Weather in Lyon: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

Banks of the Saone river with footbridge, Lyon, France

Julian Elliott / robertharding /Getty Images 

Nestled in central-eastern France, Lyon is an attractive destination thanks to its diverse architecture, world-famous cuisine, and proximity to countryside studded with vineyards and the French Alps. Before your trip, it's a good idea to learn more about average annual and monthly weather conditions in Lyon, especially to ensure you pack your suitcase for typical conditions and are comfortable throughout your stay.

Lyon has a temperate, semi-continental climate with Oceanic and Mediterranean influences. It features hot, sunny, often humid summers punctuated by storms and cold, comparatively dry winters. In the summers, heat waves are frequent, and since the city is situated within the Rhone Valley, sensations of heat can be intense and stifling. Winters are generally cold to icy, with brisk winds and frequent fog. Snowfall is common in colder months but it rarely sticks for long. Meanwhile, spring and early fall are generally temperate and pleasant, with relatively sunny and warm conditions, but wet days are also to be expected. Rainfall is common throughout the year.

Fast Climate Facts

  • Warmest Month: July (70 F / 21 C)
  • Coldest Month: January (37 F / 3 C)
  • Wettest Month: May (3 inches)

Spring in Lyon

Spring in Lyon is generally temperate, warm, and pleasant, but it's also the wettest season of the year, with May typically registering the heaviest rainfall. Spring is an excellent time for day trips and outdoor activities such as long walks, bicycle rides in the city or the surrounding countryside, river cruises, vineyard visits, and wine tours. In late spring, it's also very pleasant to sit out on a cafe terrace for a drink or lunch, and also make sure to hit the city's colorful farmers markets to sample fresh spring produce such as asparagus and strawberries.

What to Pack: Prepare for frequent showers or even heavy rainfall, especially in May and June. Pack plenty of waterproof clothing, footwear, and accessories, including a sturdy, lightweight jacket and umbrella. April can remain quite chilly, so bring along at least a couple of warm sweaters and socks if traveling in early spring. If you visit in late May or early June, pack light, breathable items in fabrics such as pure cotton or linen.

Summer in Lyon

The Lyonnais summer features long, often hot, and sunny days interspersed with humid, stormy ones, and numerous opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities. If you wish to avoid scorching conditions, consider a June trip, when temperatures tend to remain milder. By July, the mercury typically rises significantly, with highs that approach heat-wave levels. This is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities such as music festivals, rooftop cocktail bars, river cruises, wine tours, and hikes, including in the nearby Alps. Also, be sure to enjoy an outdoor meal or drink as the sun sets over the city.

What to Pack: Line your suitcase with plenty of clothing suited to warm and hot conditions, such as shorts and skirts (natural materials preferable), dresses, open-toed shoes, and comfortable walking shoes for outdoor activities. Frequent summer thunderstorms in Lyon mean packing waterproof clothing and shoes is essential. We also recommend bringing a water bottle along on any excursions out in the sun to avoid dehydration and overheating.

Fall in Lyon

Fall in Lyon begins with warm, bright conditions in late September, before the mercury drops off later in October and the days rapidly shorten. The early autumn can be very warm to pleasantly cool, ideal for walks, cruises, wine and vineyard tours, and day trips. From November onward, daylight dwindles and temperatures drop further, making indoor activities such as museums and Lyon's famed puppet shows more attractive.

What to Pack: Temperatures begin to dip sharply in October, so bring sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, and pants for colder days, while also reserving space for some lighter items in case of a warm day. Rain and wind are frequent in autumn, so make sure you come prepared with waterproof shoes, a jacket, and a sturdy umbrella

Winter in Lyon

Winter conditions in Lyon can be rigorous, with temperatures often dipping to or slightly below freezing in December through February. Cold rain, brisk winds, and high humidity from fog are all typical during the season. While snow is not uncommon, it rarely sticks for long. The days are shorter and tourism ebbs, with the exception of the time around Christmas, which brings a new surge in visitors. Take advantage of the holiday season to enjoy festive, warming Christmas markets, taste hearty Lyonnais cuisine in a local bouchon (a typical family-owned restaurant), explore the city's best museums and galleries, and take an architectural tour of the city.

What to Pack: Ensure your suitcase is full of cool-to-cold weather items such as long-sleeved shirts and pants, warm sweaters, and socks. Waterproof shoes and a coat are also essential, as is a scarf. Also, think about bringing a pair of gloves (preferably waterproof) for cold days, and if you plan to take a side trip to the Alps for skiing and other snow sports, make sure you're equipped with the proper gear.

Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours

  Avg. Temp  Rainfall  Daylight Hours 
January  37 F / 3 C 2.9 inches 9 hours 
February  40 F / 4 C 1.9 inches 10 hours 
March 46 F / 8 C 2.1 inches 11 hours 
April 51 F / 11 C 2.2 inches 13 hours 
May  59 F / 15 C 3.1 inches 14 hours
June  65 F / 18 C 3.0 inches 15 hours 
July  70 F / 21 C 2.2 inches  15 hours
August 68 F / 20 C 2.9 inches 14 hours 
September  63 F / 17 C 3.1 inches  12 hours 
October  53 F / 12 C 2.9 inches 11 hours 
November  45 F / 7 C 3.2 inches 9 hours 
December  38 F / 3 C 2.0 inches  8 hours