Lyon City Tram is an 1 hour touristic tram covering Croix Rousse. The tram’s design is made to imitate the 1862 version of the Croix-Rousse hill tram. So here’s a quick read as to how the ride went.
We were the only people there when the tram arrived. The tram operator informed us that they don’t run the tour with just 2 people. After chatting for a bit, the kind chap decided to take us on anyways. As we’re about to leave, a family of 4 pitched! So miracles certainly happened… The point was, I think their operator was kind and we really appreciated that.
The tram itself was spacious. Glass ceiling, maximum lighting and the seats were soft and clean. It was a highly pleasant ride with an informative audio guide. It saved us a lot of foot work walking up those hills.
There was only ONE stop where you can get out of the tram during the hour.
The tram moved slowly at times and did speed up randomly depending on the traffic, so taking photos can be difficult. Phone camera won’t be able to keep up most of the time. So straight off, if you’re more into taking photos than listening to history, this tram ride may not be for you.
Their pamphlet highlighted 10 features. Here’s my top 3:
The area was full of colourful buildings and art pieces. The audio guide emphasized that the toast of town is the “fish bone” (traboules) secret passages from 19th century. I know that Traboules are famous, but hey, it was a bit too cold for us at that time. If the weather was warmer, I’d spend the day walking around to explore for sure. For our short 3 days stay, Lyon City Tram was the perfect way to have a taste of Croix Rousse.
Croix Rousse was THE silk town since 1680, thanks to Louis XIV. Their silk goods had a high reputation beyond France. With the help of Marie Antoinette, French silk was much coveted. At some stage, even Catherine II of Russia was buying silk from Croix Rousse. The town’s reputation remained dominate in Europe for 3 centuries.
Present day Croix Rousse is a trendy, hipster part of town. The area’s fame ran deeper than its artsy appeal. Historically, Croix Rousse is the host to the earliest labour rebellion in 1831.
“Live free working or die fighting”
This defiant statement was a slogan. Silk workers suffered horrible labour abuse in the 19th century (forced labour, low wage, poor work condition etc.). Basically, if they didn’t do anything about it, they’d die of exhaustion or continued to live like slaves… It seems like these forerunners’ vision has paid off. Today, France enjoys one of the best labour protection law in the world.
Duration: 1 hour
Audio guide? Yes
Are ear phones provided? Yes, each person is given a pair of disposables. It is possible to plug in your own.
What languages are available on the audio guide? Spanish, English and French
Price? EUR9 per adult (free if you have the Lyon City Card, or if you have the Duo tram + bus card)
How trams a day? 6 in peak season, 4 in low season
How to get here?
Tram meeting up is outside Hotel de Ville
Official site: www.lyoncitytour.fr
The tram operator accepts cash. Can also pre-purchase online if you prefer to pay by card.
Camera: Canon 5D mark 3, Canon 6D, Samsung A5
Have you been to Lyon? What do you recommend?