The French city of Lyon has a lot going for it. Once a Roman settlement, this town has a rich history that spans centuries. It's also possibly the greatest food city in France, making it also one of the best places to eat in the whole world. Blessed with generally good weather, the old town of Lyon with its Roman ruins and the intriguing covered passageways of the medieval town make this city well worth visiting all by itself.
But Lyon has more going for it, too. Located at the meeting point between northern and southern France, Lyon makes the ideal base for a variety of day trips to let you discover more of France and beyond.
Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Lyon, and you'll be ready to take a day trip to explore more of what this fascinating region has to offer. Whether you prefer a guided tour or would rather explore for yourself, there are so many great day trips around Lyon that you'll never get tired of exploring this area. once you've been to the best museums in the city, experienced the nightlife, and dined a few times, it's time to head out!
How to get out of Lyon
Lyon isn't a difficult city to get around, as you'll learn from our guide on how to get around Lyon. and the same goes for visiting some of the nearby towns. Lyon Part Dieu is the main station in town and is located close to the town center, making it easy to embark on a variety of day trips by rail.
There are also long-distance buses and guided tours that can take you on some of the best day trips from Lyon. But if you prefer to go somewhere more remote, you may want to rent a car for your day trip. This can be more expensive and exposes you to the hassles of parking and toll roads, but it does give you a flexibility you won't get any other way.
Ultimately, however you choose to explore, you'll find plenty of great day trips around Lyon. All you need is a few train tickets or a rental car, and you'll be ready to enjoy these fascinating locations.
From Lyon to Annecy
If you're looking for a picturesque day trip from Lyon, look no further than Annecy. This charming Alpine town is located in the French Alps, making it the perfect place to enjoy some stunning mountain scenery, and it's easily one of the best day trips from Lyon.
Once you arrive in Annecy, you'll be able to enjoy a number of activities, such as hiking, cycling, and even swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Annecy. If you're feeling really adventurous, you can even try your hand at parasailing!
There are also a number of museums and art galleries to explore, as well as a lively old town with plenty of restaurants and cafes. With so much to see and do, Annecy makes for a perfect day trip from Lyon.
How to get to Annecy
There are a number of ways to take an Annecy day trip from Lyon. The easiest way is to take a train from Lyon Part Dieu station directly to Annecy. The journey takes around two hours, and there are several trains per day.
If you're driving, it's an almost two-hour drive from Lyon, although you'll have to pay for parking once you arrive. There's also a regular bus service between the two towns, although this can take up to three hours depending on traffic.
From Lyon to Vienne
Vienne is a beautiful town located just to the south of Lyon. With its Roman ruins and medieval buildings, it's easy to see why this town is so popular with tourists.
Once you're in Vienne, there are plenty of things to see and do. If you're interested in history, be sure to visit the Roman Theatre, which is one of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Europe. A guided tour of the theater will give you a glimpse into what life was like when it was first built. You can also check out the Cathedral of St. Maurice, which dates back to the 12th century.
If you're looking for something a little more modern, Vienne is also home to a number of art galleries and museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
How to get to Vienne
The easiest way is to take a train from Lyon Part Dieu station directly to Vienne. The journey takes around 30 minutes, and there are several trains per day.
If you're driving, it's a little over an hour's drive from Lyon.
From Lyon to Geneva
Geneva is a beautiful Swiss city located just to the northeast of Lyon. With its stunning lakeside setting and mountain views, it's easy to see why Geneva makes it onto this list.
Once you're in Geneva, there are plenty of things to keep you busy. If you're interested in history, be sure to visit the Old Town, which is full of medieval buildings and cobblestone streets. To make the most of your time here, you can opt for a guided walking tour of the area. That way, you get information as you navigate the charming streets and see sights like the Geneva Cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century, and the other historic monuments scattered around the city.
Geneva, like Vienne, has a modern side to it too. Check out the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Modern Art if you don't go a bundle on old town streets and buildings.
How to get to Geneva
It's possible to take a train from Lyon Part Dieu station directly to Geneva city center. The journey takes around two hours.
If you're driving, expect to spend about two hours getting to the city. There are also long-distance bus services which will bring you to the Swiss city, but they can take more than three hours to get there.
