Things to do and see in Lille

Get ready to explore the charming city of Lille! Located in northern France, offers a delightful mix of history, culture, and vibrant city life. Whether you're interested in exploring its rich heritage, indulging in delicious cuisine, or embarking on exciting day trips, Lille has something to offer everyone.

Must see Lille Attractions 

Lille boasts a plethora of must-see attractions that showcase its history and cultural richness. Here are some highlights:

  • Grand Place and Old Lille: Immerse yourself in the historic city centre with its charming Flemish architecture, picturesque squares, and vibrant cafes.
  • Palais des Beaux-Arts: Discover one of the largest fine arts museums in France, housing an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.
  • Notre Dame de la Treille Cathedral: A unique building where Gothic and modern art intersect. Inside, modern sculptures are displayed on beautiful mosaic floors beneath magnificent arches. For the best experience, visit during daylight when sunlight illuminates the space through the stained glass windows.
  • Citadelle de Lille: Take a stroll through this 17th-century fortress, surrounded by lush greenery, and enjoy panoramic views of the city.
  • La Piscine Museum: Uncover the unique charm of this art deco swimming pool turned museum, showcasing a diverse range of art and sculptures.
  • Euralille: Explore the modern district of Lille, featuring contemporary architecture, shopping malls, and a bustling business centre.
  • Hospice Comtesse Museum: Delve into the city's medieval past by visiting this former hospital turned museum, displaying historical artefacts and artworks.
  • Wazemmes Market: Experience the vibrant atmosphere of this lively market, where you can find local produce, delicious food stalls, and eclectic treasures.

What to do in Lille

Lille's rich culture extends beyond its landmarks. Here are some experiences to immerse yourself in:

  • Dining Experiences: Lille offers a range of restaurants, from traditional brasseries to innovative gastronomic establishments, where you can savour local dishes and fine wines. To enjoy the proper experience, head to the restaurant in Lille's old town, where you will find local cuisine and specialities, including flavourful beers, mouth-watering waffles, and the hearty carbonnade flamande stew.
  • Lille's Cultural Events and Festivals: Plan your visit around the famous Braderie de Lille or Lille Flea Market, one of Europe's largest street markets, typically from the 13th - 15th September, click here to find out more! The Lille 3000 is always a good option, a series of art and cultural events transforming the city every few years. If you are planning a winter weekend getaway to the French city, you can’t miss the opportunity to go to Lille Christmas Market, which usually runs from November 22nd to December 30th. 
  • Shopping in Lille: Discover a shopper's paradise with an array of boutiques, concept stores, and vintage shops offering fashion, design, and unique finds. Head to Rue de la Grande Chaussée if you are after high-end fashion brands. However, if you are a vintage hunter, why not visit Rue Basse? You will find yourself in the hub for antique and second-hand stores.
  • Museums and Art Galleries: Dive into Lille's artistic heritage at museums and galleries showcasing local artists and masterpieces from different eras.

Where to go from Lille by train

  • Lille, Brussels and Amsterdam. 

Three countries on the same trip—why not? Thanks to Eurostar, you can visit three different countries, such as France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, on the same trip, and all this from one location: London. 

Yes, Lille is the perfect weekend getaway. However, you can extend your adventure to the other two countries just by jumping on one train. The Eurostar railway runs from London St. Pancras to Lille and goes up to Brussels and Amsterdam, making this a lovely combination if you want to make the most of your holidays.

  • Lille to Disneyland Paris 

Disneyland Paris offers an enchanting experience for children and adults, making it an ideal destination for family outings and extended adventures. Conveniently located, it is easily accessible from various cities, including Lille.

Trains from Lille to Paris are straightforward and efficient, running from Lille-Flandres to Paris Gare du Nord with a journey time of approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Upon arrival in Paris, continuing to Disneyland Paris is a hassle-free affair.

For those looking to enhance their visit, consider day trips from Lille to explore the region further. Our guide, Day Trips from Paris, provides valuable insights and suggestions to help you extend your adventure beyond the magic of Disneyland, ensuring a memorable and stress-free experience for all.

Lille's strategic location makes it an excellent base for exploring nearby destinations. Consider these day trips:

  • Roubaix: Visit the renowned La Piscine Museum, housed in a former Art Deco swimming pool, admire the architectural marvel of Villa Cavrois, and enjoy shopping at outlet stores.
  • Arras: Discover the stunning Grand Place and its UNESCO-listed belfry, delve into World War I history at the Wellington Quarry, and explore the underground tunnels.
  • Lens: Experience the impressive Louvre-Lens Museum, which showcases artworks from the Louvre's collection, and learn about the region's mining history.
  • Ypres: Journey to Belgium and explore the World War I battlefields, pay your respects at memorial sites, and visit the Moving In Flanders Fields Museum.

Practical Information and Tips

Before embarking on your Lille adventure, here are some practical tips to help you plan your trip:

   Weather and best time to visit: Lille experiences a temperate climate, with mild summers and cool winters. The spring and autumn months offer pleasant weather, making them ideal for exploring the city.

   Getting around: Lille has an efficient public transportation system, including buses and a metro network, which can easily take you around the city and its outskirts. 

   Currency, Tipping Etiquette, and Language Tips: The currency used in Lille, like the rest of France, is the Euro (€). Tipping is not obligatory but is appreciated for exceptional service. French is the official language, although many locals also speak English.

Is it worth visiting Lille?

Absolutely, yes! This moderate priced destination is the perfect place for a weekend getaway because of its picturesque streets, french food and drink offerings and shops.

Where is Lille in France?

Lille is the capital of the region Hauts-de-France and the Nord department, situated in the northern tip of France, right near the border with Belgium. Lille is a fantastic starting point for travellers looking to explore both France and neighbouring Belgium.

Do I need cash to travel to Lille?

While you can pay with your card almost everywhere these days, the best advice is to carry a small amount of cash for those still cashless shops and local street artists. The currency used in Lille is the Euro, and you can get it in the station before you jump on the Eurostar at Change Group Currency Exchange.

What do I need to know before travelling to Lille?

Passport, Eurostar ticket, and bags? You're all set! Lille is a welcoming city known for its delightful experiences and pleasant surprises. Make sure to arrive at the station early to bypass the queues, and give yourself time to enjoy a coffee before your journey. Forgot something? Our shops have everything you might need!