The Essential Guide to Lyon and Burgundy
Collected by Jennifer Ladonne , AFAR Local Expert
Set at the confluence of two mighty rivers, Lyon wears its 2,000-year history on its sleeve, offering medieval and Renaissance architecture to rival its renowned restaurants. The Burgundy countryside, on the other hand, is all about le vin, boasting vineyards that produce some of the world’s great wines, including the delicious Bourgogne Blanc. If you’re a lover of history, food, or wine, you won’t want to miss this magical region.
1 Rue Rameau, 21000 Dijon, France
This gargantuan palace, which now houses Dijon’s City Hall and the Musée des Beaux Arts, sits front and center on the beautiful Place de la Libération. The neoclassical edifice was built over several centuries, but the oldest...
5 Rue de l'Hôtel Dieu, 21200 Beaune, France
Right across from the Hospices de Beaune, wine lovers can find nirvana at Athenaeum de la Vigne et du Vin. The shop stocks books and videos in several languages, every carafe and glass under the sun, and objects for the serious oenophile,...
Rue de l'Hôtel Dieu, 21200 Beaune, France
Built in 1443, this iconic Gothic building is immediately recognizable from its stately turrets and steep, colorfully tiled roof. A working hospital until the 1970s, it now functions as a medical museum and renowned wine estate, with 148 acres of...
2 Rue d'Argentine, 21210 Saulieu, France
One of France’s great chefs, the late Bernard Loiseau lives on at this Relais & Châteaux hotel with a two-Michelin-starred restaurant. Despite its impressive pedigree, the hotel retains all the charm of a village inn, complete with...
Halles de LYON PAUL BOCUSE, 102 Cours Lafayette, 69003 Lyon, France
Named for Paul Bocuse—a towering figure in French gastronomy and a founder of nouvelle cuisine—this lush, gourmet market is a must-visit for anyone interested in food and cooking. Housed in the same glass-and-cast-iron building since...
10 Rue d'Ivry, 69004 Lyon, France
Synonymous with the silk trade for centuries, Lyon still produces some of the world’s finest fabric. At the Maison des Canuts, you can learn about how the silk workers shaped Lyonnais culture—from the bouchons (lively, family-run...
42 Cours Franklin Roosevelt, 69006 Lyon, France
A Lyon institution, Bernachon was one of France’s first boutique chocolate-makers. More than a chocolatier who makes bonbons or other sweets, Bernachon crafts the chocolate itself and is thus of particular interest to cocoa connoisseurs. The...
36 Rue Tramassac, 69005 Lyon, France
When in Lyon, you’re practically required to dine at a traditional bouchon—a modest but lively family-run restaurant, usually helmed by a woman, that serves hearty fare and local wine at reasonable prices. While not all bouchons are...
19 Rue Royale, 69001 Lyon, France
Of the half-dozen cocktail lounges within a block of the Rhône River, Le Fantôme stands out for its skillful drinks and cozy, theatrical atmosphere. The cocktail menu changes every three months, but always features unique options like...
34 Rue Chevreul, 69007 Lyon, France
At Le Kitchen Café, blond wood and local artwork bring warmth to the minimalist interior. More so than the design, however, it’s the coffee that draws people to this chic café, where beans are sourced from French and European...
23 Rue de Sèze, 69006 Lyon, France
Les Apothicaires offers a modern setting for contemporary cuisine by Brazilian chef Tabata Bonardi and her partner, Ludovic Mey. A stint at Noma in Copenhagen informs Bonardi’s ever-changing menu, which focuses on wild and locally sourced...
6 Rue du Bœuf, 69005 Lyon, France
Located in the heart of Lyon’s beautifully preserved, Renaissance-era Old Town, this five-star hotel offers an ideal setting (close to several must-see sites and museums) as well as one of the city’s most outstanding restaurants. Made...
14 Bis Quai du General Sarrail, 69006 Lyon, France
A solid budget option with plenty of style, this popular hotel nails the mix of old and new. It’s housed in a stately 19th-century mansion, but its 85 compact rooms—many with balconies overlooking the Rhône River—sport the...
25 Montée Saint-Barthélémy, 69005 Lyon, France
It’s all about the view at this Relais & Châteaux hotel, housed in a former convent. Here, guests enjoy panoramic vistas of Lyon’s Old Town from the outdoor pool, the gourmet restaurant, and several of the spacious,...
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