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Top 10 Things to Do in Lille
Situated in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France, Lille is a vibrant city full of culture, history and charm. With its rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, excellent restaurants and lively nightlife, Lille has something to offer for everyone. From exploring the cobbled streets of the Vieux-Lille to taking a leisurely stroll through the city’s beautiful parks, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in this beautiful city.
So if you’re planning a visit to Lille, here are the top 10 things to do.
1. Explore Vieux-Lille
Vieux-Lille is the old city centre of Lille, and is the best place to start your visit. Here you will find a maze of cobbled streets, lined with 17th and 18th century townhouses, churches and squares. Strolling through Vieux-Lille is a great way to get to know the city and soak up its atmosphere. The area is also home to some of the city’s best restaurants, galleries and boutiques, so there’s plenty to keep you occupied.
At the heart of Vieux-Lille is Place du Général de Gaulle, a large square dominated by the magnificent Grand Place and the imposing town hall. Here you can take a break and watch the world go by, or take in the stunning architecture of the surrounding buildings.
Vieux-Lille is the perfect place to start your visit to Lille, and to get a real feel for the city.
2. Visit the Citadelle de Lille
The Citadelle de Lille is a 17th century fortification built by Louis XIV, and is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. The impressive star-shaped walls are surrounded by a moat and almost 10km of underground tunnels. Today, the Citadelle is a popular tourist attraction, and a great place to explore the city’s military history.
The Citadelle houses an impressive museum, which details the history of the fortification and the city’s military past. You can also take a guided tour of the underground tunnels and explore the fort’s impressive ramparts.
The Citadelle is a must-see for any visitor to Lille, and a great way to learn about the city’s fascinating history.
3. Visit the Palais des Beaux-Arts
The Palais des Beaux-Arts is one of the largest and most important museums in France. Located in the heart of Lille, the building is a treasure trove of art, spanning from the Renaissance to the present day. Inside the museum you’ll find an impressive collection of works by some of the world’s greatest artists, such as Rembrandt, Rubens and Monet.
The Palais des Beaux-Arts also has a number of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, so there’s always something new to see. It’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon exploring the city’s artistic heritage.
4. Take a Boat Trip on the Deule
The Deule is a river that runs through Lille, and is the perfect way to explore the city from a different perspective. Taking a boat trip on the Deule is a great way to relax and soak up the atmosphere of the city. You’ll pass by many of Lille’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Citadelle de Lille and the Grand Place, and you’ll also have a chance to spot some of the city’s wildlife, such as swans and ducks.
There are a number of boat companies that offer trips on the Deule, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Trips usually last around 2 hours and are a great way to get to know the city from the water.
5. Explore the Parks and Gardens of Lille
Lille is home to some of the most beautiful parks and gardens in France, and exploring them is a great way to get to know the city. The Parc de la Citadelle, located in the heart of the city, is a stunning park that is perfect for a leisurely stroll or picnic. There are also a number of smaller parks, such as the Parc du Bien-Etre and the Parc Raymond Bordes, which are great for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The gardens of Lille are also a must-see. The Jardin des Plantes, located near the Citadelle, is a beautiful botanical garden that is home to a variety of plants and trees. The Jardin des Tulipes is a stunning tulip garden, and is a great place to admire the beauty of the city.
6. Visit the Musée d’Art Moderne
The Musée d’Art Moderne is one of the city’s most important art galleries, and is home to some of the world’s best modern art. Inside the gallery you’ll find works by some of the 20th century’s most important artists, such as Picasso, Matisse and Chagall.
The museum also hosts a number of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, so there’s always something new to see. It’s the perfect place to visit if you’re looking to explore the city’s modern art scene.
7. Visit the Grand Place
The Grand Place is the heart of Lille, and is the best place to get a feel for the city’s atmosphere. Surrounded by stunning 17th century buildings, the Grand Place is the perfect place to take a break and watch the world go by. The square is also home to the city’s famous Christmas market, which is a great place to do some shopping or try some of the delicious local food.
The Grand Place is also a great place to people-watch, as it’s always busy with locals and visitors alike. So take a break and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
8. Tour the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de la Treille
The Cathedrale Notre-Dame de la Treille is one of the most impressive buildings in Lille, and is well worth a visit. The cathedral is a stunning example of French Gothic architecture, and is home to a number of beautiful works of art, including a magnificent stained-glass window.
The cathedral also offers guided tours, which are a great way to explore the building and learn more about its history. It’s the perfect place to take a break from exploring the city and enjoy the beauty of this majestic building.
9. Take a Food Tour
Lille is renowned for its excellent cuisine, and taking a food tour is a great way to explore the city’s culinary scene. Food tours usually take in some of the city’s best restaurants, bars and cafes, and you’ll have the chance to sample some of the region’s most famous dishes, such as tartiflette, carbonnade flamande and waterzoï.
Food tours are a great way to get to know the city and its culinary delights, so why not take a tour and explore the city through its food?
10. Visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts
The Musée des Beaux-Arts is one of the oldest and most important art galleries in France, and is home to an impressive collection of artwork from the Renaissance to the present day. The museum houses a number of masterpieces by some of the world’s greatest artists, such as Rembrandt, Monet and Van Gogh.
The museum also has a number of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, so there’s always something new to see. It’s the perfect place to explore the city’s art scene.
Lille is a vibrant and fascinating city, and there’s plenty to see and do. From exploring the cobbled streets of Vieux-Lille to taking a boat trip on the Deule, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for culture, history or just a relaxing break, Lille has something to offer for everyone. So why not take a trip to this beautiful city and explore all that it has to offer?