Things to do in Lyon: Discovering Lyon with the Lyon City Card

Things to Do, Travel Tips — By emmamuldoon on April 19, 2010 at 5:13 pm

If you really want to make the most of Lyon’s heritage and culture, the Lyon City Card might be just what you need to assist for the duration of your stay in the city. Provided by ‘Only Lyon Tourisme et Congrès’, the card can be purchased for 1, 2 or 3 days (priced at 19€, 28€ and 37€), which then allows the card holder ‘free’ access to a wide variety of attractions in Lyon. While the providers refer to access as ‘free’, this is not really the case, as you need to pay for the pass to get access to the attraction. But – if used well – the card can result in massive savings. In addition to ‘free’ access to attractions, the card also offers other benefit; here’s how it all breaks down:

Free public transport – a 1, 2 or 3 day City Card includes free use of the city’s transport system, including the tram, the metro, the funicular (hill tram) and the bus service. A one day travel pass would normally cost 4.60 €, so already, savings with the Lyon City Card start to become evident.

Free access to Lyon’s Museums – with a valid Lyon City Card, the card holder is entitled to free access to 19 of Lyon’s best museums. Now, unless you plan to undertake some weird museum hopping challenge, visiting all museums in one day is pretty impossible, 2 or 3 museum visits may be more realistic. The regular entrance fee to a Lyon museum is – on average – around 6€, multiply this by 3 museum visits in one day and the cost would normally be around 18€.

Add the normal cost of a one day travel card, with the normal cost of 3 museum visits and the grand total equals 22.60€. So you can see, we’ve already made a saving with the Lyon City Card (1 day 19€), and there are still more savings to come!

Free access to temporary exhibitions – many of Lyon’s museums and galleries feature temporary exhibition, which sometimes incur an additional fee (on top of the normal entrance fee). This fee is normally – on average – around 2€. Let’s add three of these to the budget for a non-city card day of culture and heritage in Lyon, and our total cost has increased to 28.60€. And we’re still not finished!

Free activities – the following activities are free with the Lyon City Card: a guided tour around the roof top of Basilique de Fourviere, access to the Fourviere observatory tower, access to a Guignol theatre performance and/or a cruise along the rivers Saône or Rhône. Let’s opt for a river cruise and add this cost (8€) to the total non-city card fee for one day’s activities in Lyon. The total is now: 36.60€. Now, let’s add a guided tour to our day!

Guided tours – the Lyon City Card includes two MP3 guided tours, one of Vieux Lyon (World Heritage old Lyon) and one of World Heritage Croix-Rousse and its ‘traboules’ (Renaissance passageways). The normal cost of these guided tours is 10€, so we can add this cost to the non-city card budget for one day; the total cost is now: 46.60€

Summarising the cost of 1 day’s activities without a Lyon City Card:
1 day travel card: 4.60€
Entrance to 3 museums: 18€ (roughly)
Entrance to 3 temporary exhibitions: 6€ (roughly)
1 river cruise: 8€
1 MP3 guided tour: 10€

  • Grand Total: 46. 60€
  • Price of a 1 day Lyon City Card: 19.00€

That means with the Lyon City Card we can make a total saving of 27.60€!

In addition to the above savings, the Lyon City Card offers discounts on other activities in the city, so used wisely; it’s possible to gain even more value for money from the card.
For information on how to purchase a Lyon City Card and for further details on free and discounted activities; visit the official website.


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