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How to Explore Lyon, France on a Budget

From Roman ruins to the best cuisine in all of France, Lyon has much to offer. Discover how best to enjoy this city without breaking the bank.


          * 1 Arrange your travel to Lyon. If you are already in France, consider taking the high speed train (TGV). From Paris, Lyon is only a two-hour train ride away, and for passengers between the ages of 12 and 25, a special reduced fare card can secure you automatic discounts on all French train tickets.
            If you are arriving via plane, there is a convenient and inexpensive shuttle bus connecting Lyon and the airport, approximately 45 minutes from downtown.

          * 2  Find a place to stay. Lyon has a wealth of friendly people willing to offer travelers a free spot to sleep -- if you are the adventurous type, give this a try through Couchsurfing! Lyon also has a relatively central Youth Hostel (Auberge de Jeunesse) with reasonable rates.
         * 3 Schedule museum visits to minimize admission fees. For instance, the Gallo-Roman Museum offers free admission every Thursday, whereas the Fine Arts Museum is always free for anyone under 18 and all students under 26 with a valid student ID card.

          * 4 Visit outdoor food markets. Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France and these markets offer reasonably-priced, locally grown produce, freshly baked bread, artisanal jams and preserves, and much more. Stock up on picnic supplies here for a cheap and unforgettable lunch!

          * 5 Find appealing fixed price restaurant menus. Wander through Lyon's Presqu'ile and Vieux-Lyon neighborhoods and take advantage of the "prix-fixe" menus. You'll know ahead of time how much the entire meal will cost, and who can refuse dessert when it's already included in the price?

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