The Croix-Rousse neighborhood, nestled on top of the plateau that overlooks Lyon from the north, is a delightful and delicious place to call home. Known as “The Hill that Works” (as opposed to the “Hill that Prays”), the 4th arrondissement was constructed in the 1800s to house the silk workers and their looms. Today it’s known for its charming, quaint vibe, its epic market, and of course, the views.
Things to See
1. The Views - There are many different views over the city from the Croix-Rousse, from the Gros Caillou you can see the Alps and Mont Blanc on a clear day. There are plenty of spots where you’ve got beautiful views of the Basilica, but my favorite is from Rue de l’Alma.
Rue de l’Alma, 69004 Lyon
2. The Stairs - You can be lazy and get the metro up, but I think a special part of the Croix-Rousse are all of the windy little staircases. They’re all different, and they’re all magical. My favorite is the one that run off the side of Place Bellevue and wraps around a huge old tower, part of an old military complex.
Place Bellevue, 69004 Lyon
3. Traboules - It’s not just Vieux Lyon where you find these secret spots. The Croix-Rousse has plenty of stairs that cut through the big blocks of canuts (the name for the 19th Century silk workers as well as the buildings that they lived and worked in), with some opening onto huge secret courtyards. Passage Thiaffiat and Cour de Voraces are two of the easiest to access.
Passage Thiaffiat and Cour de Voraces, 69001 Lyon
Things to Do
1. Maison des Canuts - Learn about Lyon’s long and storied relationship with silk, with a focus on the 19th century silk boom. This museum shows how they wove the silk, complete with giant looms, and explains the importance of the Croix-Rousse canuts as the birthplace of modern worker’s rights.
10 Rue d'Ivry, 69004 Lyon
2. Marché de la Croix-Rousse - Every morning except for Monday there is a market along the Boulevard de la Croix-Rousse as well as the little Place de la Croix-Rousse. Depending upon the day, it varies in enormity, be prepared for crowds on the weekend!
Boulevard de la Croix-Rousse and Place de la Croix Rousse, 69004 Lyon
3. Cinema Saint-Denis - One of my favorite spots on the plateau is this tiny cinema dating back to the 1930s. It’s inexpensive, and eschews blockbusters in favor of an array of quality French and international films.
77 Grande Rue de la Croix-Rousse, 69004 Lyon
4. Queue for Partisan Boulanger - This cash-only bakery is only open from Friday to Monday, and there will probably be a long line to wait. It’s worth it. They arguably have the best baguette in Lyon, and they do a coffee-speculoos breakfast roll that lights up my life.
2 Rue du Chariot d'Or, 69004 Lyon
The Best Cafés
1. Marza - My new favorite spot for lunch is an adorable little cafe run by two ladies who had previously set up shop at La Commune. The food feels healthy but is still delicious, serving buddha bowls with a North African vibe, as well as some brunch options.
4 Rue Villeneuve, 69004 Lyon
2. Momento - This is the original hipster coffee shop in the Croix-Rousse, and the moustachio’d baristas know how to make a good latte. Free wifi makes this a good spot to camp out for awhile. They also are a cocktail bar in the evenings and boast a huge terrace out back.
49 Grande Rue de la Croix-Rousse, 69004 Lyon
3. Comptoir Sauvage - This cute new cafe serves delicious coffee, as well as gluten free and vegan cakes. It’s pretty and feminine in here, with wifi. A great place to settle down for a few hours and get some work done.
1 Rue du Pavillon, 69004 Lyon
The Best Shopping
1. Cave Hoppy Days - This is our very own craft beer shop, with a great but tight selection and a super friendly owner. I love this place and will often grab a beer with some charcuterie and hang out as I browse the selection.
1 Rue d'Austerlitz, 69004 Lyon
2. Sebastien Bouillet - Lyon’s famed pastry chef has three spots in the Croix-Rousse, one does fancy pastries, one does more rustic cakes and croissants, and the third is just chocolate. There is even a chocolate fountain. They have a thing called a Maca’Lyon which is a salted caramel macaron enrobed in dark chocolate. Just saying.
15 Place de la Croix-Rousse, 69004 Lyon
3. Temps Libre - This “papeterie”, or stationary store, is a family owned and run shop full of all of your office and crafting needs. I come here for one thing and leave a hundred euros later with a small bag, like Sephora. It’s the Sephora of stationary stores. I love it so much.
16 Grande Rue de la Croix-Rousse, 69004 Lyon
Thank you to our contributor: Caroline Conner
Caroline moved from California to Lyon in 2017 to be in the famed culinary capital of France, and she loves living in the Croix-Rousse. She is a British American sommelière and manage CaroVin, an English language wine classes in Lyon. Her approach to wine tasting is inspired by her blind tasting experience, focusing on teaching wine analysis skills in an approachable and fun way.