Locked out of Lyon: Missing the City We’re In

Published: 2020/03/27

I expected to feel claustrophobic, I expected to get bored, and I expected to be unsettled by being stuck inside our apartment in the 9th. I anticipated fear, stress, anxiety, but one thing I didn’t predict was how much I would miss our beautiful city. Who knew you could miss a place while you’re still in it? Here’s a list of some of the things I miss about Lyon.

Really, I miss everything.

summer in Lyon view

The view from Place Bellevue in the Croix-Rousse © Caroline Conner


10 Things I Miss About Lyon

1. Catching a View

As a Croix-Roussienne, I live for the beautiful views that Lyon has to offer. I know that most people don’t live on top of a giant hill, but even for those who don’t, the city gives plenty of opportunities to catch a gorgeous view. I miss catching my breath at a glimpse of the Alps off to the East.

2. The Market

I miss the market so much. I know it only really closed down recently, but it’s not like I was heading there much in the run up to that.

I used to go to the market in the Croix-Rousse almost every single day. Even if I didn’t need something, I would often walk through it just to be a part of that energy.

carrots from the Croix-Rousse market in Lyon

A bunch of carrots at the Croix-Rousse market in Lyon © Caroline Conner


3. Coffee with Friends

A big part of my life was meeting up for a morning or afternoon catch up with a friend. Not only do I miss having great coffee at any one of Lyon’s awesome coffee shops, but I miss the action of getting out and going to that place.

Of course it’s all about those zoom meetups these days, and I am doing that, but it’s not the same.

bread loafs in Lyon

Loaves of bread from Partisan Boulangerie in the Croix-Rousse © Caroline Conner


4. The Fourvière

I’m not religious at all, but that church is incredible. I used to head up there not infrequently, since I always had so many out of town visitors and of course it’s a must-see. But that’s not even what I miss, I miss just seeing it.

It always thrilled me to view it I moved through the city, whether spectacularly perched above everything in a view from afar, or just peeking a slice of it as I wandered my way through the Presqu’île.

Place Bellecour in Lyon

Place Bellecour © Caroline Conner


5. That Bit Between the Musée des Beaux-Arts and Place des Jacobins

Speaking of the Presqu’île, I really miss that stretch between the Musée des Beaux-Arts and Place des Jacobins. I’ve always loved the mismatched towers of St. Nizier, and Rue de Plâtre and Rue Neuve are some of my favorite streets. That few small blocks of the city are so densely full of wonderful things, and boast infinite beautiful details if you bother to look.

6. Going to Restaurants

I love eating out, I love trying new food, I love meeting new chefs, I love everything about it. I was lucky enough to eat out a lot. I had regular favorites, and I was always trying new things. The Lyon food scene captivated me, and I dearly hope that it is restored without too much damage at the end of this.

7. The Bike Paths on the Rivers

Vélo’v was one of my main forms of transportation, and I really miss cycling on the bike paths that run on the Sâone and the Rhône. It was such a lovely way to view the city, and an easy way to get from one place to the next.

Hotel Dieu in Lyon France

A snap of Hôtel-Dieu during a walk down the river © Caroline Conner


8. Stairs

I miss stairs. I loved wandering around Les Pentes. I loved heading out and choosing a different route to spend time with a different staircase. I miss Passage Mermet, painted blue and yellow, and the Montée de l’Ampithéâtre, which took me alongside the Roman ruins. I miss Montée Bonafous and its fat little medieval tower. I miss all of them.

8.5 Bridges

Crossing one of our bridges was always an uplifting part of my day. Especially the little red Passerelles.

sunset in Lyon

The Croix-Rousse at sunset from Pont Bonaparte © Caroline Conner


9. Telling People About Lyon

I work in tourism (RIP) and a big part of my job was telling people how much I love Lyon. I was so immersed in the city and its wonders. I spent so much of my time and energy thinking about what I love about it and living it. I would facetime my sisters in America while I was walking around town and show them how beautiful it is. I was getting into landscape photography. I made my first YouTube video about how much I love this city.

sibilia charcuterie meat in Lyon

Hanging saucisson de Lyon at Charcuterie Sibilia © Caroline Conner


10. My Community

I miss my friends so much. I miss my close friends, who I often saw more than once a week. I miss my acquaintances, like the people I did swing dancing classes with on Mondays.

I miss people that I didn’t know very well but I saw around. I miss my farmers at the market. I miss the girl who works at the chocolate shop. I miss the team at my local charcuterie. I miss the smile of the woman at the bakery. I miss the people that ran my local stationary store.

I miss my local barista. I miss people I didn’t even really know. I miss my clients, the ones that already visited, the ones that had to cancel their upcoming trips, and the ones who may never make it here at all. I miss you, whoever you are.

I know that most of us will come out the other side of this, and that the city will still be here. I know that Lyon has suffered worse things than this in its past, but still, I miss it so much.

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