Rue Victor Hugo: Rue Victor Hugo
The great nineteenth century novelist, poet and dramatist Victor Hugo (1802-1885) was not an avid shopper, as far as I know, so he probably wouldn’t have been too happy about having one of the main shopping streets in Lyon named after him.
But I’m sure he would have appreciated this girl who made a quick stop with her Vélo’v bike to pop into one of the many shops. (See my tip on Fürstenberg and Falkenburg for one of Hugo’s girl descriptions.)
The Vélo’v bikes are equipped with locks for the purpose of making brief stops like this, but for a longer stop you would be better off docking your bike at one of the 343 Vélo’v stations, to avoid having to pay for keeping it longer than half an hour.
Rue Victor Hugo was Lyon's first pedestrian street, by the way. The Métro line A, which runs underneath, was originally intended to make more room for cars, but by the time construction of the Métro was finished the old car-loving mayor had died and the new mayor apparently had different priorities.
Planete Net/Phone: . . . but a few internet cafés still exist
Eventually I found two internet cafés that were still in operation. Both were in a small street called rue Romarin, which is behind the City Hall and Place des Terreaux.
This is an old narrow street which is picturesque in a grungy sort of way.
I went to Planete Net/Phone at 21 rue Romarin because it looked a bit roomier than Web n' Call (second photo), but otherwise they appeared to be more or less interchangeable.
So if you are one of those old-fashioned people (like me) who still use internet cafés to go online, rue Romarin might be a good place to look. (No guarantee, though, that they'll still be in business a few weeks from now.)
Second photo: Web n' Call at 14 rue Romarin.
Out of business: An ex-@ shop . . .
Since I had a newly published guidebook I was confident that their recommendations would be up-to-date, which most of them were. But there was one exception, namely internet cafés.
They listed several internet cafés in the Old Town, but the first two I went looking for had already gone out of business. This one in the photo, at 12 rue Lainerie, still had its @ sign in the top window, but the big sign in the middle said "Bail a céder" meaning "shop for rent" or "available for lease".
I guess internet cafés are a volatile business, especially since more and more people carry their own mobile internet devices nowadays.
Ma non troppo: Vinyl phonograph records
In the Old Town near the end of Rue du Boeuf, across from the stairs going up to the Basilique de Fourvière, there is a small shop specializing in old vinyl long-playing records.
The shop's slogan is "La passion du vinyle" (which means exactly what it looks like) and the name of the shop is "Ma non troppo", which is an Italian musical term meaning "but not too much". For instance, a composer might write the instruction "allegro ma non troppo" meaning "fast, but not too much".
I used to sort of smile condescendingly at people who still listened to vinyl records, but now it appears that their records might have a longer life span than my CD collection. Apparently there are some issues that can affect the physical longevity of CDs, quite aside from the fact that they are already going out of fashion and may soon be as outmoded as the revolving drums and perforated metal disks from the 19th century that I saw at the Mechanical Instrument Museum in Bruchsal.
Second photo: Sign outside the shop.
Third photo: Ma non troppo from the street.
Quai Saint Antoine/Quai des Célestins: Outdoor food markets
Lyon is said to have over thirty outdoor food markets, spread out over all the districts of the city.
One that I especially liked was this one on the left bank of the Saône, on Quai Saint Antoine and Quai des Célestins. It is open six mornings a week, Tuesday through Sunday, from six till about one or one thirty.
Second photo: People at the outdoor market.
Third photo: Eating and drinking at La Buvette Bonaparte, which is near the bridge of the same name.
- Food and Dining
Reserve Naturelle: Fancy jewelry
This is a very nice shop with nice ethnic jewelry and fashion accessories.
What to buy: Barrettes, costume jewellery, creative jewellery, gold-plated jewellery, silver jewellery, broaches, aesthetic accessories, lipstick, nail polish, cosmetic pencils, eye shadow, powder, mascara, eye liner, tattoo ink, body glitter, glitter gel, badges, belts, fancy purses, carnival and party products...
What to pay: i bought a ring for 5€ and a bracelet 3€
Super U: b1bob's Lyon shopping tip nº3
Super U is a chain of French grocery stores.
What to buy: You would think grocery stores are pretty much the same all over the world. The basic layout is the same, there are trolleys, and check stands, but the French grocery stores are stocked with things Americans would only find in special gourmet shops such as tabouli, pâté, and other things you simply can't find at Ukrop's or the Wal-Mart Super Centre. We bought cassoulet (a fancy word for beans and franks), chocolate bread, pâté, tabouli, and other stuff some people from Roxboro might not have heard of.
What to pay: The prices seemed reasonable.
B.H.V.: b1bob's Lyon shopping tip nº6
B.H.V. is rather like a French Home Depot or Lowe's.
What to buy: Housewares, furnishings, and all manner of do-it-yourself items can be found here. Luc was looking for an artificial Christmas tree to adorn the flat, some ornaments, lights, and a star. The first 3 were no problem, we found them here. The star was another ballgame (we a sorry looking star at the Carrefour at the other end of the mall). Luc went home and he set up the artificial Christmas tree. Because I'm very clumsy in terms of decorating and my taste is questionable to some, I don't help set up the Christmas tree even at home. The lights Luc bought turned out to blink. Baby Florian sure enough liked them, but they drove me crazy. It's a good thing Florian isn't epileptic!
