10 Things to Do in Lille That You Shouldn't Miss

January 12, 2018 Milan Banda

Lille is an architectural feast with strong Flemish influences from the Grand Place to the basilica of Notre Dame de la Treille to the quiet streets of row houses and gardens. For art buffs, Lille is home to the Musee d'Art Moderne and the Palais des Beaux Arts. Children will enjoy the Parc de Zoologique. Savvy travelers know that Lille has a fine public transit system, making this historical hotspot a pleasure to visit.
Restaurants in Lille

59800, Lille, France +33 891 56 20 04
Excellent
59%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Vieux-Lille

Reviewed By Walkabout-Mike - The Hague, The Netherlands

Narrow cobblestone streets, loads of boutique shops, lively cafés and restaurants, Vieux-Lille has it all. Wander from the Place du Theatre (in front of the Opera) up to the Place du Concert (local French farmers market) and then back via the Cathedral to Place du Général de Gaulle. Plan half a day (without shopping time)

2. Librairie Furet du Nord

15 Place du General de Gaulle, 59800, Lille, France +33 3 20 78 43 43
Excellent
68%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 432 reviews

Librairie Furet du Nord

Reviewed By Filitosa96 - London, United Kingdom

Le Furet du Nord (the Ferret of the North) is, along with Meert, one of THE reasons to come shopping in Lille. It is simply the best bookshop I have ever visited in France. Six floors of books, gifts, art supplies, magazines, stationery and the inevitable multimedia, beautifully laid out and chosen. Even if you don't read French, there is so much to enjoy here...the BD section has loads of Tintin/Asterix etc themed gifts, the stock of English language novels is extensive, and the art and gift departments full of beautiful, unusual things in a good range of prices.

3. Place aux Oignons

Place aux Oignons, 59000, Lille, France
Excellent
61%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 113 reviews

Place aux Oignons

Reviewed By lillibet12309 - Preston, United Kingdom

I love this pretty little square - fantastic for taking photos and some of the houses and apartments have lovely flowers and window boxes which add to the general appearance of the area. There are some cafes and bistros dotted around though I have not sampled any of them.

4. Old Stock Exchange

Place du Theatre, 59000, Lille, France
Excellent
53%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Old Stock Exchange

Designed by architect Julien Destrée, the Old Stock Exchange (circa 1653) is a magnificent example of the Flemish baroque style.

Reviewed By Greg W - Cambridge, United Kingdom

The courtyard area is packed full of second-hand bookseller’s tables stacked high with old newspaper clippings and novels. The actual building is found at the Grand Place, Lille city centre and is highly impressive and only a stone’s throw from the Column of the Goddess (La Colonne de la Déesse).

5. Grand place

Lille, France
Excellent
46%
Good
44%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Grand place

Main square where the magnificent 17th-century Vieille Bourse is located.

Reviewed By Greg W - Cambridge, United Kingdom

Lille city centre and its ‘town square’ is amazingly busy during the summer months, packed full with people shopping, eating alfresco and soaking up the sun.
We especially enjoy during our weekend here the wonderful array of classic boutique shops, patisseries, outdoor Seating areas at pubs and restaurants as well as the magnificent architecture.
Disappointingly, the Fountain at the centre of the square was hidden from view as there was a parade in progress so we didn’t get a glimpse of the base of the monument, but otherwise, everything in Lille Centre is excellent.

6. Palais des Beaux Arts

18 Bis Rue de Valmy | Place de la Republique, 59000, Lille, France +33 3 20 06 78 00
Excellent
46%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Palais des Beaux Arts

Prestigious art museum features works of Goya, Donatello and Veronese along with German paintings and sculptures from the 15th and 16th centuries.

Reviewed By nick w - London, United Kingdom

We visited on a really damp day in January. Arriving at lunchtime there was no real queue to get in and once through the airport-style security screen we paid the entrance for the core exhibits only i.e. not the temporary exhibition. The building interior is quite impressive itself and there is a good selection of mainly French and Dutch 18th and 19th century works. By 2pm we noticed the gallery was starting to get busy downstairs and a really long queue had by then formed for the temporary exhibition. Unfortunately, the cafe closed early for some reason. There is also a small shop.

