From opera to house music, Lyon has an eclectic nightlife to suit all tastes. A good start is to pick up a copy of the weekly listings guide “Lyon-Poche” from any newsstand.
The most established haunt for young Lyonnais is the mini-chain of microbreweries Ninkasi (www.ninkasi.fr), which now has 10 nighttime venues where you’ll find live music, fresh beer, and burgers. Most live concerts are free, although there is sometimes a cover charge for well-known bands playing at the brewery headquarters, Ninkasi Gerland. To keep things simple, each venue is named after the nearest metro station. Our favorites are Gerland, 267 rue Marcel Mérieux (tel. 04-72-76-89-00), and Cordeliers, 22 rue Ferrandière (tel. 04-72-77-91-47). Most venues are open Monday to Saturday non-stop from lunchtime to evening but check the website for precise opening times.
Wine lovers can start the evening with a glass or two at the diminutive Mère Brazier Wine bar, 14 rue Royale (www.lamerebrazier.com; tel. 04-78-23-17-20; Mon–Fri 12–2pm and 7:45–10pm), with its wall-to-wall wooden wine racks. Alternatively, you hang out at one of the city’s oldest wine bars in Vieux Lyon, La Cave des Voyageurs, 7 pl. Saint-Paul (www.lacavedesvoyageurs.fr; tel. 04-78-28-92-28; Tues–Sat 5pm–1am).
If you’re feeling homesick, you can head to the Anglophone pub Smoking Dog, 16 rue Lainerie (tel. 04-78-28-38-27), with its bookshelf-lined walls, billiard table, and eight beers on tap. It’s a popular place to watch international sports matches on T.V. Open daily from 5pm to 1am (from 2pm on weekends).
Near place des Terreaux, La Maison M., 21 pl. Gabriel Rambaud (www.mmlyon.com; tel. 04-72-00-87-67; Métro: Hôtel de Ville), has become a popular nighttime fixture. This bar and late-night club (Wed–Sat 7:30pm–4am) offers an eclectic musical program from soul to rock and hip-hop including live concerts. Another live music and arts venue is Le Sucre, 50 quai Rambaud (www.le-sucre.eu; Métro: Perrache), on the rooftop of a 1930s warehouse in the fashionable Confluence district. It’s open Friday to Sunday 11pm to 5am.
In summertime, locals flock to the quays along the Rhône. The best of the former cargo boats parked on the Rhône is Péniche Le Sirius, Berges du Rhône, 4 quai Victor Augagneur (www.lesirius.com; tel. 04-78-71-78-71; Métro: Guillotière). The ship is packed with an under-35 crowd sipping Belgian beers and dancing to the sounds of Lyon’s best DJs on the lower-level floor. It’s open daily from 5pm to 3am (until 10pm on Sun).
One of Lyon’s largest nightclubs is the renamed F&K Bistroclub, 13/14 pl. Jules Ferry (www.f-and-k.fr; Métro: Brotteaux), whose house music and chic decor attract a young, kitten-heeled 20s to 30s crowd. Housed in the Brotteaux old railway station, the club has room for 500 people, yet you should expect a strict door policy. It’s open Wednesday to Saturday from 6:30pm until 5am (the restaurant is open from 6:30–11pm). The most popular gay bar and club is the long-standing La Ruche, 22 rue Gentil, 2e (tel. 04-78-37-42-26; Métro: Cordeliers; Tues–Thurs 5pm–1am; Fri and Sat until 3am; Sun 6–11pm, and Mon 5–11pm). Meanwhile, the gay dance party Factory Club, 73 rue Bourbonnais (www.factory-lyon.fr; tel. 07-56-80-56-52), takes place every Saturday night (11:30pm–7am) with DJs, go-go dancers, drag queens, and laser shows.
Opera buffs head to the Opéra National de Lyon, pl. de la Comédie (www.opera-lyon.com; tel. 04-69-85-54-54; Métro: Hôtel de Ville-Louis Pradel; ticket office open Tues–Sat 12–7pm and Mon during performances), while La Halle Tony Garnier, 20 pl. des Docteurs Charles et Christophe Mérieux (www.halle-tony-garnier.com; tel. 04-72-76-85-85; Métro: Perrache or Debourg), is a popular venue for international pop concerts and dance shows as it seats up to 17,000 visitors.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.