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Getting to Lyon: By plane

Lyon's Saint-Exupéry Airport (IATA: LYS) www.lyon.aeroport.fr (formerly known as Satolas), some 25 km east of Lyon, is a rapidly developing airport. It still hosts few intercontinental flights, but can easily be reached via a European hub (Paris, London, Frankfurt...). Air France serves most airports in France and major European airports. EasyJet serves a number of destinations in Europe, including London, Berlin, Rome and Madrid, along with a few domestic destinations which are not easily reached by train (Bordeaux, Toulouse, Nice). Most other major European airlines also operate flights between Lyon and their respective hubs.

The connection between the city and the airport has been improved by the recent opening of a "tram-train" line called Rhônexpress www.rhonexpress.com. It is faster (30 min) and more reliable than the old buses (which no longer run), but it is definitely aimed at business travellers given the upscale onboard service for a tram (including power sockets at each seat) and the high price: €13 for a single journey, €23 for a return. Note that Rhônexpress connects with the metro (line A) at "Vaulx-en-Velin La Soie" (second stop), which is convenient if you are staying in Presqu'île or Villeurbanne. Trains depart every 15 (6AM-9PM) to 30 min. To find them, follow the signs in the airport terminals. You have to walk through the TGV station, which can be as long as 10 minutes if you arrive at Terminal 3 (low-cost airlines). There are no alternatives except taxis. A taxi to Lyon costs around €40-50 depending on the exact destination, so if you are a group of four people this could be an option. Ask to be dropped at one of the metro stations located on the eastern side of town (Vaulx-en-Velin La Soie, Mermoz-Pinel) to save money. Taxis are found outside Terminal 1 (follow the signs).

Grenoble airport is actually about midway between Lyon and Grenoble and is served by some low-cost airlines. There are bus services to Lyon from there www.agbus.fr.

Another possibility is to fly to Geneva, which can save money by using low-cost airlines. Then Lyon can be reached by train, but it takes about two hours (€21.50 for under 26s).

Finally, an interesting option for intercontinental visitors may be to fly to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and take a TGV (fast train) to Lyon Part Dieu station directly from the CDG train station. In some cases, this makes the journey faster and more convenient (no need to go from LYS to the city). Trains run every hour or so; be sure to buy an exchangeable ticket to be able to catch the first available train after you land.