When is the Cheapest Time to Fly to Lyon?
Lyon is at its liveliest from April to September, when the city hosts a variety of festivals, including an artisan beer festival (April) and the Nuits Sonores music festival (May). September is a good time to find a bargain flight to Lyon, as are early spring and autumn, when there’s still plenty going on. In December 2023 / 2024, as every year, the city will be lit up by hundreds of light installations for the Fête des Lumières.
When is the Best Time to Book your Flight to Lyon?
It’s best to book around three months before departure to find the best choice of cheap return flights to Lyon. Using Netflights.com you can also compare which days of the week have the lowest fares and it’s always worth keeping an eye out for last-minute flights, especially if you’re looking to visit in the summer or in December.
Flying to Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport LYS
Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport (LYS) is 20 kilometres from Lyon city centre. It’s one of the busiest airports in France and has rail and road links to a number of other cities, including Grenoble, Chambéry, Marseilles and Avignon. The airport is named after the Lyon-born writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
British Airways offers direct flights to Lyon from London Heathrow Airport and FlyBe has direct flights to Lyon from Birmingham Airport and Manchester Airport. Air France, Austrian Airlines, Iberia Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Lufthansa and SN Brussels Airlines also operate Lyon flights from the UK with a stop on the way, usually in cities such as Paris, Amsterdam or Madrid. You can also fly to Lyon from other UK airports including Glasgow International Airport, London Gatwick Airport and Bristol Airport.
On Arrival and Getting Around the Airport
LYS has two terminals connected by walkways. Terminal 1 is the larger terminal and has two halls, A and B, which are about five minutes’ walk apart. Level 1 of both terminals serves departures, while arrivals are on level zero. To reach the Lyon Express tram and train (TGV) station it’s a five-minute walk from Hall A, or a ten minute walk from Hall B. From Terminal 2, it takes five minutes to walk to the stations. The airport’s facilities and services include ATMs, currency exchange, shops, a pharmacy and medical centre, showers, a prayer centre, cafes and restaurants and a hotel.
Getting to the City from Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport LYS
Lyon Airport (LYS) is well-connected to the city centre by public transport. The Lyon Express tram takes half an hour to reach Lyon Part-Dieu station, where you can find plenty of transport connections to other parts of the city. Tickets can be bought online, at the vending machine at the station, or on board. Taxis are available from the taxi ranks in front of the terminals and the train station and there is a free shuttle service available to take you between the terminals and car rental agencies. High-speed trains link the airport to the other major cities in France and ski shuttles are also available to take you directly to resorts in the Alps.
Why Visit Lyon?
The third-largest city in France, Lyon is an important centre for culture, business and education, attracting many travellers from the UK each year on work or leisure trips. The city is famous for its Michelin-star restaurants and cosy bouchons serving traditional Lyonnais cuisine. Take a foodie bike tour of the city to combine sampling Lyon’s gastronomic specialities with a bit of sightseeing and (light) exercise, or head to Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, where you can stock up on treats from the hundreds of artisan food and drink stalls.
For a dose of history, wander the narrow and atmospheric streets of the Old Town, a World Heritage Site, before exploring the ultra-modern area of La Confluence. The former industrial district’s futuristic new and remodelled buildings include a shopping centre, museum and an old warehouse that’s now home to one of Lyon’s top nightclubs. Finally, refresh yourself the Lyonnais way with a beer at the art deco Brasserie Georges brewery.
Don't Forget Before you Fly
British passport holders don’t need a visa to travel to any country in the EU – you can stay for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. You just need to make sure that your passport has at least six months validity left, on the day you travel. The currency is the euro and though ATMs are readily available and credit cards are accepted in most large establishments, you may like to exchange some local currency in advance if you plan to take public transport or a taxi to the city centre.