If your mother a demanding traveler as mine that needs to see all iconic landmarks, here is some help. Here is an easy guide to impress your mom with Lyon in one day, and save some precious time for shopping and catch up…
Impress with a city view from Fourvière
It’s great to start the day with a view on Lyon from the top of Fourvière hill. This is where I started my own first-ever visit of Lyon. You see the city in all its beauty and diversity right in front of you.
The rooftops of Croix-Rousse, the Opera and Hotel de Ville, place Bellecour, Part-Dieu are all in front of you like an open book. A great spot for a first great impression of the city, and nice place for selfies as well.
A little advice, don’t tire yourself to walk and go up to Fourvière by metro. A cable car takes you up to the top and it is nice experience in itself. After all, it’s easier to go down than up for your mom, believe me.
You also arrive right in front of stunning basilica of Notre-Dame de Fouvière. Your mom doesn’t know yet, but she will see this basilica from any spot in the city later in the trip. You can also step inside to admire the stunning interior. But don’t forget, you are here for the view.
Excite with a history
Now that your mom is impressed with a view, it’s time to excite her with a history. Hiding just a step away from the basilica, there is an ancient roman theatre of Gallo-Roman museum.
It’s exciting to realise that Lyon was actually one of the important cities in the Roman Empire. It’s even more exciting to see and walk around quite well preserved remains of the real Roman amphi-theatre.
The access to the amphitheater is free and you can walk around, make some more selfies, and enjoy another magnificent view on the city. You can also visit the Gallo-Roman Museum itself.
You and your mom will be taken on the journey through time in Lyon in quite an interactive way, through real historical artifacts, like coins, arms etc. Another good news is, this is also probably the cheapest museum in Lyon with with only 4€ entrance fee.
And if you are lucky to pass by on Thursday, the entrance is totally free.
Time for a break in St Georges area
After a stunning view and a bit of history, it’s time to digest it all and head down to the city. While most of the people go down directly from Fourvière through Parc des Hauteurs, I suggest you go down directly from the Roman amphitheatre.
If everything goes well, you should arrive right in front of the church of St Georges and right next to La Limonade de Marinette. A perfect place to have some drink or food at any time of the day.
From Roman times you are now back to the years of 1950-60s. The interior of La Limonade de Marinette fully resembles the interior of French epicerie of that time and it’s also hosts the largest collection of commercial products popular in this period.
Even if you re not French, I am sure you will recognize some brands. The owner is the grandson of Marinette, who started the collection. If he is there, you might have a sneak peak into a hidden collection of the objects from the past.
Perfect choice to continue impressing your mom with French culture.
Stroll through Vieux Lyon
Your energy level should be back to normal now and the feet a little rested. It’s time to explore another iconic area of the city – Vieux Lyon.
Head direction to church St Jean and continue further on rue de Bœuf or rue St Jean. You have plenty of options to warm yourself up with crepes in winter, or enjoy an ice cream in summer.
There are no rules here, just stroll through any street that captures your attention. However, to put a nice ending point to your tour, try to walk all the way to L’Epicerie…
The final French touch – L’Epicerie
Not too far from Vieux Lyon, on a small side streets, there is another hidden gem of French epicerie.
With the ambiance of a traditional French comptoir and the widest possible range of their special “tartines“, cheeses, saucissons, and obviously wines, this place is a perfect spot to enjoy French vibes with your mom.
Order a pot of local red wine Côtes du Rhône and a plate of cheese or a sausage with it. Time to indulge yourself and your mom in French vibes atmosphere.
At this point your mom should be excited with some nice views on the city, indulged in the history, a little tired from a walk around the cobble streets and slightly dizzy from delicious local wine. I ensure you she will have a feeling of a day well spent and no more sightseeing stress.
And if you have some energy left, you are just step away from iconic place Bellecour, shopping on rue de la Republique, or even climbing up to Croix Rousse to catch some stunning views on Montblanc.
The choice is up to you… and your mom! 🙂