If you are one of those who would really want to visit Lyon but don’t have a chance just now, do not worry; you can still have a bit of Lyon back with you at home. How? Consider the symbols of Lyon, what the city is famous for and then I will show you what you should choose and have back with you.
Lyon can offer so much: the history, the roman influences, the culture, the FOOD, the celebrities, the art, the location, the events…And one more time-- the FOOD.
Here you are, the list of top things to bring back from Lyon – the ideal souvenirs for yourself or/and to share with others:
You will have a wide variety of choices here because Lyon has a great location near vineyards. There are two main areas that supply Lyon with the best quality of wines: Beaujolais and Valee du Rhone. You can easily get one or two bottles each. Spoil yourself and have a rule of not going below 5 euros to pay for each. I will then guarantee you it will be nice! Get it in vineyards when visiting or in the local Auchan supermarkets, which offer competitive prices.
Lyon has amazing mount melting cheeses, which are traditional and available only here in the area. For example, the very famous and delicious St. Marcelin and St. Felician. You have to try them when in Lyon and I am sure you will love to take it with you. However, there is a small problem because they do smell and your whole luggage will smell as well. I went through this painful & interesting experience myself! So if you want to avoid the luggage smelly situation, try ordering the Lyonnais best quality cheeses online. It will actually be delivered straight to your home without all that hassle with the luggage.
Another well-known and delicious food specialty of Lyon! It’s tasty but again its very smelly. Trust me, at least you can and should keep it outside the fridge so that it will be useful when travelling. I have transported it recently packed in a luggage for a surprisingly long journey back to Poland. I have wrapped it up well, which stopped the smell. My family appreciated the efforts and the taste a lot. It disappeared quickly as I got the best quality Lyonnais Saucisson that you cannot resist. They are from Les Halles De Lyon and Sibilia Charcuterie Bonnard.
Did you know that Lyon has its own chocolatier, which produce chocolate specialties only for Lyon? This is Voisin. The retailer is famous for its Coussin de Lyon, The Quenelle de Lyon and Sarment du Beaujolais. The first ones are a green looking shaped pillows made of marzipan, dark chocolate and flavored with Curacao. My favourite ones The Quenelle de Lyon, which are the chocolate pralines covered with white chocolate with a sprinkle of mocca. And the last ones listed on here are the alcohol flavoured pralines. Sounds yummy already? I tell you, the French people are obsessed about chocolate as well!
These are small almonds covered in the pink cooked sugar. So sweet and so tasty when you crave for sugar. Otherwise, try them in a more gentle way as a part of Lyonnais desserts like Pralines Tart, Brioche Praline and more. They are easy to buy, to take back home and then give away. It gives you so many ideas to use them-- eating, sharing, nibbling, baking. Admiring them on the shelf is the least recommended!
You can enter the foodie competition here
for a copy of my Lyonnais Cookbook to make your own Lyonnais Specialties back at home. It could actually be the best way to enjoy Lyon from any place in the world. It is also the best way to share the beauty of Lyon with others, not to mention that it could be the best way to impress others with your international cooking skills.
This is actually my favourite one as I love taking photos! They are a cheap souvenir, very creative and easy to transport. They give so many opportunities to carry on with remembering the city. The photos can be used on your wallpaper or develop. You can use them to share with others and illustrate the beauty of Lyon.
Yes, the cheesy gifts each touristic place will offer you. Some people like it, some people hate it but I will mention them on here because you should consider buying them as well. I am not a big fan but I love collecting fridge magnets. They are small and convenient to transport and the cheaper alternative to other types of souvenirs. Having said so, if you have a hobby to collect a magnet from each place you visit, this can get expensive. There are many souvenir shops in Lyon and the best ones are in the Vieux Lyon. Have a look there and get the idea on what is around.
Yes they have their own beer that they are very proud of! Its the Nikasi Beer from the very first brewery in Lyon. It is unique in its favours, recognized and awarded in many international competitions. For the Wine French City, Lyon did well when producing beer. Enjoy it properly by visiting their Lyonnais Nikasi Bars but get a proper big or small bottle of beer with the glass to take home as well.
The Wooden Guignol Puppet
The first French puppet began the puppet shows here in Lyon and then spread across the country. Guignol Pupet has been brought to life by Laurent Mourguet in 1808. He was a silk worker, then dentist who started playing with made glove puppet to distract his patients!. He has a passion for the shows and he settled down in Lyon and created Le Caveau des Célestins Theater. Nowadays, if you want to get to know the Guignol you can go for a show and also visit the Vieux Lyon Puppet Boutique. Here you can get your real wooden Guignol.
It’s beautiful, chic and it’s a big part of Lyonnais history. In addition, it has been based on the silk trade. Started by Louis XI in the 1460s, by 18th century, Lyon has been well known across the whole Europe for its silk production. You can easily spot the influences of the silk trade especially in the Vieux Lyon and Croix Rousse. Those areas are full of Traboules, beautiful boutiques and the Museum of the Maison des Canuts. Buy the beautiful scarfs, dresses and textiles in the local boutiques or admire and order them online.
Lastly, the typical OnlyLyon merchandise from their boutique. This is located at the Bellecour but you can easily buy them online. These are just silly gifts with the OnlyLyon logo so you can show your love for the city back at home. I have never been a big fan of the logos souvenirs but some of them are really funny and now I would really like a cool cheesy t-shirt.
I would say there are quite a few ideas on what you can bring back from Lyon. I hope you can choose at least one or two ideal souvenirs for yourself. But if you can add anything else, that would be great. I would be interested in hearing your comments and suggestions. But in the meantime, go sightseeing in Lyon then enjoy and finish off with some souvenir shopping!
Contributed by Aga Marchewka for ExpatWomanFood.com