2 Days in Lyon: Ultimate 2-Day Lyon Itinerary

2 Days Lyon Itinerary

You are going to embark on an exciting 2-day getaway to the lovely city of Lyon and you are wondering what to do and see during your short Lyon itinerary?

To help you make the most of your weekend in Lyon, I have prepared a detailed 2-day Lyon itinerary for you to visit this charming city.

For each of the two days, I provide an optimized visit program with my best tips and recommendations to follow to make the most of your 2 days in Lyon itinerary.

At the end of this Lyon travel guide, I also provide my hotel recommendations in the city center and a map with the suggested walking itinerary to follow.

So, what are the must-see attractions and things to do in Lyon in just 2 days? Here is my suggested 2-day Lyon itinerary:

Our tips for visiting Lyon in 2 days

Before describing this 2-day Lyon itinerary in detail , I will tell you about some good tips for saving money and visiting the city.

The Lyon City Card

To visit Lyon in 2 days, I recommend that you buy the Lyon City Card (also called “Lyon City Pass”).

Many large French cities such as Strasbourg or Marseille now offer this type of card.

The principle is simple: allow you to make great savings and save time on all the essentials to see during these 2 days in Lyon.

Here is everything included in the Lyon City Pass:

  • Unlimited access to public transport: bus, metro, tram and funicular
  • Free admission to all the city’s museums (23 in all!): the Gadagne museum, the Fine Arts museum, the automata museum…
  • A cruise on the Rhône
  • A visit to the roofs of the Basilica of Fourvière
  • A guided walking tour of Vieux-Lyon (to be booked in advance)
  • A show at the Guignol theater
  • Access to the Mini World Lyon miniature park
  • Reductions or shopping advantages in Galeries Lafayette, Printemps or at the Confluence Leisure Center.

The card is valid for a period of 1 to 4 consecutive days.

It must be reserved in advance on the internet and collected from the Lyon tourist office, located Place Bellecour or at the airport.

Buy your Lyon City Card directly for your 2-day trip to Lyon by clicking here.

2 Days Lyon Itinerary

And here it is, it is now time to present you my 2-day Lyon itinerary.

Small clarification: this schedule is based on 2 full days.

If you still have questions about organizing your vacation after reading everything, do not hesitate to ask me your questions in the section dedicated to comments, at the very end of the article.

So,  what to visit in Lyon in 2 days?

Day 1: The Main Districts of Lyon

itinerary day 1
2 days in Lyon: Itinerary day 1

The visits of day 1:

A. Place Bellecour
B. The Presqu’île
C. La Croix Rousse
D. Old Lyon
E. Fourvière

A. Place Bellecour

I suggest you start your 2-day stay in Lyon with the emblematic square of the city: Place Bellecour.

To reach it, it’s very simple, just take the metro to the Bellecour stop.

Place Bellecour is known as the largest pedestrian square in Europe and a major gathering place for Lyonnais during sporting and cultural events.

It is also there that in winter, takes place the big wheel of Lyon and an ice rink. It is also an essential stopover if your weekend in Lyon takes place during the Festival of Lights. 

Bordered by cafes and shops, the square houses a statue of King Louis XIV in its center and above all offers a lovely view of the hill of Fourvière and the Basilica.

Tips for your Lyon itinerary:
Another good reason to start your 2-day tour of Lyon at Place Bellecour: this is where the tourist office is located.

You can therefore go there to collect your Lyon City Pass.

2 days Lyon itinerary
Place Bellecour in Lyon

B. The Peninsula

Place Bellecour is the ideal starting point for exploring the Presqu’île district of Lyon on foot.

The latter includes several beautiful historic buildings as well as the most famous squares of the city.

On your walk, I recommend going through (in order):

  • Place des Célestins where the theater of Lyon is located
  • Place des Jacobins and its white marble fountain
  • The rue de la République which is the main shopping street of the city
  • The Palais de la Bourse in Lyon, listed as a historical monument
  • The Lyon Opera
  • The town hall located on the Place de la Comédie
  • Place des Terreaux and its famous 360-tonne Bartholdi fountain.

Tips for your Lyon itinerary:
To discover the Presqu’île district, passing in particular by the town hall, the Opera and Place Bellecour, you can also choose a guided tour by Segway.

This allows you to benefit from explanations about the city while doing a really nice activity! And as the tour lasts about 1h30, no problem to resume after the rest of the day’s visit program.

To book your Segway tour of the Presqu’île.

2 days Lyon itinerary
Place des Jacobins, on the program for these 2 days in Lyon

C. Croix-Rousse

Continue this first morning of your 2-day Lyon itinerary  by going to the other well-known district of the city: the Croix-Rousse.

