores worldwide. For more information see our Beyond Travel Guides page. 

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