Lyon, the capital city in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, sits at the junction of the Rhône and Saône rivers. Its centre reflects 2,000 years of history from the Roman Amphithéâtre des Trois Gaules, medieval and Renaissance architecture in Vieux (Old) Lyon, to the modern Confluence district on Presqu’île peninsula. Lyon is a spectacular city for strolling or cycling along the leafy riverbanks and through the Presqu’île peninsula and Vieux Lyon.
Lyon has around 490,000 people in the city, making it France’s third most populous city (after Paris and Marseille) and it’s regularly cited as France’s capital of gastronomy.
Located two hours south of Paris by train, there are far fewer expats and tourists in Lyon, so living there may be a chance to improve your French. It has an international airport and is not far from everything you want in France. The Alps are just down the road and the riviera coast is about 300 kilometres south and cost of living is around half of that in Paris.