Lyon Car Hire

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Guide to Lyon


Lyon is found 470 km southeast of Paris and 320 km north of Marseille. The confluence of the two rivers leads to this historic city being located on a peninsula, or presqu'île.


Lyon has a temperate climate with considerably hot summers and cold and dry winters. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit because that is when the temperatures yo-yo within a pleasant 13°C and 20°C. The autumn months of September and October also see colourful foliage and the absence of summertime crowds. However, if you prefer to visit during peak tourist season, plan a trip between June and August when there are lots of cultural events and festivals taking place all over the city.

Festivals in Lyon

If you are travelling to Lyon during the summer months of June and July you shouldn’t miss the two-month festival of Les Nuits de Fourviere. The reconstructed stages of the Grand Amphitheatre and Odeon are brought to life with mesmerising theatre, dance, music, opera and circus performances. The partly underground building has futuristic bunker-like galleries arranged around a spiralling concrete ramp. It receives nearly 130,000 spectators every year.

Roman history

Modern Lyon stands on the ancient ruins of the Roman city, Lugdunum, founded in 43BC. On the slopes of Fourviere Hill, you can explore the prehistoric ruins of the Gallo-Roman Amphitheater and Odeon, both of which were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The archaeology museum displays Gallo-Roman objects like vases, gravestones, mosaics, statues, coins and ceramics. Highlights include a majestic Hercules sculpture, decorative marble work from ancient baths, and a spectacular 100 square meter floor mosaic portraying images related to the God of Oceans.

Things To Do in Lyon

Wander around Old Lyon

In a city studded with architectural gems, one of the most interesting things to do is to slowly wander around the narrow cobbled pedestrian streets of Vieux Lyon (or Old Lyon) to get a glimpse into the Gothic, Italian, French Renaissance and Baroque styles of architecture. It comprises three districts - Saint Jean, Saint Georges and Saint Paul - and they are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You will definitely not mind getting blissfully lost in the little boulangeries, bouchons and cafes serving the best of Lyonnais cuisine.

Whilst in the area, visit the pristine Cathedrale Saint-Jean Baptiste, renowned for its stained glass windows dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries. Two of the most interesting features here include the astronomical clock and a remarkable bell named ‘Anne Marie de la Primatiale’ - one of the largest bells ever to be made. It is rung only on Catholic festival days.

See impressive art

Musee des Beaux Arts (Museum of Fine Arts) is considered to be the finest art museum in Europe after The Louvre in Paris. Found at Place des Terreaux, this museum occupies a 17th-century former Benedictine convent and it has 70 rooms with an impressive assortment of paintings and sculptures dating from the 14th to the 20th centuries. Start with the Egyptian antiquities which have reliefs, busts, statuettes and sarcophagi besides monumental gates recovered from the Medamud temple. Impressionist paintings and artworks by European and French artists like Rubens, Rembrandt, Delacroix, Picasso, Cezanne, Renoir, Veronese, Rodin, just to name just a few, will leave you enchanted as you weave your way through them.

Soak up the views at Basilique Notre Dame

The Basilique Notre Dame perches in a commanding position on the Fourviere Hill overlooking the city of Lyon. Rising to a height of 130 metres above the Saone river, this stunning church is accessible by funicular running up the hill. Built between 1872 and 1884, it is dedicated to the Virgin Mary who supposedly saved the city during the Franco-Prussian War of 1871. The cathedral’s architecture is a blend of Romanesque and Byzantine styles with interiors featuring rich mosaics and colourful paintings. Climb up the northeast tower to gaze at panoramic views of Lyon’s cityscape.

Spend an afternoon in the park

In Lyon, tourists are often mesmerized by the Parc de la Tete d’Or nestled on the left bank of the Rhone River. This glorious park is a tranquil paradise in the heart of the city. Within its perimeters lies a zoo housing zebras, lions and giraffes, an 8-hectare botanical garden, and a resplendent rose garden. The luxuriant botanical attractions include more than 20,000 plant varieties and 19th-century greenhouses. There is also a magnificent lake (L’Embarcadere) where families can rent boats for a sailing trip to enjoy the scenery. Children will be delighted by the grand carousels (merry-go-rounds), the pony rides, the ‘Petit Lac’ (little lake) with its mini paddle boats and an antique choo choo train called ‘La Dauphinoise’.

Eating Out in Lyon

France’s gourmet food capital, Lyon, is an ideal destination for foodies to discover French cuisine and fall in love with it. Lyon’s long and deep culinary heritage can be felt if you visit any of the intimate bouchons, old-world bistros, Michelin-starred restaurants, or casual brasseries. Local traditional dishes here include Rosette Lyonnaise, Saucisson de Lyon, Andouillette, Saucisson Brioche, Coq au vin, Gras double, Cardoon au gratin, Coussin de Lyon, Marrons glaces, and Quinelle.

La Mere Brazier is a fine dining establishment started in 1921 by the first female restaurant owner with three Michelin stars in France, Eugenie Brazier. Today, the menus here preserve her signature style yet have a contemporary twist. You can start with wild mushroom fricassee and go on to enjoy the main course of glazed pigeons with multi-coloured beets and kumquats with pepper. One of the city’s finest bouchons, Daniel et Denise, is run by Joseph Viola, recipient of the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France award. You can savour the pumpkin veloute (soup) followed by pike quenelles (fish dumplings). Viola’s pate en croute (meat pies) are also delicious.

Lyon Transport


Most travellers fly into the Lyons–St Exupery International Airport (LYS), located 20 km to the southeast of the city.

Getting around

The Transport en Commun Lyonnais, usually referred to as TCL, operates a network of more than 130 bus lines, 5 tram lines, 4 metro lines and 2 funicular lines. It is the second-largest public transport system after Paris. Visitors who purchase the Lyon City Card have unlimited use of the public transport network as well as major attractions.

An extensive system of motorways links Lyons directly to Geneva, the Alps, Marseille, Nice, Grenoble, and Paris, among others. Many visitors choose to take advantage of this by hiring cars from reputable agencies like Europcar and Enterprise and exploring other parts of France with ease and comfort. If you're travelling in a large group, consider hiring a minivan.

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FAQs about car hire in Lyon

Most frequently asked questions about hiring a car in Lyon

When booking in advance with Enjoy Travel, the average cost of hiring a car in Lyons is just €35.
Car hire prices in Lyons can often be as low as €25 when booking online with Enjoy Travel.
The minimum age to hire a vehicle in Lyons is 18 years of age.
Yes, it is allowed to add additional drivers to your car hire agreement in Lyons.
The most popular car to hire in Lyons is a Renault Twingo; its small size makes it easy to drive in the city/
Lyon is one of the most expensive cities in France after Paris. While traveling you’ll averagely spend €100 per day in Lyon.
To take in the beauty of the city at your own comfort without wasting any time, renting a car is advisable.
To explore Lyon it’s a great idea to visit the essential places of the city such as La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière, the old town, the Gallo-Roman Theatre and the Cathedral.
The best months for good weather in Lyon are May, June, July, August, September and October. On average, the warmest months are July and August.
For a week you’ll pay around €148, which means more or less €21 a day.
The cheapest cars go for €858 or €28 per day.
The average price of a litre of fuel in Lyon can vary between EUR 1.25 and EUR 1.14.

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