You can get to Lille directly on the Eurostar from London in only 1.5hrs. We headed down on a Friday night after work and returned late Sunday afternoon. I had no idea what was in Lille but it was actually a really laid back, lovely city, which was perfect for an easy weekend getaway.
My top 3 and ‘best of the rest’ are below.
ONE. The Old Town
The old town area of Lille is beautiful. It includes the Place du Theatre, Town Hall, Old Stock Exchange, Opera House and Grand Place. This means lots of nice buildings and architecture. I particularly liked the Old Stock Exchange as there was a small market set up in there, selling books and records. You can also climb up the belfry tower of the Town Hall for views around Lille.
TWO. Patisserie Meert
The cakes and confectionery here were AMAZING. This Patisserie was founded in 1761 and is viewed as one of the best in Lille. There is a shop at the front, another area where you can order patisserie to takeaway and then a little cafe as well where you can go in to eat. We looked round the shop, ate in the cafe, and got items to take away we liked it so much!
THREE. Palais des Beaux Arts
A few minutes’ walk from the centre, there is an art museum which includes work by Raphael, Donatello, Van Dyck and Tissot to name but a few. It also has the most amazing corridors and huge lights!
The ‘best of the rest’ in Lille
- Boulangeries and Creperies – I mentioned Patisseries earlier, but the creperies and boulangeries are amazing as well. Have a freshly baked croissant for breakfast, a savoury crepe for lunch, head for patisserie in the afternoon and then finish with a dinner of beef bourguignon or raclette. Perfect!
- Zoo Lille – situated in the main park in Lille, along with the Citadel (an historic 5 sided fortress), the zoo is small but has lots for children. The park is also really nice to walk around!
- Gare de Lille Flandres – This station opened in 1842 and actually has the old station front from Gare du Nord in Paris on it!
- Exploring the areas outside of the centre – the streets in Lille are so pretty so just head off wherever you fancy and explore.
Thanks for reading! Are you planning a trip to Lille? Have you already been? Let me know in the comments below!