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Extra Two Days in Lyon - Transportation

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We "took the plunge" for a river cruise between Lyon and Avignon in October 2020 and during the initial planning, did an air deviation to come in to Lyon a day early. In talking it over with DW, we decided to ask our travel agent to add another day (two days before embarkation). I'm sure there will be enough to see and do in Lyon, plus we are dealing with a 12 hour time difference from our home time zone (Ambien will be our friend for a couple of nights - we've done this before).

Anyway, is there anybody handy with experience getting from Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport to the middle of town and can recommend a good hotel close to the river boats? The last time we cruised out of Venice, our hotel picked us up from the airport. I don't count on that this time since we want to stay close to the river.

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Hey, most cruise ships dock in front of the university buildings at Quai Claude Bernard and, close to Le Pont de l'Université (University Bridge) / Rhône river. An excellent hotel would be SOFITEL Lyon Bellecour, not cheap.. about 550 USD for 2 nights. The Sofitel beds are legendary... but check out other hotels in the "new" Old Town, the peninsula between rivers Rhône and Saône. Hotel Alexandra, directly located at Square "Ampère Victor Hugo", which has a Metro Station! The very convenient Metro / tram takes you from airport to downtown directly, no stress and cheap! Travelling to Europe might be pricy enough so I guess a cab ride will always be part of the budget. If you want it really luxurious, take a cab to the city center and two days later, to the pier. Lyon is home of Paul Bocuse, star chef and one of the most famous sons of the city. Don't miss to visit the fantastic opera house, in October they'll play William Tell by Gioachino Rossini!


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You will find plenty to amuse you in Lyon for a couple of nights.  We spent three nights there early last year and also in Avignon.


We stayed at the Mercure Lyon Beaux Artes which was great and in a wonderful location.  Not sure how close to the riverboats though as we were on a train journey.  It is considerably cheaper than the Sofitel and still very nice.


Don't miss the food markets - they are amazing, as are the Roman ruins and the wonderful paintings on building walls.

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