Welcome to Lyon, a “mini-Paris” located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, close both to the Swiss border and the Alps, where the river Rhone meets the Saone. As charming and picturesque as the Capital, this city has endless opportunities to enjoy history, nightlife, and culture, but at a smaller scale and a more relaxed pace of life.
This makes it ideal for strolling around the old center and enjoying its typical renaissance architecture, and for easily reaching all the great museums, galleries, and cultural institutions that it has to offer. But when you’re not visiting its best attraction, you have to stop in one of its 4000 (and counting) amazing restaurants: Lyon is the French capital of gastronomy and the precursor of haute cuisine… if you’re a food lover this is your paradise!
Whichever type of traveler you are and whatever you are looking for in your holiday, Lyon will make you fall in love! Every neighborhood (or arrondissement) has its own distinctive character and will offer you a different experience and accommodations.
With so many choices and options, I know it can be hard to choose where to stay in Lyon, so I researched among all the best booking sites and made you this guide to find all kinds of Lyon hotels, from luxury to budget, or Airbnb to make your holiday unforgettable! Let’s take a closer look at all of them, and when you finally make your decision make sure you book your accommodation at least 6 months in advance, here it is very easy to be left without one!
Ready? Let’s go!
- If you are in a hurry
- 1. Presqu’Ile – where to stay in Lyon for the first time
- 2. Vieux Lyon – the best place for history enthusiasts
- 3. Confluence – coolest neighborhood where to stay in Lyon
- 4. Guillotière – where to stay in Lyon on a budget
- 5. Fourvière – where to stay in Lyon with your family
- 6. The Pentes de la Croix-Rousse – where to stay for foodies
- Frequently asked questions about Lyon
If you are in a hurry
If you need to choose quickly where to stay in Lyon I gathered here the best accommodation options in Lyon’s central area sorted by price:
Best luxury hotel
Charme Vieux Lyon
An Airbnb with amazing reviews
MiHotel Tour Rose
Best value for money
Best affordable accommodation in the center
Here’s the map with the 6 best areas to stay in Lyon that I will be talking about in this post, so you can visualize them:
1. Presqu’Ile – where to stay in Lyon for the first time
Where the Rhone river confluence with the Saone you’ll find Presqu’Ile (literally the “Peninsula”), Lyon’s city center, also a UNESCO World Heritage site! The area extends around the city hall all the way down to the Perrache train station. This is the perfect spot to stay in Lyon to enjoy the best attractions and the right starting point to explore the rest of the city, being perfectly connected to the other neighborhoods.
Presqu’Ile is the most important commercial area in Lyon, where you’ll find the main monuments as well as buildings with various architectural styles, from Romanesque to contemporary avant-garde. A lot of these beautiful and colorful buildings are now shops and restaurants, which makes the area also the main shopping hub of the city, with all the major French brands and local designer shops for you to shop to your heart’s delight.
If one day you’re undecided between shopping and history, check out Rue de la Republique, the main shopping street with a layout typical of the 19th-century Haussman style. This neighborhood has the answer to all your requests!
Have a luxurious stay in this lovely historic building by the river, with a very central and convenient location. Enjoy a stunning city view from elegant rooms with air conditioning and a private bathroom, and relax in the beautiful garden. Guests love the continental buffet breakfast!
Other accommodation options in Presqu’Ile
Things to do in Presqu’Ile
- Hop on the Ferris wheel to get an astonishing view of Lyon
- Have a 1-hour guided sightseeing river cruise along the Saone!
- Check out the major french brands in the main shopping centre of the city, located between Place Bellecour and Place des Terraux!
- Walk around the most important squares in Lyon, the Place Bellecour and Place des Jacobins, a picturesque square with fountains
2. Vieux Lyon – the best place for history enthusiasts
If you think, like me, that the best way to discover a new place is losing yourself in its streets, Vieux Lyon (the old town) is definitely where you should stay in Lyon! This renaissance ancient neighborhood lies on the west side of the Saône river but is still centrally located in the heart of the city and perfectly walkable. In fact, to reach 2 of the important areas of Lyon, La Presqu’île and the Pentes, you just have to cross picturesque bridges!
If I have to find one word to describe Vieux Lyon, it would be “charming”. Imagine a colorful district with narrow medieval streets, beautiful palaces with Italian influences (that now are home to luxury hotels and affordable guesthouses), historical squares (like the Place Bellecour and the Place des Terreaux), and great views from the hill it’s built on.
