ESL tips - Don't miss out on what the city has to offer!
The Festivals: Nuits de Fourvière, Fête des Lumières, Les Nuits Sonores
Lyon is home to some of France’s finest festivals. The Nuits Sonores bring together some of the world’s top electronic music acts each May for a series of events all over the city. The cultural events of the Nuits de Fourvière take place throughout the summer in the Roman amphitheatre overlooking the city and at venues in town. Most famous of all, the Fête des Lumières each December sees the city spectacularly lit up for four nights to thank the Virgin Mary for saving Lyon from the Plague in 1643. Bring your camera!
Lyon City Card
This card gives you access to 21 museums for a day, as well as river cruises and public transport. Perfect if you want to have a hyperactive touristic day.
Rent a bike and cycle along the rivers
The Vélo’v public bike system has 4,000 bikes available at 340 stations. Short-term tickets can be purchased with a credit card at bicycle stations and are valid for one day or one week.
The first half hour is free (the first hour if you buy the Lyon City Card), after which 30 minutes costs €1, rising to €2 after the first hour. The beauty of the bikes is that you can drop them off at a docking station with no fuss.
Cheap transport: train tickets and carsharing
France’s public transport may be magnifique, but it can also be expensive. If you intend to explore beyond the city during or after your French course, a couple of websites can help you find the best deals. For example, trocdestrains.com and kelbillet.com are resale sites for people who have bought non-refundable cheap tickets that they don’t need. The sites are always worth checking out if you have a particular journey in mind.
For a more sociable way to travel (and practice your French with native speakers), car sharing is becoming increasingly popular among France’s twenty-somethings. Check out covoiturage.fr and get involved!
To watch, read, listen
Watch Verdict (1974) Director: André Cayatte Les Lyonnais (2011) Director: Olivier Marchal La Sortie des usines Lumière à Lyon (1895) Director: Brothers Lumière - it’s the first ever film, only 50 seconds long and you can find it on YouTube
In the original home of cinema, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to big screens. Some of the most popular are the Pathé (79 Rue de la République), CNP Odéon (40 Rue du Président Édouard) and Cinéma Comoedia (13 Avenue Berthelot).
Read Le petit prince by Antoine de St Exupéry
Listen The Golden Age by Woodkid Oxygène by Jean Michel Jarre Mathias by Gribouille
Le Sucre (50 Quai Rambaud) is one of the top venues in town for both electronic and live music. Located on the top floors of an old sugar processing plant, it’s hard to miss! For a jazzier experience, Bec de Jazz (19 Rue Burdeau) is consistently popular… it opens around midnight and keeps going until 5. Alternatively, Marché Gare (34 rue Casimir Périer) is a popular live music venue with an eclectic booking policy.