Best Visiting Lyon and around towns

Visiting Lyon and in between towns. This is our first visit to Lyon, it should be a nice vacation.

My kids plan this trip as a surprise for me. A trip with my two sons, what a treat.

They map the trip with the hotel, train, and where to go and visit, no headache for me. I am a lucky mom.

*Visiting Lyon first,*Avignon,*Nice and From Nice *Antibe *Sanremo *Vence *Ventimiglia


We have just arrived in Lyon for a one-day visit, which is my first time here. Lyon is the third-largest city in France and the second-largest metropolitan area in the country. It is situated in the eastern-central part of France, at the confluence of the Rhone rivers.


I absolutely love Lyon; it’s famously referred to as the City of Lights and has small streets, historical sites, delicious cuisine, stunning architecture, and a market on Saturdays. Our hotel is conveniently located, and we can easily reach all the attractions on foot. However, it’s advisable to wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking involved.


Tomorrow we will be taking the train to Avignon.

Lyon is a fascinating city located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. 


With a rich history dating back to the Roman era, Lyon is blessed with a beautiful blend of old and new architecture. The city is famous for its stunning landmarks, including the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière, the Place Bellecour, and the Vieux Lyon, which are worth visiting. Lyon is also renowned for its delectable cuisine, with the city recognized as the culinary capital of France. 


Visitors can enjoy local delicacies, such as the quenelle, rosette sausage, andouillette, and Coussin de Lyon, a sweet treat. With various restaurants, cafes, and bistros scattered throughout the city, there is no shortage of options to tantalize your taste buds. Overall, Lyon is a beautiful city that attracts travelers from all over the globe. 


With its rich historical and cultural heritage, breathtaking scenery, and gastronomic delights, Lyon is definitely worth a visit.

Paul Bocuse, Lyon's mythic indoor food market.

This market has an international reputation for offering the best gourmet food with almost five dozen stalls selling innumerable culinary delights.

If you love food, this is the place to visit, the variety of meats, cheeses, bread, pastries, and seafood, is beyond what I’ve seen before, the quality of the products is world-class.


I don’t think this is the least expensive place to buy food, but you have to go for a look if you want to be surprised, this market is a must-see, all I can tell you now is WOW!


The local people go there to eat, and many of the stalls have small seating areas where you can sit and have your lunch, one of the reasons that Lyon is dubbed France’s capital of gastronomy.

La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière

The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière is a minor basilica in Lyon, built with private funds between 1872 and 1896 in a dominant position overlooking the city.

It is located on top of Fourvière hill, you could walk up the hill, but I recommend taking the funicular railway. You Have an amazing view of the old town.

Teatro Galo-Romano

The Gallo-Roman Theatre (Theatres Romains de Fourviere) is the breathtaking Roman ruins located near Fourviere Basilica. You can walk downhill from the Basilique to visit this theatre. On your way down, you will need good legs to come back up.


We took the train from Lyon to Avignon, the train is not direct, so make sure you are changing at the right station because it’s not indicated.

Ask the local people, which train to take it will be easier.

From the train station, we walked to the inside of the fortress, our hotel was inside. You can spend days roaming the neighborhoods inside the city walls and never be bored.


Avignon charms me with its ancient streets, its restored medieval ramparts, and the immense Gothic architecture of the Popes’ Palace. Visit the castle ruins near the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and sample the area’s famously well-bodied wines in a wine cellar nearby.


Don’t be surprised if you spot someone dancing: in France, the bridge is known as Pont d’Avignon after the nursery rhyme: ‘Sur le Pont d’Avignon/L’on y danse, l’on y danse…

Avignon is a small city that has everything a big one has, and then some…


“If you are coming to visit Provence, don’t stop in Avignon!

Once here, like a siren, the city will enter you and you won’t want to leave.”


Palaces of the Popes

The Palaces of the Popes are a group of historical buildings that have been an integral part of the Vatican City’s culture and grandeur for centuries. These awe-inspiring palaces are not merely buildings of historical significance, but they represent the legacy of the Papacy and have helped shape the world’s political and religious landscape. 


The Palaces of the Popes have witnessed countless papal conclaves, royal visits and state events, making them an important cultural hub that symbolizes the Vatican City’s grandeur and power.


Each palace is intricately designed and built, showcasing the aesthetic, artistic, and architectural talents that flourished during the Renaissance era. 


The splendor of these palaces is not limited to just their grandeur and beauty but extends to the art pieces they house, including the works of Michelangelo, Raphael, and other exemplary artists.




