Help! Where to live around Lyon with kids: moving from Australia


Its my first time this forum and I'm seeking advice on where to settle around Lyon for 12 months with an active 6 and 8 year old.  We will arrive in December 2017.

We are Australians wanting the french experience and to learn the language as best we can. The children will go to a french primary school - recommendations of good ecole elementaire or areas to avoid are much appreciated .

Our wish list is somewhere  around Lyon that's
- within 45mins of the city of Lyon or closer
- village like settling that feels very traditionally french
- cafes and restaurants and ideally a farmers market nearby
- access to public transport.
- Green space for our active kids
- walking distance to local boulangerie etc

Does such a place exist? If not, I'd love to hear your experiences of the next best thing around Lyon!

We are not restricted to an area of France by our work. So other suggestions on places to live with kids are welcome!

Kind regards from Australia,


Hi Kerrie. Fellow Aussie here -- sans kids, but I live outside Lyon. Did you settle on an area? Do you need any advice?


thanks for your reply. No, we haven't decided just yet and would really appreciate your thoughts on towns that might match what we are after.

A further consideration is the ecole elementaire - some offer french classes for expat kids.  Our approach has been to try and find a suitable town and then enquire at the schools.

Look forward to your reply and hearing about your experiences in France!


We're Aussie too :)

Are you committed to Lyon?

We have two kids at school in Sarlat (Dordogne)....they absolutely love it. Boy is 11 and girl is 8yrs. If you need advice or accommodation we have a beautiful house nearby.

If you need advice we'd be happy to help but we don't know much about Lyon at all, only the Dordogne.


Sorry I haven't been back on to reply! If you want to be around Lyon, try to the west and north west of the city -- Tassin-la-Demi-Lune, Ecully etc etc. I have a friend on here who can wax lyrical about that area, if you like I can put you in touch!! I live to the east/south east near the city of Bourgoin-Jallieu and we quite like it as it's within an hour to many things like Lyon, Grenoble, Chambery, lakes, mountains, markets abound etc, but as you'll only be here for 12mnths it's better to go to one of the areas to the west if you don't want to be in the actual city. Have you thought about living in the city? It's really a wonderful place: very friendly, so many things to do, many parks, cafes, restaurants, international schools etc etc. We lived in the city for a couple of years before moving out and it's a great place to live--I'd recommend it!

Let me know what you think :)

Thanks BeeS and AussieFrogs- great responses.
Not sure if we've done the right thing but since my post we've made the call to start in Annecy.
AussieFrogs, your message is freaky because at one stage we were seriously considering Salat! It looks so gorgeous around there and i'd love to live somewhere like Salat where the kids have space to play outside. So depending how Annecy goes we might just take you up on your offer. Do the schools there offer expat kids extra help to learn French? We speak very little but hope to dive right in and learn heaps during our 12 months.
And just to complete the circle, we cooled our heels a bit on Lyon. Good advice to go west of Lyon, I guess the mountain and lake of Annecy pulled us that way instead.
Its been a really hard decision to make and one I guess that we can change once we get there if Annecy isn't doesn't work for us.
Have either of you been to Annecy before?

Yes! It is GORGEOUS! Like a post card. We live about an hour away. Annecy is a good location and has everything, but be aware that it might be pricey and it is touristy in the centre (with good reason cos it's amazing), but there's a whole city beyond that. The lake is magnificent and every year there is an amazing Fete de Lac with fireworks like you've never seen! … u-lac.html

I barely spoke a word of French when I came and I went to classes at the L'Alliance française and then classes with a private teacher, which were much better for me. I'd start the basics before you arrive, even if it's just to get your head around a bit of grammar and some basic phrases cos it'll help.
I'm not sure what happens with kids in schools -- I can ask around if you like? But you may be able to get private tuition to help them along?

Let me know if you need any information :)


I just read yr post now that we are planning time abroad and I became curious how things turned out and where you found yourself? How was the experience of finding the right school? And adjusting from the Aust. Curriculum?   I've lived a little in the region of Rhone Alps visiting family in law  but not with primary school aged children before? Any ideas or suggestions? We will most likely to be in Saint Etienne for 2019,


Actually we lived in Duingt many moons ago..lac Annecy is so beautiful...back then There was an organisation called little chatterboxes to support families wanting to support learning of English with English speakers.. like a fun language activity group for  kids. The organisation rented part of one of the schools on a Wednesday in Annecy...a great way to meet families too

Hi Ecmoo,
Have you heard back or learned more? i may be moving for work within the next 2 months, St Priest,  and currently scouting for best place with schools and activities for young kids. Thanks

Hi everybody, I guess I am in the same boat here trying to figure out whether Annecy or Lyon would be better, since I have two job offers one in Annecy and the other in the Confluence Lyon 2- But I am with my pre-teen daughter and I do prefer to live away from the crowd - I've been in Lyon before and we prefer somewhere not to centric merely bcos of the traffic and noise, But on the other hand Annecy looks amazing and more than a fairy tale on paper...Knowing that Annecy is more expensive than Lyon I don't know what is best, because the two job offers also have two different salaries, So my question would be how much do you estimate that a good salary should be for
#1 -Annecy? and #2- Lyon ? for a single mother with a child? -
And last but not least, Is it too difficult to rent an apartment? Just bcos I noticed whilst searching on that it's required to have a "garant"?? How do you all rent coming from abroad?? Thanks a lot. _ Cheers.

P.S: I am using the high cost of living in Vienna (groceries) as a reference to having a better understanding of the high cost of living in Annecy (?) - if that helps to make a better comparison.


We are still sorting things out. We will be in St. Etienne near Lyon but not in Lyon, atleast at this stage. If I do find out more Happy to share

Good luck

That sounds wonderful to me, thanks in advance ;)
same thing here tho, enjoy the sun ♫

Thanks Ecmoo for your reply.
All the best.

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