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Lovely Lyon, it’s never hard to choose where to go for a short holiday in France with so many choices just about every part of the country has something unique to offer. This year a lot of travellers will be trying to stay local, either because of their budget or for environmental reasons. The whole “buy local” has caught on globally and there is nothing wrong with exploring what’s in your backyard. I wouldn’t say Lyon is in Paris’ backyard but it’s close enough to make a great road trip for a weekend away if you fly.

My proposition: buy local. Even if it means staying home for holidays. Take a short trip away, hire a car (a hybrid is even better) and explore cities you’ve never seen in your own country. Lyon, if you’ve never been is a perfect destination whether you’re travelling solo, with a sweetheart, with your kids in tow, even with your parents!

Lyon is for lovers of food, wine (especially Beaujolais) and picnics in river-side parks. Architecture is at its best at the church of Notre-Dame de Fourvière in La Croix Rousse. The city is easy to enjoy and you shouldn’t waste any time getting to know Lyon’s dining scene: Lyon is second only behind Paris for the most restaurants per square kilometre in Europe. Not just restaurants, but delicious restaurants.

What to see in Lyon:

Musée des Arts Décoratifs – inside an 18th c. mansion is the city’s collection of silverware, furniture, porcelain, textiles and art objects.

Rue du Boeuf – located in Vieux Lyon, Rue du Boeuf has hidden courtyards, spiral stairs, fragile facades and endless towers and traboules. There is a lot to discover ion this street from 15th century houses to renaissance sculptures.

Jardin des Chartreux – a leafy park, it is a perfect place to set down yoru picnic basket while basking in the afternoon sun and soaking in the views of the rivier and Fourvière Hill.

Maison du Crible – one of the oldest mansions in the city, Maison du Crible has a charming courtyard with a rose tower.

Hotel de Ville – a gem designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Robert de Cotte after a fire in 1674, the rest of the building dates even earlier than that in the 17th century.

Where to eat in Lyon:

Café 203/Café 100 Tabac – located near the opera, these two sister bistros are really popular for cheap dishes that are served from dawn until long after midnight. You should ask there the names came from. (9 rue du Garet, Presqu’île)

Juliénas – for something classically French, head here. The menu is almost strickly Beaujolais and is priced for those with a budget, even if you order a glass of wine with your meal. (236 rue d’Anse, Villefrance-sur-Saone)

Les Lyonnais – the local celebrities are immortalized in photographs on the walls of this French restaurant in Lyon’s old town. The menu features simple dishes adn tehre is always a plate of the day. (1 rue Tramassac)

Where are you heading for holidays this summer? Have you been to Lyon?

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The restaurant was founded in 1766 in a private mansion on the banks of the Seine River. The place has kept its yesteryear charm and still offers the opportunity to immerse oneself again in a private room’s unique atmosphere. Enjoy our traditional cooking renewed by our Chef.

The most romantic place in Paris is said to be the Lapérouse. This restaurant has existed since 1766, and owns two private dining rooms each containing a sofa, a table and a mirror. According to a legend, the seats have been sit by French Senators and Victor Hugo as well. Waiters stay in the background until you ring for them – total privacy ensured! A dinner is around €100 per person, but lunches are more budget-friendly.
Address: 51 quai des Grands Augustins, 6th arrondissement, 011-33/1-43-26-68-04.

For more spectacular than scandalous settings, you might visit a brasserie. Le Grand Colbert, Julien, Bofinger all have delightful interiors and their menu prices vary between €25-35.
Le Grand Colbert, 2 rue Vivienne, 2nd arrondissement, 011-33/1-42-86-82-38.
Julien , 16 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 10th arrondissement, 011-33/1-47-70-12-06.
Bofinger, 7 rue de la Bastille, 4th arrondissement, 011-33/1-42-72-87-82.

For a romantic rendezvous, go to La Fourmi Ailée, near Notre Dame. This cosy and intimate place has warm lighting and a friendly staff. You can have a dinner here for less than €12. After dinner, you can stroll along the Seine — in summertime, take the direction of Berthillon Ice-cream Cone on Ile Saint-Louis!
La Fourmi Ailée, 31 rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile, 4th arrondissement, 011-33/1-43-29-40-99.

As for airline tickets London – Paris, there are cheap flights available for £69.93 already.

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