Every December in Lyon, France, the city holds the Festival of Lights. In 2019, we decided to drive to Lyon and stay there overnight from Saturday to Sunday.
The first thing we did when arriving in Lyon was grab some Korean BBQ at OGAM Restaurant Coréen. It wasn’t the best, but it’s better than anything we can get in Lausanne.
By the time we arrived at our hotel, the city was packed. In fact, we had a real hard time just trying to find parking! The city streets were also quite filled with visitors, all in town for the special event.
The start of our night in Lyon took place around the 2nd Arr. We walked north through small alleyways looking at various shops selling all sorts of odds and ends.
Eventually we got to a courtyard with food vendors. One of them had this huge pot of tartiflette. No kidding, it was wider than my arm span. And there were all sorts of things cooking in it! Of course we had to get a plate. It wasn’t anything too impressive, but it was good. You know, the usual cheesy potatoes, meats, and cheese.
As the sun went away and darkness began to settle in, the festival of lights became more apparent.
There’s a map for the festival that you can use to decide where you want to go. Basically each light display can come in various forms. Some were simply artistic lanterns strung over the city streets. Others were artistic light shows paired with fog and music. There were interactive light displays, too. My favorite of them all was the kite whales in the sky dancing to eerie music. That was what I went for.
Towards the end of the night, the crowds got so heavy that it wasn’t much fun. We had to wait in lines and pack together tightly to see some of the light shows.
Eventually we got fed up and went to look for dinner instead. Walking around in crowds (especially when you’re unable to walk) can be tiring. We saw all that we wanted, and called it a night.
The next morning we woke up, packed our bags, checked out of our room and got ready to check out the city during the day.
First up was the farmers market. We got some coffee and sat by the river, enjoying the views and sun.
I didn’t realize just how beautiful Lyon was until I got a chance to see it during the day time.
It’s also slightly warmer than where we live in Switzerland.
For breakfast, we got some pastries from Boulangerie du Palais. The line for this bakery was ridiculously long. There was nice record/comic store next door that I killed time in.
For lunch, we ate at Notre Maison. I would highly recommend this restaurant, which serves traditional Lyon cuisine (all the animal innards).
The menu at this restaurant is a full set course (starter, main, and dessert). It was really filling, but oh so worth it. Probably one of the best meals that I’ve had in all of Europe. Just make sure that you have a hotel room to go back to afterwards, so that you can nap!
That’s all for this trip to Lyon! Kept it short. Perhaps I’ll be back again for another meal someday.