I love walking around in Croix Rousse.
It's a section of Lyon that's on the hill, with narrow streets loaded with curious façades and passageways. It's hip and artsy here, but there's never too much traffic -- at least not when I'm wandering around, which is usually earlier in the day. I just meander about this way and that way (thank you, whoever invented GPS), stopping here and there to take photos.
Speaking of artsy, I think Croix Rousse has the best selection of graffiti in Lyon.
When I first came to Lyon, I was very surprised at the amount of graffiti that littered the city. Here we were in a lovely French city with century-old buildings, and many of them were covered with graffiti! In fact, I think there's more graffiti here than anywhere else I've ever been to (and I've lived in the D.C. area as well as the L.A. area). What a shame, I thought.
But my take on that has since changed. I still do not appreciate graffiti on old wooden doors -- that would be difficult and costly to repair -- but I see many graffiti that are very intricate and very sophisticated; I can tell that someone spent a lot of effort creating them. It's a form of expression, a creative outlet.
So I've come to see them as pieces of art. They are part of Lyon's character.
Here's a link to a self-guided walking tour (in English!) in Croix Rousse. But Croix Rousse is a great area to get lost in, and just following whichever street appeals to you the most may be an excellent way to explore this fantastic section of Lyon.
Just remember to bring your GPS (or follow the dog down the hill).