Where to stay in Lyon


Lyon, the third-largest city in France, is celebrated for its rich history, exquisite gastronomy, and vibrant culture. Nestled at the confluence of the Rhone and Saone rivers, the city's urban tapestry weaves together ancient architecture with contemporary flair, promising an enchanting experience for travelers. Visitors might find themselves strolling through the UNESCO World Heritage streets of Vieux Lyon, exploring the innovative Confluence district, or enjoying the view from Fourvière Hill. When deciding where to stay, it's important to consider each neighborhood's unique ambiance and offerings. This guide aims to provide honest insights into various areas of Lyon to help you make an informed decision that enhances your visit to this captivating city.

  • Presqu'île

    • 🏙️ central
    • bustling
    • 🍷 nightlife
    • 🛍️ shopping
    • 📸 touristy

    Presqu'île is the heart of Lyon, lying between the Rhône and Saône rivers. It is a bustling area with numerous shops, bars, and restaurants, offering an urban experience with much to do and see. This district is ideal for first-time visitors who want to be in the center of the action. It can be noisy and crowded, which might not appeal to those seeking peace and quiet. The area is also known for its historical architecture and cultural landmarks.

  • Guillotière

    • 🌏 multicultural
    • affordable
    • 🕺 lively
    • ethnic food

    Guillotière is situated on the left bank of the Rhône and has a distinctly multicultural vibe. A bustling and diverse neighborhood, it features a variety of exotic shops and eateries, as well as a lively street scene. However, some may find it a bit rough around the edges, with its busy traffic and less polished appearance compared to other parts of the city. It's a great spot for travelers looking for authenticity and affordable accommodation, but perhaps less suitable for those seeking tranquility.

  • Perrache Confluence

    • 🏙️ modern
    • 🛍️ shopping
    • innovative
    • under development

    Perrache Confluence is a district undergoing significant modern development, marked by contemporary architecture and an increasing number of entertainment and dining options. It is at the southern tip of the Presqu'île and is less traditional in character but offers a more modern and futuristic feel. It's an interesting area for those fascinated by urban development and design, though it might feel somewhat less 'authentically Lyon' than older districts.

  • Saxe Roosevelt

    • 🥂 upscale
    • boulevards
    • shops
    • 🏘️ residential

    Saxe Roosevelt is often appreciated for its broad avenues lined with trees and impressive architecture. It has a more upscale feel, featuring high-end shops and dining options. This area is conducive to a quieter and more refined experience in Lyon. However, the accommodation prices might be higher, reflecting the district's more prestigious ambiance. It is somewhat of a quieter retreat away from the intense energy of the city center.

  • Haut et Coeur des Pentes

    • 🏛️ historic
    • 🎨 bohemian
    • 🎨 artsy
    • steep streets
    • scenic views

    Haut et Coeur des Pentes is characterized by its sloping streets leading up to La Croix-Rousse. It offers a bohemian ambiance with vintage shops, small designer boutiques, and a youthful, artsy crowd. While it provides a charming and vibrant place to stay, visitors should be prepared for a bit of a hike, as the area is located on a hill. The nightlife is not as prominent here, but its scenic views and artisanal spirit make it a unique spot.

  • Bas des Pentes Presqu'île

    • youthful
    • eclectic
    • shops
    • cafes

    Bas des Pentes Presqu'île is where the energy of the city center begins to fade into a more low-key atmosphere, with the slopes of the Croix-Rousse above. This area combines accessibility to the liveliness of Presqu'île with the artsy feel of the slopes. It's an appealing choice for those who enjoy walking and exploring diverse urban landscapes. The nightlife here is more subdued, though accessibility to bustling areas is easy.

  • Mutualité Préfecture Moncey

    • 🏘️ residential
    • 🧘 quiet
    • local
    • convenient

    Mutualité Préfecture Moncey is a central district known for its administrative significance and also hosting an array of residential and commercial areas. It's quieter compared to the bustle of the city center, making it a good choice for those who prefer a more relaxed atmosphere. The area is convenient for visitors looking to be centrally located without the noise of major nightlife spots, though dining and entertainment options may be more limited here.

  • Jean Macé

    • 🏘️ residential
    • budget-friendly
    • local market
    • relaxed

    Jean Macé is a residential area with a more local feel, away from the heavy tourist flow. It has a decent selection of shops and cafes and benefits from good public transportation links to the rest of the city. It's a quieter and potentially more affordable place to stay with a genuine sense of Lyon's everyday life, but it might lack the historic charm found in other parts of the city.

  • Colline des Funiculaires

    • scenic views
    • hilltop
    • 🧘 quiet
    • 🏘️ residential

    Colline des Funiculaires, or the hill of the funiculars, offers panoramic views of Lyon and is known for its historical sites, including the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. It's a tourist-friendly area but can be quite steep, making it potentially challenging for those with mobility issues. The neighborhood feels more removed from the city's hustle, providing a quieter and more reflective environment.

  • Ouest des Pentes

    • local
    • artisanal
    • charming
    • hills

    Ouest des Pentes is an area that shows another facet of the Croix-Rousse, with a more residential slant yet still offering the unique charm of the hillside's heritage. It combines quieter living spaces with proximity to the creative and boutique-filled streets of the slopes. While it offers respite from the high energy of central Lyon, it still maintains a sense of vibrancy due to the nearby cultural activities.

  • Anciens

    • 🏛️ historic
    • 🛍️ shopping
    • 🍝 food
    • 🏘️ residential
    • 🧘 quiet

    Anciens, often referred to as Vieux Lyon, is the historic heart of the city, boasting a well-preserved Renaissance district that whispers tales of Lyon's illustrious past. This area is characterized by narrow cobblestone streets, hidden traboules (passageways), and a charming atmosphere that romanticises old-world Europe. The neighborhood hosts a number of important historic sites, including the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière and the Saint-Jean Cathedral. While Anciens is wonderfully picturesque and brimming with character, it can feel quite touristy, especially during high season, which is something to consider if you're seeking a quieter, more local experience. Dining options are plentiful here, although the prevalence of tourist traps means you may need to hunt a little harder for that authentic Lyonnaise bouchon. Accommodation often comes in the form of boutique hotels and charming B&Bs housed within ancient buildings, providing a truly immersive historic experience.