Lyon is located in east-central France between Paris and Marseilles. The city is considered the gastronomic capitol of France so be sure to budget in some money for food. Especially known for the Lyonnaise salad, lettuce tossed with bacon, croutons, poached egg, and a Dijon vinaigrette, most of the city's restaurants offer prix-fixe lunch menus serving up very hardy fare and plenty of wine so bring a friend, sharing is good. Hostels are few in Lyon but some good options are available.
Old Lyon is a great location for your Lyon hostel as it is located near the lovely Bellcour Place, a veritable plethora of Lyon’s best restaurants, and the popular tourist attraction, Our Lady of Fourviere Basilica. Old Lyon is also just a quick metro ride away from some of Lyon's most famous attractions including the Opera House, Hotel de Ville, and Terreaux Square and fountain.
Other must-sees in Lyon include two great museums, Musee des Beaux-Arts and Musee des Tissus et des Arts Decoratifs. The Musee des Beaux-Arts houses the best collection of fine art in Lyon and one of the largest in all of France while Musee des Tissus et des Arts Decoratifs houses historic textiles and interior design pieces from as far back as ancient Egypt.
If visiting in December be sure to check the dates of the city's famed Festival of Lights. It is truly a sight to behold and cannot be missed if you're lucky enough to be visiting during that special winter week.
While Lyon is one of the more expensive cities in France, it is well worth a visit. Consider visiting one of the incredibly organized and helpful Only Lyon Tourist Offices and look in to a Lyon City Card for great savings on museums and activities (always be sure to check student prices on individual admissions before purchasing a city card). The city is also a great starting point for any trip through the south of France.