Day trip from Paris to Lyon 2 hours by TGV to France’s second largest city

パリから日帰り リヨン Lyon

Series of cities that can be reached by day trip from Paris.

This time, we are heading to Lyon, the second largest city in France.

Lyon has a very long history, with the city itself dating back to BC, when it flourished as a trading centre under Roman rule.

In the 14th century, the city flourished as a silk weaving centre and in the 16th century as a financial city.

In the 19th century, the city once again flourished as a silk weaving centre and became the largest textile industrial city in Europe.

The city of Lyon thrives around the Rhone and Saône rivers, and Notre-Dame Cathedral stands on the hill of Fourvière, where the old town is located.

East of the Rhone River is the business district, with modern buildings.

We know that it is impossible to see such a historic city of Lyon in just one day, but we managed to visit only the most famous spots.

We hope that this article will be helpful to those planning to visit Lyon in the future.

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How to get from Paris to Lyon

The journey from Paris to Lyon is by high-speed rail car, known as the TGV , operated by the French national railways.

With a maximum speed of 320 km/h, the TGV travels the 470 km distance from Paris to Lyon in just two hours.

Here is the e-ticket between Paris and Lyon.

Here is the e-ticket between Paris and Lyon.

This trip is planned to leave Paris at 06:59, arriving at Gare de Lyon-Part-Dieu at 08:56 and returning at 16:03 from Gare de Lyon-Part-Dieu, arriving in Paris at 18:07, with a local stay of less than 5 hours.

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From the hotel to Paris Gare de Lyon

This is a picture of the front of the hotel at around 5am.

Depart hotel shortly after 05:00.

The trip was in July, but as expected, the sky is still dark.

There is very little pedestrian traffic.

We stayed at the Hôtel Lorette Astotel, so we started at Saint-Georges metro station (line 12).

You can find out more about Hôtel Lorette Astotel here.

Hôtel Lorette Astotel Paris Highly recommended hotel with a sumptuous breakfast and walking distance to a delicious bakery.
The Hotel Lorette Astotel is a member of the Astotel Hotel Group, which is the most recommended hotel in Paris. From the...
The streets of Paris in the early morning.

A quiet early morning in Paris is quite nice.

Once on Metro line 12, get off at Saint-Lazare station and take Metro line 14 to Paris Gare de Lyon.

Paris Gare de Lyon

Photo of Paris Gare de Lyon station premises.

Head to Paris Gare de Lyon about 30 minutes before departure.

Paris Gare de Lyon is a very large station, so it is advisable to allow a little extra time.

Paris Gare de Lyon Electric billboards at stations

When you arrive at the station, the first thing you should check is the electronic board showing train departure times.

There are HALL 1 and HALL 2, so be sure to check which HALL your train departs from.

Even if it is not indicated what line you are departing from, the HALL will be indicated first, so make sure you move to the indicated HALL as soon as possible.

If you make a mistake, you may miss your ride due to the distance between each HALL.

Paris Gare de Lyon Hall 2 sign.

This time, the TGV to Lyon departs from HALL 2, which is a 10-minute walk from the metro entrance.

The ceiling is decorated with large HALL 2 shades.

The ceiling is decorated with large HALL 2 shades.

HALL 2 is modern and very clean.

The station is slightly different from the Sunrazar and North stations.

Paul, a bakery in the station.

We arrived a little early and bought breakfast at PAUL.

It is a rather busy time of day, so get in line early to buy.

Espresso and TGV

Espresso and TGV to get you in the mood.

TGV are stopping at the station.

The TGV is already lined up.

However, it does not yet show what platform it is, so it is not clear which one we should board.

View of the platform from the turnstiles.

The platform number for LYON is now displayed on the electronic board.

The train departs from track 21.

TGVs stopping at the platform

The boarding area was quite far from the turnstiles.

Looking back at the ticket gate from the boarding position.

Looking back from the boarding position, I think I can tell you that we walked quite a bit.

