Geography : at the heart of Europe
Lyon is situated at the heart of Europe, in an ideal location. It’s less than 2 hours from Paris, the sea and the Alps and 4 hours 40 from London by direct Eurostar. Italy and Switzerland are close by and with a new terminal being built at the now privatised airport (work is due to be completed in 2018), expect another 20-25 destinations to be available.
An ideal weekend destination
There was good news a few months ago as Lyon was voted the best weekend destination in Europe at the World Travel Awards in September 2016. The secret is out !
History : a centre listed as UNESCO World Heritage
Lyon city centre is the only city centre in France to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage. Founded by the Romans in the First Century BC, Lyon has Roman ruins such as a 10 000 seat amphitheatre, medieval streets and beautiful classical architecture.
The Food Capital of France
The French say that if Paris is the heart of France, Lyon is the stomach ! Undoubtedly the food capital of France, Lyon has 20 Michelin starred restaurants and world famous chefs such as Paul Bocuse. And the tasty food can be washed down with local wine – there are several wine areas within half an hour.
A Good Quality of Life
It’s not surprising Parisians are fleeing the capital: there is a great quality of life in Lyon thanks to 2 rivers, France’s largest urban park, an efficient public transport network, a nice climate, warmer and sunnier than Paris and Northern Europe, and international events such as the Fête des Lumières that attract 3-4 million people every year. Many Lyonnais appreciate being able to walk everywhere in the centre, underlining the user-friendly, manageable size of the city.
A Stable Economy
Lyon has a stable and diversified economy with a reassuring mix of industry and services. Innovation and creativity are increasingly encouraged: Lyon is a Smart city and has developed the Lyon French Tech digital movement. Fed up with using Google for your internet searches for example ? You could use Qwant instead, a Lyon based competitor with public backing.
A Growing Population
Population There is a growing population, with between 10 000 and 15 000 people coming to live in Lyon every year and 160 000 students. This ensures a large market for rented property and eliminates the risk of property purchased losing value.
A rising star in Europe
Lyon is the fastest growing European city in terms of investment potential and attractiveness for property according to the Price Waterhouse Coopers study of 2016. Classed 10th in 2016, Lyon climbed 15 places compared to 2015 and is now ahead of Paris. Watch out for the 2017 ranking ! Do you want value for money ? Space ? With 1 million euros you can get 180 m² of property in Lyon city centre. As a comparison, you would only get 33 m² in London, 56 m² in Geneva, 64 m² in New York and 82 m² in Paris.
A bright local future
Thanks to stable local government (Gérard Collomb has been mayor for 16 years), Lyon is constantly being improved. Bridges have been added; more are planned. Green and pedestrian areas have been created. Car parks have been transformed into cycle paths and running trails. The Hôtel Dieu Hospital, in the centre of Lyon overlooking the Rhône river will become a luxury hotel, upmarket shopping gallery and the Cité de la Gastronomie Museum.
Confluence, a unique area
Finally, the Confluence area of Lyon is a bit special. Unique in France, this area, between the Saône and Rhône rivers, used to be a port and industrial zone. It has been transformed into an eco-district and WWF sustainable area, complete with spectacular architecture. There is a positive energy building, a driver-less electric bus, a leisure port and trendy shops, bars and restaurants. There are also several residential developments, designed by world famous architects, perfect for shrewd investors
If you are looking for an apartment in Lyon, you will either go through a real estate company called “regie” or deal with the owner directly.
Everything you need to know about finding housing in Lyon when you are a foreign student. From public university residencies to private apartment.
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