Grand old Lyon is France’s third-largest city and its
gastronomic capital. Food shopping is an unmissable part of the city’s
experience and its famed outdoor markets are the place to pick up a whole host
of culinary delights.
Best for fashion and
Looking more like a plush pad than the fine furniture and interior
decoration specialist that it is, Mis
en Scène (the work of design graduate Mariane Sauzet) revels in bold and
playful pieces in punchy colours, baroque lighting, sleek Modernist water
features and striking textiles and carpets (4 Rue du Colonel Chambonnet; closed Sun &
Mon; glass lamp from £85).
Occupying one corner of the elegant central square of the
Place de la République, this baby sister of the grand Parisian department store Printemps sells fashion,
lingerie, shoes and jewellery on five floors, with a separate menswear store
next door. Winter collections this year include Jérôme Dreyfuss handbags and
Claudie Pierlot dresses and tops (42 Rue de la République; Claudie Pierlot
pullover £145; closed Sun).
Kaolin, a famed luxury homeware boutique, is so beautiful it
could almost be a museum. The shop is located on the corner of one of the
largest squares in Lyon, and is filled with unique, handmade creations and
contemporary design pieces that are often exclusive to the store, including
colourful, post-modern Philippe Starck chairs and glass vases by the Italian
designer Ettore Sottsass (00 33 4 78 37 53 56; 1 Place Bellecour; closed Sun
& Mon; vases from £200).
Best for food
Capitalising on Lyon’s reputation for culinary excellence, In Cuisine is a bookshop
dedicated to food. It’s bright, vibrant and well stocked: sections include wine
and vines, world cooking, chef’s books, and health and nutrition. It also has a
good café, open Monday to Friday, serving gourmet coffee and generous lunches
(incuisine.fr; 1 Place Bellecour, 2e; books from £4, coffee £1.50, lunches
This tiny but world-famous cake and chocolate shop run by
the Bernachon family treats chocolate not
as a sweet, but as a gourmet food in its own right. Not only do they make
chocolates here, they make the chocolate itself: raw cocoa beans are roasted,
grinded and blended in-house. Try the signature Le President, a flamboyant
chocolate cake (42 Cours Franklin Roosevelt; cakes for one person from £2.50).
More than 60 traders tout their wares at this popular indoor
food market Les Halles de Lyon, which
has been in operation since 1850. It’s the place to stock up on ingredients –
from speciality cheeses, such as the impossibly runny St Marcellin, and
seasonal fruit and vegetables to fresh jamón serrano, snails and oysters. You
can also enjoy a sit-down lunch at the stalls (102 cours Lafayette, 3e; closed
Mon; St Marcellin from £2 for 100g).
Best for outdoor
Every Sunday morning, sculptors, painters, jewellers, fashion designers,
poets and musicians come together at Marché de l’artisanat et des métiers d’art
on the banks of the Saône river. Amble while browsing the clothes, ceramics,
paintings and prints for sale (00 33 4 72 10 30 30; Quai de Bondy; Sun 8am–
1.30pm; silk scarves from £8).
Soulful Croix-Rousse – a hillside quarter known for its silk
industry – has a villagey feel and a fantastic food market. More than 100 traders
set up their stalls every morning to sell local cheeses, meats (try saucisson
de Lyon, a local speciality) and crusty bread. Tuesday is the best day to visit
as silkware, crafts and fabrics are also for sale (00 33 4 72 10 30 30; Bld de
la Croix-Rousse, 4e; closed Mon; saucisson de Lyon from £2).
Set up in 1979 by writer and ethnologist Jean-Yves Loude, Marché de la Creation in Vieux
Lyon attracts creatives and art lovers eager to snap up paintings, photography,
crafts and engravings. The stylistic range of the paintings is incredible –
from classical landscapes in oil to spray-can modern pieces (Quai Romain
Rolland; Sun 8am–1pm; paintings from £40).
Where to stay
Le Boulevardier, in the Presq’ile
district, has 11 snug rooms. The hotel is up a spiral staircase above a cool
little bistro and jazz club of the same name, which also doubles as the hotel’s
reception (5 Rue de la Fromagerie; from £50).
Barnum is a barge moored on the Rhône near Pont Morland. It has two
en-suite rooms, a book-filled sitting room and a terrace on deck. It’s open
year-round and does wonderful breakfasts (3, Quai Sarrail; from £115).
The Cour des
Loges in Vieux Lyon comprises four buildings set around a glass-roofed
courtyard. Rooms are generous and lavishly decorated. The hotel also has two
restaurants, a delicatessen and a spa (2-8, Rue du Boeuf; from £200).
and easyJet fly direct to Lyon-Saint
Exupéry from Bristol, Gatwick, Heathrow, Edinburgh and Stansted (from £75).
Travel from London St Pancras by Eurostar and TGV trains
takes 5–5½ hours, changing in Paris or – simpler but less frequently – in Lille
(from £110). Buses, trams, a metro and two railway lines are operated by TCL, which has information offices adjacent to
metro stations throughout the city (all-day tickets £3.80). Hire bikes are
available at 200 vélo’v cycle
stations in the city (first 30 mins free, the next half hour 80p).
The article 'Mini guide to shopping in Lyon' was published in partnership with Lonely Planet Traveller.