Other passengers are walking around, so there is no need to wonder which train to board.

The TGV departs on schedule.

There was not much time between boarding and departure.

This is a view of the interior of a TGV train.

The interior of the train is very clean.

The basic layout is the same as the Thalys, but this time the train is double-decked, so I reserved a seat on the upper floor.

View from the TGV.

I expected to see the view from the train, but the scenery is like the picture from start to finish.

France is a major agricultural country, so once you step out of Paris, the landscape is similar wherever you go.

The TGV has a dining car.

The TGV has a dining car.

The photo was taken at a time when there were few people, but it was very busy for some time after departure.

Menu of the TGV dining car.

The menu is more extensive than in Thalys.

Menu of the TGV dining car.

The menu is written in French, but you can order at least a croissant and coffee.

After two hours, we arrived at Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu in no time.

Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu

Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu

Arrived safely at Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu.

The station platforms seem quite narrow.

Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu

After this, descend the stairs and leave the station.

Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu

The station seems a bit confusing, partly due to renovation work in the area.

(The photos are from 2019. Construction is probably finished now.)

Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu A temporary ticket office was also set up.

A temporary ticket office was also set up.

This ticket machine is for SNCF and TER tickets, so don’t make a mistake if you plan to buy a day ticket that can be used to visit Lyon.

Embarrassingly, I operated incorrectly.

SNCF ticket machines

If you are standing in front of this machine, please remember this page.

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Lyon Tourism

This map shows the spots we visited during our tour of Lyon.

The red photo symbols are the sights and the blue lines are the routes travelled by metro and train.

The yellow line is the route travelled on foot.

The route starts from Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu and returns to the same place again.

Gare Part-Dieu – Vivier Merle

Metro signage.

On leaving Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu, head towards the metro station, Gare Part-Dieu – Vivier Merle.

Follow the arrows on the signs and you will soon come to a staircase leading to the basement.

Metro ticket machines.

As soon as you go down the stairs, there is a ticket gate and a ticket vending machine in front of it.

Here you can buy a day ticket for Lyon.

This is a map of the Lyon Metro.

Lyon Interactive map

This is the Lyon Metro & Tram map.

Most sights can be seen by using the Metro.

No trams will be used this time.

The Metro has only four lines – A, B, C and D – so it is much easier to understand than in Paris.

Metro platforms.

A short walk through the turnstiles.

Metro platforms.

First take line B to Saxe – Gambetta.

At 9am, metro services are 12 minutes apart, so if you miss one, you have to wait a little longer.

Metro vehicles.

It is a rather lovely vehicle.

Note that this time, change to line D at Saxe – Gambetta for Vieux Lyon.

When changing to Line D at Saxe – Gambetta, it is a bit confusing which platform to go to.
Many people move in both directions, so you can’t just follow the flow.
Your destination is Vieux Lyon, so head towards the end of the line, which is marked Gare de Vaise.

Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste

Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste

Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste

Address:Place Saint-Jean, 69005 Lyon, France

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 08:15~19:45
Saturday 08:15~19:00 Sunday 08:00~19:00

The Great Church of Lyon-Saint-Jean, construction of which began in 1175 and is said to have taken 300 years to complete.

It is not that big, but it is a historic church.

Vieux Lyon

Vieux Lyon station

The order is a little back and forth, but if you arrive at Vieux Lyon on Metro Line D, this is where you will come out.

With your back to the station, go left to find Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste.

After the visit to Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste, return to Vieux Lyon and head up the hill to the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

Cable car information board.

To get to Notre-Dame Cathedral, use the funiculaire (cable car).


Note that care should be taken when using the cable car.

From Vieux Lyon, there are cable cars with destinations in two directions, Fourvière and Saint Just.

Make sure you board the train bound for Fourvière on the right-hand side facing you.

View from the cable car

The cable car climbs up a steep hill.

You will then see a tunnel in front of you.

This is the view inside the tunnel.

