Lille at a glance
Lille, the capital of the Nord region of France, is a medieval city with 17th century architecture, picturesque squares and a collection of fantastic art galleries. The city holds both Flemish and French roots and is known for its friendly atmosphere as well as its superb shops, cafés, bars and restaurants, making it a popular destination for a short break via Eurostar.
Lille’s main square, Place du Général-de-Gaulle, once acted as a bustling wheat market in medieval times. Today, the area known as ‘Grand Place’ still holds an atmosphere of animation and is home to a number of monuments and buildings of interest, including the Column of the Goddess and La Vieille Bourse, one of the city’s most prestigious Renaissance buildings.
There are a number of premier art museums in Lille, many of which boast impressive collections dating from the 12th century onwards. Perhaps the most widely known of these galleries is the Palais des Beaux Arts, home to a rare collection of works by artists such as Rubens, Goya, Donatello and Van Dyck.
Perfect if you’re looking for:
- Art and culture
- A weekend short break
- Historic attractions
Lille’s city centre is easy to navigate by foot. There is also a well laid out public transportation system operated by Transpole that operates bus, tram and subway networks throughout the city.
Dining in Lille
A treat for the palate, Lille’s gastronomy is a cultural mix of Flemish tradition and French art form, creating sumptuous dishes that are both satisfying and full of flavour.
Thanks to a strong influence from its Belgian neighbour, Lille is home to a number of small breweries and is known for its specialty strong beers. Often each type of beer is served in its own custom shaped glass complete with branded logo, making the variety of beers on offer at most drinking establishments all the more interesting.
Must-try local dishes:
- Carbonnade – small chunks of beef cooked in beer
- Moules frites – mussels with chips
- Gaufres – a thin waffle filled with a sugary substance made from sugar-beet syrup
Lille provides a diverse shopping experience, offering popular chain stores and malls alongside classy boutiques, independent shops and outdoor markets.
Le Furet du Nord, Europe’s largest book store, houses 8 floors of titles and holds regular book related events. Located in the city’s main square, the bookstore welcomes over 10,000 shoppers per a day.
Get your tailor-made city break itinerary
Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Lille designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:
- All travel and transfers on days of your choice
- Accommodation from our handpicked range of Lille hotels, to suit your budget and requirements
Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.
- Important information
Population 225,784 Languages French Currency Euro Visa Information No visa required for UK citizens
- Average temperatures
(monthly highs °C)
- Interesting facts
The Lille Metropole City Pass gives free access to over 27 museums and attractions, as well as Lille's public transport network.
- Featured accommodation
- Distance from airports
Lille 11 km
- Railway stations