Guide to Traveling from Lyon to Villefranche-sur-Saône and Beaujolais

Countryside is something the French mastered long before time was recorded. Aesthetically, few places on earth look the way the french campagne does. Being in Lyon, the seat of the Rhône-Alps, leaving for a bit to profit from this beautiful country is an easy and almost necessary experience. One destination close by is the pleasant town of Villefranche-sur-Saône, the adopted capital of the region of Beaujolais. This guide will example how to get by train, bus, and car, which can be applied near-universally with much of the French interior.



Mainstreet of Villefranche-sur-Saône. © John H.Glenn

Beaujolais is one, if not the most distinctive and extraordinary wine country in all of the Rhône-Alps, given the international reputation for quality and bold singularity of her wine.

Everyone must first pass through Villefranche-sur-Saône, An idyllic town of only 36,600+ located between Lyon and Macon, to begin a visit of the region. Famous for its Beaujolais Nouveau and the regional celebrated annual Beaujolais Marathon, which ends in the town.

There are multiple means of getting to Villefranche. personal or hired car by train, or by bus, one could even ride a from one of several stations in Lyon.

How to go from Lyon to Beaujolais By Car

By personal car, one has only to leave Lyon heading west, joining the A6 northbound towards Roanne/Paris/Tassin. In 27km it’ll be on your right.

However, for those without cars and wanting a proper adventure, one can take the much famed BlaBlaCar, depending on the availability, for around 4-6 euros for a 40 minute trip up to Villefranche exit.

Lyon 20-page guide to getting by on public transit with 80 tips and maps

Travelling from Lyon to Beaujolais By Bus

Rhône Bus 118 stop at Gare de Vaise

Rhône bus, 118. Gare de Vaise. © John H. Glenn

Bus 118 from Cars du Rhône leaves from Gare de Vaise towards Villefranche-sur-Sôane for 2.10 € each way which arrives in Villefranche in only 45-55 minutes.

Tickets are available onboard the bus. Once you exit the metro, head straight towards the Gare Routiere. Outside in the bus port, It will be on the right, second from the end on the far outside lane.

Nearest Metro stops: Gare de Vaise (Line: D)

Going From Lyon to Beaujolais By Train

From Lyon (East) Part-Dieu/Jean Macé to Beaujolais

Anyone coming from the airport on the Rhône express or east of the Rhône will have the choice of Part-Dieu or Jean Macé for transport to Villefranche-sur-Saône. If you are coming from the aiport, buy a ticket on the Rhône express (16.30€) to its terminus at Lyon Part-Dieu, Villefranche-sur-Saône falls on the same TER line to Dijon and Macôn.

Only one stops at Saint-Germain-au-Mont-d’Or, around 24 minutes in total (the fastest way to the Villefranche). Gare de Jean Macé is much the same way, simply take the train towards Mâcon 8 stops through, and you’ve arrived in close to 40 minutes. A ticket there and back again will be be between 15.80-20.00.

  • Villefranche-sur-Saône by Gare de Part-Dieu: Part-Dieu, direction — Dijon/Mâcon (2 stops).
  • Villefranche-sur-Saône by Gare de Jean Macé: Jean Macé, direction — Villefranche-sur-Saône (8 stops).

Nearest Metro stops: Part-Dieu (Line: B). Jean Macé (Line: B).


Back entrance to Gare de Perrache

Gare de Lyon Perrache ©. John H. Glenn

From Lyon (West) Perrache/ Gare de Vaise to Villefranche-sur-Saône

If you find yourself on the Presqu’île, Vieux Lyon, or the western arrondissements (9ème or distant parts of the 5ème), the most accessible stations, by and large, are Gare de Perrache and Gare de Vaise.

Each has access to the Villefranche-sur-Saône/Vienne line, the very same that goes through Gare de Jean Macé. If leaving from each station, the destination will be marked quite nicely as Villefranche-sur-Saône and usually takes only 30 to 35 minutes.

  • Villefranche-sur-Saône from Gare de Perrache: Perrache, direction  Villefranche-sur-Saône (7 stops)
  • Villefranche-sur-Saône from Gare de Vaise: Gare de Vaise, direction Villefranche-sur-Saône (6 stops)

Nearest metro stops: Perrache (Line: A). Gare de Vaise (Line: D).

How to go From Lyon airport to Villefranche-sur-Saône

Rhonexpress airport shuttle in Lyon Part-Dieu train station

Rhonexpress airport shuttle

When traveling from Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport towards Villefranche-sur-Saône and the rest of Beaujolais, you first have to get near Lyon’s city centre by way of the Rhônexpress Airport shuttle or taxi/hired car. There is no direct bus or tram.

From cheapest to expensive, Blablacar from the airport will be around 4-6€, the Rhônexpress one way towards Lyon Part-Dieu will be 13.60€ (12-25), 16.30€ (+25) or 15.20 (online), with the taxi at the tail end will be 73.00-88.00€ depending.