The gradient in the tunnel is also quite steep.

Although not pictured, the seats are also installed at an angle.

In just a few minutes, you will arrive at Fourvière.

Cable car at a standstill.

Boarding is from the right side of the cable car and you can wait at the front to be seated at the very front.

When I heard that it was a cable car, I expected a view from the hill, but in fact it just runs through a tunnel, so there is no particular view to be seen.

Therefore, there is no need to force yourself to ride at the front of the train, so try to get on a cable car that is stopped as far as possible.

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La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière

La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière

La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière

Address:8 Place de Fourvière, 69005 Lyon, France

Opening hours: 07:00~19:00

The ingenious cathedral, consisting of two churches, was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1998 as part of the Historic Centre of Lyon.

It is a very impressive cathedral and a must-stop when visiting Lyon.

After visiting Notre-Dame Cathedral, take the cable car back to Vieux Lyon.

Historic Centre of Lyon

Once back in Vieux Lyon, it’s time to explore the Historic Quarter of Lyon.

rue Saint-Jean

Pass by Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste again and head towards rue Saint-Jean.

Cobbled rue Saint-Jean.

The cobblestones are tasteful and give the city a medieval feel.

Museum of Cinema Miniature

Museum of Cinema Miniature

There are several attractions along rue Saint-Jean, of which the Museum of Cinema Miniature is recommended for those who have the time and interest.

Various scenes have been recreated in miniature for film buffs.

The quality of the miniatures is said to be among the best in the world.

Also on display are props and other items used in actual films.

Even those who are not so interested in cinema will find the content enjoyable.

Entrance to Museum of Cinema Miniature

Museum of Cinema Miniature

Address:60 Rue Saint-Jean, 69005 Lyon, France

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10:00~18:30 Saturday, Sunday 10:00~19:00

Boulangerie Du Palais

Boulangerie Du Palais

Boulangerie Du Palais

Address:8 Rue du Palais de Justice, 69005 Lyon, France

Opening hours: Thursday to Monday 07:00~20:00

Closed: Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Very popular bakery in Lyon.

Just past the Museum of Cinema Miniature on the right.

You’re probably coming hungry after all the sightseeing you’ve done so far, so this is the perfect place for a quick lunch.


There are many traboules in the old town of Lyon.

The word traboule is said to derive from the Latin meaning of a road that crosses or intersects.

There are a number of theories as to why traboules were built, but the main purpose seems to have been to carry and transport silk fabrics.

Traboule information board.

There are several traboules on rue Saint-Jean, but the one pictured is on the left, past Boulangerie Du Palais.


Walk through gaps between buildings.

Small square in Traboule.

It is a small square, although I was only able to take photos of the sky above because there were so many people sightseeing.

It is estimated that there are between a few hundred and 500 traboules in Lyon.

Most of the buildings are still inhabited and actually used today.

Because they are so famous, some traboules are open to tourists, but most are not.

Time did not allow me to visit all but this one, but if you want to visit the various traboules, make sure you research well in advance whether the place is open to the public or not.

It is possible to visit various traboules in peace by signing up for local tours.

Place du Change

Place du Change

Further along rue Saint-Jean, you come to Place du Change.

The square is not a very big place.

Park near Place du Change

Continue through Place du Change towards the Saône River and you will come to a small park.

It’s like a little resting place for the locals.

I had a baguette sandwich here, which I had just purchased at Boulangerie Du Palais, and I could see Notre Dame Cathedral at the top of the hill.

Trompe l'oeil view from the park near Place du Change.

The building opposite has a trompe l’oeil painting.

It is a great place to take a break from walking.

La Saône

After the break, start walking again.

Now head to Rue Bondy along the Saône River.

Rue Bondy along the Saône River

The path is wide and easy to walk on.

View of the Saône River.

Walking along the Rue Bondy, the next step is to cross the bridge called Passerelle Saint-Vincent.

View of the Saône River.

