How To Be A Local In … Lyon, France

Lyon is one of the most beautiful and atmospheric cities in France where past and present, old traditions and new trends live side by side and add a quirky touch to the city.

We spent two weeks staying in an apartment in Vieux Lyon (old town), and had a chance to see the city from a local perspective and find out what it would take to become “one of them”.

To blend in with the locals in Lyon you simply have to do what they do and …

1. Get Yourself A “Kick Scooter”

A very peculiar detail we found in Lyon was that everyone, adults and children alike, loved to get around the city on kick scooters – you know the ones every kid on the block had in the late 90’s!

The trend quickly faded and became uncool in the rest of the world, but in Lyon the kick scooter business is thriving.

Fancy girls in high heels and businessmen in suits sweep past on their kick scooters every few minutes – so the first step to becoming a local in Lyon is to get yourself one of those.

2. Always Buy 2 Baguettes

Of all assumptions the French are associated with, their love for baguettes is indeed one that is true.

Every day, no matter what time it is, you will see people walking down the street on their way to work, lunch or home, carrying not one – but two, baguettes.

It was a rarity to see someone holding just one baguette, and we sometimes got a funny look from the baker when asking for one rather than two – judging by what we saw on the street, one baguette is for munching on while you’re on your way home, and the other one for lunch or dinner.

So next time you buy yourself a baguette, get two… ;)

3. Buy Your Food At The Right Places

Lyon is a foodie mecca, so don’t resort to buying all your food from the supermarket – in fact, good supermarkets are difficult to find in Lyon, perhaps because the locals prefer to shop elsewhere.

From Tuesday to Saturday there is a morning market (St Antoine Market) along the Saône River on Quai St-Antoine where locals go to buy food, flowers, wine and delicacies.

Stalls are lined up along the river offering a huge variety of local wines, meat, cheese straight from the farm, fresh vegetables and fruit, grilled chicken, bread, cakes and pastries.

Anything French you’re looking for, you will be sure to find on this market.

Behind one stall they serve massive oyster plates and a glass of white wine as though it was fast food. Can it get any more French than this?!

Once you zoom off on your adult kick scooter on your way to the local market to buy your daily dose of 2 baguettes – you know you’ve become a local in Lyon.

Have you been to Lyon? What did you think about the city?

6 Responses to How To Be A Local In … Lyon, France

  1. Lauriane June 23, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    I currently live in Lyon and have for the past 2 years, and I don’t think you can ever get tired of this city… Not too big, not too small, different atmospheres from one neighborhood to another, and it is, after all, the Capital of Gastronomy!
    I hope you liked it here! :)
    What was your favorite district? Mine is Vieux Lyon!

    PS: the scooters were exactly what struck me when I moved here! So funny that everyone has one!

    • Sofia June 25, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      I agree, it really is the perfect size and I can see why you wouldn’t get bored of the city, it was my favorite in France!

      We stayed in an apartment in Vieux Lyon and absolutely loved that area!

      So do you own a scooter yourself now? ;)

  2. Gabe June 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Ahhh bread and cheese!!!!! =). I can’t wait to travel to France solely to eat bread and cheese! The Baguettes in the Dominican Republic, I’ve been told, don’t even come close to that of France.

    That’s funny how scooters are still in there. I used to ride a scooter all the time. Then it broke and I moved on to a bicycle

    • Sofia June 25, 2013 at 10:03 am #

      Baguettes and cheese is definitely one of the best highlights in France! I think few countries could compare to the fresh bread you find in France, it’s simply awesome ;)

  3. Marcia June 24, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    Love baguettes, cheese and wine. Never been to Lyon but was lucky enough to enjoy them, plus the food and sights during a seven day stay in Paris a few years ago.

    • Sofia June 25, 2013 at 10:05 am #

      Paris is also a great city, wonderful to spend a whole week there. I really miss all the great cheap wine and cheese now that I’ve left France.