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Fourvière basilica from the river Saône, illuminated at night.

Lyon, also written Lyons in English, is the third largest city in France and centre of the second largest metropolitan area in the country. It is the capital of the Rhône-Alpes region and the Rhône département. It is known as a gastronomic and historical city with a vibrant cultural scene. It is also the birthplace of cinema.


Prostitution in France (the exchange of sexual services for money) is not illegal, but several surrounding activities are. These include soliciting, procuring, operating a brothel (maison close, lupanar or bordel in French), living off the avails, and paying for sex with someone under the age of 18.

It estimated that about 15,000 – 20,000 women work as prostitutes in France. In 2010, the number of full-time male and female prostitutes was estimated at 20,000 – 30,000, with 80% being foreigners. Sex work in France, like other countries takes many forms. These include street prostitution, escort services, bars and apartment prostitution.

While prostitution is legal in France, as of 2003 sex solicitation is illegal, which lead local prostitutes in Lyon to get creative. White vans line the city and suburban streets in this city; an open door means they're open for business, a closed door (and rocking van) means you'll have to come back later for your turn.

Red Light District


Street Hookers

  • Fickwagen - Usually some trailerpark hookers, but note that trailer sites may disappear without notice
  • Quai Perrache and Aurtoroute du Soleil
  • From Kyriad Lyon on Quai Perrache two streets up towards the railway line. Costs about EUR 40 but you need a car to do the deed as you drive to some secluded area to unload. Also black girls a 2-3 blocks the other way.
  • Some older women in the side streets of Quai Jules Courmont.

Strip Clubs


Erotic Massage Parlors

Transsexuals / Shemales

You can sometimes find transsexual street walkers from Quai Perrache area.

Gay & Lesbian

Gay Saunas and Bathhouses in Lyon:

  • Double Side Lyon, 8 Rue Constantine
  • Sun City Lyon, 3, rue Sainte-Marie des Terreaux
  • Le Bellecour, 4 rue Simon Maupin
  • L'Oasis Club, 2 Rue Coustou

Gay Bars and Clubs:

  • Station B, 21 place Gabriel Rambaud
  • La Ruche, 22 Rue Gentil
  • Le 1er Sous-Sol, 7 rue du Puits-Gaillot
  • Le Trou, 6 rue Romarin
  • Friends Club, 22 rue Josepph Serlin
  • SMAC 69 (Le Bar du SMAC), 30, rue Burdeau
  • L’United Café (UC), Impasse De La Pêcherie
  • Matinée Bar, 2 Rue Bellecordière
  • Le Forum Bar, 15 Rue Des Quatre Chapeaux
  • L' Etoile Opéra, 26 Rue De L'arbre Sec
  • BK69, 1 rue de Thou

Lesbian Bars and Clubs:

  • Le Marais, 3 rue Terme
  • Le Domaine, 9 rue du jardin des plantes
  • Le L Bar, 19 Rue du Garet

Sexual Services for Women

Sex Shops & Adult Stores

Escort Services & Agencies


Stay Safe

Real security problems in the Lyon center are rare, but the usual advice applies.

Rue Ste Catherine, behind Place des Terreaux, is locally famous for its bars; on weekend nights there are a lot of drunk people on the street, who might be violent. The police keep a close watch but it is probably better to avoid the area if you are on your own, especially after 3AM when the bars are closed. Similar problems may be encountered in Vieux Lyon.

In populated places such as Rue de la République or outside Part-Dieu station, you may come across people advertising for charities; they can be recognised by their specific, coloured clothing. They will not ask you for money but rather give you information documents which encourage you to donate. Homeless people sell newspapers such as Macadam or Sans-abri which help them making some money without begging; they should have an ID card issued by the editors. But there are also people trying to con you and get money for some imaginary charity, sometimes by selling postcards or other items. Never give money directly to someone on the street who claims to be working for charity and does not have official documents, or if the documents look doubtful.

Emergency numbers
  • Police17
  • Fire brigade18
  • Medical emergency15.

The European emergency number ☎ 112 should be used on mobile phones.

See Also