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Where to Live in Lyon: a simple guide to the different neighbourhoods

Dernière mise à jour : 5 févr.

Lyon, the third largest city in France, is known for its rich history, vibrant culture and diverse neighbourhoods.

The city is made up of nine arrondissements, all of which have different characteristics and residents. If you’re considering making Lyon your home, it is important to consider WHERE you want to live. For example, If you are a student who wants to live the party lifestyle on a budget, your desired location will be significantly different to older professionals looking to settle in a quiet, more residential area.

My English Sister has put together a small guide to help you narrow down your search.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most popular neighbourhoods in Lyon...

1. Presqu'île (1st and 2nd arrondissement)

Located between the Rhône and Saône rivers, the Presqu'île is a prime, central location to live in. It boasts a mix of historic charm and modern amenities; the area is known for its vibrant shopping streets, cultural landmarks such as the city hall and opera, the Musée des Beaux-Arts and an array of popular cafes and restaurants. The Presqu’île is a perfect fit for those who favour a dynamic, urban lifestyle and want to be in the centre of the city. Whilst rents are typically higher due to the central location, the Presqu'île is an ideal place to live to benefit from all the things the city has to offer, all within walking distance!

MES recommendation 👇

2. Croix Rousse (4th arrondissement)

Secondly, Croix-Rousse is a neighbourhood defined by its artistic, bohemian and residential characteristics and has become a popular location to live amongst the Expat community. The neighbourhood is positioned on a hill, offering both stunning views of the city as well as a free workout - you will not need a gym membership with all those hills! The narrow winding streets are known for weekly produce markets, independent boutiques, vintage and vinyl shops and cozy cafes - all of these independent shops contribute to the area's unique charm, it almost feels like an independent village within the big city of Lyon.

MES recommendation 👇

3. Brotteaux (6th arrondissement)

Brotteaux is a neighbourhood located in the 6th arrondissement of Lyon. It is known for its elegant 19th-century architecture, wide boulevards, and residential atmosphere. Whilst typically a more expensive neighbourhood of Lyon, the 6th arrondissement is ideally located and well connected to the rest of the city.

 MES recommendation 👇

Parc de la Tete d'Or is the obvious recommendation when talking about Lyon's sixth arrondissement. The large park is Lyon's Green Lung and is a delightful spot to go for a run, walk or cycle. The park is even home to a zoo, botanical garden, several cafes and playgrounds for children to enjoy!

4. Vieux Lyon (5th arrondissement)

Vieux Lyon, the city's historic centre, is a UNESCO World Heritage site with its Renaissance-era buildings, cobblestone streets, and traboules (hidden passageways). It’s a lively area full of activity and character, as well as an abundance of traditional Lyonnaise restaurants (Bouchons) to visit. Due to its historic charm, bear in mind that this area becomes a hub for tourism during peak holiday seasons, so the narrow streets can be fairly crowded.

MES recommendation 👇

5. Part-Dieu (3rd arrondissement)

Whilst not Lyon's most aesthetic neighbourhood, Part-Dieu is Lyon's primary business district, characterised by modern skyscrapers, shopping malls, and contemporary architecture. If you're looking for a convenient location with excellent transport links, Part-Dieu is the place to be. With access to the metro, bus service, multiple tram lines, airport tram service and multiple bike stations, you have every possible means of transport at your disposal making it ideal for commuting or exploring wider France. This area would suit young professionals and commuters. Part Dieu is also home to the large Westfield shopping centre and a famous, covered food market called 'Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse'.

MES recommendation 👇

6. Confluence (2nd arrondissement)

Confluence, where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet, is Lyon's newest neighbourhood. With its modern architecture and contemporary feel, the confluence district has a strikingly different feel compared to, for example, Vieux Lyon. Situated near the waterfront, the confluence district is home to a large gym, shopping centre and supermarkets making it a convenient place to live. Moreover, the area is known for its eco-friendly initiatives, trendy boutiques, and the large ‘Parc de Gerland’ - a hot spot for picnics and sports activities in the City. The confluence district is also home to the 'Musée de Confluences'. `

MES recommendation 👇

Parc de Gerland is another great green space in Lyon, perfect for escaping the chaos of city life. If you're entertaining children, Parc du Gerland has lots to offer including multiple playgrounds, a carousel and a cafe.

7. Guillotière and the 7th arrondissement

Next, the sectors of Guillotière and the 7th arrondissement. Positioned directly next to the river, the seventh arrondissement is a prime location for students and young people looking to live in Lyon on a budget. The seventh arrondissement is bustling with cafes, bars, second-hand shops, international supermarkets and nightclubs; the area is also well connected to multiple transport lines and is home to Lyon 2 University.

MES recommendation 👇

Le Court Circuit is a great, affordable bar in the 7th arrondissement. Ideal for students and young people to meet and enjoy an 'apero' before dinner.

8. Villeurbanne

Finally, there is also the option to live in the nearby suburb of Villeurbanne if you are looking to live near the city. Offering a lively cultural scene and diverse population, Villeurbanne is home to green spaces, music venues and Lyon 1 University and is often cheaper than rental properties directly in Lyon. Villeurbanne is well connected and it is therefore possible to reach the Presqu'ile in around 15 minutes.

We hope this guide has given you some insight into the different neighbourhoods of Lyon and how they differ in certain characteristics. Whether you prefer the historic charm of Vieux Lyon or the business hub of Part Dieu, Lyon offers something for everyone.
Upon your arrival in Lyon, we recommend booking an Airbnb for a week or so before securing accommodation, to allow yourself time to explore the different neighbourhoods before signing a lease on a permanent apartment.

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