Skip to main content
Food Food Guides Travel Guides

oh joy in france / part 3: what we did in lyon…

Oh Joy in Lyon

Oh Joy in Lyon

Oh Joy in Lyon

During our trip to France, we spent five nights in Lyon which is just a couple hours of outside of Paris by train. Bob had a conference for work there, so it was mostly Ruby and I hanging together most of the day, and Bob joined us in the afternoons when he was done work (hence why he is wearing such fancy outfits in most of these photos).

Oh Joy in Lyon

Oh Joy in Lyon

We rented an apartment in the 6th district in Lyon through airbnb. It was perfect for what we needed—spacious, cozy, relatively toddler-safe, and close to grocery stores, parks, and restaurants. Since it was on the 6th floor, we made sure that it had an elevator so that we wouldn't be huffing it every day. However, the elevator was comical. It just barely fit the three of us when all squeezed together.

Once we crammed ourselves in and out of the elevator, here's a what we did while in Lyon…

3rd District

Oh Joy in Lyon | Les Halles de Lyon

Oh Joy in Lyon | Les Halles de Lyon

Oh Joy in Lyon | Les Halles de Lyon

One of my favorite places to visit in any city is an indoor food market with various vendors and purveyors of every kind. Similar to the Reading Terminal Market in Philly or the Ferry Building in San Francisco, Les Halles de Lyon is a food lover's dream with stalls aplenty. We bought some amazing cheese and charcuterie there that topped any cheese and charcuterie we've ever had in the States.

Oh Joy in Lyon | Les Halles de Lyon

Oh Joy in Lyon | Les Halles de Lyon

We even found the tiniest macarons in all the land at the Richart shop there. Ruby loved them because they were just her size!

Les Halles de Lyon | 102 cours Lafayette, 69003 Lyon


 

5th District


Oh Joy in Lyon


Oh Joy in Lyon


Oh Joy in Lyon | Terre Adelice

Oh Joy in Lyon | Terre Adelice


Oh Joy in Lyon | Terre Adelice


Oh Joy in Lyon | Terre Adelice

Some of the most flavorful ice cream we've ever had was at Terre Adélice. Known for their natural and organic flavors, it had the smooth and creamy texture of gelato. My favorite was the lime basil flavor—tangy, fresh, and so, so good. And, I think Ruby liked the chocolate ice cream, too.

Terre Adélice | 1 place de la Baleine, 69005 Lyon

 

6th District

Oh Joy in Lyon | Cafe Juliette

Oh Joy in Lyon | Cafe Juliette

Since Ruby goes to bed around 7:30 or 8pm, we usually have dinner at 6pm. We had a really hard time finding any restaurants in Lyon (and Paris) that were open for dinner that early, or even at all. When we did find restaurants open at 6pm, they often only had a small selection to choose from because dinner menus typically don't start until 7 or 7:30pm. Just when we felt defeated by our lack of options, we ended up having one of our favorite meals from an afternoon snack menu at Café Juliette—including the best croque monsieur I've ever had and an amazing salmon rillettes and cheese dish.

Café Juliette | 41 rue Juliette Récamier, 69006 Lyon

Oh Joy in Lyon

Oh Joy in Lyon

Oh Joy in Lyon

And, there's a cute little playground right by the restaurant that Ruby loved.

Oh Joy in Lyon

Oh Joy in Lyon

This week in Lyon was all about me and Ruby as we got a lot of special mama/daughter time exploring unknown territory. We played a lot and ate a lot of sweet treats. I broke my normal rule about no desserts until after dinner as we shared a chocolate croissant every morning on the way to the park.

Oh Joy in Lyon | Parc de la Tete d'Or

Oh Joy in Lyon | Parc de la Tete d'Or

Oh Joy in Lyon | Parc de la Tete d'Or

Oh Joy in Lyon | Parc de la Tete d'Or

Oh Joy in Lyon | Parc de la Tete d'Or

Oh Joy in Lyon | Parc de la Tete d'Or

Our apartment was just a couple blocks from the best park on the planet—the Parc de la Tête d'Or. Seriously, it's like Central Park but way cleaner and full of so many areas including a botanical garden, a zoo, two merry-go-rounds, a playground, a lake, and so many other things I didn't even get to see. Ruby and I went to the park every morning for the five days we were there, and every day we discovered something new.

Oh Joy in Lyon | Parc de la Tete d'Or

Oh Joy in Lyon | Parc de la Tete d'Or

Oh Joy in Lyon | Parc de la Tete d'Or

Oh Joy in Lyon | Parc de la Tete d'Or

The coolest part is that the zoo is interwoven into the park, so you'll randomly see animals in areas mixed with totally serene greenery. It just felt so much more calm than any other zoo I've ever been to.

Parc de la Tête d'Or | Boulevard des Belges and Avenue Verguin, 69006 Lyon

Our time in Lyon was much more relaxed than our time in Paris. We enjoyed it more like locals and less like tourists by visiting some of our favorite spots daily and by going to places mostly in walking distance. It was a fun start to our trip, and we were happy to have Bob done with work and join us daily for our week in Paris. I hope you guys enjoyed seeing bits from our trip! I have some practical guides coming soon about packing for a family trip and traveling with toddlers abroad, so stay tuned…

P.S. If you missed it, see Part 1 – What We Ate in Paris and Part 2 – What We Did in Paris.

