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Lille (Flemish name: Rijsel) is maybe France’s most underrated city. Once grey, industrial and dull, Lille has been reborn to an important commercial and cultural European hub, while it keeps ranking top among Europe’s top travel destinations. If you’re searching for cheap air tickets to Lille, be prepared to be captivated by the city’s historic heart, the endless possibilities in art and architecture and its genuine Flemish profile. This is one French Flanders’s oldest cities; a true metropolis with an original soul and character. Book your accommodation in one of the numerous cheap hotels in Lille and organise a trip to remember!
Lille is France’s fifth largest metropolitan area; and one of the country’s most historic cities. Located in France’s northern part near the Belgian border, at the banks of River Deûle, Lille has always been an important industrial and commercial hub of France.
Despite the fact that Lille was annexed to France in 1667, it retains a strong Flemish character and charm.
Direct connection to Brussels and London by the Eurostar has made Lille a top travel destination for all Europeans, while the extra-friendly and welcoming locals take hospitality very seriously!
Visitors in Lille can see a series of significant historic landmarks, attend cultural events and art performances of high quality, taste Lille’s delicious cuidine and enjoy a vibrant nightlife. A destination not to be missed!
Lille’s airport (Aéroport de Lille) is located 10 kilometres away from the city centre and can be reached by bus and railway.
Getting around Lille
Lille’s public transportation network consists of railway, metro, tramway and buses. Fares start at 1.40€ and minimum taxi fare costs around 6.60€.
Arriving in Lille, start at the city’s central square, Place du Général-de-Gaulle or Grand Place. This is the original place of the traditional open-air market Braderie and focal point of Lille’s formal events and celebrations. The square encompasses a beautiful collection of buildings, elegant houses, museums, churches and institutions of great historic importance.
Two of Lille’s museums are not to be missed:
- The Fine Arts Museum (Palais des Beaux Arts) houses interesting collections of Flemish and Dutch art from the 15th to the 20th century, ceramics and porcelains, archaeological findings, medieval items and models of the old fortified cities of 18th-century northern France and Belgium.
- Colourful and innovative, the Museum of Modern Art (Musée d'Art Moderne Lille-Métropole) boasts some excellent contemporary art collections with works by Braque, Calder, Léger, Miró, Modigliani and Picasso.
Next stop: The Lille Citaddelle! This monumental star-like castle was built by Vauban, a French military architect, in 1667, the year Lille got conquered by France. The Citadel’s gardens are exceptional, especially if you’re travelling with family and children.
The birthplace of the great French politician Charles de Gaulle is now a museum dedicated to him, focusing on his relationship with French Flanders. A visit at the Maison Natale de Charles de Gaulle should be a good way to spend a couple of hours before lunch.
Lille’s official language is French, but you can also hear many locals speak Flemish of West Flanders, a language that could be considered as “semi-formal”, alongside French.