Lyon and Shopping… for Those Who Hate Shopping

In general, I find shopping to be about as fun as going to the dentist. It’s boring, tedious, uncomfortable, and expensive. That’s why it took me a while to discover that I actually liked shopping in Lyon, that the city is full of lovely little shops run by talented designers and artists hoping to sell their unique wares at a fair price.

Most of my favorite spots are nestled in the maze-like Pentes de la Croix Rousse neighborhood, where each window is a picturesque surprise: this one a violin maker, unvarnished instruments surrounded by wood shavings, that one a bicycle repair shop, road bike triage and handlebar bells for sale. Prints, vintage clothing, hand-made jewelry, second-hand refinished furniture: find it all here. It evokes an artisan environment like that of hipster Brooklyn but without the pretension.

Here are a few of my picks, just in time for last-minute holiday shopping (or if you’re looking for a pleasant way to pass an afternoon):

Laspid: creative and Lyon-inspired prints and graphic t-shirts made from fair trade and organic cotton (rue du Griffon)

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Patincoofin: accessories, lamps, and furniture made from bits of this and that, so that a visit here is like rifling through some crazy person’s garage (rue du Griffon)

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Market Place: vintage fun of all kinds to dig through (rue des Capucins)

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Poil de Chameau & Mademoiselle Grain de Sel: decidedly odd and surprising hand-made textile and jewelry creations arranged like natural discoveries in a shop reminiscent of a warm cabin, with wood smell to match (Place des Capucins)

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Also worth a look: Lilikaiali Creations (Montée de la Grande Côté) and LaFabriq (Montée de la Grande Côté) hand-made jewelry stores, Diable for beautiful, clean printing-press illustrations by Mariette Guigal (Rue Saint-Polycarpe), and Mathûvû, one of several similar “concept” shops, for novelty toys, pretty stationary, bags, jewelry, some clothing, and dishware (Rue de la Charité).

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In general, walking up the Montée de la Grande Côté is a good bet for discovering all manner of lovelies, because several stores along it offer a rotating roster of products by artisan jewelry, bag, and clothing-makers.

I think I can bear – and even enjoy – shopping in Lyon because stores like this make it more like treasure-hunting.

(All photos from store websites or pages, with the exception of the last one.)

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