How to become a true Lyonnais?
Here are ten things you must do to pass yourself off as a local in Lyon
Not to be missed in Lyon
Last updated date : 01/02/2024
Are you a visitor to Lyon, or have recently moved here, and want to impress people with your local knowledge?
Here are ten essentials for any ‘gone’ (read on to discover the meaning) worthy of the name!
Have a picnic on the banks of the Rhône
While there is no shortage of parks and gardens in Lyon, the river banks are without doubt the most popular place for locals to get together, by the water’s edge or on the steps. All you need is one friend (or more), a jambon-beurre (ham and butter baguette sandwich), a bottle opener and, to be more local than the locals, some gratons (pork scratchings)!
Drink a beer at Ninkasi
The goddess of beer in Sumerian mythology, Ninkasi literally means “the lady who fills the mouth”. This is something the local brewery Ninkasi does very well, with lagers, pale ales and wheat bears! And it offers more than just beer, with burgers and live music on the menu too.
See a match in Décines
Football is a serious matter here, so, if you want to be taken seriously as a Lyonnais, then you need to support the local team! Whatever you do, avoid mentioning the team that shall not be named (the one that plays at Geoffroy-Guichard stadium). Your colours are blue and red, and your credo is: ‘qui ne saute pas n’est pas Lyonnais’ (if you’re not jumping, you’re not a Lyonnais). And don’t forget to cheer on Lyon’s brilliant women’s team!
Take a selfie on the rooftop of Le Sucre
Now you’ve had a beer at Ninkasi, treat yourself to a mojito at Le Sucre. While you’re there, make sure you post a selfie on the rooftop (which offers a view of Lyon like no other) to your Instagram page. If you don’t have a selfie at Le Sucre, you’re not Lyonnais either!
Lose yourself in the ‘traboules’
It’s Sunday and you’ve decided to visit Vieux-Lyon (Old Lyon). It may be touristy, but it’s still popular with the locals. Here, you will find Lyon’s famous traboules, a maze of hidden passageways between streets (you’re a true local, so we don’t need to tell you that they can also be found in the Croix-Rousse and Presqu’Île districts!). Anyway, if you get lost while exploring them, don’t worry because all roads lead to the banks of the Saône.
A little tip: to avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit Vieux-Lyon in the morning, between 9 and 10.
Eat an ice cream at Nardone
The weather’s hot and it’s the perfect excuse! The ice cream parlour Nardone, which has been handed down through the generations since 1899, has an impressive and amazing range of flavours (there are more than 60 to choose from!). Nardone is located near the Fresque de la Cour des Loges (and you’ll know where that is because you’re familiar with all of Lyon’s murals, of course).
Make a rendezvous ‘sous la queue du cheval’ (beneath the horse’s tail)
Make sure you don’t wait under its head, or nobody will come! Don’t ask us why, but this is the place where everybody arranges to meet…
Have a ‘mâchon’ (authentic local brunch) at Les Halles
The people of Lyon are famous for their love of food. Whether you’re looking for sweet or savoury, you’ll find many amazing delicacies at Les Halles. Psss, make sure you try the delicious spread at Sève…
Speak the local lingo
To be a true ‘gone’ (or ‘child’ in the Lyonnais dialect), you’ll need to expand your vocab and make sure you use words like ‘vogue’ and ‘pelo’ in the right contexts!
Place some ‘lumignons’ on your window sill
Learn why the 8th of December is such an important date in Lyon and make sure you don’t forget this final point, which will really qualify you as a true Lyonnais…