A French love affair with Lille

I love Lille. It’s a small city in the North of France near the Belgian border. It used to be an off-beat and out of the way destination, but now that it is a high-speed railway hub only an 90 minutes away from London and 30 minutes from Brussels, it’s now a fantastic getaway destination.

lille

Here’s some of the great stuff you’ll look forward to when you visit:

  • Vieux Lille: The old part of the city, filled with little boutique shops, antique stores, and cafes. It’s quaint and cosy and a great place to pick up some souvenirs for your friends and yourself.
  • The Citadel of Lille – this old city fortification is now a gigantic park. It’s a great place to leave your worries behind as you criss-cross the trails that circle around and through the fortress; though it’s just outside the city centre, you’ll feel like you’re in rural France!
  • Food. It is no surprise that you’ll find the same abundance of quiche, cakes, tarts, pies, baguettes, and other fabulous dishes that you can find elsewhere in France. The surprising thing is that even in busy, touristic districts like the two main squares or in Vieux Lille, I still found the food high quality and reasonably priced.
  • Go Swimming. Ok, I’m only half-kidding; there’s a great museum that’s a swimming pool. Yup, that’s right. To be seen to be believed. It’s brilliant.
  • Beaux Arts. Not only does the Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille have an amazing collection (one of the most revered in France outside of the more noteworthy Parisian counterparts) but the building itself is an architectural sight to be seen.

So, instead of speeding through on the bullet train, next time hop off and check out what Lille has to offer. Find the best rates at Lille hotels on HotelsCombined.

Photos by verseguru