May 2016 | Lyon, France

Lyon is one of the oldest and largest cities in France. It is also the hometown of my French boyfriend, so I was lucky to have him show me around the cobblestone streets.

As I’ve said before, dining is a very important experience for the French. We chose to have lunch at Substrat, a cute Michelin rated restaurant, and ordered from the typical pre fixe menu that usually offers an appetizer, an entree and a dessert. The huge pork chop above was heavenly. It’s safe to say that I did not have one bad meal in France… At least not on my boyfriend’s watch!

Lyon offers many fun and free things to see. There is the Parc de la Tête d'Or, a large urban park that also has a zoo in the center of the city where you can see lions, giraffes, even my favorite animal - the red panda. I’m not a fan of zoos, so I hope they are giving these animals as much room as they need.

You can also take the trolley up the hill to see the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, which is a minor basilica built in the late 1800s and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. There is a cafe next to the church where you can rest, drink a cappucino and take in the best view of Lyon.

Substrat Restaurant: 7 Rue Pailleron, 69004 Lyon, France

Parc de la Tête d'Or: 69006 Lyon, France

Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière: 8 Place de Fourvière, 69005 Lyon, France