Lyon, dream city for a football trip !

Context

For this new adventure, we are heading to Lyon, for a football trip to Olympique Lyonnais. I’ve had the opportunity to attend a lot of games there lately, since I live nearby, in the Beaujolais region. Among these games, I chose to tell you about the most beautiful evening I spent at the Groupama Stadium.
But first, a little focus on Lyon.

Groupama Stadium Extérieur - Olympique Lyonnais

Football trip to Olympique Lyonnais

Lyon is a perfect city for groundhopping! There are many things to discover, and Olympique Lyonnais also offers many experiences around the game. You can add value to your football trip in Lyon in many ways. The typical day of a groundhopper in Lyon can really vary, depending on your tastes as there are so many activities to choose from. But if we had to pick a few, then the day would start at Place Bellecour.

It is the central square of the city, and also the hub of Lyon’s public transportation. Consequently a strategic place for your football trip to Lyon. After exploring Bellecour and its surroundings, I like to walk to Vieux Lyon across the Saône River when I show Lyon around to some friends. This leads us at the foot of the Saint Jean cathedral. It is a splendid religious building, which only makes it to the second spot of the most beautiful buildings of the city in my opinion.

Lyon, a gastronomic capital

For traditional food lovers or gourmets, Vieux Lyon is the perfect place for a lunch break in a “bouchon lyonnais”. There are plenty of them in this area, but beware of some tourist traps. The food is delicious, and it is fair to say that Lyon deserves its title of “capital of the French gastronomy”.

Once satisfied, it is the approriate moment to gain some altitude by going up in the funicular which drops us at the foot of the Basilica of Our Lady of Fourvière. Yes, it is the one I already spoke about previously, possibly the most beautiful building of the city according to me. Its refined architecture inside and outside is sublimated by its location on the Fourvière hill, dominating the city. Give yourself the most beautiful view on the roofs and the city of Lyon.

In the distance, you can already see the Parc OL, and in good weather, you can even see the Alps. An extraordinary panorama! A few hundred meters away from the basilica, a detour to the Gallo-Roman archaeological site is a must-do. Although it has been renovated, this place is very pleasant to visit, always with the view on the city of Lyon below. For a several days’ stay in Lyon, opt for a walk in the Parc de la Tête d’Or, the city’s haven of peace. A visit to the Halles Paul Bocuse is a good idea to fill your suitcases with the delights of the region.

 

Olympique Lyonnais – SL Benfica : Champions League November 2019 :

 

Now it’s time for football. Having tested myself the visit of the Parc OL, I strongly recommend it. Just like me, you will be able to discover the backstage of the stadium and the show that will be played in front of your eyes during the match. It is a dream moment for both young and old people. The OL museum is also a great experience to trace the history of the club. It is also a great way to explore the football dimension of Lyon during your football trip to Olympique Lyonnais!

What about the stadium? Well, it is brand new! It is for me one of the most accomplished in the country. Its only possible default could be tat it is quite far from the city centre. But the public transport and parking facilities really make it up for this, making it one of the most accessible stadium of the country, if you consider the capacity. Tonight for the Champions League match against Benfica, the Parc OL is sold out. There is everything you need for a memorable evening.

Champions League night in Lyon for a football trip to Olympique Lyonnais

While Lyon has just lost the previous match in Lisbon and the beginning of the season being frankly disappointing, some changes have been made without really easing the tensions between players and management on the one hand, and fans on the other hand. Lyon fans are demanding but they will also give a lot to their players on that night. The sound and light show before the game is increasing the pressure. It must be said that in terms of pre-game experience, this stadium is amazing (even overcomitting sometimes, according to some)!

In this context, OL will take the advantage very early in the game with a 2-0 lead. In a total symbiosis with a highly heated Parc OL! Benfica then proceeds to anecdotally reduce the score. As a result, the scattered Portuguese supporters stand up from all over the stadium. Some flares are launched in the visitors’ section. But this animation quickly gets suffocated by the chants of the two Lyon’s corners. Lyon players are soon sealing the fate of the match on a 3-1 scoreline. They take 3 very important points for their chances of qualification for the round of 16. This great performance by the OL team was apparently not enough to heal the wounds of the local supporters, but it was more than enough to offer us all a very nice European evening at the Groupama Stadium.
Thank you Lyon.

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