Unlike the Seine in Paris, there is less vehicular traffic and the views are very beautiful.

Passerelle Saint-Vincent

Passerelle Saint-Vincent is safe to cross as vehicles cannot pass through.

View from Passerelle Saint-Vincent.

The view from the bridge is also spectacular.

View from Passerelle Saint-Vincent.

This is the upstream side.

View from Passerelle Saint-Vincent.

This is the downstream side.

Although it is France’s second largest city, it does not feel crowded and has a very attractive, peaceful atmosphere.

Fresque des Lyonnais

Fresque des Lyonnais

Fresque des Lyonnais 

Address:2 Rue de la Martinière, 69001 Lyon, France

The Fresque des Lyonnais is immediately visible after crossing the Saône River.

This is a trompe l’oeil painting, one of Lyon’s most famous tourist attractions.

The trompe l’oeil painting depicts some of Lyon’s most famous people.

Fresque « La bibliothèque de la cité »

Fresque « La bibliothèque de la cité »

Fresque « La bibliothèque de la cité »

Address:6 Rue de la Platière, 69001 Lyon, France

A trompe l’oeil painting on the wall with many well-known books.

A short walk along the Saône River from Fresque des Lyonnais.

Hôtel de Ville – Louis Pradel

A short walk from La bibliothèque de la cité, the next stop is Hôtel de Ville – Louis Pradel, Metro lines A and C.

There are several tourist attractions on the way, including a museum, but we will not stop here and head for the station.

Once at the station, the next step is to board Line C.

Note that Hôtel de Ville is the first station on line C, so you can’t go wrong.

Mur des Canuts

Mur des Canuts

Mur des Canuts

Address:36 Boulevard des Canuts, 69004 Lyon, France

This is another popular trompe l’oeil picture.

If you take line C at Hôtel de Ville, get off at Henon.

Henon station premises.

From the arty station Henson, the Mur des Canuts is a 5-minute walk away.

The walking distance will vary depending on the exit, so it is best to exit from the rear exit as far back as possible.

Place Bellecour

Place Bellecour

Place Bellecour

Address:Place, 69002 Lyon, France

Next, head to Place Bellecour.

After seeing Mur des Canuts, return to Henon station.

Take Metro line C back to Hôtel de Ville and change to line A at Bellecour.

When you exit, the Place Bellecour is directly in front of you.

Once you have seen Place Bellecour, return to the station and take line A back to Hôtel de Ville.

Opéra de Lyon

Opéra de Lyon

Opéra de Lyon

Address:1 Place de la Comédie, 69001 Lyon, France

The Opera House was renovated and opened in 1993.

Unlike the Paris Opera House, it is a very modern building.

In addition, the exterior as well as the interior have all been modernised.

There is no dress code and the prices are reasonable, so if you are staying in Lyon, you should definitely try to appreciate it.

This time, unfortunately, only the exterior is available as there is not enough time.

Hôtel de Ville de Lyon

Hôtel de Ville de Lyon

Hôtel de Ville de Lyon

Address:1 Place de la Comédie, 69001 Lyon, France

Opposite the Opera House is the Hôtel de Ville de Lyon (Lyon City Hall).

It is one of the largest historical buildings in Lyon.

Built between 1646 and 1672, the building was destroyed by fire in 1674, soon after its completion, but was rebuilt in 1703.

As well as the exterior, the interior is said to be excellent.

Fontaine Bartholdi

Fontaine Bartholdi

Fontaine Bartholdi

Address:Place des Terreaux, 69001 Lyon, France

The Bartholdi Fountain is located in the Place de Thérault, opposite Lyon City Hall.

This historical fountain was completed in 1892.

Unfortunately, on this day it could not be seen very well due to construction work.

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

Address:20 Place des Terreaux, 69001 Lyon, France

Opposite Place Thérault is the Musée de Lyon.

The museum has a long history, with public access beginning in 1803.

