Plenty of French stereotypes are wide of the mark.
Whether it’s the image of a moustachioed onion pedlar cycling through cobbled streets or an insufferably surly waiter slamming frog’s legs on your table, our Gallic cousins enjoy something of an unwarranted reputation around the globe.
In reality, France is a cultural epicentre, giving birth to some of the world’s most celebrated artists and home to countless architectural beauties such as The Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Sacré-Cœur and the Palace of Versailles …
… but what about its cities less travelled?
Lyon is the third largest city in France (it’s about 300 miles from Paris) and is perhaps best known for its own historical and architectural attractions, as well as the Fête des Lumières, a four-day light festival occurring every 8th of December.
As you would expect, getting to Lyon from almost anywhere couldn’t be easier. For your journey, you might choose to travel to the Scottish capital, leave your vehicle in the secure car parking Edinburgh airport offers and touchdown in Lyon just over two hours later.
Whilst Lyon is an undoubtedly opulent city, there’s more to it than its ostensible affluence.
Although you may enjoy browsing in the various boutiques and chowing down in its many fine restaurants, there are an abundance of furtive passageways, secret alleys and courtyards just waiting to be discovered – but what will you find there?
The covered passageways in Lyon are known as traboules, with Passage Thiaffait one of many dotted around the city. Built in the early 1800s, the passage was originally used by silk-weavers, although these days you can explore a veritable melting pot of fashion, design and jewellery-making.
Lyon is a city that lends itself to sauntering on foot or getting around on a bicyle – and one of the finest places to visit is Parc de la Tête d’Or, a beautiful park boasting a boating lake and a zoo (which is free to enter). There you’ll find zebras, pandas and a whole host of other interesting animals.
It’s no secret that Lyon enjoys a worldwide reputation for its gastronomic delights, so make sure you check out a traditional Lyonnaise bouchon during your stay. If you’re a fan of meat and cheeses, you’re on to a winner, with the city’s culinary delights guaranteed to have your taste buds doing the tango.
Have you ever visited Lyon? What other attractions would you add to our list? Tell us what areas of this wonderful city our readers simply must visit by leaving a comment below!