Are you planning a trip to France? Add Lyon to your list of cities to visit! Lyon is rich in history and is considered the gastronomy capital of the country. But where in France is Lyon? As you can see on the map below, Lyon is located in eastern France. It’s even only two hours from the Switzerland border!
Lyon is often overlooked as a tourist destination for more famous places like Paris and Nice. Don’t count it out, though; Lyon is a beautiful city with tons of history. Read our guide on how to get to Lyon, France!
If you don’t have time to read it now, hover over the image below and pin it for later!
arrive in lyon, france by train
Lyon, France, has two large train stations, Part-Dieu and Perrache.
You can travel by train to Lyon, France, at either station. Either one you arrive in will allow you to navigate easily through the city. You can see where each of the train stations are on the map below.
Part-Dieu is the larger station of the two and is most likely where your train will arrive. The Part-Dieu station is right by a large mall and is central to many shops, restaurants, and hotels in Lyon.
Perrache is the smaller station, and fewer trains arrive here. The Perrache station is located in Lyon’s 2nd arrondissement and is closer to the city center of Place Bellecour.
booking train tickets to lyon
Many major surrounding cities have direct trains to Lyon, France. Find travel fares by checking Oui.SNCF. As Lyon residents, we use Oui.SNCF to plan all of our train trips. This will give you a variety of train options, including high-speed trains as well as intercity trains.
Price and duration can vary based on demand; it’s always best to book as far in advance as you can. The Oui.SNCF website will tell you what amenities are included on the train, like WIFI or food and drink carts. You can book your train direct directly on the website or download the Oui.SNCF app for your phone. We have the Oui.SNCF app on our phone, and it makes train travel very easy! We just pull up our QR code when the attendants come by to scan your ticket on your trip.
If you are a student or retired, you may be able to get discounted train fares. There is a drop-down option on both the Oui.SNCF website and app for you to change the train fare based on your age group.
factor in the season you are traveling
Train travel is not for everyone. Extended train trips can provide beautiful scenery but maybe boring to some. However, it also may bring a nice break from your on the go itinerary.
If you are from the United States, consider the season you are traveling within France. If you are traveling to France in the Summer, you may want to rethink a long train.
We took trains in the Summer when it was 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside. It was hot, no matter where we went. The trains did not provide us any refuge from the hot weather. While some may have air conditioning, the air conditioning still feels non-existent. It will be hot, and it will be stuffy. And, in the age of COVID-19, when a mask is required, the heat on the train feels amplified.
Make sure to bring plenty of water with you on the train if you travel to France in the Summer.
train tables to part-dieu train station
(to Part-Dieu Lyon)
|# Stops||Trip Time||Appx Cost |
(2nd Class Fare)
|Paris Gare de Lyon||Direct||2 hours||45€|
|Nice Ville||One Stop||5 hours||50€|
|Marseille St Charles||Direct||2 hours||34€|
|Lille Europe||Direct||3 hours||59€|
|Toulouse Matabiau||One Stop||5 hours||54€|
|Torino Porta Susa||Direct||4.5 hours||50€|
|Milano Centrale||Two Stops||7 hours||112€|
Pro tip: Oui.SNCF will not help you get around Lyon on the metro or trams. This will only help find trains from outside cities to travel to Lyon. For an app to help you get around the city of Lyon, we highly recommend using CityMapper. We use it almost every day to navigate throughout Lyon!
arrive in lyon, france by car
Lyon is easily accessible by car. Traveling by car provides additional flexibility that a plane or train cannot offer. This will allow you to take side trips when you see something cool off the highway. In the age of COVID, it also allows you to travel responsibly and reduce your risk of exposure to the virus.
factor in the cost of parking
Before you arrive, factor in the cost of parking to your trip. If your hotel does not offer free parking, you will need to find a place to park your car for your stay. You won’t need it while you are in Lyon! Public transportation is more accessible (and quicker) than driving through the city. Parking can be expensive in Lyon, but there are garages and street parking available throughout the city.
factor in the cost of tolls
France loves to utilize tolls. Tolls are on many major highways, and the price of each toll varies. If you are renting a car, check to see if they have a toll pass that you can use. You may be able to get through the tolls quicker and have the rental car company charge you on the back-end.
