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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Lyon

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Lyon each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

On the first of May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to close ones. Many vendors occupy the pavement on that occasion!

June 21: Fête de la Musique (celebrated nationwide)

Also celebrated internationally as World Music Day, for this festival many free concerts featuring all types of music are held in the streets and various venues across Lyon.

July 14: Bastille Day (national holiday)

This holiday celebrates both the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution, and the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. In Lyon, a dance party open to everyone is held on the left bank of the Saône (between the Maréchal Juin and Bonaparte bridges) and a traditional fireworks display is set off from Fourvière hill at nightfall.

August 15: Assumption Day (national holiday)

This celebration, still very popular in Lyon, is marked by the faithful with religious processions and ceremonies through the streets. On this occasion, a fireworks display is set off from the Rocher du Basta and Grande Plage.

Third weekend in September: European Heritage Days (celebrated nationwide)

The aim of the European Heritage Days is to open up numerous sites and monuments, many of which are normally closed to the public. A great opportunity for a lovely stroll through the city to admire architectural treasures!

December 5–8: Fête des Lumières (local event)

Known for centuries as a city of light, Lyon has celebrated this unique festival for more than 150 years. First held on December 8, 1852 at the inauguration of a statute to the Virgin Mary, who is believed to have saved the city from the bubonic plague in 1643, the festival was initially celebrated by people throughout the city by lighting candles in their windows. Now held over four days at this same time of year, it has evolved into a high-tech extravaganza of light, accompanied by music and sound effects and visited by millions every year, in which leading artists and designers illuminate buildings, streets, squares and parks all over Lyon.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Lyon

Lyon has a temperate continental climate. Winters tend to be cold and dry, while summers are hot and humid, punctuated by occasionally violent thunderstorms. Temperatures can rise above 35°C (95°F) on some days in the summer. In Lyon, it rains more during the summer than during the winter.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 0/32 6/43 47/1.9 Not the best period to go
February 1/34 8/46 44/1.7 Not the best period to go
March 4/39 13/55 50/2.0 Not the best period to go
April 6/43 16/61 75/3.0 Not the best period to go
May 11/52 21/70 91/3.6 Good period to go Good period to go
June 14/57 25/77 76/3.0 Good period to go Good period to go
July 17/63 28/82 64/2.5 Good period to go Good period to go
August 16/61 27/81 62/2.4 Good period to go Good period to go
September 12/54 23/73 87/3.4 Good period to go Good period to go
October 9/48 17/63 99/3.9 Not the best period to go
November 4/39 11/52 82/3.2 Not the best period to go
December 2/36 7/45 55/2.2 Good period to go Good period to go
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Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport

The airport is located 25 kilometres (16 miles) east of the city centre.

  • Three terminals:
    • Terminal 1
    • Terminal 2 (Air France)
    • Terminal 3
  • Three arrival/departure halls: A, B and Billi

Getting from the airport to Lyon and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via the A432 motorway, about 30 minutes to the city centre.
    • Several parking facilities are available near the terminals.
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the airport.
  • By taxi
    • There are taxi ranks outside Terminals 1 and 2 as well as the TGV train station.
    • Daytime fares for the journey to Lyon are about EUR 50.
  • By rail
    • The Lyon-Saint Exupéry TGV train station is just 5 minutes from the terminals.
  • By tram
    • Rhônexpress: Connecting the Lyon Part-Dieu TGV station with the Lyon Saint-Exupéry airport, every day from 4:25 a.m. to midnight with a travel time of 30 minutes (EUR 14.70 one way, EUR 25.90 round trip).
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, pharmacy, post office, currency exchange, etc.
  • Telephone: 0 826 800 826 (cost of a local call) +33 426 007 007 (from abroad)
  • Website: http://www.lyonaeroports.com

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GETTING AROUND Lyon

In Lyon, as in many of France's large metropolitan areas, public transport is the best way to get around.