From Place des Terreaux, it takes about 25 minutes on foot to reach it.

If you don’t feel like walking there, no problem, you can take the metro line C at the level of the town hall and get off at the Henon stop. It won’t cost you anything if you have the Lyon City Pass since public transport is included in it.

Located on the heights of the city, the Croix-Rousse is a former working-class district where the canuts worked, the workers specialized in the work of silk. Their revolt, which broke out in 1831, in the face of their deplorable working conditions, strongly marked the history of Lyon.

Here is the itinerary that I recommend you follow to not miss any of the neighborhood’s must-sees:

  • Go and see the Wall of the Canuts, a huge trompe l’oeil of 1200 m², the largest in Europe. The oldest part represents the life of the Canuts while the more recent mural frescoes are interested in the district of today.
  • Visit the house of the Canuts where you can discover the huge looms still in working order. Free visit with the Lyon City Pass.
  • Go up to the Gros Caillou which allows you to contemplate an unobstructed view of the whole city.

Tips for your Lyon itinerary:

Here too, if you don’t want to or can’t walk too much, I advise you to visit the Croix Rousse thanks to the City Tram. 

This kind of little train with a panoramic roof crisscrosses the neighborhood for an hour and also allows you to learn more about its history thanks to the audio guides that are provided.

To book here

2 days Lyon itinerary
The Canuts fresco, Croix Rousse district of Lyon

D. Old Lyon

Another essential district to visit for this 2-day Lyon itinerary: Vieux-Lyon.

To get there from the Croix Rousse, I advise you to walk down (but also possible by metro + bus) to the level of the Saint-Vincent footbridge. This will allow you to stop and see the Fresque des Lyonnais, located rue de la Martinière.

This mural represents more than twenty historical figures from Lyon such as the Lumière Brothers or Antoine de Saint-Exupéry but also 6 contemporary figures including Paul Bocuse and Abbé Pierre.

Then cross the footbridge, then walk along the quays of Bondy for 5 minutes before turning off towards the place du change. You will then find yourself 2 steps from rue Saint-Jean, the main street in Old Lyon.

This historic district, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known for its traboulespassages reserved for pedestrians to cross from one street to another but which pass directly under buildings and houses.

Lyon’s traboules are truly unique in their surprising architecture. Among the best known are  the Tour Rose (16 rue du Boeuf) and the largest traboule in Lyon which is located at 54 rue Saint-Jean.

Going down the street, you will also pass in front of the Palais de Justice and its imposing facade, as well as next to the  Miniature and Cinema Museum (reproducing scenes from famous films in miniature), before arriving in front of Saint-Jean Cathedral.

Built from the 12th century, it houses one of the oldest astronomical clocks in Europe.

2 days Lyon itinerary
Saint-Jean Cathedral, Old Lyon district

E. Fourviere

For the last stage of the first day of this weekend Lyon itinerary, I suggest you go and admire the sunset at the top of the hill of Fourvière.

The place is renowned for offering a superb panorama of the entire city. To get there, the most athletic can climb on foot, but at the end of the day, I think you’ll prefer to choose a less tiring solution: the climb by funicular.

And as this Lyon itinerary to visit Lyon in 2 days is very well done, imagine that the departure of the funicular is right next to the Saint-Jean cathedral, at the level of the Vieux-Lyon metro station.

Arrived at the top of Fourvière, in addition to enjoying the view, I advise you to visit the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière, the interior of which is really superb.

Thanks to your Lyon City Pass, you will also have the chance to benefit from a visit to the roofs of the Basilica.

2 days Lyon itinerary
The Basilica of Fourvière, night view

Day 2: Things to Do

2 days Lyon itinerary
2 days in Lyon Itinerary day 2

The visits of day 2:

A. Parc de la Tête d’Or
B. Shopping at Part-Dieu
C. Lunch at Halles Paul Bocuse
D. Cruise on the Rhône
E. Cultural visit to one of the museums

A. The Parc de la Tête d’Or

Here you are fresh and ready to start this second day of your Lyon itinerary with a small bucolic walk in the Parc de la Tête d’Or.

The park has several entrances but I recommend that you go through the Porte des Enfants du Rhône to start with the area where the lake is .

It is also at this level that the little train that goes all around the park leaves. A good idea if you are doing this 2-day trip to Lyon with your children.

At the Tête d’Or, you can also visit the rose gardens, the botanical garden and the zoological park for free.

Rental of boats, pedal boats, rosalies or bicycles are also available.

2 days Lyon itinerary
The parc de la tête d’or, to see during this 2-day Lyon itinerary

B. Shopping at Part-Dieu

How about taking advantage of your 2-day Lyon itinerary to give yourself a shopping break?

