Travelogue Sample: Lyon: The City of Two Rivers

Although Lyon has a population estimated at 484,000, you would never call it crowded. Lyon is considered to be the most comfortable city in France and, in my opinion, one of the best cities on the planet.

It is situated at the confluence of Rhône and Saône rivers. Somehow, the city reflects the spirit of rivers ― calm and fascinating. There is no rush of modern life like in Paris, no salty sea air of Marseille, and no golden sand of the French Riviera. And, still, there is something magnificent in Lyon’s little streets, fancy houses, and green hills. The magic of the city’s soothing life rhythm attracts tourists from all over the world.

I remember Lyon as a city of bridges and bikes. By the way, a bike is a great alternative to walking around. You can better sense the atmosphere of the winding streets and visit more interesting places while riding a bike.

Cycling transport is very popular in Western Europe. Locals prefer riding bikes to driving cars. There are cycle tracks everywhere, and you can easily find bicycle parking. Moreover, the self-service bike rental Velo’V has more than 300 stations in Lyon, where you can rent a bike and not say a word in French! All you need is your credit card and 150 euros as a deposit.

Don’t forget to walk along the Rhône river bank. It is an amazing location and a favorite place in Lyon both for tourists and locals. The river crosses the whole city, so you don’t have to spend much time searching. The river bank serves as a place for picnics and jogging. At night, you can enjoy a beautiful view: the banks of Rhône shine with the multicolored lights, and their shine reflects on the water surface. During the daytime, you can simply sit on one of the numerous benches and meditate. Although the stone benches are not very comfortable in winter, their cool surface is utterly attractive in summer. During the warm season, a boat tour is also highly recommended. In such manner, you will be able to see another side of Lyon.

In general, I recommend you to visit Lyon in the summer. As for me, green hills and flowing water look much better than ice and white snow. Moreover, a cold won’t let you have long promenades, and Lyon is the most appropriate city for wandering around aimlessly.

The next point in your to-do-in-Lyon list should be “to try French pastry.” Let yourself be prodigal when it comes to French cuisine. All these palmiers, tarts, madeleines, and éclairs are worth their weight in gold. If you have no idea about the desserts that I’ve named above, don’t worry. The French love talking about food (and not only about food). Locals will be glad to explain to you the difference between profiterole and éclair and show the best local “patisserie” (bakery that specializes in sweets and pastries). You should trust their choice, and don’t forget about croissants!

One more exciting and magnificent thing about Lyon is the graceful architecture. Of course, the whole city is an architectural masterpiece, especially the part called “Old Lyon.” You will find no outside advertisement or neon signs here: the citizens respect their cultural heritage and try to preserve everything in its original form.

A genuine gem of the city is the Lyon Cathedral. This beautiful building perfectly represents the Gothic architecture style: high towers, ribbed vaults, and pointed arches. It is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The internal decoration is even more impressive than the façade. Giant stained-glass windows and columns take the breath away!

In my opinion, Lyon is a perfect place not only for a one-day visit but also for a long stay. If you need a break from the crowded subway or filthy city air, Lyon should be number one in your travel list!