The vibrant city of Lyon has a wonderful range of establishments to suit every time of day
, yet arguably the best time to experience this beautiful city is at night, when the reflections of the artistically illuminated buildings play across the shimmering rivers, the Rhône and the Saône. The beauty of Lyon at night is matched by the extensive variety of bars situated across the city, from the historic Old Town, to the alternative district of Croix Rousse. Here’s a list of the best bars in town.
For a unique experience, why not have a drink on the Rhône itself? Sirius is a permanently moored boat bar, serving a range of drinks every day until late in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. For those who haven’t yet acquired their sea legs, there is also a terrace on the banks. It is a great venue for live music, with many jazz bands often playing in its unusual space, and several DJs being given the chance to show off their skills throughout the weekend.
Address & telephone number: 4 Quai Victor Augagneur, Lyon, France, +33 (0)4 78 71 78 71
Les Fleurs du Malt
On the outskirts of the Old Town, on the banks of the Saône, is the welcoming, cozy Les Fleurs du Malt, nestled half-underground. The beer list is superb, with brews from across the world ranging in strength, making it the perfect place for both beer connoisseurs and those wanting a quick drink among friends. Enjoy the convivial atmosphere in the buzzing back room to the sound of some tastefully chosen rock music.
Address & telephone number: 15 Quai Romain Rolland, Lyon, France, +33 (0)4 72 65 64 16
Le Terrier du Lapin Blanc
In the depths of the alternative Croix Rousse, hidden on the corner of a rather unassuming road, you’ll find the lovely Terrier du Lapin Blanc, whose atmosphere is so comfortable it feels more like being in a friend’s living room than in a bar. It epitomizes the Bohemian, personal feel of the district and is a great location for both coffee and a late night drink. In the winter, try the vin chaud (the French equivalent of mulled wine), or one of the unusual hot chocolates.
Address & telephone number: 37 Rue Imbert Colomes, Lyon, France, +33 (0)6 29 02 09 38
More a community than a bar, the Rock’n’Eat is the heart of the rock and metal scene in Lyon. With a healthy supply of beer, metal music, burgers and pizza, this is a lovely relaxed environment that offers a taste of the local alternative culture. It’s the kind of place travelers can go for a quick lunch only to find themselves stumbling out several hours – and several long drinks – later.
Address & telephone number: 4 Rue Octavio Mey, Lyon, France, +33 (0)4 78 28 22 66
Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, $$$
Brooklyn Bar has enough wine, cocktails and music in its inviting and stylish setting to keep even the most hedonistic of patrons happy. As well as the classics, inventive cocktails can be created on the spot to suit individual tastes, all by the talented bartenders. A glass of one of their excellent wines or a creative mixer can be accompanied by some delicate and delicious tapas, too.
Address & telephone number: 14 Rue de la Monnaie, Lyon, France, +33 (0)4 78 37 67 01
Hidden in the depths of Croix Rousse, Les Valseuses is a great way to spend an evening. As well as wine and beer, this bar specializes in rum. For patrons who really know their spirits, this one has a range of aged rums, including the 30 year-old Centenario. It also has an extensive range of flavored rums, including kiwi and caramel pear. As well as the unique tasting experience this establishment offers, there are a large number of live jazz bands performing throughout the week.
Address & telephone number: 1 Rue Chappet, Lyon, France, +33 (0)9 51 19 97 19
A delightful place to frequent, Johnny’s Kitchen is an Irish pub which, true to its name, has a range of genuine Irish beers and ciders which can be accompanied by delicious pub food, including jacket potatoes and burgers. Its terrace is lovely during the summer and it is always an interesting juxtaposition to be drinking Irish beer outside on a warm, southern French evening. For a great way to spend a night, the weekly bilingual pub quiz is as fun as it is challenging.
Address & telephone number: 48 Rue Saint Georges, Lyon, France, +33 (0)4 78 37 94 13
With about 150 wines from across the globe on the menu, Aromo is the perfect place for those who love their reds and whites. There are some seriously knowledgeable staff at hand to walk visitors through the bottles, while, for the real French experience, there’s also charcuterie and delicious authentic French cheeses, which go unforgettably well the sumptuous wines.
Address & telephone number: 15 Rue Montesquieu, Lyon, France, +33 (0)4 78 69 07 35
In the heart of the bohemian district of Croix Rousse, the Dikkenek Café offers an extremely extensive range of beers from across the globe, from Belgian to Scottish, carefully categorized on the menu. A perfect place for an aperitif, patrons can sample any beer that tickles their fancy, accompanied by a range of typically French nibbles (charcuterie, cheese and – of course – fresh, crusty bread), all in a classic, wood-paneled interior.
Address & telephone number: 3 Rue d’Austerlitz, Lyon, France, +33 (0)4 69 67 97 65
Not far from the magnificent Place des Terreaux, L’Antiquaire is a very pleasant way to while away an evening while sampling a range of interesting cocktails. True to its name, this bar has a fascinatingly nostalgic decor, reminiscent of the 1930s, and has a kind of old-fashioned, Prohibition-era, New York charm about it. Stylish, but with a relaxed and buzzing atmosphere, this one transports patrons to another world.
Address & telephone number: 20 Rue Hippolyte Flandrin, Lyon, France, +33 (0)6 34 21 54 65