If not, do not worry about purchasing a toll pass. You can pay for each toll as you arrive.
The toll booths are easy to use and take credit cards. Many are also implementing sans-contact payment options in the booth. To calculate the cost of tolls for your trip, use Autoroutes.fr. This easy to use tool will help determine the price of tolls and gas that you will pay. This tool can be used for comparison to see if taking the train or driving would be a better option.
Average one-way toll prices:
- Paris to Lyon: 36 EUR
- Marseille to Lyon: 26 EUR
- Nice to Lyon: 44 EUR
- Geneva to Lyon: 17 EUR
- Lille to Lyon: 61 EUR
- Bordeaux to Lyon: 48 EUR
- Toulouse to Lyon: 51 EUR
Routes to Lyon, France
The following are average one-way drive times and routes to Lyon, France, from other major cities. Keep in mind there may be traffic during the weekday mornings and evenings around “rush hour.” Plan for this if you plan to travel during those times!
- Paris to Lyon: 4.5 hours via A6
- Marseille to Lyon: 3 hours via A7
- Nice to Lyon: 4.5 hours via A8 and A7
- Geneva to Lyon: 2 hours via A40 and A42
- Lille to Lyon: 6.5 hours via A26
- Bordeaux to Lyon: 5.5 hours via A89
- Toulouse to Lyon: 5 hours via A61, A9, and A7
arrive in lyon, france by plane
Lyon, France, has one major airport that you can arrive in. The Lyon–Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS) has many direct flights each day.
going from the airport to lyon
The Lyon–Saint Exupéry Airport isn’t directly in the city of Lyon. You can see on the map below how far away the airport is from Lyon. You can take a taxi, Uber, train, or bus to get to the city center.
From the Airport to Lyon by train
If you take the train from the LYS airport to Lyon, be prepared to pay a premium! The train is called the Rhônexpress and runs every fifteen minutes. The Rhônexpress will take you directly from the airport to the Part Dieu area of Lyon. The total trip from LYS to Lyon only takes thirty minutes. Once you arrive by Part Dieu, you can walk to your destination or jump on a train or metro.
The Rhônexpress has different ticket prices based on your age, and children under twelve can travel for free! You will get a discount on the price if you purchase online in advance. A standard adult one-way ticket purchased in advance for the Rhônexpress costs 15,20€.
FROM THE AIRPORT TO LYON BY uber
For comparison, an Uber from the LYS airport to Lyon takes around 35-40 minutes. This is roughly the same amount of time as the train but costs more. Expect to pay around 45€-50€ for a one-way trip for an Uber.
FROM THE AIRPORT TO LYON BY bus, tram, and metro
A low-cost option exists between LYS and Lyon, but it will take longer. If you want to avoid taking the Rhônexpress or Uber, you can take a combination of busses, trams, and metros. Lyon is an accessible city to navigate between, but I would not recommend going this route for your first time visiting. It may be stressful and take the fun out of traveling to Lyon.
To take the bus from the LYS airport to Lyon, you will want to take Bus 47, Aeroport St Exupery – Gare Routiere towards Meyzieu Z.I. You will take Bus 47 ten stops from the airport to the Meyzieu Z.I stop. You will then switch from a bus to take tram line 3 (purple line) towards Gare Part-Dieu Villette. You’ll stay on the tram for nine stops until you get to the Gare Part-Dieu Villette stop. This trip will take you around 90 minutes in total but will cost less than five euros. It’s a great alternative and a cheap way to get to Lyon, France. Depending on where you are going in the city, it could take longer. For example, we live in Lyon across the city, and this method of transportation would take us almost two hours!
This guide should help you feel more comfortable with how you will get to Lyon, France. If you plan on coming to Lyon, let us know, and we will send you some tips on what to do while in Lyon!