Lyon is France’s third largest city which has about 480,000 inhabitants and is considered the gastronomic and historical capital. Lyon offers a lot of Roman and Medieval experiences, since it was founded by the Romans and has many preserved historical areas. It is also the birthplace of cinema. It has unique location between Northern and Southern Europe. Lyon is a vibrant metropolis which is more and more open to the world, with an increasing number of students and international events.
Warnings & Dangers in Lyon
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Lyon is an overall safe city since the police force are highly-effective. Tourists are sometimes targets for pickpockets and crooks, but the real security problems in the Lyon center are rare. Tourist should pay attention on Rue St. Catherine which is famous for lot of drunk people on the street, who might be violent. It is probably better to avoid the area of Vieux Lyon, since similar problems may be encountered there.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Lyon's public transportation system is safe and efficient, but the network can be affected by strikes sometimes. For those who want to cone to Lyon by car should know that the traffic is dense, parking is either very difficult or quite expensive, so they should avoid driving within the city if they can. The penalty for unpaid parking is €11. Taxis are quite expensive. There is the possible risk of people trying to sell you fake metro tickets when you travel by metro.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
Due to the fact that very well organized pickpocket groups exist in Vieux Lyon, the professional thieves are watching you. So places that attract tourists will also attract thieves. You need to be careful around the Eiffel Tower, including the crowded lifts that take you to the top.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
Natural hazards in Lyon are rare except a few avalanche risks in the Alps. Also, some forest fires can occur, as well as flooding in various areas.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Lyon is safe in terms of mugging risk but it's been reported some cases of muggings against pensioners who are an easy prey. Travelers need to be cautious at the specific areas like automated service stations, and rest areas on motorways.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Terrorist attacks are very frequent nowadays, but Lyon has not been a target. Concerns about traveling to Lyon due to the high terror treat in France by Islamist terrorist groups exist, and the French government has warned the public to be extra vigilant especially in public places.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
As in any touristic place, common scams are used to obtain money from tourists, so be aware of fake petitions, card trick and gold ring trick. Be careful if people dressed in specific clothing advertise for charities. They will give you information documents which encourage you to donate. . Never give money directly to someone on the street, who claims to be working for charity. Homeless people sell newspapers which help them make some money.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women travelers can feel free in France, since it is one of the most well-touristed destinations on the planet. It is a country where women traveling solo will not have any trouble getting around. However, general precautions need to be applied when traveling everywhere.
So... How Safe Is Lyon Really?
Lyon is A UNESCO World Heritage Site which has 2,000 years of history that can be read from its narrow streets and medieval and Renaissance houses in Vieux Lyon and Roman amphitheaters. Lyon is famous for its first-class shopping, antique markets, theatre and music festivals, and museums.
However, the areas that attract large number of tourist are the areas full of pickpockets and scammers. So, if you are already in the city just remain watchful of your possessions and people around you, and try to enjoy the city’s beauty without worrying too much about your safety.
- Visas - When you come to France as a tourist, Visas are not required, but only if you stay less than 90 days. The EU nationals can stay for both pleasure and work in the country as long as they want. If you have some unclear issues about the entry requirements, you can contact the embassy, high commission or consulate. Your passport should be valid during your stay.
- Currency - France uses the Euro and is particularly expensive country. Accommodation prices are approximately 100 Euros. Be careful when handling cash and credit cards in public areas and at cash machines. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.
- Weather - The climate in France is temperate and you should visit Lyon around summer. The most pleasant weather is from June to September. Winters are cold and the freezing wind can make it even colder while summers can be hot, with temperatures around 35°C Spring and autumn are usually enjoyable.
- Airports - The main airports which you can use to visit France are Aéroport de Charles de Gaulle, Paris Orly, Aéroport de Bordeaux, Aéroport de Lille, Aéroport International Strasbourg, Aéroport Lyon-St Exupéry, Aéroport Marseille-Provence, Aéroport Nantes Atlantique, Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur and Aéroport Toulouse-BlagnacLyon's. Saint-Exupéry Airport is 25 km east of Lyon, is an airport which has a few intercontinental flights, but is developing fast. Another one is Grenoble-Isère Airport between Lyon and Grenoble and is served by some low-cost airlines
- Travel Insurance - Even though it is a safe city, accidents cannot be predicted, so travelers should get travel insurance before coming to Lyon, as well as France. It should cover 24/7 emergency assistance.