Why you should consider it:
It’s like Paris – without the problems.
Who it’s good for:
Tech and startup founders.
It’s still affordable, but only just.
Lyon has plenty going for it: the weather, the culinary wealth, plus it isn't a victim of its own popularity… And what’s more, it is France’s tech and startup epicentre.
There are five accelerators and eight incubators in town, for example. This is on top of the already-established big French biotech and green-tech companies that moved here in the past 10 years. Keep in mind, for UK companies and entrepreneurs, this may be the last chance to relocate to Europe before Brexit's effects are felt fully; French companies have already been making the shift, steadily driving up the property prices, so the affordability may well fall away in the coming years.
Lyon is also, of course, not called ‘France’s capital of gastronomy’ for nothing, with the banks of the Rhône lined with a flurry of restaurants, and barges converted into bars. The gateway to the Alps spans old and new, with ancient Roman ruins and more than its fair share of talented young designers and concept stores, like Le Dadashop, arguably one of the city’s best.
But its artists are increasingly attracted to an area nicknamed ‘the most futuristic neighbourhood in France’. Built on former docklands, the fast-emerging neighbourhood of Confluence has been revitalised in recent years, featuring modernist architecture contrasting with the rest of the city, and a network of parks and good nightlife.
Find more of the top cities for starting something new in 2021.
This article was first published in Courier Issue 37, October/November 2020. To purchase the full issue or become a subscriber, head to our webshop.