From Lyon to Pérouges
Pérouges is a beautiful medieval town located just to the northeast of Lyon. With its cobbled streets and half-timbered houses, it's almost like taking a trip back in time.
Once you're in Pérouges, there are plenty of things to see and do. If you're interested in history, be sure to visit the Maison des Dames de Pérouges, which is a 15th-century house that was once home to the local nobility. Take a guided tour, or you can explore on your own if you prefer.
There's also the Church of St. Michael, which dates back to the 13th century, and several other historic buildings and houses. Plus, the Musée du Vieux Pérouges is the perfect place to learn more about the history of the town.
How to get to Pérouges
To get to this tiny town by train, you'll need to journey from Lyon to Meximieux - Pérouges. Then it's a half-hour walk to the town or a bus journey. All in all, expect to spend around an hour reaching Pérouges - well worth it to explore one of the most beautiful and historic villages in the region.
From Lyon to Dijon
Dijon is a beautiful city located just to the north of Lyon. Set in the Burgundy wine region, there's more than mustard to this lovely city.
If you're interested in history, be sure to visit the Palais des Ducs de Bourgogne, which is a 14th-century palace that was once home to the Duke of Burgundy. There's also the Cathédrale St-Bénigne, which dates back to the 12th century, and is well worth a look and a few photos.
For art lovers, Dijon is also home to a number of art galleries and museums, including the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon.
How to get to Dijon
The train from Lyon to Dijon can take as little as an hour and a half. Driving the same distance will take closer to two hours without traffic, and then you'll have to find somewhere to park, so for most people, the train is the better option.
From Lyon to Grenoble
Southeast of Lyon, Grenoble has a stunning setting in the French Alps between the Drac and Isère rivers. It's a great place to get outdoors, plus the cable cars offer stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains.
History buffs will enjoy the Musée de Grenoble, which is a museum that documents the city's history. The Notre Dame Cathedral is also a great addition to any itinerary. It dates back to the 11th century and is a national monument done in the Romanesque style.
How to get to Grenoble
Whether you take the train or drive from Lyon to Grenoble, the journey will take approximately one hour and 20 minutes, so it's up to you to decide which works better for how you want to spend your time.
From Lyon to Chamonix
Chamonix is another town in the French Alps east of Lyon. It's located at the base of the famous Mont Blanc mountain (like the pens) and is the meeting point of Italy, Switzerland, and France. Mont Blanc is also the highest summit in the Alps, so if you're into skiing, this one is a must. You can also get outside and explore the mountains in the summer as the cable cars run year-round.
If the weather isn't cooperating and you prefer to be inside, head to the Musée Alpin, which explores the city's alpine and mountaineering history. Just because you're doing winter sports doesn't mean you don't want to learn more about them!
How to get to Chamonix
Driving from Lyon to Chamonix will take about 2 1/2 hours. The same journey by train can take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours, meaning that this might be out of range for day trips from Lyon. If you really want to visit this enchanting town, it's best to either drive or plan to stay a night or two to make the most of your journey.
Domaine de Lacroix-Laval
Domaine de Lacroix-Laval is a lovely park and castle located just to the west of Lyon. The castle itself is an extremely popular tourist attraction in the area, and the close proximity to the city makes this a great day trip option.
Once you're at Domaine de Lacroix-Laval, there's lots to do. If you're interested in history, be sure to visit the castle, which dates back to the 13th century. The park grounds are lovingly manicured and ideal for a stroll or a picnic. You can also do some unique activities here, like natural perfume making, so this is a perfect spot for those who want something a little different.
How to get to Domaine de Lacroix-Laval
Definitely, one of the easier day trips from Lyon you can take, the journey to Domaine de Lacroix-Laval takes only 40 minutes by train and as little as 20 minutes by car. This makes it one of the easiest day trips from Lyon you can do.
There are so many great places to explore around Lyon that it would be a shame not to take advantage. Any of the day trips suggested in this list can give you a better sense of what this region has to offer, and these Lyon day trips will certainly make your visit to the city more memorable. From scenic mountain villages to bustling towns in other countries, Lyon is the perfect gateway to see more of this beautiful region. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Lyon, and you'll be ready to explore beautiful villages, lively cities, and everything else this part of France can give you.