Over the past few years, the once insalubrious neighbourhood of Croix-Rousse has become a hub of creativity for young designers and artists, giving rise to funky coffee shops and forward-looking food. Starting just north of place des Terreaux, which is home to the seventeenth-century Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), you’ll build calf muscles as you make your way up steep staircases leading to the Plateau de la Croix-Rousse, where a lively food market takes place six days a week. Locals are familiar with a network of secret passageways called traboules, which run through the former workshops, creating a direct path across the maze-like streets. Living and working conditions were once so bad here that they led to a series of workers’ uprisings starting in 1831, but today many of the high-ceilinged ateliers have been reborn as chic lofts, and a stroll in any direction will lead to boutiques selling handmade jewellery, clothing by up-and-coming designers or high-quality ceramics. The creative atmosphere and relatively inexpensive rent makes this a natural place for modern bistros, cafés and food shops to thrive. As you walk up the hill, or pentes, you might stop for some of the best coffee in town and taste Japanese-inspired French pastries, while the plateau is where locals go to stock up on regional produce at affordable prices or visit the eclectic shops in and around the Grande Rue de la Croix- Rousse. Annexed by the city in 1852, the Croix-Rousse in many ways remains a village with its own atmosphere, beloved by residents and little known even to many Lyonnaise.