Originally the abbey of Saint-Pierre-les-Nonnains, the building, together with the works, is of great interest.

The exhibits on display are considerably more spectacular than I had expected.

Once you have finished your visit to the Musée de Lyon, head back to the Hôtel de Ville metro.

Take line A and get off at the next stop, Foch.




Address:42 Cours Franklin Roosevelt, 69006 Lyon, France

Get off at Foch and continue through Franklin Roosevelt Square to see Bernachon.

This is one of Lyon’s oldest chocolate shops, established in 1953.

After leaving Bernachon, head towards Rue Garibaldi.

Follow Rue Garibaldi straight ahead for a while towards Gare de Lyon to Place Lafayette.

It would take about 15 minutes on foot.

Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse

Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse

Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse

Address:102 Cours Lafayette, 69003 Lyon, France

The Paul Bocuse market is located at the intersection of Rue Garibaldi and Place Lafayette.

It is named after the world-renowned Lyon chef Paul Bocuse.

A variety of shops have been set up, so it can take quite some time to look around slowly.

You can look around more smoothly if you choose the shops you want to visit in advance.

Once you leave the Paul Bocuse market, head towards Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu.

It takes about 15 minutes on foot, so allow plenty of time for this.

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Toilet conditions in Lyon

Lyon, like many other European cities, has few toilets.

However, due to the city’s size, public toilets are better equipped than in other cities.

The recommended toilets on this route, which are free of charge, are marked with the toilet symbols on the map above.

Also, if you use any restaurant or café, make sure you use the toilets there.

Sanitaire Public de l’Avenue du Doyenné

Sanitaire Public de l’Avenue du Doyenné

Address:4 Avenue du Doyenné, 69005 Lyon, France

This is a very clean toilet, located right next to Vieux Lyon train station.

It is well managed and safe to use, so be sure to use it when visiting Saint-Jean Church and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Sanitaire Public de la Place Bellecour

Sanitaire Public de la Place Bellecour

Address:Place Bellecour, 69002 Lyon, France

Public toilets in Place Bellecour.

On the square side, there is a tourist information centre for Lyon, which is convenient and easy to find.

Cleanliness is normal.

Otherwise, the toilets in the Musée de Lyon are clean.

Toilets along the Saône River are fully private toilets and may be out of order in some cases.

In addition to the places mentioned here, pay toilets are available in large department stores and train stations.

You will need coins for this, so remember to have some ready in advance.

From Lyon to Paris

Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu

I returned safely to Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu.

From the Musée de Lyon onwards, we rushed around the city, being mindful of the time, so we were quite tired when we arrived.

The returning TGV also wait in the aisle until the board shows the platform they are departing from.

When the platform you are departing from is displayed, move to the platform as soon as possible.

Please note that there is a ticket inspection in front of the escalator leading up to the platform.

E-tickets, as well as printed tickets, should be prepared in advance.

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How was it?

A one-day tour of Lyon, which was a fairly rushed tour.

We visited most of the main sights, but unfortunately we were only able to visit the Fulviere Roman Theatre, which we had planned to do.

There was a time issue, but I simply forgot to go.

Here, look again at the Lyon sightseeing route this time.

We’ve tried to organise our itinerary so that we lose as little time as possible.

‘If we had gone to Place Bellecour first, there would have been no loss.’

Some people may think that this is a good idea.

This was the most difficult part of the route, but I think the most efficient way to get around is to go to Place Bellecour first, as it is the longest distance to travel.

However, we were told that the cable car to Notre-Dame Cathedral gets quite crowded near lunchtime.

We decided to visit the Church of Saint-Jean and Notre-Dame Cathedral first, in order to see them before they became too crowded.

I visited on a Saturday, but on a weekday you may be able to sightsee more efficiently without too many crowds.

Please try to think of the best sightseeing route by combining your convenience and destination well, using the sightseeing routes in this issue as a reference.

Thank you very much for reading to the end of this issue, which was quite extensive.

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