If you want to travel to Lyon...
If you want to travel to Lyon or actually anywhere in France, try not to go in August. That is when the French predominantly take their vacations. They close stores and restaurants (like the one I mentioned) during their break.
Lyon IS the french gastronomic...
Lyon IS the french gastronomic city ! There are so many excellent restaurants that you need many months to get somme good addresses. Lyon is well known for the 'bouchon', a small restaurant where food is family kind, simple and the ambiance is warm. You talk, you eat good food and you drink good wine from 'beaujolais' in the north or 'cotes du rhone' in the south. Be careful ! there are a lot of touristic restaurant which display 'bouchon' in front but are not real ones !! bouchon are mainly in the center, not in the old town despite it's really a kind place. there is a label 'authentique bouchon lyonnais' for real 'bouchons'. In the old town, there is only one which is dubbed as 'les 3 maries'. Try to have a look at http://www.vivrelyon.com/index5.php (in french) and http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/travel/content/0217lyon.html (in english)
wherever you go in Lyon, try to have a look around the Saint-George church. It's still in the old town, but not as frequented as around Saint-Jean. And you'll find some pubs and bars with really cool ambiance, not too expensive. You must try to go to the '110 vins', a great wine bar where you can eat some cheese or other things with your wine. They can also suggest you what you may like to drink.
About price, you can think about 20 to 25 euros for a complete meal and wine. Lyon has a lot of great specialties ! if you're a foreigner, probably many of them won't make you willing to taste them but please, open up your mind (and your mouth !). It's special but it's great !! and take a 'pot de cote' to drink with. the 'pot' is a small bottle from Lyon. We use to say 'pot de cote' abaout a 'pot' which contain wine 'cotes du rhone village', probably the most drunk wine at Lyon.
And you must try to eat some 'quenelles' with 'gateaux de foies de volaille', or a 'tablier de sapeur' (I love it), the famous 'saladier lyonnais' (with salad, lardons and egg mainly), for cheese please take a 'saint marcellin' and you may finish with a lemon tart or 'pralines' tart.
Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourviere
The Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourviere was built between 1872 and 1896 in a very eclectic style : austere exterior and luxuriously decorated interior.
What to see : fine mosaics, superb stained glass, the Saint-Joseph crypt.
Fine Arts Museum
The former Abbey of the Ladies of Saint Pierre, in the center of Lyon, now houses the Fine Arts Museum. The completely renovated museum houses one of France's largest art collections; with 7,000 sqm of exhibit space, it offers a true retrospective of civilization and illustrates with equal splendor the art of ancient Greece and Egypt, sculpture and painting from the Middle Ages to the present.
A day trip to Lyon
This was my first trip to Lyon, and will definitely not be my last.
Lyon reminded me of both Paris and Venice. The wide river with its bridges and surrounding architecture remind of Paris, but the fascinating alleys tucked away reminded me of Venice.
I will have to visit again so that I can explore the museums and historical architecture, but this visit was for a more ordinary purpose. SHOPPING!!
Lyon is the second biggest city in France, and as such, has the full panoply of shopping at its populace's disposal.
Shoes, clothes, furniture and art are all around you. I will get into specific recommendations in the shopping tips section.