Easy access from London and Paris via Eurostar makes Lille a delightfully simple weekend break destination. While you're in town, be sure to visit the stunning Palais de Beaux Arts, Lille's renowned art museums, and the charming Flemish-inspired old town.
Lille is big on culture and history, especially art and architecture. Galleries boast works by Rubens and Manet and the streets are lined with beautiful cathedrals and churches. Hotels in Lille range from traditional hotels, often with rich architectural heritage to sleek, modern hotels striking a fantastic contrast to the picture-postcard feel of the town centre.
If you’re interested in exploring the city, consider the Lille Métropole City Pass, saving on travel and offering free and discounted entry to many of the city’s museums and tourist attractions. Highlights on the whirlwind tour should include the Grand Palace, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de la Treille and the Vieille Bourse – often described as Lille’s finest building. If you visit in the afternoon, you can see local chess players in the courtyard and can even challenge them to a game.
If you’re planning a city break in Lille, be sure to walk the waterways, explore the famous botanical gardens and sample fine food at local eateries for a fraction of the price you’d find in Paris. Lille cuisine is so much more than mussels and chips; the fusion of French and Flemish influences produces excellent and innovative menus. Visit an estaminets (a bit like a bistro-pub) and see what we mean.
In recent years, Lille has built up a buzzing nightlife, with discos and clubs frequented by locals and tourists. Cafes and eateries often stay open late into the evening, offering galettes (savoury crepes) oysters and local beers. We love La Chicorée, serving fresh food on their cobbled terrace throughout the night, until dawn.
A weekend city break in Lille is often enough to get a taste of the place, but if you have the time, it’s worth taking a few days and to savour the arts and explore the rich, changing history of the city and the Flemish influence on this beautiful French city.