Language

Lille

Lille

About Lille:

The best way to discover Lille, is by getting lost! Obligatory place of departure: The Grand’ Place. The fronts of traditional houses stand under the regal eyes of the Goddess and proclaim the Flemish origins loud and clear. A few metres away, the “Vieille Bourse’ (Old Stock Exchange) dating from the 17th century and witness to a rich trading past, reminds us that Lille used to belong to the Spanish Netherlands. Now entirely renovated, it has become the prized meeting place for booksellers and chess players. A little further away, stand the majestic Opera House and the belfry of the Chamber of Commerce.

Before moving on, pause at the ‘Furet du Nord’, the largest bookshop in Europe! Cross the road and you will find yourself in the ‘View-Lille’ (Old Town of Lille). Here we have managed to maintain a link with the past, whilst giving new life to this old part of the town. You will enjoy wandering over the cobblestones, head high, discovering the old stone buildings and architectural masterpieces: a coat of arms here, a sculpture there.

Second-hand booksellers, antique dealers and major ready-to-wear clothing companies have taken up residence here, whilst taking care to respect the authenticity of the place. However, it is already tome to move on, other treasures are awaiting you: le Palais des Beaux-Arts (Museum of Fine Arts), ‘l’Hospice Comtesse’ (former hospital, now a museum), the Citadel… Lille is all this much more besides!

Lille is an international hub for trains from the UK, Paris and Belgium. Charles de Gaulle was born here and you can see where at 9 rue Princesse. Plus there’s culture in spades courtesy of museums like the Palais des Beaux-Arts. Not forgetting the gigantic Euralille Shopping Centre – heaven for shopaholics and the Annual Foire de Lille with over 2 million visitors, the biggest in Europe.

 

What to do in Lille:

Vieux Lille:

The old quarter of Lille, with its charming cobbled streets, stylish shops and impressive renaissance architecture is perfect for a wander.

Information office: +33 (8) 91 56 20 04 (all major languages)

 

Palais des Beaux-Arts:

On the grand place de la République, this excellent museum of art displays works from the 16th-20th and focuses on the Flemish painters of the period.

Information office: +33 (8) 91 56 20 04 (all major languages)

 

Euralille Shopping Centre:

Welcome to Europe’s largest shopping centre, home to all the top stores. It’s just a short walk from Lille’s two train stations – ideal if you’re passing through and have a few hours to spare.

Information office: +33 (8) 91 56 20 04 (all major languages)

 

Place General de Gaulle:

Better known to the locals as the ‘Grande-Place’, Lille’s main square is home to some impressive Flemish architecture. It’s also a great place to nurse a cup of coffee and watch the world go by.

Information office: +33 (8) 91 56 20 04 (all major languages)

 

Maison Natale Charles de Gaulle:

This modest terraced house was birthplace to French President Charles de Gaulle. The house is now a museum devoted to telling the story of the great post-war leader’s life.

Information office: +33 (8) 91 56 20 04 (all major languages)