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Lyon is one of three largest cities of France.

If you are only passing through Lyon, it is best to get a ride that will take you south of Lyon. If you have time, though, do consider stopping there for a bit - it's a beautiful city!

Hitchhiking out

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North towards Dijon, Paris A 6 E 15

Petrol station Bruyères-Passy on the A6 North. This is a good option because it puts you already north and out of Lyon, at a petrol station right along the motorway. To get there take the metro to the stop Gare de Vaise. From there catch the bus number 21 (Any bus with the number 21 will do, as this is the beginning of the route) and get off at the stop called Parc Sans Souci. After you get off the bus continue walking in the direction the bus leaves (as if you were chasing it after you get off!) After about 50 meters you will hit a street called Rue Sans Souci and turn left. Continue walking following the road about 10 minutes, then turn right onto a road called Chemin de la Bruyere. You should see the petrol station on the left after the Harley Davidson Warehouse/Store. There is a fence but it's usually open, otherwise jump it, it's small. The petrol station is next to Metro store

Update 2024: - there is a door in the fence, usually open, truck drivers use it too - many cars are stopping here, but you should not get there too late. In the night a lot of cars from the nearby villages mainly stop here

South towards Orange, Nîmes, Marseille, Saint-Étienne A 6 E 15

Option 1 Total petrol station

Total petrol station on A7, south of Lyon, on the level of a town called Vernaison, is a perfect place. To get there, you should take a train heading to Vernaison (€3.20,). At Vernaison you cross the river (there are two bridges and an island between) once on the other site of the river follow road left (north) walk until you reach the A7 highway and walk the down ramp next to the Energies Nouvelles sign. Welcome to "Chemistry Valley", one of the most polluted areas in France! You need to walk direction opposite to driving cars 1 km (don't try to use the way behind the propertys). The distance from Vernaison train station to the petrol station is around 3 km.

July 2023: Walking alongside the highway is quite awkward and you better hope no cop car sees you, but the petrol station works. Otherwise you can simply hitch from the roundabout after the bridge, it works fine.

Option 2

Tram T1 direction Debourg, and get off at the stop Musée des Confluences at a junction of the Pasteur bridge, where you have a small BP petrol station. There is a bus stop on the direction of road entering the highway - plenty of space for the cars to pull over. Since there's a traffic lights, cars are not driving fast

Getting onto A46 (Lyon Bypass)

There's a big service area on the Lyon bypass (Contournement de Lyon) motorway. There are two petrol stations, one on each side of the road. This is located to the south of the urban area map. Directions are:

Aire de Service de Communay Sud rest stop direction south - A7 – Marseille, Montpellier or A47 – Saint Etienne
Aires de Service de Communay Nord rest stop direction north - A6 – Dijon, Paris or A42 – Genève

There's one bus going to Communay, the closest village, the bus #179 From Rond point Darilly (Métro Parilly), but it goes 7 times a day on workdays and 4 times the day on week-ends. there's several stops in the village. You can check out the timetable here. If you missed it there's a bus 39 from metro Venissieux, but goes only until Solaize, 5 km closer to the center on road D307/N7, leading to the motorway. The station is about 1 km south from the interchange. The service-stations are sealed off from the normal road but at least for the northbound spot, you can easily climb over the fence. Finding a hitch here is very easy. If you know how to get here, it is definitely worth the hustle.

Marché de Gros is situated in the very south of the Saone peninsula. Coming from Rue Casimir Périer You reach a street alongside A7 with lots of cars going to the the motorway. Vasy there, a lot of stop-and-go.

East towards Chambéry, Grenoble, Geneva A 43 E 70

Motorway services Aire de Service de Saint-Priest

Take tram T2 from where it starts at metro/train station Perrache to the last stop at St. Priest - Bel Air. Continue to walk in the direction of the tram 100m to the roundabout. Turn left along Rue Pierre Mendes France for 500m until you reach the roundabout at Rue du Grisard. Turn right along Rue du Grisard (which becomes Rue Jules Verne) for 1km and then turn right into Chemin de Mauguette. You will already see the motorway and petrol station in the distance. Continue walking along Chemin de Mauguette for about 400m until you get to a gated vehicle entrance to the petrol station on your left. Although the gate may be locked, there is a gap between it and the main fence, allowing people to pass through easily. This is a good place to ask for a lift to Chambery or Geneve. There aren't many people though and a lot aren't going this way, you therefore may end up waiting a lot.

