Transportation in Lyon allows you to get from one point in the city to another quickly and efficient. There are several metro, tram and bus lines, but also ride hailing services like Uber and taxis. Find all the necessary information in this guide!
Lyon is the second biggest city in France after Paris, making it necessary for the city to have a well functioning public transportation network. That’s not only true for distances in town, but also further out. That’s not a problem in Lyon though as the train network is very well developed with high speed connections to Paris, Marseille and other cities from two train stations. Additionally, there are several local and regional train services connecting Lyon with cities around.
There is a total of four metro lines in Lyon. The system was built in between 1974 and 1991 and allows for an easy and comfortable way to travel between different places in town. Three out of four lines cross the city center, while Line C is actually just a short line connecting the Hotel de Ville with the North of the city. Line A is the only line offering connections to all three other lines, while Line B and Line D only share stations with each other and Line A.
The rolling stock of the metro in Lyon isn’t the most modern, but the trains run frequently and the ticket system is integrated with other means of transportation, allowing for easy use of the metro, even for tourists.
Metro lines in Lyon:
The tram in Lyon has an extensive history and plays an important role until today. There are not only the four mentioned metro lines, but also six tram lines. Five of those are “normal” lines, which are numbered T1 to T5, while the last line is the so-called Rhône Express, which was inaugurated just a few years ago. It’s connecting the main train station with the airport and stops less frequently then normal tram lines. A seventh line is already being built right now, so the network will be extended soon.
All trams are very modern, accessible and offer an easy and quick way to get from A to B. The fare system is integrated and allows you to transfer between the metro, trams and the bus system easily. The tram lines have various connection stations and there are some stations only served during special events and / or particular weekdays / times.
Tram lines in Lyon:
If there’s a place you want to get, where there’s neither a metro nor a tram stop (especially in the city center that’s hardly happening), you can easily take one of the many bus lines in Lyon, which support the trams and metros. The buses are usually modern and offer a relatively quick option to get from A to B. Yet, for tourists, bus lines are only important on a few routes as the tram and metro system is really good.
The integrated fare system in Lyon makes it very easy and cheap to use all means of public transportation. Tickets for one hour (unlimited transfers) is just 1.80 Euro, tickets for two hours are 3 Euro and day tickets are 5.50 Euro. Thus, you can easily use the public transportation for sightseeing. You’ll definitely get everywhere thanks to the good combination of metro, tram and buses.
You can easily use taxis in Lyon. The city has a fare system for all taxi operators and the cars are usually safe and comfortable. Nevertheless, taking a taxi in Lyon can be quite expensive. The base fare usually is 4 Euro and every kilometer is charged another 2 Euro. Thus, you should calculate with paying quite a sum for taxi rides, especially compared to the cheap public transportation in town. For example, depending on the time of the day and your destination, a taxi between the airport and the city center is 50 to 80 Euro. While the Rhôneexpress Tram is more expensive than regular public transportation in town, it sets you back less than a fifth of the normal taxi price. Alternative options are ride hailing apps like Taxify or Uber, which are both available in Lyon.
There are various different means of transportation in Lyon. This also includes two funiculars, which are both departing in Saint-Jean. One is connecting the city with Saint-Just, while the other one is connecting the city with Fourvière. Both rides only take 2 to 3 minutes and are a funny experience, especially for tourists (there’s quite a bit to explore on the hill).
Practically, you can use the funicular with regular public transportation tickets. Other options to get around in town are city bikes and the typical sightseeing buses. There are also sightseeing boats, if you are interested in that.