After clearing your head, head to Part-Dieu, one of the largest shopping centers in France. With its 190 shops, everyone will find what they are looking for!

It is only 1.5 km from the Tête d’Or by following Rue Garibaldi all the way.

2 days Lyon itinerary
The Part-Dieu district

C. Lunch at Halles Bocuse

After this morning of walking and warming up the credit card, it will certainly be time for the lunch break.

Which is good, because right next to La Part-Dieu is the Halles Bocuse. This large covered market, a landmark of gastronomy, includes several shops selling local specialties.

You will be able to taste Lyon quenelles and the famous praline tart, THE typical dessert of the city.

Tips for your Lyon itinerary:
Les Halles Paul Bocuse are closed on Mondays.

2 days Lyon itinerary
Taste a praline tart at the Halles de Lyon

D. Cruise on the Rhône

To digest quietly, I then suggest a mini cruise on the Rhône and the Saône.

These walks are the perfect opportunity to relax and discover the city from another angle.

If you have bought your Lyon City Card, you really would have to do without it since the boat trip is included in it.

2 days Lyon itinerary
Take a cruise on the Rhone

E. Cultural visit to one of the museums

To end this 2-day Lyon itinerary in style, I advise you to visit one of the city’s museums.

Several are very famous and interesting, but everything will depend on your interests:

A perfect way to end these 2 intense days discovering Lyon, a city filled with history and culture.

Tips for your Lyon itinerary:
All these museums are free with the Lyon City Pass.

Where to stay in Lyon?

You now know how to visit Lyon in 2 days and which routes to follow.

You still have one important step to finish preparing for your weekend in Lyon: find a hotel.

To help you, I have prepared a selection of the best hotels in the city classified according to your budget:

  • HO36 Opéra:  Located just 100 meters from Place des Terreaux, in the Presqu’île. Youth hostel with dormitory bed from €30 per night, breakfast at €8. Most: the geographical location, the pleasant interior patio.
  • Kyriad Lyon Centre:  Located in the Presqu’île district, 20 minutes from Place Bellecour. Double room but with single beds from €50 per night, breakfast at €11. Most: the space and the comfort of the rooms, the friendliness of the staff. Excellent value for money  if you don’t mind staying apart from your other half!
  • Campanile Lyon Center Part-Dieu:  Located in the Part-Dieu district. Comfortable and modern double room from €90 per night, breakfast at €12. Most: the very good price / performance ratio, the competent staff, the good breakfast.
  • Villa Maia:  Located on the hill of Fourvières. This 5-star hotel in Lyon has luxurious and super comfortable rooms with panoramic views of the city from €450 per night, breakfast included. The pluses: the sumptuous setting, the exceptional view, the heated indoor swimming pool. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Lyon!
2 days Lyon itinerary
La Villa Maia, a luxury hotel for a weekend in Lyon

Visit Lyon in 2 days with the family

You can totally do this 2-day Lyon itinerary with your family. If your children start to tire, you can always take public transport to go from one place to another.

Many activities will please them for sure:

  • The city tram tour in the Croix Rousse district
  • The funicular ride up to Fourvière
  • The walk to the Parc de la Tête d’Or, especially if you go to see the zoo with all the animals
  • The cruise on the Rhone
  • A visit to the Musée des Confluences, fun and interactive.

You can also take them to see a Guignol show. It is included in the Lyon tourist pass.

Tips for your Lyon itinerary:
During your two-day trip to Lyon, you can also modify the program a little to visit Mini World Lyon. 

This animated miniature park is the largest of its kind in France. On 3000 m², it reproduces mini worlds around the theme of the city, the mountains or the countryside. A space is even devoted to a mini Lyon.

The park is easily accessible by metro, tram or bus from the center of Lyon and its entrance is included in the City Pass Lyon.

This is one of the best things to do around Lyon with your kids.

More information on the official website.

More things to do and see in Lyon in 2 days

In case you want to concoct your own program to visit Lyon in 2 days or if you have time left after following my circuit, do not hesitate to read my article dedicated to the city.

It brings together the 20 best things to do in and around Lyon. Ideal for organizing a weekend in Lyon corresponds exactly to your desires!

You will find it by clicking on the following link: What to see in Lyon?

Map of your 2-day Lyon itinerary

To help you visualize your  routes during these 2 days in Lyon,  I made you a map listing the  places to visit day by day. You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button with a small arrow. You will then be able to view the routes for each day.

I hope this suggested itinerary will have given you ideas and the desire to visit it someday! Have a nice trip and enjoy your visit! 

Are you going to France? Read also

Discover all our articles on France: All our tips on Mauritius are listed here.

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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