You can choose to ride a train until Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, very good option, a little walk to the toll (20 to 25mins) and you're on. The best place, but beware of the workers on the toll, they will maybe try to chase you away. Ignore them and go further into the next toll platform.

You can also hitchhike closer to Lyon. There is an on-ramp in Lyon where you can hitch straight onto the motorway to A43/E70. Take the metro Line D to Mermoz-Pinel. You will find a bus lane on the avenue Jean Mermoz, where the highway starts. It is easy to get a lift there with a sign. Don't forget to ask the person who takes you if they are going to the highway, because they could also take the national road.

Northeast toward Bourg en Bresse, Dijon, Geneva A 42 E 611

Motorway services Aire de Dagneux

Medium sized rest area on the highway with petrol station and restaurant. Lots of traffic going towards Geneva; also, vehicles with Dutch and Germans number plates going via Dijon. Halfway before the road splits in direction Geneva and Dijon (after about 30km) there is a parking area and after the split, another petrol station at Ceignes.

Take bus 171 from Hotel De Ville next to the river in Lyon and get off at Montluel train station (penultimate stop). Head east about 1km along Ave Des Platanes and Blvd Robert Schuman. Turn right at the intersection onto Rue Des Chartinières. Head south about 1km crossing under the railway tracks and the bridge over the motorway. Take the first turn left after the bridge and follow the road close to the motorway. There is a small space to enter the petrol station, only for pedestrians, behind the little house at the end of the parking lot.The bus trip takes about 45 mins (2 euros one way) with another 20 mins walking. It goes through some small French villages and along the way lots of big supermarkets in case you need food.

West towards Clermont-Ferrand, Bordeaux A 89

Warning: the A89 runs directly from Lyon to Bordeaux via Clermont-Ferrand. Most hitchhiker websites still advise you to head south towards St. Etienne over the A47 first, but this new route is much more efficient.

Option 1

First take the metro D ("Gare de Vaise" direction) and get out at "Gorge de Loup" station. Then take the bus 86 (checked 2014) to "La Tour de Salvagny" (The metro ticket is still available for this trip). Get out of the bus at "La Tour de Salvagny" bus stop (20 minutes ride). Then take the first road on your right called "Avenue des Monts d'Or". Walk straight 500m to a bridge. In front of the bridge, turn right and walk down to the roundabout. There is a nice place for cars to stop just after the roundabout in the direction of Clermont-Ferrand.

Option 2

Or go to Gare de Vaise and ride Bus 6 (not C6, just 6) to Techlid and stop at "Les Ormeaux", 10m further there's an entrance to the back of the gas station of "Aire de Bruyere". You can ask people to go to A89 (towards Clermont Ferrant) or A6 (towards north). The first car I asked took me all the way to Clermont Ferrant.

Indicate that you would like to go to the "péage" (Highway toll gate). Almost 50% of the people passing through the péage are going straight to Clermont-Ferrand. So have a good ride!

Nomadwiki & Trashwiki

Check Nomadwiki for info on accommodation, showers etc. or Trashwiki for dumpsters...and share your wisdom :)

French cities with more than 70.000 inhabitants

> 1.000.000: Paris

200.000–1.000.000: BordeauxLilleLyonMarseilleMontpellierNantesNiceRennesStrasbourgToulouse

100.000–200.000: Aix-en-ProvenceAmiensAngersBesançonBrestCaenClermont-FerrandDijonGrenobleLe HavreLe MansLimogesMetzMulhouseNancyNîmesOrléansPerpignanReimsRouenSaint-ÉtienneToulonTours

70.000–100.000: AjaccioAntibesAvignonBéziersBourgesCalaisCannesDunkirkFort-de-FranceLa RochelleMamoudzouPauPoitiersRoubaixSaint-Denis (Réunion)Saint-NazaireSaint-PaulTourcoingVersailles

If you search cities with less than 70.000 inhabitants, have a look at the seperate Région articles. You find them at the bottom of this page.