7. Parc du Heron

Centre Ville, 59650 Villeneuve d'Ascq, Lille, France
Excellent
50%
Good
44%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 89 reviews

Parc du Heron

Reviewed By tolarjev - Austin, Texas

We took the metro & a bus. It's next to the modern art museum maybe 20 min out of town via public transportation. Quite worthwhile if the weather is good & you like pastoral walks. Not crowded, several options of trails, & good lake, woods, and pasture scenery. There are some cafes by the art museum. Bike rental is a km or so away. Took us about an hour to walk around the lake. Buses are frequent & were easy. Drivers were nice. Good place to spend 3-6 hrs. Great for kids. Several locals were walking their dogs or jogging.

8. La Gare Saint Sauveur

Boulevard Jean Batiste Lebas, 59000, Lille, France +33 3 28 52 30 00
Excellent
54%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 194 reviews

La Gare Saint Sauveur

Reviewed By 68foxtrot - Antwerp Province, Belgium

This warehous is filled with new art and has a free entrance. It is located just next to the port de paris adjacent to a park. The warehouse has very special art forms some of them interactive. Take 1,5 - 2 hour to visit the contemporay art and enjoy a drink is the bar / community centre across the gare. Mind that backpack are not allowed in the gare, but there is a good solution to leave this at the cafe. Make sure you also see the gare de paris at walking distance

9. Musee d'Art Moderne

1 allee du Musee, 59650 Villeneuve d'Ascq, Lille, France +33 3 20 19 68 68
Excellent
46%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 564 reviews

Musee d'Art Moderne

Just 20 minutes away from the city centre of Lille, experience one of the largest museums in northern EuropeLocated in the heart of a leafy sculpture park, the LaM holds over 4 500 exceptional works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries, in addition to many temporary Exhibitions.From room to room, the museum offers its visitorsan unprecedented itinerary from modern art throughto contemporary art, via the biggest collection of art brut in France.Take time out to enjoy the serenity of the site, and let yourself be surprised by the works of Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, Paul Klee, Aloïse Corbaz, Augustin Lesage, Richard Deacon, Barry Flanagan...

Reviewed By MKMapman - Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

Much is made of the Musee d'Art Moderne having one of the largest collections of modern art in Europe. Outside, in grounds that are freely accessible, there are a small number of sculptures, including one notable example by Picasso. Inside, you can either pay to see just the permanent collections, or for a few euros more, to see a temporary exhibition too - currently, it is showing one from the Belgian artist/photographer Luc Tuymans. This is probably worth seeing, although close ups of his works are plastered all over Lille (including inside the Eurostar terminal), so you may feel it's not worth the fee! There's also a free exhibition room given over to work from Jean Dubuffet, (1901-1985), which I didn't find too interesting. However both Exhibitions have free, illustrated catalogues, available in English, French and Flemish.
The main Exhibitions start well, with a selection of works by Picasso and Bracque, but then rather deteriorate in quality. there's relatively little abstract art, and although there are 10 rooms, none contains many pictures. (Compared to, say, the Modern Art Museum in Stockholm, it's really quite limited pickings here at LAM.) I found the selection of contemporary art on display limited and uninspiring.
The most recent extension to the museum is in the hand shaped galleries devoted to "Art Brut", more informal art. Some, to be quite honest, is simply amateurish, and while there are some fascinating works, the quality really is mixed.
The cafe was likewise limited (and uninspiring) in its selection. The shop closed from 1300-1400 for lunch.
So why four stars, since I'm damning it with faint praise? Well, overall the sum is probably more than the parts; there are some interesting works and what I might find inept, you may find inspired! So if you're in the area go and see it for yourself, but don't say you weren't warned...
Finally, and annoyingly, the Vlille bike hire scheme stops short of LAM. The nearest rental station is at Chateau de Flers, from which it's a 20 minute walk to LAM. It's worth making a short detour to take in the exterior of the Musee des Moulins (with two post mills) on the way.

10. Stade Pierre Mauroy

261 boulevard de Tournai, 59650 Villeneuve d'Ascq, Lille, France +33 3 20 59 40 00
Excellent
51%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 498 reviews

Stade Pierre Mauroy

Reviewed By tom_overing - Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom

Easy to get to by public transport, easy to get a ticket at prices cheaper than league 2 football in the UK. Really enjoyed lille vs Monaco.

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