By bus, tram and metro

Lyon's public transport system was awarded the Ticket d'Or (or Golden Ticket) and is considered as the most efficient among those operated by France's largest cities. It offers dense and extensive coverage of the metropolitan area.

    • 120 bus lines, with 3,000 stops.
    • Four metro lines (38 stations) criss-crossing the city in all directions from 5 a.m. until midnight.
    • Two funicular lines (connecting the Vieux Lyon metro station with Fourvière hill and the Saint-Just district).
    • Five tram lines

Fares:
    • Single ticket: EUR 1.80
    • Book of 10 tickets: EUR 16.60
    • “Liberté 2 heures” ticket (valid on all modes of transport for 2 hours): EUR 3.00
    • “Liberté 1 jour” ticket (valid on all modes of transport for 24 hours): EUR 5.50
    • “TCL en Fête” ticket (special ticket for major evening festivities, such as the Fête des Lumières and the Fête de la Musique; unlimited travel from 4 p.m. until closing): EUR 3.00
    • OpenTour Pass (discover Lyon at your own pace, hopping on and off at 11 different stops throughout the city; valid for 1 day): EUR 19.00 (adults), EUR 8.00 (children)

By car

Due to heavy traffic and limited parking options, visiting Lyon by car is not recommended.

By bicycle

Lyon offers several hundred kilometres of cycling paths. Bicycles can be rented from local bike shops or you can use Vélo'v, the city's public bike-sharing system, with 348 stations around the city. The first 30 minutes are free of charge, then EUR 1 for the next 30 minutes and EUR 2 for every additional 30 minutes.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Lyon, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

Lyon Tourist Office and Convention Bureau

Offers practical information (sightseeing, tours, heritage sites and cultural institutions, nights out on the town, etc.), maps and brochures for tourists on the city of Lyon and its region.

  • Address: Place Bellecour - BP 2254 69214 Lyon Cedex 02
  • Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 7 days a week
  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 72 77 69 69
  • Website: http://www.lyon-france.com

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in France is the Euro (EUR).

1 RUB = 0.01 EUR

1 EUR = 100 RUB

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

Lyon counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to France. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Food safety

There are no specific food safety risks. French government authorities promote good hygiene practices and put in place strengthened control procedures for sites especially frequented by tourists during the summer months.

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Lyon.

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Administrative formalities

As a general rule, a visa is required to enter France. The following foreign nationals are not required to carry a visa for stays of 90 days or less:

  • Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or the Swiss Confederation
  • Citizens or nationals of several other countries.

For stays of more than 90 days, a long-stay visa is required. Travellers from all other countries must be in possession of a visa, regardless of the length of their stay. Visa applications must be submitted to the nearest French Embassy or French Consulate in the country of permanent residence well in advance of departure. For further information, visit the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/getting-a-visa/

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Useful addresses

Directory of foreign embassies and consulates in France

The directory made available online by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French only) includes addresses and contact details for all foreign embassies and consulates in France: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/le-ministere-et-son-reseau/annuaires-et-adresses-du-maedi/ambassades-et-consulats-etrangers-en-france

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Lyon a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour

Good evening: Bonsoir

Good-bye: Au revoir

Yes: Oui

No: Non

No, thank you: Non, merci

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas

Could you repeat that?: Pouvez-vous répéter ?

Please: S'il vous plaît

What time is it?: Quelle heure est-il ?

Excuse me: Excusez-moi

Airport: Aéroport

Train station: Gare

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Hôtel

Hospital: Hôpital

Bank: Banque

Telephone: Téléphone

I'm (…): Je suis (…)

I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…)

How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ?

Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ?

Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ?

Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ?

I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…)

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Good to know

00 33
+ phone number without the 0
-2 : 00
of time difference with
Moscow
Start of daylight saving time: last Sunday in March

End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

BANKS

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
220 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
In Lyon like elsewhere in France, a service charge is always included in the bill. If you are particularly pleased with the service, you may certainly leave a few extra euros on the table. But this additional tip is neither expected nor necessary.