Medieval City in Perouges, France

It's the middle of January and part of my grad school's abroad program itinerary is to visit Perouges. A medieval walled town just north of Lyon. The oblong town traces its roots back to 8th century, according to locals, and was home to artisans, bakers, weavers, farmers, and the nobility. It was a stop along the way for nobles getting to Paris, the heart of the nation. 

There is an upper gate, a lower fate, the fortress church, a town center called the lime tree square. The cobblestone streets are still intact. I am told that Perouges is beautiful in the spring and summertime. I believe it. In winter, the place is eerily quiet, gray, and sullen. In summertime, Galettes (a dessert resembling a pizza pie, topped with sugar and cream) sit on the window ledges of shops the way they did in the olden days. Tourists are quick to nab a piece. I tried it for dessert after a meal of Coq au Vin. We were the only customers in the restaurant that day. I'd love to return on a day when the vines are full of leaves and the sun peeks through the narrow winding streets.


Perouges is accessible by car.

The closest train station is a 20 minute walk.
(Train from Lyon Perrache towards Chambéry. Train station Meximieux Pérouges)

The closest bus stop is a 10 minute walk.
(Line 132 from Lyon to Bourg en Bresse. Bus stop Pérouges)

Pérouges, 01800, France
Coordinates: 45.9038° N, 5.1787° E

Cost & Admission
Free, always open.
Shops have their own seasonal hours.

Auberge du Coq, Le Veneur Noir, Le Ralais de la Tour, Les Terrasses de Pérouges, Hostellerie de Pérouges. French fare, ranging from upscale to casual.

Walking, exploring medieval city, shopping, eating.

I hear the place is bustling during warmer seasons but I've only been here during the winter. If you do go during the winter time, be aware that most stores are not open and it may be difficult to get the experience you want. We had a tour guide specifically hired for our group. The walk through the town is beautiful regardless of the season. If you want entirely empty shots, winter time is the way to go.