Lille in a nutshell
Located in northern France, only an hour from Paris, Lille is a great destination for a cityscape by train. Beautiful architecture, delicious food and great art museums await. Check our best things to do in this gorgeous city and find inspiration for your next trip !
Best things to do in Lille
1- Climb to the top of the town hall Belfry
One of the best ways to start a trip is to get a global view of the city from above. Lille Town Hall’s Belfry is the perfect place. Make sure to book your entrance in advance on this website. Climb a hundred steps and enjoy the view of the city and its surroundings.
2- Get your culture fix in the Palais des Beaux-Arts
Lille is home to one of the biggests and most importants museums of France : its Palais des Beaux-Arts. Inside a 19th century architectural gem, are displayed prestigious collections of European painters such as Rubens, Goya and Delacroix, French artists such as Courbet, Rodin or Claudel. Its collection also includes a rich variety of ceramics, drawings and sculptures.
3- Have a coffee at Grand-Place
If you’re looking for a place where you can meet locals, head to the Grand Place. Right in the city center, it’s surrounded by gorgeous buildings, bars and restaurants, perfect for a stop after a day of sightseeing. Throughout the year, it hosts cultural events and concerts. It also hosts a beautiful flower market every year in May.
4- Head inside the Vieille Bourse and its books market
La Vieille Bourse is an architectural gem known as the most beautiful building of Lille. The old stock exchange, built in 1652 welcomes booksellers in its courtyard all year, and tango demonstrations in summer. Architecture lovers can admire the Twenty-four identical houses decorated in the manner of the Flemish Renaissance.
5- Discover the colorful houses of the Old Town
If you’re looking for a calm walk in the city, head behind the Cathedral and its peaceful Place Gilleson. There is not much to do since its a residential area, but it’s a great place to enjoy a calm walk on a summer afternoon.
6- Visit the modern art museum – LaM
Modern and Contemporary Art lovers should visit the Lille Modern Art Museum (LaM), located in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, 6km from the city center. The collections of the museum include works of Picasso, Modigliani or Miro while its garden displays sculptures of famous artists such as Calder or Lipchitz.
7- Discover the colorful houses of the Old Town
Taste the local food
The best places to eat in Lille are the local restaurants called “Estaminets”. Try typical foods such as Welsh, Potjevleesh or Flemish stew. Don’t forget to order some local beer with your meal!
8- Get lost in the little streets and enjoy the architecture
Lille streets are always pleasant to walk. Enjoy the architecture, go for a shopping walk or stop in a cafe for a break. There is always something new to discover.
9- Visit its beautiful churches
Lille streets are filled with great buildings, and churches are part of them. Look up and enjoy their architecture, and in summer get inside for a fresh break. The most beautiful churches of Lille include Cathédrale de la Treille and Saint Maurice Church.