If you’re a fan of the typical medieval and renaissance layout, crowded with narrow streets, you will love Lyon neighbor Geneva, only a 2 hours drive away.
Be ready to be brought back in time and to discover great restaurants and stylish bars where you can taste traditional Beaujolais wines. Are you already imagining yourself here? Then book your accommodation immediately, this is one of the most requested areas by tourists!
Enjoy stunning panoramic views over the city from this 5-star hotel, only a short walk from the old town. Relax at the indoor heated swimming pool, in the hot tub, or the steam room after an intense day of strolling around Vieux Lyon streets, and have a well-deserved drink at the on-site bar!
Other accommodation options in Vieux Lyon
Things to do in Vieux Lyon
- Check out the 5th-century cathedral in the Jardin Archéologique
- Learn more about Lyon and taste local food on a Old Town Food Tour!
- Gaze at the beautiful painted ceiling of La Maison Thomassin
- Enjoy the highlights of Lyon on this guided E-Bike tour!
- Visit the roman catholic church Saint-Jean Cathedral
3. Confluence – coolest neighborhood where to stay in Lyon
If you go all the way south of the Presqu’Ile, you will get to Confluence, the old industrial port located exactly at the conjunction of the two rivers. This former harbor area has been renovated with the largest urban regeneration project in Europe… you will just be astonished by its sustainable design, modern architecture, and futuristic buildings!
If you have a weakness for harbors, you need to extend your trip to the beautiful Marseille, one of the major ports of the Mediterranean Sea!
Today, Confluence is a very cool area to stay in Lyon and to hang out, offering great shopping, countless restaurants and cafés, vibrant nightlife, and the shiny Musée des Confluences. This brand new museum offers several exhibitions about history, anthropology, and natural history as well as workshops and conferences… for those who still need some culture between a stroll on the river banks and a night out!
Enjoy your pleasant stay in one of the twenty-one comfortable and spacious rooms of this charming hotel, located at the confluence of the Rhone and Saone rivers. Have a delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant l’Artichaut, where you’ll taste a market cuisine that combines authenticity and modernity.
Other accommodation options in Confluence
Things to do in Confluence
- Visit the Musée des Confluences on the confluence of the Rhone and the Saône rivers
- Try some local beers at the My Beers Confluence Bar
- Go see cultural events at La Sucrière, an old sugar factory
- Taste international food in one of the trendy restaurants of the area
4. Guillotière – where to stay in Lyon on a budget
The young and multicultural Guillotière lies on the east bank of the Rhône river and is close to the business district of Part-Dieu. This area is an alternative cultural hub hosting a wide choice of cool floating bars, galleries, and great restaurants from all over the world! If you love Chinese food, here you’ll find Chinatown, where you can taste authentic dishes and even experience traditional Chinese New Year’s!
The area is also great to experience Lyon’s nightlife in its newest and hottest spots, and enjoy craft beer, cocktails, and concert venues! Another interesting and unexpected “must” of La Guillotière is its cemetery where all of its famous inhabitants, like the inventor of the modern cinema Louis Lumière, have been buried.
Another big plus of this neighborhood? Accommodation is way cheaper and you are perfectly connected to the center with the Métro!
Enjoy your stay in Lyon this luxury hotel is located in the city center, from where you can easily access Part-Dieu Train Station. Relax in your stylish and colorful room with maximum comfort, and an unspoiled view over the Rhone river and Fourviere Hill! Perfect stay both for business and leisure travelers.
Other accommodation options in Guillotière
Things to do in Guillotière
- Visit the Château de la Motte, an authentic renaissance castle
- Have an authentic taste of China at one of the Chinatown restaurants!
- Learn about the history of the city at the Guillotière cemetery
- Have a drink while listening to good DJ sets at Livestation DIY Bar
5. Fourvière – where to stay in Lyon with your family
Fourvière is a historic district on the hill rising immediately west of Vieux Lyon and of the Saone River. From the hotels and apartments of this neighborhood, you can enjoy astonishing views over the city (in particular at night when it is completely lit up) in a peaceful setting… the best neighborhood for a quiet getaway with your family!
Fourvière is mainly a residential area offering some very exclusive hotels as well as budget options, located a bit in the outskirts of the city (but still reachable by foot!). Stroll around its small medieval streets, climb the numerous stairs, and discover its hidden places… too much walking? If you feel lazy and you want to get fast to the city center, no worries, there are 2 funiculars that will bring you straight to Vieux Lyon!
But the area also has a lively side that you can also enjoy. Other than the many bars and restaurants, the remains of the Roman theater, that you can visit during the day, host great shows and concerts at night, taking a completely different vibe!
