Lyon, France

This is our guide to running in Lyon, third largest city in France, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its cuisine, architecture, and unique geography. The Rhône and Saône rivers converge to the south of the city center at the Confluence. The original medieval city, ‘vieux Lyon’, was built on the west side of the Saône, at the foot of the Fourvière hill, on top of which sits the grand basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Downtown is on the eastern side of the Rhône.  Note: If you’d like to have a guided running experience in Lyon, we highly recommend our affiliate partner Go! Running Tours

The best places to run in Lyon center on the two rivers, where numerous bridges allow for loops. The better paths are along the Rhône (especially the east side), while the Saône has great views of Old Lyon and Fourvière.  We’ve also mapped out a great ‘runseeing‘ tour, incorporating many important Lyon sites and a climb up Fourvière. Runners who like hills and stairs will love Lyon! Other great runs in Lyon are the paths around the Parc de la Tête d’Or, one of the largest urban parks in Europe, and the Grand Parc Miribel Jonage, where the running highlight is the 10k lake loop.

Lyon is an easy city to get around. There are 4 metro lines and 5 tram lines, buses, and two funicular lines from Vieux Lyon to Saint-Just and Fourvière.

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Lyon has a humid subtropical climate, with some oceanic influences. Summers are warm and humid, with average high temperatures of 27C (81F) and warm but not hot nights. Average winter highs temps are 7C (mid-40s), and lows average around freezing. There can be ice and snow in Lyon, so plan for that. The 831mm (32 inches) of precipitation is fairly evenly spread through the year.

Lyon is a popular tourist and business city, so there’s a good selection of centrally located hotels. There are many hotels in and near Vieux Lyon, on Presqu’île, and fewer on the eastern side of the Rhône. For the best running in Lyon, try to stay within a km of the rivers.

There are a few running specialty stores in Lyon:

Terre de Running. Centrally located, on the rue de la Barre, near the metro.

Lepape. Metro Cordeliers on Presqu’île. Run and bike shop.

Run in Lyon. Early October. The signature annual running event in Lyon, attracting nearly 30,000 runners for a 10k, half marathon, and full marathon.