My favorite French city

Lyon's 1st arrondissement, on the banks of the Saone

Okay, so I haven’t seen every city in France yet.  Still, I have a feeling I won’t lose my passion for Lyon.  I spent a short weekend in the city, and it was enough to convince me that it equals or surpasses Paris, at least for budget travelers like me.

Food lovers know that Lyon is the culinary capital of France.  You can eat well in Lyon, no matter your budget.  Delicious boulangerie pastries and sandwiches are available for next to nothing.  If you want to splurge a little, many bouchons offer three-course dinner menus for under €30, like the one I enjoyed at Le Bouchon des Filles.

The weather in Lyon is warmer and sunnier than Paris, which is one reason why it’s a great city to explore on foot.  And Lyon has not one, but two major rivers running through it, the Rhone and the Saone, with many riverfront paths and beautiful bridges to discover.  In fact, several quarters of Lyon are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Lodging, that other major travel expense, is much more affordable in Lyon than in Paris.  I stayed in a room that could sleep three people at Ibis Styles in the Confluence, for just €50.  So, the next time you’re in France, give Lyon a try.  You’ll eat well, enjoy beautiful scenery, and you’ll still have a little pocket-money left for shopping.

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