What to pay: Reasonable prices.
With its department stores and pedestrian precincts, its luxury goods shops and fashion boutiques - not to mention one of the largest shopping centres in Europe - Lyon is a shoppers paradise. The main shopping area in town, the Presquile has its hub between the Rhone and Saone. There is a wide range of shops which are sprinkled with loads of bars, cafes and theatres.
- Road Trip
Bonnie & Clyde: Lyon shopping: Pleasant shoes boutique in Lyon
I found this shop by accident. It is situated in the main commercial area of Lyon (the Presqu'ille - the city center between the two rivers), but it's hidden in a small pedestrians street. The big fashion names, like Louis Vuitton and Hermes are near by in Edouard Herrriot st. and Printemp store is near by as well.
In that small boutique there is a lovely collection of stylish French and Italian shoes.
The girl who works there (Her name is Gwenaelle and she is also the owner of the boutique) was really nice and professional. She speaks English and was helpful in matching shoes to my new dress (and she offered me a coffee too).
Gwenaelle told me that she travels twice a year to Paris and Milan to make her seasonal collection.
The name of the boutique is "Bonnie and Clyde" but it got nothing to do with cowboy's style. All shoes and boots are very elegant and stylish, Among the names: Vivien Lee, Mare, Fantini, Nebuloni, Espace, etc.
Prices are not cheap (starting at about 100 Euro) but there aren't many shops in Lyon that offer original, up to date selection like this shop. For women addicted to shoes like me, this shop definitely gives the right daily dosage.
And buying there was really a pleasant experience.
What to buy: Shoes are my personal hobby. But Lyon was famous for it's silk and cloth making. It manufactured the costumes for the kings and nobles of France, and the curtains and carpets for their palaces.
If you are interested in this tradition, go to the tissue museum and "maison de canut".
There are also some shops selling traditional silk products. Try for example L'Atelier de Soierie. 3 rue Romarin, Lyon 69001. 04-72-07-97-83
What to pay: At "Bonnie & Clyde" prices start at 80-100 Euros for summer sandals or shoes, up to 450 Euros for the fanciest boots.
During the "sale" ("solde" in French, during January and July) prices are cheaper.
What to buy in Lyon
What to buy: I know a lot of delicious French delicacies, but I'm not sure which one of them are typically lyonnais... anyway, here's some of the things I'm going to take with me when I leave Lyon for good:
- Tuiles, which means "tiles" literally, there's a place near Place Bellecour (Rue de la Barre, towards Rhone river) offering a large choice of them. Try the almond & chocolate one, it's sooo good...
- colourful Macaron cookies
- Brioche pralinee: that sweet red stuff is irresistible!
- any of the wonderful French tarts, for example with chocolate and pears...
- Among the finest in the world and darn expensive: Bernachon and Richart
- Coussins de Lyon ("pillows"), nougat with a hard sugar/marchpane coat
- Montelimar nougat
- St. Marcellin or any other "demi-sec" chevre (goat cheese)
- A hard Brebis (sheep's cheese) or an old Comte - tastes a bit like Parmesan
- A Tome de Savoie
(Don't be afraid to try the cheese, any cheese that's not too old tastes ok. Ask for cheese that's "pas trop fort" if you're unsure)
Charcuterie & other:
- "Rosette de Lyon" or other dry sausages - salami-like, but finer
- Boudin blanc, a very light and tasty veal sausage
- Quenelle dumplings, for example from Giraudet
What to pay: Expect to be paying a lot! Everything that's labeled "artisanale", meaning that it comes from traditional, local production is bound to be rather expensive. At supermarkets you may find cheaper things and of course the market is cheaper than the stores.
- Food and Dining
"Délices des Sens": CHOCOLAT!!!
have not visited this shop but I have eated some chocolates yestarday....unbelievable! Have you love the movie "Chocolat"...? I think here it's your paradise!
What to buy: chocolate and... chocolate!!!
What to pay: I think it's more expensive than average but it's worth the pain !
- Food and Dining
Victor Hugo street
It's the street with most of the stores just in the centre of town. In it and the streets around you can find really all kinds of stores an buy everything- from books, cd-s, food, jewlery, man and women's clothes, shoes...
Part Dieu Shopping Centre: Retail therapy anyone?
One of the biggest, if not the biggest mall in Lyon, Part Dieu.
Conveniently located in a centra part of town, and easily to spot as its located close to the unique Credit Lyonnais building.
This mall has over 260 shops that will accommodate amost any purchase you plan to make.
Centre opening hours are from 0930 until 1930.
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
Axelle Rude-Bettolo, Roaster @ Halle de Lyon: 'French Roast' Coffee
Halle de Lyon is a food shopper's paradise in downtown Lyon. Butchers, bakers, and coffee roasters extraordinaire.
What to buy: Let Axelle Rude-Bettolo blend a special coffee just for you. She will numerically code it so that your own unique blend can be recreated when you visit a second time. She is very cordial, professional, and extremely talented when it comes to coffee. Her english is excellent, and she will allow you to practice your bad French without rebuking you.
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