P.P.S. Ruby's improved French skills…

57 comments

  1. I’ve actually never been to Lyon although I live in Paris…!
    We have such great places in France, but it’s so easy being attracted to other faraway countries where the grass is greener… I need to do some closer exploring.
    That garden and those ice creams would definitely be worth the trip!

  2. Airbnb is truly a good source in finding a place to stay. I know I used them and some of the places I stayed in was really cozy and nice.
    OMG, I love the expressions Ruby makes. SOO CUTE!! I also love the way she talks.

  3. love your blog. thanks for sharing. Ruby’s outfits are so cute! Where are the clothes from? love the orange stripe top!

  4. Oh wow, I love everything about this post! It looks like the most fun trip ever, and those macarons are so cute! As is the photo of Ruby with the baguette! Glad you had such an amazing time 🙂

  5. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while and it’s really a source of inspiration. I am French and I am not surprised you enjoyed Lyon which is one of the nicest city in France! Next time you need to pass by the small town of Annecy in Haute-Savoie, you’ll be amazed by its beauty..just saying 😉
    Your daughter is just adorable, bravo Ruby pour ton français!

  6. my brother lives in switzerland and has been trying to convince me to go over to visit him in europe, saying he’ll take me to france. your posts about paris and lyon really make me want to say yes!! also, airbnb has the best deals ever 🙂

  7. Your ruby is about the cutest thing in the world…. You can really see how much fun she was having through her expressions! Love!
    Ps. I have been stalking your page for travel tips as I leave to italy with a one year old on Monday! Eek! #1 tip?

  8. the ruby loves bread photo needs to be framed and hung in the kitchen. her little face is priceless! that’s how i feel about bread too ruby!

  9. You seemed to have a wonderful time in my city 🙂
    In case someone is interested, you can get a full meal at any time in most restaurants located rue Mercière, in the 2nd district.

  10. Oh my goodness gracious. Ruby with that huge baguette – so cute. Ruby and the ice cream face – WAY too cute. And Ruby’s French?! SUCH A SMARTY!!!

  11. Thank you!
    A couple quick tips for you:
    -For the time difference, as soon as you get there, act like the new time zone is THE time zone. As much as you might want to let the nap longer to make up for lost sleep or because its really bedtime at home, power through it and get your home schedule established in the new time zone and they will adjust much quicker.
    -Bring a foldable high chair if the area youre going to is known for not having high chairs (which Paris was).
    -Be flexible and know that kids are kids and sometimes not every day will go as planned and make sure to fit in play time for them at least once a day.
    Hope that helps!
    Joy

  12. i love these kind of trips, where you feel like a complete local! my dad travels a lot for work and we used to take two week trips each september to wherever he was working. during our time in that place, my mom took all of us around, let us eat as much as we wanted, and visit our favorite spots over and over again!

  13. SO precious…her little voice speaking French! I cannot wait until my little ones are that age. Well yes I can…it’s already going too fast. 😉

  14. We’ve just come back from a long weekend Lyon. But we left our toddler with the grandparents for the first time. My heart broke when we walked around the Tête d’Or – my 2 yo son would have had a great time like Ruby! We did have a blast though, it’s such a great city – one of my favourites.
    I’ll be posting an eating/travel guide very soon on http://thegraphicfoodie.blogspot.co.uk/

  15. ALL of your photographs are amazing but my favorites are of Ruby outside and especially at the zoo.
    She reminds me so much of my 12 yr old who I adopted from China when she was 1. I’ve been following for a long time and even bought your blogging book. I didn’t comment earlier but your collaboration with Emily Henderson for your new studio is gorgeous!
    http://chocolateandsunshine.com

  16. Really love these photos!! Can you tell me what brown boots you’re wearing in these photos? I’m obsessed with the style!

  17. Adore the little video of Ruby and her français! 😉 I’ve never been to Lyon but hope to make it over there during our next trip to France! Reading about your trip makes me so excited to take Olive there. xox

  18. Ruby is absolutely adorable. I love seeing children holding miniaturised food or giant foods. Her with the baguette is so adorable, its taller than her and she looks so content by it

  19. First time I post on your great blog (I love it for such a long time!), but today I was forced: I live in Lyon! And I’m so happy you like our city! It’s nice to see it through others’ eyes… 🙂 Thank you!

  20. I LOVE your blog and what an amazing trip it looks like you had! I have a two year old and am always looking for gadgets to entertain her while traveling and was wondering what Ruby is playing with in the second picture of this post. She is just adorable!! Thanks!

  21. You have the most adorable family in the world! I did my whole year in undergrad on exchange in Lyon and this brings back great memories. I have been following you on Pinterest for a long time but for some reason never visited your blog. I’ll be back frequently! Please visit mine if you ever get a chance!

  22. Great post. Ruby is soooo adorable and sweet. I have a question, which area you would recommend to stay in Lyon? I’m going next month with my husband and two boys (13 and 9). Like you, we love good food and fun things to do with the kids (bike rides, museums…)
    Thank you:)

  23. Hi there Joy!
    What a beautiful family and well-written article about our lovely city of Lyon. I’m glad you had such a positive experience! I do hope you didn’t have too much trouble going to and fro with a young child and that you were able to easily find activities for the whole family. In fact, if you have any feedback, even if it’s just your favourite spots for those delicious chocolate croissants you and Ruby enjoyed so much, we would love to hear about it (cf URL in username).
    Merci beaucoup!

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *