Lille has been a crossroads of cultures for millennia. The Flemish, Spanish, Burgundians, and others have shaped the history and heritage of this city in northern France. Today, the city maintains its historic flavor alongside of modern amenities.
Because of its strategic location, it's possible to include a vacation to Lille with trips to other major cities. London is just 80 minutes away by rail, while Brussels is even closer, accessible by rail and highway. All that Paris has to offer is just an hour away. If you've made reservations at Paris boutique hotels, you can add Lille attractions to your vacation plans.
And you'll find a wide array of things to do in Lille, including museums, tours, fine dining, connecting with the arts, and shopping. One of the most visited Lille attractions is one of the biggest museums of all of France. Second only to the Louvre, the Fine Arts Museum fills the soaring spaces of the Place de la République. The fully renovated museum features works by Old Masters, such as Rubens, Goya, and Delacroix, as well as nineteenth-century French paintings, sculptures, drawings, and seventeenth- and eighteenth-century ceramics.
The list of museums also includes the Hospice Comtesse Museum, Museum of Natural History, the birthplace of Charles de Gaulle, and the Contemporary Sacred Art Centre. As you explore these Lille attractions, you'll have the chance to explore a hospital, whose history dates back to the thirteenth century. The Hospice Comtesse includes a hospital with a vault ceiling, a chapel, medicinal garden, paintings, and sculpture. You'll also have the chance to learn about the natural history of France and other places on earth, and step into the Notre-Dame de la Treille Cathedral to see an inspiration collection of art. One of France's modern leaders was born in Lille in 1890. Today, you can peek into the world of the middle class and learn more about the statesman's early years.
If you're looking for an insider's view of Lille, you can add a tour to the vacations plans. Many of the guides are conversant in both French and English for guided tours by foot, bus, mobile phone, or Segway. Tours of the famed Flanders Fields are some of more popular things to do in Lille. A coach tour departs from the tourist office and heads to Ypres, where many of the most important battles of World War I took place. You also can stay in town for a city tour that includes many of the top things to do in Lille, including the sumptuous opera house, the historic city center, and the different neighborhoods. A tour to the top of the town hall belfry will give you an excellent vantage point for overlooking the city.
Visitors to Lille France will quickly discover all the amenities as expected in a world-class city. A wide range of Lille hotels extend hospitality to people of all budgets. Whether you're staying in a hostel or a luxury hotel, you'll find a warm welcome. The city is also known for its shopping and dining along the cobblestone streets and modern retail areas.
The local cuisine reflects the cultures who settled here. Specialties include locally brewed beer, handmade sweets, and waterzoï, a poultry or fish in a creamy sauce, served with baby vegetables. And with a modern network of rail stations, an airport, and highways, it's easy to arrive in Lille and begin exploring the restaurants and attractions.