Relocating abroad is never an easy feat. You’ll have to find student accommodation, learn where to go and how to stay within your budget, just for starters. So, we have put together a guide to help you be ready for your move to Lyon!
Lyon, having been built over 2,000 years ago, is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Yet, this isn’t a city stuck in the Dark Ages. Even though some of its civil and religious sites go all the way back to antiquity, Lyon keeps up with the times and offers plenty to see and do for the international student who just can’t wait to see what France’s second largest city has to offer. In fact if you’re a foodie, you’re most definitely in the right place, as Lyon is known as France’s gastronomy capital.
Needless to say, Lyon is popular amongst students, with the busiest months being May through July. When planning to relocate to a room or apartment in Lyon, these are also the most expensive months to purchase flights, so try to plan accordingly.
If you hadn’t already guessed it, French is the official language in France. Plus, it is also the primary language for over 300 million individuals across the planet, and when it comes to international relations, it is used second only after English. Before you move to France, you can get online and learn a few basic phrases that will really help in some areas of the city, although English is also widely spoken, especially in the student regions.
In Lyon, the temperatures are pretty temperate, even though they do tend to vary. The warmest months in Lyon are June through August. If you’re looking for low precipitation, then you’ll love October through December. The chances of strong winds are typically low, although February through April can bring some strong gusts.
In July, you can expect temperatures of around 22°C (71°F), with the coldest month being January, with average temperatures of 3°C (37°F).
1 January - New Year’s Day - This is the first day of the year, celebrated with fireworks and parties.
17 April - Easter Monday - This Christian holiday is celebrated after Easter Sunday.
1 May - Labour Day - Also known as May Day, this is a day of achievements of the labour union, and it is a public holiday in over 80 different countries all over the world.
8 May - Victory in Europe Day - Sometimes also called VE Day, this holiday marks the day in 1945, When the World War II Allies accepted the surrender from the Axis powers.
25 May - Ascension Day - This is the 40th day after Easter, when Christians believe that Jesus ascended into heaven, after the resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is also known as the Feast of the Ascension or Holy Thursday.
4 June - Mother’s Day - This is a special day commemorating mothers, celebrated in over 50 different countries.
5 June - Whit Monday - Also known as Pentecost Monday, this holiday falls 50 days after Easter and the day after Whit Sunday, marking the end of the time of Easter.
14 July - Bastille Day - This day remembers the storming of the prison in Paris of the same name in 1789, during the reign of King Louis XVI. It is celebrated with parades and fireworks, with red, white and blue flags flying just about everywhere. Paris holds the grandest celebration.
15 August - Assumption Day - This is a Holy Day of Obligation for those who practice the Catholic religion. Celebrations are held throughout, with the largest in Lourdes on the border of Spain. This is where a young girl named Bernadette saw a vision on Mary in a cave, making it a popular pilgrimage site.
1 November - All Saint’s Day - This is a Christian day that is used to revere all saints and martyrs, even those without a particular day of remembrance. Most people attend church services on this holiday, and all government buildings and banks are closed.
11 November - Armistice Day - Armistice day celebrates the end of World War I. There are parades and special church services for the fallen soldiers. At exactly 11 a.m., there is also a minute of silence held.
25 December - Christmas Day - Also known as Noel, this day is observed all over the world, as both a public and bank holiday. This Christian holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, and is honoured by people of all faiths. It is a time for gift giving and helping the poor, and many homes set up life-size Nativity scenes, depicting Mary, Joseph and the Baby Christ.
Lyon actually holds something in common with New York City: they both have sculptures created by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, known for the Statue of Liberty and the Fontaine Bartholdi, located in Lyon’s Place des Terreaux.
Additionally, if you love to shop, Lyon boasts a variety of shops with offerings to fit any budget, from moderately priced items to brand-name luxury wares. Lyon’s Part-Dieu is actually the largest inner-city shopping centre that can be found in all of Europe.
We’ve already mentioned that Lyon is France’s gastronomy capital, because it is home to 14 Michelin star restaurants, and it has been voted as having 22 of the most popular restaurants in the country as well.
Lyon is such a popular city that Dubai has even set up an area called Lyon Dubai City, where some of the most noted aspects of Lyon have been reproduced.
Another interesting thing to know about Lyon is that it was the centre of the French Revolution.
Vieux-Lyon is one of the world’s largest renaissance neighborhoods, part of the Unesco World Heritage Site. After Venice, Lyon is the second largest Renaissance city.