My Essential Sunday Survival Guide in Lyon

Published: 2023/03/30

“Sundays are my marché, Vélov and museum days in Lyon”

Make no mistake that the French take their work-life balance seriously. For locals, it is the way of life, the way things have always been and will be. Whether they spend it at home, in the countryside or wherever they unwind, it sure is not in retail stores.
So what to do on Sundays in Lyon?


Lyon on sunday: what to do

(Fair enough!) So don’t be alarmed when you see “Fermé” on storefronts on Sundays in Lyon (Fermé = Closed). All you need to do is plan ahead. Trust me, it’s well worth it!

Sunday closures in Lyon

So what exactly is closed on Sunday? I learned the hungry way that many grocery stores, as well as restaurants and retail stores, but there are still some stores that are open, especially in Vieux-Lyon.

Note that the two shopping malls in town (La Confluence and La Part-Dieu) are also closed so save your retail therapy for another day.

Fresh vegetables on typically French market in Lyon, France

Don’t let this be a deal-breaker to visit Lyon because this city doesn’t close its doors on the vast cultural, historical and architectural landmarks and local farmers markets on Sunday.

These are the gems that make Lyon a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the capital of gastronomy in France. There is something for everyone and for every palette.

Vélov & public markets in Lyon

Sundays are my marché, Vélov and museum days in Lyon. I wholeheartedly embrace the sense of community, chatting with the local producers, buying local, and getting some exercise in-between.

I hop on a Velov around the corner from my apartment, and ride to either Marché St-Antoine (1e arrondissement) or Marché Victor-Augagneur (3e arrondissement), whichever direction the wind takes me.

French cheeses on French market in Lyon, France

Local cheeses at Lyon’s Saint-Antoine market

I make sure to bring euros in small denomination to the market (1€, 2€, 5€), pack my grocery bag, cutlery and bring an appetite.

Since the markets are typically nearby the river, I like to find a spot to kick back, enjoy my baguette, cheese and some fruits that I purchased. I pinch myself every Sunday because it still feels so surreal.

Vélov & Museums in Lyon

For inspiration and enlightenment, I look for the nearest Vélov stations using the app on my phone and off I go to the museum of my choice that particular Sunday, depending on the current exhibitions:

Lion statue at the museum of fine arts in Lyon, France

Lyon’s musée des Beaux-Arts

From classical, contemporary to modern day art, there are a variety of museums to choose from. There is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon: relax, learn and enjoy the heritage of humanity.

Lyon has an abundance of local farmers’ (marché), is rich in history and culture, and is the capital of gastronomy in France, so pack your bags, plan ahead and come on over to Lyon!

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