Top Things to Do in Lille
Heading to Lille and wondering what the top things to do are? Check out our guide on the top things to do in this charming, small city.
Tucked in the north of France is one of France’s best-kept secrets – the city of Lille! With only 232, 400 inhabitants, it’s a fantastic place to get away and still be in an urban setting. Home to many students, there’s always something going on here and you’re going to want to be part of it. Check out our guide on the Top Things to Do in Lille.
France is also famous for its grand churches, but the Lille Cathedral is a unique place to visit. Unlike most in Europe, this cathedral is not all that old and has a modern facade. So if you’re an architecture fan, you should certainly plan to see this place!
The cobblestone streets paired with colourful 17th-century facades will certainly charm you and stand as a great backdrop for some photos. Lille’s Old Town is filled with wonderful restaurants, patisseries, galleries, and shops to lose yourself in!
Maison Natalie de Charles de Gaulle
If you’re a history buff, or enjoy learning about military strategists and former politicians, then this is where you want to be! Charles de Gaulle was a French General and President, and was born in Lille, and you can now tour his former home as a museum.
Built in the 17th century, this military citadel is a great historical spot to visit in Lille. Come here to admire the impressive architecture and well-preserved historical site.
Visit a Market
Lille has many indoor and outdoor markets where you can purchase fresh produce, cheeses made from local farmers, fresh breads, and much more! If you’re more into cooking your own meals while traveling, this is a fantastic option.
Rent a Bike
Getting around Lille is easy as it’s a small city, but we suggest renting a bike to see a different side of it! Cycling is a great way to maximise your time, and see things from the local perspective. It’s also a great way to work off all the French food and wine you’ll enjoy while here!
Hôtel de Ville
If you like getting a bird’s eye view when travelling, then you have to come here.This UNESCO belfry is in the city centre and has incredible views of Lille from the top. If you’re not scared of heights, you should definitely check it out.
Palais de Beaux Arts
France is known for its vast art collections and museums, and Lille is no exception. If you’re a fan of fine art, and want to spend a few hours indoors, the Palais de Beaux Arts is a great spot to visit. While it may come as a surprise, this museum is home to France’s second-largest fine arts collection after the Louvre in Paris.
Lille is located in Hauts-de-France, which was a pretty relevant location for allied troops in World War I. You can tour many battlegrounds, cemeteries, and memorials on a day trip, mostly all reachable using public transport. We highly recommend checking out Vimy Ridge, only 40 mins outside the city. This is a revered Canadian War Memorial and is free to visit. The site includes a museum, battlegrounds, an enormous monument, war trenches, and tunnels.
To get here you have two options: rent a car or take a train. If you opt for the train, please keep in mind you’ll need to take a taxi from either Lens or Arras to reach the memorial. However, it won’t be overly expensive!
This was a former postal building, but was converted into an art gallery in 2004. Unlike the Palais de Beaux Arts, Le Tripostal focuses more on contemporary and modern art, so be sure to visit if this is your thing!
Where to Stay in Lille
Our top recommendation in Lille is The People Hostel, located in the Old Town. This hostel has a reputation for clean and modern rooms, and have incredible amenities for their guests. Choose from spacious dorms or private rooms, and relax in their cozy bar and courtyard in the evening!
Top Things to Do in Lille
Lille is one of our favourite destinations for a slow getaway, but it’s still full of great things to see and do. We hope our guide has helped you plan your travels, and enjoy your time in this beautiful little city.
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