It’s probably not advisable to commit to long-term accommodation or look for a roommate from abroad, unless you trust someone in Lyon to check out the place for you. There are too many scams around and you may be very disappointed when you arrive.
For the first days of your stay, the cheapest option is a bed in one of the hostels. Here are a few of them:
- Auberge de jeunesse du Vieux Lyon (Hi-Hostel): An aging hostel located in the heart of Old Lyon, close to all the historical monuments. A dorm bed starts at €24 per night.
- Cool & Bed: On the banks of the Saône, this hostel is a bit more out of the way. A dorm bed starts at €22.5 per night.
- Slo Living Hostel: A new, friendly hostel in the 7th arrondissement. A dorm bed starts at €28 per night.
- Le Flâneur Guesthouse: A fairly new hostel in Guillotière. It’s friendly and affordable (from €22 per night). Le Flâneur is a cooperative and participative enterprise.
You can also CouchSurf, an excellent way to meet locals. AirBnb, FlipKey, HomeAway, etc., usually offer rates cheaper than regular hotels. Apart-hotels can be found in student residences, especially during summer holidays.
Renting an apartment in France is difficult, especially for newcomers and especially if you wish to live alone.
You will need a local guarantor on the lease, you’ll need to produce pay slips, a proper work contract (preferably for a permanent position), etc. Few travellers can meet these requirements.
There are two ways to find rental apartments: renting directly from a landlord or going through a property management agency.
Landlords often advertise on leboncoin.fr (general classified to buy, sell or trade, much like Kijiji or Craigslist) and pap.fr.
Otherwise, you will have to go through an agency and pay a fee (generally, a month’s rent). They are easily to find and advertise everywhere in the city.
WHV holders usually sublease to avoid too much renting red tape. Roommates are also a great way to add people to your social circle and get local tips.
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