Have a unique experience in this historic charming hotel fully renovated, ideally located on top of the Roman amphitheaters, offering breathtaking views over the city. Treat yourself to the sun terrace, hot tub, and hammam, and try the bistronomic cuisine of its Restaurant! Also, private parking is available!
Other accommodation options in Fourvière
Things to do in Fourvière
- Hike to the top of the Fourvière hill
- Visit the beautiful Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière
- Enjoy the collection of art, pottery & coins at Gallo-Roman Museum
- Attend an open-air concert or festival at the Théâtre Gallo Romain, ruins of a Roman theater
6. The Pentes de la Croix-Rousse – where to stay for foodies
The Pentes de la Croix-Rousse lays at the north of La Presqu’île, and from the Perrache train station rises through many stairs up to the Croix-Rousse plateau. In fact, the neighborhood is technically divided into two parts: Les Pentes (the slope) and the Plateau, 254 m above sea level.
This vibrant district was the international center of the silk processing industry, for this reason, it hosts some super interesting museums focusing on the silk-weaving industry. Today the Pentes de la Croix-Rousse stands out for its strong personality and bohemian feel, emanated by its suggestive bars, boutiques, and artist workshops.
But if one of your main reasons to stay in Lyon is to try the typical french food (busted!) you are definitely in the right place. Pentes de la Croix-Rousse offers plenty of delicious traditional food, either in independent restaurants where you’ll try the tastiest cuisines or in the popular food market, where you can do grocery shopping like a real local! My suggestion? Try the Quenelle, amazing french dumplings, the epitome of Lyon cuisine, you won’t regret it!
Have an unrivaled experience in this former bank transformed into an intimate boutique hotel, in the heart of the Presqu’île, just a short walk from the Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts). Its restaurant will surprise you with gourmet cuisine and its incredible rooftop terrace will offer you a panoramic view of Lyon!
Other options in The Pentes de la Croix-Rousse
Things to do in The Pentes de la Croix-Rousse
- Enjoy the traditional Lyon autumn carnival: La Vogue aux Marrons (October-November)
- Check out the Mur des Canuts, a huge and crazy fresco of a neighborhood of silk workers!
- Bring the family to the Tête d’Or Park, an amazing natural park with a playground for kids and a free zoo, just across the river
- Stop in a Bouchon (traditional restaurant) for a traditional meal!
- Go see the diverse collections at the museum of fine arts, Musée des Beaux Arts
|👑 Luxury price:||€150|
|💵 Mid Range:||€100|
|👪 Best area for families:||Fourvière|
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:||Villa Maïa|
|🧳 Best mid-range hotel:||Mercure Lyon Centre|
|👛 Best budget hotel:||Hôtel Vaubecour|
Frequently asked questions about Lyon
🌇 Which are the best places to stay in Lyon?
👪 What is the best area to stay in Lyon with the family?
🚦 Is it safe to stay in Lyon?
To stay in Lion is generally safe for tourists, especially the residential areas such as Fourvière and Croix-Rousse. More touristic areas such as Vieux Lyon and the Pentes de la Croix-Rousse are also safe, but take precautions against pickpockets!
🚶♀️ Is Lyon a walkable city?
Yes, it is, walking is definitely the best way of visiting Lyon! Its suggestive narrow streets, the hills, the several bridges that connect the different areas, and the human scale size of the city make it perfect for long walks and romantic strolls.
Here we are at the end of our beautiful journey through the top hotels (luxury, budget, and Airbnb’s) and the 6 best neighborhoods to stay in Lyon. Among the central La Presqu’île, the historic Vieux Lyon, the bohemian Pentes, the multicultural Guillotière, the residential Fourvière, and the cool Confluence, there’s for sure the perfect place for you!
But if you’re still not sure about where to stay in Lyon, here are my favorite accommodations with the best value for money in the central area:
- Villa Maïa – Enjoy stunning panoramic views over the city from this luxurious hotel, only a short walk from the Vieux Lyon
- Mercure Lyon Centre – Beautifully decorated art deco style rooms right in the heart of Lyon
I hope you enjoyed my guide and that it will help you in having an unforgettable holiday in this French jewel! Just a reminder: don’t forget to book your accommodation far in advance, this is a much-loved tourist destination in France and places go fast!
If you have any questions, thoughts, or tips about your stay in Lyon or the blog in general, please leave them in the comments. I am looking forward to reading them all and answering you!
In the meantime, bon voyage!