Boasting a prime location near the Pas de Calais and the Belgian border, Lille is a delightful city with remarkable architecture, beautiful gardens and excellent museums that will delight visitors. The city has transformed itself from its once industrial background into a major northern European destination for those visitors who wish to explore a captivating mix of cultures and architectural styles in a wonderfully urban setting. Its strong Flemish influences give Lille a unique flavour, very different from other bustling French cities like Rennes or Toulouse.
Its surrounding countryside is full of European history, with several WWI memorials and fighting grounds that will delight history lovers. If you prefer some time by the coast however, don’t forget to make the short drive to Côte d’Opale, where you can spy the white cliffs of Dover on a clear day.
Very well connected from Paris and London, Lille is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. The area enjoys mild summers and frosty winters, and warm clothing is required in the winter months. It is always advisable to carry an umbrella, as the weather can be a bit unpredictable.
Holiday in Lille
The city’s centre is a wondrous mix of elegant buildings, imposing churches, romantic hidden corners and manicured gardens. You can start your tour of Vieux Lille by visiting its magnificent cathedral as you stroll down 17th century brick houses towards the Grande Place, a restored busy square where you can find a table by one of its many brasseries and enjoy some people-watching before visiting the old Stock Exchange that dates to the early 1600s.
If you are travelling with children, you might prefer to visit the old 17th century citadel, a star-shaped ochre structure proudly presiding over the hill, followed by a trip to the nearby zoo. Art and history lovers are in for a treat. Lille has several fascinating museums such as La Piscine, an old Art Deco swimming pool turned into an innovative exhibition space. History buffs will love a stopover at Charles de Gaulle’s, where the French national hero was born in 1890.
Lille’s proximity to the Belgian border makes an outing to Flemish lands a must do in your already packed schedule, where you can sample some excellent bière ambrée, a rich malted beer and relax in the tranquil countryside.
Renting holiday accommodation in Lille
When you decide where to stay during your visit to Lille, keep in mind that the most authentic way to enjoy a truly memorable visit is to socialise with the locals. Who would you want to stay in a soulless chain hotel full of tourists when they can choose a holiday rental? Renting self-catered accommodation in France means that you can experience this stunning country in the same way than those who know it best, the local people. Only they can tell you which is the best restaurant in town to try some delicious Waterzoi, poultry served with a creamy sauce, or the patisserie that serves the tastiest traditional sugar tarts. After a long day exploring Lille, there’s nothing like being able to put your feet up in our very own holiday apartment and relax with a chilled glass of French wine.