Yep, I like smaller but densely urbanized cities like that. Not that Lyon is small, it's about the same size as Copenhagen, or Amsterdam. Downtown Paris is absolutely amazing, but due to its urban area having over 10 million people, it's extremely busy. When there's no global pandemic. :) That said, it's really hard to find a city in France, or all of Europe that isn't beautiful in its own way. Western, Eastern, Northern Europe or the Mediterranean. My actual favorites in Europe are Barcelona, Lisbon and north Italian cities.
Can confirm. This and Avignon.
Growing up we spent most of our holidays in middle and southern France, and pretty much always close to the Rhône river (the Ardèche, Provence, often thereabouts). Beautiful environment and very nice people.
Hidden gem is the best description. Very inviting, not too big nor small. No real world famous tourist spots, yet a lot of things to see (that could very well be world famous, especially if they were located in, say, Paris). My favorite thing was walking around looking for the awesome murals all over the city and seeing the city at the same time. And the people were super nice.
Maybe but there isn't all that much to do in Lyon if you are a tourist. You have seen the beautiful part in a day. That's basically the area in the picture. This is also Lyon: https://www.flickr.com/photos/anneleroy/6328390450