While you can certainly appreciate the palace from the outside – perhaps while sipping a café creme in the square out front – you’ll appreciate it all the more after taking a tour of the interior. It’s an interactive experience that makes the tour so much more informative and enjoyable.


By paying for admission, you’ll also be able to scale one of the palace’s towers for incredible views over the city, the river Rhône, the île de la Barthelasse and beyond. You have to learn the history of the Pope Palace, unbelievable.



The Bridge Of Avignon

The Bridge of Avignon is a landmark of historical and cultural significance located in the city of Avignon, France. The bridge has had a long and storied history, dating back to the 12th century when it was first built. 


Over the centuries, it has been damaged, destroyed, and reconstructed several times, and today, only a portion of the original bridge remains. 

The Bridge of Avignon is truly a testament to the resilience and endurance of human ingenuity, and a reminder of the enduring power of history and culture to connect us to the past and inspire us for the future.


The world-famous bridge in Avignon France is officially called “Pont St. Benezet”.  It is the subject of a very famous song that is known by children around the world entitled: “Sur le Pont d’Avignon“.


The bridge, built in the 12th century, once spanned the beautiful Rhone River.  Much of it was washed away by flooding over the centuries, however, four of the original 22 arches still remain.

You can enjoy a relaxing walk along the Rhone river and magnificent views of the bridge from various angles.  

To visit the Palais des Papes, the Pont d’Avignon and the pontifical gardens 

Every day -From €9.50


My son rented an apartment a walking distance from the train and right by the water on the “Promenade des Anglais”

The deep blue waters of the Cote d’Azur are the dramatic backdrop from our balcony. You stroll the famous Promenade des Anglais, be charmed by the quaint streets of Old Town, or get a panoramic view of the whole city from atop Castle Hill. You can Indulge in classic Provençal dishes, the wine cafes, or bustling brasseries.

And don’t pass up the chance to experience other places by taking day trips to Saint Tropez and Monaco.

Discover the charming and historic heart of Nice, a stark contrast to its modern boulevards and grand squares like Place Masséna.

The old quarter comprises a maze of narrow alleys, lined with quaint local shops and restaurants, shaded by tall ochre-painted apartment buildings and overlooked by the Colline du Château to the east.


You’ll find a variety of ice cream parlors, creperies, and cafes dotted around the lively squares, which buzz with activity well into the night. The district’s architecture is heavily influenced by Italian design, adding to its character and charm. Don’t miss the delightful flower and fresh produce market, which operates daily except for Mondays when it transforms into a flea market. 


If you’re staying in an apartment, this market is a true blessing, offering fresh produce, regional specialties, and flowers sourced from the surrounding countryside. You’ll be tempted to try everything, so make sure to sample the wares before you buy. 


To avoid the crowds, aim to arrive early and explore the boutiques and eateries in the surrounding streets.

Marche aux Fleurs Cours Saleya *Vieille Ville*

There are seaside walks, and then there’s the Promenade des Anglais, which is more than just a grand walkway next to the Mediterranean. Parades for the ebullient Nice Carnival come by in February, while the rest of the year joggers, couples skateboarders, and families pass all day long.

This horror happen in front of our apartment, one week after we left.

A large truck rammed into a crowd gathered for Bastille Day fireworks in the French Riviera city of Nice on Thursday night, killing at least 84 people and injuring at least 202, French officials said. Ten of the dead were children.

Russian Cathedral

Located in the Vieille Ville, the exterior of this landmark is rather unprepossessing, apart from its patterned dome.


It was built in the 17th century with a lavish baroque design, composed of ten highly ornate chapels with sculptures, paintings, and gilding.

Once again, it’s the kind of building you’d expect to find in Italy or Spain.

Also, The Russian Orthodox Cathedral is located in the French city of Nice.


You can walk from the Promenade des Anglais to pretty much all the churches. You have to be ready to walk in the small streets. We found most of them by accident.

This good dog was sitting in front of the church waiting patiently.


Going to Vence for the day.

The bus pass just in front of the apartment at the “Promenade Des Anglais”.


The bus took us way up in the hills of the Alpes Maritimes. Venice is a community set in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France between Nice and Antibes.


Vence is a great medieval historic town with lots of narrow streets and squares to explore and enjoy. Once you have entered the town, just wander around the maze of cobbled alleyways, passing underneath refreshing vaulted passageways, to admire Place du Peyra Renaissance its famous fountain photographed innumerable times (1822). The town has conserved much of its historical heritage. We loved meandering through these streets with no itinerary, no time pressure.


When you have had your fill of artistic treasures, enjoy some well-deserved rest as you lunch on the terrace of one of the many small restaurants scattered around the pretty squares that are everywhere in old Vence.


