I hope you’re having a great start of the week and thank you so much for reading! Following my Dublin post, which you can check here if you haven’t already, today I wanted to share a last-minute guide around Lille, which may be helpful if you’re planning a weekend away and need some inspo. Let me enlighten you sis. Lille is the capital of the northern Hauts-de-France, situated right next to Belgium. It’s a small and cozy town, which you can probably visit in a weekend.
If you know me a little bit or been following me on Instagram, you know I love me a solo trip, not for any reason in particular, but because I´m the type of person that If want to do something, I don’t really wait for people to join me, I just go with the flow.
DID YOU KNOW? Lille is such a safe place for solo travelers. Felt very relaxed, welcomed and safe.
In this quick post I’ve put together 6 places you can’t miss if you ever come to this beautiful town. Nevertheless, there’s plenty of things to see and do in Lille, and here are the ones I enjoyed the most, which I recommend. Let´s jump right into it:
1. LA GRANDE PLACE
It used to house soldiers from the sentry guard
In the heart of the town of Lille, you´ll find the main square where locals and tourists meet up and see the sights. It’s probably one of the first places you’ll notice as you arrive in Lille. This meeting place offers interesting architecture from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
There’s live music, plenty of coffee places and restaurants where you can sit around and people watch, and of course enjoy a freshly made pastry and a café au lait.
2. VIEUX LILLE
Lille’s Old Town
As you walk around the capital of the northern Hauts-de-France, you’ll notice the city’s Flemish influence when you see the baroque architecture from the 17th and 18th Centuries. At Lille’s Old Town you’ll be able to see exclusive boutiques, restaurants and yummy bakeries as you have a stroll. My favorite one was “Elizabeth’s” which serves homemade cakes, freshly baked bread and delicious drinks.
In the Old town the streets are wide and there’s plenty of space to walk around and get lost. However, I struggled to determine whereabouts the old town starts and where it ends. Roughly, it’s situated around “La Place Charles de Gaulle”, walking distance from the heart of Lille.
You´ll be able to find Elizabeth´s at 71 Rue Basse, 59800, Lille, France
3. LE VIEILLE BOURSE
Lille’s old stock exchange
Located between the Grand Place and and the Place du Théâtre in the heart of the old town of Lille, you’ll find this iconic building at Place Charles de Gaulle. It is an ancient building created in 1623.
During the week, this building is home to second hand book sellers and chess players. Laid out on tables there’s vintage books and magazines of all genres, mostly in French but also available in other languages. This book market takes place daily except Sundays.
TOP TIP: At the vintage book market only cash payments are accepted, so make sure you bring enough with you. The average price of a vintage book or magazine ranges between 5 and 15€.
3. PALAIS DES BEAUX ARTS
The second biggest museum in France
This museum is dedicated to fine arts, modern art, and antiquities. It’s one of the first museums built in France and also one of the biggest, right after the Louvre in Paris. In this museum there are collections of European paintings such as Goya & Delacroix, 19th Century French Paintings, 17th and 18th Century ceramics, etc. In addition, there is also art work from Monet, Van Gogh, Jacob Jordaens, etc.
I personally like visiting museums whenever I travel since I see it as a great opportunity to learn about the country’s culture and history. I will leave the direct link to the website so you can check out the opening times and prices.
There’s always time for some shopping
This shopping centre is located right in the heart of Lille, in a crossroad between Paris, London and Brussels. There’s sooo many shops (also a huge Sephora. You’re welcome sis) and restaurants which are perfect if you need a little rest from sightseeing/walking around everywhere. It has a warm design, accentuated by bright lightening and modern decorations. You´ll be able to find this mall at “100 Avenue Willy Brandt, 59777, Lille”.
The Basilica of Notre Dame de la Treille
An example of Gothic Revival architecture, it is considered a national monument. This cathedral was built in honor to the Virgin Mary, and its name comes from a Saint that has miraculous properties ascribed to it. Lille’s Cathedral is located in Place Gilleson, 59800, Lille, France.
In Lille there’s actually cathedrals everywhere, so make sure you visit at least one of them. The interior architecture is breathtaking, and there’s also plenty of history behind it.
I hope you enjoyed this quick post and found it helpful. Are you planning to visit Lille? I’m more than happy to hear from you!
Until next time,