Earth > Europe > Western Europe > France > Rhône-Alpes > Lyon
Lyon is one of three largest cities of France.
The Autoroute du Soleil passes through the city, so during the summer there are huge amounts of traffic.
Some hitchhikers have found Lyon easy to leave, because the motorway is so close to the city and there are plenty of spots where cars can stop. However, the city has also gained a reputation as a hitchhiking hell due to the tunnel system in and out of the city. If you are only passing through Lyon, it is best to get a ride that will take you south of Lyon.
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- You can stop at the traffic lights on the bridge Kitchener-Marchand near Perrache. It can be better to write "Péage" (toll) or Villefranche (and then, stop at the toll or before.)
- Found a hitchhiker on Streetview! (please someone make a screenshot before it disappears :) - Entry to A6 at Avenue Victor Hugo, looks like metro Valmy is closest, and between that station and the motorway entrance (about 1,5 km) there might be some more options.
- The bridge close to metro Valmy is also really good.
- You can go to the petrol station Bruyéres-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 right near a big store called Metro which you can use as a landmark if you need to ask for directions.
- Jamie (a girl hitching around by herself from the states) does NOT recommend this petrol station!! It took hours to find any ride at all, and I also had to deal with some unfriendly cops. I think this graffiti near the exit speaks for itself. Jonathan (a guy hitching by himself) also does NOT recommend this petrol station. I also waited hours.
- I never had problem from this station (as a girl alone...) but I often ask a ride for the next station 11km far. Careful, the name of the bus stop has changed: La Gabrielle (still bus 21). From the bus station, cross the street and go a little bit back to take the road on your right. Continue always straight and at the end, turn right (direction shop Métro). It is still after Harley Davidson shop.--Klodreamer 01:12, 28 April 2012 (CEST)
- Where Tunnel de la Duchere / Rue de Bourgogne intersect. There is a great little pull-over place just after the round-about. Closest metro is Gare de Vaise. By the way, it's also good to head south (Valence, Orange, Marseille) as it can takes you to A7 as well.
South towards Orange, Nîmes, Marseille, Saint-Étienne
- Tip: If your final destination is in the direction of Saint-Etienne but not the city itself (i.e. Clermont Ferrand, Bordeaux, etc) then better stay at the first petrol station after Lyon (Aire de Solaize) and wait for a ride taking you to a petrol station that you are sure the driver goes to that is after St. Etienne. After Solaize there is no other good petrol station and you will be stuck with no choice but to go into the city of St. Etienne or back to Lyon. Sma tried the other petrol stations and lost a whole day doing that and ending up back in Lyon in the end. The other stations after Solaize are either too small or not really on the highway so the people that go there are just going to St. Etienne and not further.
- From near the centre: On Quai du Docteur Gailleton near Rue Franklin Roosvelt there is a bus stop which makes a great place for cars to pull over. It is very close to metro stop Ampère Victor Hugo, but you can walk there easily from anywhere near the centre. Getting there is very easy, follow the Rhone south on the western bank. It's a big boulevard that eventually turns into the A7 highway. When you see the blue signs (highway colour), you're there.
There's plenty of traffic heading to Valence and Orange, which is a good place to continue further East or West along the coast. Hitchhike on the left lane (cars on the right lane will then turn right...) a bit under the speed camera.
Quite fast you can get a ride to nearest petrol station, which is situated 12 km south - just try hitchhiking with sign "A7 - 12km sud".
Having a sign is warmly recommended, as the traffic is very divergent from there.
- I don´t recommend this place, since it´s not easy for the cars to pull over if they are going on the very left lane and there is no place with good visibility, and those, who are going on the right lane will turn right away. I waited hours and then went to Musée des Confluences and got a ride in a few minutes. It´s a way better option March 2014. Nykstukas9
- From Pont Pasteur: You have to take the 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. Usually working pretty good, great visibility and relatively far from the centre (thus, most cars are leaving Lyon). Right here
- I tried hitchhiking there and didn't have any success after ~1,5h, thus I can't really recommend it. I suggest to go to the petrol station mentioned below. I walked there in about 2,5 hours from the city centre. --cale
- You also might want to try from Square Julien Gras.
- Just in front of the 'Prison St-Joseph' on 'Quai Perrache' you can stand on the white-striped space between the continuing street and the lane that joins the motorway.
- Very dangerous in my opinion. Heavy traffic, almost no place to stop. I was driving past there once, there was a hitch-hiker and I, of all people, didn't have sharp enough reflexes to pick him up --Sitarane.mp
- Directly from a petrol station (need to ride a train): A 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 u reach A7 highroad and walk down ramp next to Energies nouvelles sign. 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 few km.
- This petrol station is a very good place to hitchhike! Cheers for the one who figured it out! Despite the fact that getting there takes a while. --Polski Matematyk
- "This petrol station it's awesome! Got a ride straight to Marseille in less than 30 minutes" -- User:Cholopacker
Also you can ask for ride to next petrol station on A7...
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. Directions are:
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. I stood for 2h near the train station "Lyon-Perrache" and then 5 min there.
A petrol station on the A6 North near Limonest is potentially good. (see above)
- It's only information I found on the net, I didn't verify it since I was dropped off at the station by someone heading to the city, but got a ride in about 1/2 hour (In Nov 2006) --Daniel 20:21, 13 January 2007 (CET)
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.
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
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 (timetable) 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.
Bad Route to Germany?
I found very little traffic going towards Germany / Bourg-en-Bresse from this location, and almost none going all the way to Germany. Little truck traffic and mostly trucks stopping for long rests. For the amount of time it takes to get to this rest stop it is probably better to head first to Dijon and from there continue towards Germany. -flasher702
West towards Clermont-Ferrand, Bordeaux
- Warning: Since 2013, 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.
If you want to go to Clermont-Ferrand, take the A89 : it's easy and fast.
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. Under this bridge, pass the N7 that goes straight to Clermont-Ferrand. You just have to stand up on the side, it's safe and people have a very large place to stop. Update March 2017: there are constructions on this spot now, so the cars don't have any space to stop. We walked up the bridge and stood shortly before the entrance to the A89 instead, where the cars have a small space to stop. They are going quite fast there though and therefore the spot is a bit dangerous. It's probably best to stand behind the crash barriers.
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!
You can black-ride the metro, just go in quickly after someone. On bus and tram controls are quite frequent. Alternatively look for used tickets left around by people. The tickets can be used up to an hour after they were validated. Tickets also work for all public transport in the city.
You can have free access to internet in public libraries. Near Gare Part-Dieu - central railway station - (exit on the eastside) there's a shopping mall called La Part-Dieu that offers free and unlimited wi-fi. Next to the left of this shopping center Bibliotheque Municipale de Lyon offers free internet, too.
Free showers at Bains Douches in the 1st (metro Croix Paquet) and 7th (metro Debourg) arrondissement. Closed on tuesday afternoon, saturday and sunday. Staff give you soap and towel if you need.
Edit July 2017: Couldn't find the showers in the Croix Paquet, so I went to the metro Debourg district. The address is: 13 Rue Benjamin Delessert
The parks on Fourvière Hill in Vieux Lyon are peaceful at night and if you are too, no one will bother you for camping out there. It's nearby, but it feels so far outside of the city that you can get a relaxing night of sleep without worrying about police or thieves. It is however quite difficult to find a flat place there. The park I slept in is called "La Sarra". You should see the name on your phone maps. However I recommend you to go and check out the park a bit earlier since it could be locked at night. If you don't have other options you can spend the night in Part-Dieu shopping center. Surveillance staff don't bother you if mantain a low-profile.