Vence is one of my favorites places to visit. This town charmed me immediately, also a town not on my list to visit during our trip to Nice.

I am glad we did.



This time we took the train to go visit Antibe.

Antibes is a resort town between Cannes and Nice on the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur). It’s known for its old town enclosed by 16th-century ramparts with the star-shaped Fort Carré.


Although Antibes was traditionally the centre of the local flower trade, tourism now dominates the local economy. Apart from the attraction of the beaches, the area offers a series of large yachting harbours.


The place is beach, parasol and sand.

Antibes, but still worth the visit for the day of rest and beach goer.


We took the train this time to visit Sanremo in Italy.

Sanremo or San Remo is a city on the Mediterranean coast of Liguria, in northwestern. There is nearly as much French spoken as Italian.

Took half a day to the Italian market in San Remo. It’s a must-do. The beautiful sea-coast, have lunch at the seaside and visit the shops


Our last train ride to visit Ventimiglia.

The last town in the Italian Riviera before hitting the French border, Ventimiglia is another of our favorite destinations in northern Italy. With its fascinating history, beautiful beaches, open-air markets, and gorgeous gardens. Another reason why you should plan your trip there.

In Ventimiglia, not only do you have an open-air market, but it’s in the most picturesque spot possible—on the extensive boardwalk. On Friday, the boardwalk is lined with open-air stands offering deals on handmade clothing, leather goods, furniture, produce, freshly caught fish, Italian food specialties, wine, and, of course, flowers.  This is a wonderful outdoor market.



Campanile Lyon Centre – Berges Du Rhone

4 rue Mortier, 69003 Lyon France

We stayed at the Campanile Berge du Rhone at the center of Lyon. The hotel has a good location near the river and closes to the trams, buses and easy access to the main train station and all the sights of interest.

The rooms are small and clean and the beds have been very comfortable. The rooms have a decent hairdryer, showers, free wifi, tv and tea, and coffee facilities, which the staff is only too happy to top up.

Breakfast is mainly continental, you can choose bacon, sausage, and egg available lovely and fresh selection of meats, cheese, fruit, cereal, slices of bread, juices, and hot drinks – self serve.

The staff is friendly and helpful.  Perfect location – the price is good. We enjoy our stay.


Hôtel Le Bristol Avignon

44 Cr Jean Jaurès, 84000 Avignon,

France•+33 4 90 16 48 48

Perfect location, clean hotel right in the middle of lots of restaurants and pubs within walking distance of everything.

The service was excellent, the room was clean, quiet, and a decent size.

But make sure you have cash with you at the point of check out otherwise you’ll be nagged by one of the clerks to make sure you’ll pay the city tax before noon, check out time. 

They don’t take debit.


Plan And Book Your Trip

🚆Getting There: Find your train fares with Trainline.

📲 E Sims: Airalo

🎫Thing to do:  Go City

Note: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase something through the link, at noillustration of a suitcase additional cost to you. Read disclosure here

Apartment we rent in Nice

La Promenade des Anglais.

“My son rented an apartment with a beautiful view of the ocean. The location was convenient since buses passed by frequently, and you could easily walk to nearby places.

The apartment was clean and had all the necessary amenities.

 However, one downside was that you had to pay extra cash for the cleaning crew, even though you had already paid for the week.

I recommend asking lots of questions before renting to avoid any surprises.”

No information for this one ,sorry.


To avoid seasonal crowds, it’s best to travel during the off-season.

If you’re travelling between cities and large towns in France, the country’s excellent rail network, including TGV fast trains, is the cheapest and easiest way to get around.

Although a road trip offers the freedom to make spontaneous stops and visit the countryside, be prepared to adapt your plans in case of strikes, which are relatively common in France and can disrupt or cancel transport services.

Plan your day around local markets, which are held weekly or more frequently in neighbourhoods, towns, and even tiny villages.

it’s important to start every interaction with a greeting of “bonjour” or “Bonsoir,” regardless of your language skills.

How to travel to Europe!!

10 Responses

  1. Your trip sounds amazing! Lyon, Avignon, Nice, and all those places your sons planned for you – what a treat! The tragic event in Nice was heart-wrenching. Ventimiglia, near Imperia, my hometown, and the seaside market – sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing your journey; I enjoyed reading about it! 🥰

  2. Wow! These photos look amazing. I would love to visit a place like this. Kudos to your sons for planning such a wonderful surprise.

        1. My kids have been traveling since they were 18 years old!! On our last trip to Italy last March, they chose what they wanted to visit and made a map (took 3 weeks of planification). And I just follow LOL…

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