The first stop on our European road trip was France’s second largest city of Lyon. We had a limited amount of time to spend here, so we did our best to capture the essence of the city in just 24 hours. Lyon has a very different feel than Paris. Even though it receives almost as many visitors, the city has a calm energy and it is not uncommon to find yourself walking through a street totally alone.
We started our day with a grand breakfast spread at Mama Shelter which is the hotel we stayed in. I highly recommend it. It’s brand new and situated a few blocks from the Seine. After breakfast we strolled along the Seine people watching and taking in the city. Our next stop was a decadent lunch.
The most important part about Lyon is that it is considered to be the gastronomic capital of France. It has produced the world’s greatest chefs and this was the main reason we wanted to visit. At the top of our list was the iconic restaurant, Paul Bocuse. Bocuse’s restaurant is the oldest 3 Michelin star restaurant in the world. He is considered to be one of the most famous chefs in France and his restaurant is an ultra authentic experience in French fine dinning. The dishes found on the menu are more than iconic, they are a history of French cuisine. Make sure to bring an appetite because the portions are large, rich, and they keep on coming. This place is an experience in culinary time travel, you have to keep an open mind.
After one of the best meals of our lives Sam and I took one of those touristy boat rides up and down the Rhône river. It was the perfect way to learn more about the extensive history of the city in a short amount of time. We had a dinner reservation at another 2 Michelin star restaurant with a modern take on French cuisine, but to be totally honest we were so stuffed from lunch we never made it. Instead we grabbed a bottle of Rosé and some light snacks, settled down on the banks of the Rhône, and watched a spectacular sunset that seemed to last forever.
Lyon is a beautiful city and worth a visit if you’re looking for a new French city to explore. Make sure to follow along with my Insta Stories. We’re in Provence now on the second leg of our road trip, and off to Italy tomorrow. Let me know if you have any suggestions for the areas around Portofino and Florence.
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