Can anyone offer advice for finding accommodation in Lyon?

I've been accepted as a "lectrice" at Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, and need to arrive at the end of August. I was a language assistant last year, but as my school had a flat I have no experience with the French housing market. Ideally, I would like either a "collocation" or a "famille d'acceuil", as I want to gain maximum exposure to the French language whilst there. Can anyone advise on sites they have personally used, or heard good things about, and sites to avoid? I have only visited Lyon for a day last year when I was out in France, so if anyone has any suggestions on good/bad areas to live (in terms of safety, I don't mind not being super-central etc.) in the city that would also be helpful :-)

This question was asked by Rosemary Maher from The University of Leeds , asked on 28th March 2016 and has been read 4291 times.

  • Melanie Thomas · 7 years ago

    Hi I'd recommend using AirBnb, there's a section of their website for long-term rentals, so there's both whole-apartment options on there and collocations. You can book something before you arrive and then you only need to give a month's notice, so if it's awful you can just give your notice on your first day + stay for a maximum of 1 month. It might not always be the cheapest possible option, but I know a lot of people who have used it with no problems. You also have the security of knowing that in the case of any disputes, AirBnb has the final say (unlike a private landlord) It also makes life really easy because you can usually pay your rent in Euros or Pounds so you don't loose out on the exchange rate. In terms of safety, I would say Lyon is a very safe city - you would have no problems anywhere round the centre, but equally I've only been here for a few months so I'm not that knowledgeable! Perhaps someone else can help on that?

  • Katya Browne · 7 years ago


    I came in June for a few days to search for my flat and I would seriously recommend doing this if possible. Good websites to use are, and - I personally found mine on leboncoin. Be ready to ring up a lot of landlords to book viewings! I tried to set up visits before I arrived but they all ended up falling through and the flat I'm currently in I found online on the same day I viewed it. In terms of area, the only two places that are slightly unsafe (only at night) are Perrache and Guillotière.  Having said that I have friends living in both these areas who have never had any issues, I find Lyon is very safe generally if you take the normal precautions. If you're based at Lyon 3 on the riverside campus, I'd recommend looking in the area around Saxe-Gambetta (where I live and I think it's perfect!)

    Feel free to find me on Facebook (Katya Browne) if you need any more advice I know how overwhelming it can be! :)


  • Rosemary Maher · 7 years ago

    Thank you so much Mel and Kat for your invaluable advice & tips! The Airbnb option is something I had never thought of, despite having used it for short-term stays before. I'll have a look into the Saxe-Gambetta area Kat, and thank you for saying I can get in touch with you for more advice :)

  • Katie Taylor · 7 years ago

    Hey! I did my year abroad at Jean moulin, and lived in the Gestetud residence Michel Ange.  It's a 15 minute walk from uni and a 5 minute walk to the tram.  Had the time of my life there! 

  • Aidan Dick · 7 years ago


    Personally I used to find my apartment by searching the listings every night for about 2 weeks and I eventually found something. There's a lot of collocations listed and other private flat arrangements so it's quite good that way, although there's a lot of weird old men who ask for young girls to stay with them so stay away from those listings haha!

    The other good option, in my opinion, would be Facebook groups. There's loads of Facebook groups for Erasmus and International students, Lyon students or just for finding accommodation in Lyon. If you search something like: "collocation Lyon" or "Erasmus students Lyon" you'll find them. There's loads of people on there who post spare rooms in their collocations so you might find something there.

    As for somewhere to live, I'd look for anywhere on the Metro D line between "Monplaisir-Lumière" and "Saxe-Gambetta". I lived in Monplaisir and found the area to be really safe and quite like a town within the city. Also, being on the Metro D line is so handy as it's the most central and links up with a lot of other metro lines.

    I hope my advice can be of some help to you and I hope you don't have too much trouble finding accommodation. If you have any more questions, you can email me at [email protected]! :)

  • Rosemary Maher · 7 years ago

    Thanks Katie & Aidan for your advice :) I've been looking on and so far it's mostly been older women offering me rooms! I'll definitely check out the facebook groups - that's a really great idea! Thanks also for the advice on areas to live in Lyon :)

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