Everything I Want to Discover When I Travel to Lyon

Published: 2020/07/19
Nicole Harward should’ve studied abroad in Lyon during Summer 2020, but COVID-19 came around and her trip was cancelled. This won’t prevent her from traveling to Lyon one day and seeing all this city has to offer. Museums, famous landmarks, shopping and great food? What more could she ask for?


My name is Nicole Harward and I am an intern here at This is Lyon. I’m not your typical intern, I have actually been working remotely from the United States in Reno, Nevada. I am also a student at the University of Nevada, Reno, majoring in journalism and minoring in political science.

For nearly 2 years, my plan was to study abroad in Lyon during summer 2020. I’d find myself fantasizing about taking a walk along the Saône river, reading a book under a tree at the Parc de la Tête d’Or, or stopping in at a boulangerie for some fresh, authentic French bread.

I’ve travelled out of the United States before, but the idea of being able to live and study in Lyon for an entire summer was my dream. Unfortunately, COVID-19 quickly reached all corners of the world and that dream had to be put to rest.


My Time Here at This is Lyon

Despite having to cancel my study abroad trip to Lyon, I was elated when I discovered that the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) would be offering a virtual journalism internship in France. You can imagine my excitement when I found out the internship was located in Lyon. If I couldn’t study abroad, this felt like the next best thing.

Working as an intern for This is Lyon has pushed me to do further research into what makes the city so great.

lyon general view

A view on Lyon presqu’ile and Fourvière hill

By digging deeper and learning new things about Lyon, I have fallen in even more love from afar. When I cancelled my study abroad trip, I worried I might never make it to Lyon in my lifetime. This internship has provided me with the motivation I need to ensure I finally make it there one day.


Experiencing Lyon to the Fullest

In order to really experience the city, I imagine I’ll have to spend 10 days there at the very minimum. Lyon simply has so much to offer as far as food, museums, historical landmarks, and nightlife.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned about Lyon is its incredible history in the silk industry. I look forward to one day going to the Musée des Tissus, a museum home to a collection of over 2.5 million textiles and silks. I’ve always been interested in the history of fashion, so having the chance to see centuries-old clothes and garments would be an absolute treat.

I also want to see the Croix-Rousse slopes, explore some of the traboules (covered passageways used by silk weavers in the 19th century), and admire the street art painted over many of the walls in the district.

The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière and its magnificent display of architecture is also on my list. I need to see what locals call the “upside-down elephant.”

Lyon The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière

The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière

I want to relax in the Parc de la Tête d’Or, spend some time at the zoo there, and smell the flowers in the park’s gardens. I also hope to go to the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Musée Miniature et Cinéma, and Musée de l’Imprimerie.

Lyon, Capital of Gastronomy

After reading more about the culinary expertise exhibited in Lyon, it’s an understatement to say that I can’t wait to experience the food. My list of must-try foods and desserts?

A normal spread in a traditional bouchon in Lyon

A normal spread in a traditional bouchon in Lyon

Quenelles, cervelle de canut, salade lyonnaise, tripe soup, calf sweetbread, pralines, and bugnes de Lyon… just to name a few. I also need to eat at Franklin’s Steakhouse, Danielle et Denise, Boulangerie Jocteur, Cafe Sillon, and New World Smoke (Does it match up to real Texas-style barbecue? I’ll have to find that out for myself).


I’ll Shop ‘til I Drop

If the airport baggage handler wonders why my bags feel so light on my trip to Lyon, it’s probably because they’re empty. I’ll be using all of that space for the trip back when I fill them with clothing, silks, and souvenirs. I’ll be sure to stop by the Confluences Mall, Grand Hôtel Dieu, and the Saint-Georges area of old Lyon so I can visit their silk shops.

Grand Hotel Dieu © Vincent Remet

Les Puces du Canal is on my list as well. I hear you can find quite the mix of impressive antiques. 200 shops, two taverns, a boulangerie, a florist and more is sure to provide a day of fun.

One Day…

One day, I’ll make it to Lyon. I’m on a mission to see all of the landmarks, museums and art galleries I can and I’ll have This is Lyon to thank for providing me with all of the tips and advice I’ll need to see the city!




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