However, Lyon is a big city—it’s the 3rd-largest in France—which means that there are some things that travelers should know. Overall, it’s a wonderful place to visit in France. By following a few common-sense safety rules, you’ll be fine!
France Travel Advisory
Pre-pandemic, the US State Department gave France a Level 2 Travel Advisory. For context, this is the same rating they assign to places like Italy and the U.K.
Today, the State Department assigns France a Level 3 Travel Advisory. This recommends that Americans reconsider travel.
Fake charity scam: In this scam, someone will approach and ask you to donate to a charity. Locals say this is often a charity for the deaf or blind. It’s a scam, so walk away. Locals note it's common at the Lyon train station.
Pickpockets: Whenever you’re in a crowded place—train stations, tourist hubs, the Lyon metro, or festivals like the Fête des Lumières—keep an eye on your belongings. Don’t leave your wallet in your back pocket. If you carry a purse, think about investing in a cross-body bag for your trip.
Gold ring scam: If someone “finds” a gold ring on the ground and offers it to you, refuse. The gift comes with a price tag, and the scammer will become aggressive if you refuse to pay anything.
These scams are common throughout France. So be on your guard, use common sense, and trust your instincts if something feels off.
Local tip: If anyone offers you something for free—a rose, a bracelet, or another charm—refuse it, and walk away. These are common scams in France.
What to know about protests in France
In the last few years, locals note that France has seen strikes over transit, retirement policies, and inequality. That means that—while French transportation is generally safe and reliable—strikes might disrupt travel.
Travel agencies might tell you to skip Lyon if a protest is likely. However, locals say that protests are usually planned in advance. If you work with a local to plan your trip, they’ll let you know how to navigate the latest strikes. After all, they do it all the time!