People say Lille’s the most underrated city in France.
Throughout history, the city’s been heavily influenced by both the Spanish and the Flemish.
This influence combined with location, Lille’s close to Belgium and the Uk. has given the city a unique atmosphere than the rest of France, and it’s comfortable in its own identity.
Locals prefer beer over wine, there is a strange mixture of architecture, and the city boasts friendly locals. (Something France isn’t famous for)
While Lille has stayed off most tourists radar, people are starting to noticing it. In fact, Lille’s won the title named as the world design capital 2020 because of the exceptional statues and buildings around the city.
The best things to do in Lille France?
The Place De Charles De Gaulle ( or Grand Palace) is a major attraction. Named after the famed French president and general this palace sits right in the center square of the city. This area’s a great place to hang out with a lot of cafes, bars, restaurants, and people-watching opportunities around the palace.
For museum lovers, there’s the Palais des Beaux-Artss de Lille. An impressive gallery with art from all different eras.
Old Lille (or Vieux Lille) is a fantastic place to wander with stony streets, and narrow alleys. The bright houses are built in the odd flemish style and are an excellent spot for a photograph.
There’s also the 19-century built Lille Cathedral. Which also houses another excellent art collection.
If you’re lucky enough to travel to Lille during the first weekend in September, you can visit the largest open-air market in Europe. Over 100 Kilometers of the city’s streets turn into an outdoor market. The Braderie de Lille is a tradition that has been going on since the 12th century.
Day trippers looking for something more off the beaten path than Versailles or Provins should check out Lille. The downside: You’re leaving the big city, and heading to a slightly smaller one. (Lille is the 4th largest city in France.) So if your goal is to venture into the countryside, then this isn’t the day trip from Paris for you.