Visiting France’s third-largest city on a budget? Save your euros for Lyon’s family-run bouchons, Côtes du Rhône wines and visiting the beautiful Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.
Just two hours from Paris, Lyon doesn’t attract the big crowds like the French capital does, but it’s well worth seeking out. It’s renowned as being the capital of French cuisine. Alongside this, it’s home to the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon, one of the country’s largest art galleries, as well as the birthplace of cinema (check out the Lumière Institute). Take a look at Culture Trip’s pick of the best hostels in Lyon.
Alter’hostel has a friendly, rustic feel to it. Dorms range from six- to sixteen-bed rooms, each with air-conditioning, individual lockers and sheets included. Hang out in the communal bar, which serves beer and organic pizza, or cook your own meal in the kitchen. Step outside and you’ll find yourself on the banks of the Saône River. Hop on the vaporetto, the only bus-boat in the city, to explore a different part of the city. Alternatively, join a kayak adventure or sign up for their Éco-Charlie volunteer scheme, where they salvage perfectly good discarded food from local supermarkets.
You’ll instantly spot the exterior of Le Flâneur Guesthouse with its colourful street art. Meet fellow travellers in the large quirky bar, which includes large squishy sofas and a Doctor Who Tardis. Four- to twelve-bed dorms are available, including a female-only dorm. There’s also a private room available at a slightly higher rate. Each bunk is equipped with a reading light, bedsheets, sockets and a locker. Le Flâneur Guesthouse is located in the 7th arrondissement of the city in the bustling district of La Guillotière and has a range of restaurants and bars nearby.
Situated in a 19th-century building, Away Hostel & Coffee Shop looks fairly staid from the outside – but inside you’ll find 22 impecable rooms with clean white-washed walls and Scandi-style wooden bunk beds. Four to ten-bed dorms await, plus there’s a range of private rooms with private and shared bathrooms. Two key highlights are the on-site coffee shop, which does a great flat white, and daily activities – ranging from yoga classes to cocktails and clubbing nights.
SLO Living Hostel has mastered the art of taking it easy. The pretty outdoor garden with giant bean bags and a hammock is a great place to relax while weekends bring party vibes with travellers mingling at the bar. Bright clean dorms include comfortable bunk mattresses, and Wi-Fi reaches every room. The food here is particularly good – think fresh pancakes for breakfast and charcuterie platters in the evening – plus the location is a real draw. It’s just 10 minutes from Lyon Part Dieu station as well as Bellecour Square.
Nina Zietman contributed additional reporting to this article.