Lyon is a city rich in culture, art, beauty, and history. The city is a little smaller than Paris, but it has its own unique personality. Lyon is a city of cinema, of master chef delights, where wine enthusiasts enjoy the riches of Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône, with historic architecture and stunning sites that will keep you doing something every day.
What to expect
- Historically famous for the silk trade, Lyon is still a highly fashionable and practical city. The cityscape is made up of the red-roofed buildings, antique boutiques, and modern shops. Here are the main highlights of what you can expect when living in Lyon.
- The weather is nice all year round. Summers are hot and vibrant, and winters are cold and somewhat rainy. However, most places are readily equipped with the necessary heating to offer the best service possible.
Average Daylight: 15 hours in summer and 8 hours in winter.
Average weather: 26º C in summer and 2º C in winter.
Average rainfall: 145 days
Cost of living
- You’ll find that prices in Lyon are moderately low, and the expense that takes the largest part of your budget is the rent.
Finding an apartment
- Apartments in Lyon are less expensive than other cities around the world. The most common housing options are small to medium-sized apartments, that are of high quality and are of good value. There are many websites and real estate agencies that will gladly help you find the perfect apartment that suits your needs and adapts to your lifestyle and budget.
- One of the most preferred ways of getting around in Lyon is by bike. There are more than 300 bike stations to use a bike and get to wherever you need to be, with Lyon’s Vélo’v bike-rental service. You can also use the bus, metro, tram, and the two funiculars connecting Vieux Lyon to Fourviere and St Just. Or, you can travel across the riverbank by boat. The service departs every 80 minutes and the prices are between 4 to 8€.
- Being France’s third-largest city, Lyon is a major economic and trade exchange hub. Lyon lives in a fast-paced development thanks to its large sectors in trade and services.
- The city is a major startup hub, thanks to its internationality and popularity among expatriates. Most work in the fields of technology and innovation, making the economy of Lyon thrive even more!
- The expat community in Lyon is large, and they host many events for networking purposes. This is a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world who share the same interests, to share knowledge and experience. People in Lyon are very welcoming and are glad to receive you into their professional network.
- Cultural life in Lyon is one of the best characteristics the city has. Among the institutions of excellence in Lyon are the Maison de la Danse, the Opera House, the Lyon National Orchestra, the Fine Arts Museum, the Institut Lumière, and the Célestins Theather, Lyon has an over-the-top culture to share with you.
- Lyon’s small international airport, Lyon-Saint Exupéry, has connections with European cities and near countries, making it easy and smooth to travel to Lyon from other European countries nearby.
- Lyon is host to many fashion festivals and traditional festivities. One of them being The Festival of Lights, which is an annual event that lasts 4 days around the Christmas season. Another event is the Biennial Contemporary Art Festival, with over 200,000 visitors! The Biennial Dance Festival, a parade that lasts two weeks and fills the streets with joy and excitement. Festival Lumière, is an event to honor classical cinema with over 350 screenings and 180 films. Jazz en Vienne, internationally known as Jazz Festival, is a free festival every summer with dance, cinema, theater, and music shows.
- Even though you will be able to find all types of food in Lyon, there are certain traditional dishes that make Lyon the gastronomical capital of France. Some must-try plates are the chicken liver salad, the pumpkin soup, tripe soup, Fromage de tête (pork head cheese), salade Lyonnaise, and many more you should definitely try. Thanks to its closeness to nature, their dishes are balanced and nutritious, allowing its citizens and visitors to enjoy iconic dishes and maintaining a healthy lifestyle!
- The Olympique Lyonnais and the Groupama Stadium keep the city’s sports clubs and sporting revenues on the highest energy, as the first sport in the city is football since 1950. Rugby and basketball also rule Lyon’s sporting scenery, with the ASVEL and LOU Rugby, two premier clubs competing at the highest level of French competition. Other sports include hockey, volleyball, climbing, cycling, and running marathons.
Photo by Baptiste_lheurette on Pixabay
- Beaujolais region: For wine lovers, there are many varieties of wine to find in this little town. It is particularly popular and beautiful to visit just before autumn when the vines have turned a russet red and the juicy grapes are ready! The south of the village is known for its gold stone views, and sometimes referred to as “Little Tuscany”.
- Aix-les-Bains & the Massif des Bauges: for adventure seekers, just an hour away by train from the city center, you can find the spa town of Aix-les-Bains. If you are a hiker, this is definitely a must day trip, as the beautiful mountains and lake will allow you to many adrenaline-like activities, such as skiing and snowboarding in the winter, as well as wakeboarding and hiking in the summer.
- Pérouges: for a history enthusiast, this is the day trip you have been waiting for. Just 30 km away from the city center, Pérouges is a pretty medieval town, extremely well-preserved. It feels like you travel back in time, and step into the artisan community it was and still is. You can visit the papermaking workshop, and the silk wedding dress workshop.
We hope that you have found this guide useful.
Find more details, information, and KPIs about Lyon in our Expat Guide.
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