What are the items that I should bring with me because they’re not available (or are too expensive) where I am going?
You may want to bring anything you want that is typical of the culture you are leaving, such as unique dishes and specific cooking utensils. Sports equipment is also expensive in Lyon, so you may want to bring a bicycle or rollerblades. CDs also tend to be quite expensive and films on DVD and videocassette are dubbed in French (VF/Version française/French version), which is quite disappointing for most English speakers wishing to rent or purchase new. Also, note that the French television system is different from the others: it is PAL (Phase Alternate Line), which would prevent you from being able to watch your home videos.
Will anyone have particular trouble finding clothes that fit?
No, Lyon is very well stocked with clothes for all shapes and sizes.
What grocery stores do expats in your city shop at?
A Lyonnais will buy from the local neighborhood open air market and food shops in their arrondissement(district). Each town hall or mairie has a list of local market trading days and times.
The most "spectacular" place to go shopping remains "Les Halles Paul Bocuse" in the 3rd arrondissement. You will never forget the first time you discover the colors, smells, and textures of the wonderful seafood, meats, cheeses and other delicacies at the various booths in Les Halles.
You can also buy groceries at large supermarkets, of which there are many chains in France, such as Auchan, Leclerc and Carrefour. These supermarkets, however, tend to be located in the outskirts of the city. Within Lyon, other well-priced supermarket chains include: Atac, Carrefour Market and Franprix.
For a wider selection of gourmet food we recommend Monoprix or Galeries Lafayette.
Where can other household items (such as cleaning materials and home furnishings) be found?
For electrical items, DARTY and BOULANGER and most of the large supermarkets listed above have competitive prices. FNAC has high-quality goods, but is more expensive. Castorama, BHV, Carrefour, Leclerc, Auchan specialize in hardware items. IKEA has home furnishings.
What are factors that might affect my shopping habits in this country/city?
In Lyon most stores open between 9:30am and 10am and close at 7pm but unlike Paris many stores are closed between 12:30pm and 2 or 3pm.
Not speaking French may make shopping difficult at times, but most large stores employ sales staff who speak English. It is wise to learn the French words for your basic necessities or any specific things you need before going shopping. If you are buying a household appliance, you may want to learn the relevant technical terms to help you understand how the items work. But instruction booklets include English
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