A Perfect Weekend in Lille: The Complete Guide
Lille is an ideal destination for a weekend in the North of France. Between culture, nature and gastronomy, the capital of Flanders welcomes you all year round for a stay with family or friends.
Useful information to visit Lille
How to get to Lille
Located in the Hauts-de-France region, close to two European capitals, Paris and Brussels, Lille is an easily accessible city. You can get there by plane from Paris, Brussels or even London, and also by TGV or by car.
The best time to visit Lille
There is always a good reason to visit Lille; here are some criteria to help you decide:
- According to the weather: Lille is not known for its excellent heat and beautiful climate, so we advise visiting Lille during the summer if you want to enjoy some sun. It will also be a good opportunity to spend some time at sea. Autumn is also delightful, especially September with its mild temperatures.
- For the biggest flea market in Europe: Every year, you can discover the Lille flea market on the first weekend of September for the opportunity to find great deals.
- For a magical Christmas: from the end of November to December, the Lille Christmas market and its big wheel take place. Stroll among the chalets while drinking your mulled wine.
- To attend festivals: many festivals take place throughout the year in Lille, with the opportunity to enjoy them while discovering the city.
- Places to visit in Lille
The Grand Place of Lille
This is the heart of the city! Particularly lively, the Grand Place is a symbolic place of Lille. You will see in the centre the column of the goddess, a commemorative monument lined by historical buildings with typical architecture of Northern France. The Voix du Nord building and the Théâtre du Nord are perfect examples.
Take the time to walk around this square. Then stop for a nice cold beer before the rest of the tour.
Strolling through the Vieux-Lille, you will discover cobbled streets, old streets and colourful houses. Here you are ready to visit the city’s historic district, typical of Lille.
Here are some of the most beautiful streets:
- Rue Esquermoise
- Rue du vieux-mur
- Rue de la Monnaie
- Rue de Gand to find many bars and restaurants.
In the heart of Vieux-Lille, we advise you to visit the Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille cathedral. This neo-gothic-style monument is exceptional. And if you like unusual places, you can see the most miniature house in Lille, yellow. It is located just behind the cathedral.
The belfry of Lille
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the belfry of Lille is an emblem of the city and the North. It is the ideal monument to have a 360 degrees view of the whole city and its surroundings. With 104 meters high, you will surely have the most beautiful view of Lille.
The Citadelle park
Nicknamed the green lung of Lille, go to Citadelle Park if you are looking for greenery. Surrounded by the banks of the Deules, this wooded park will offer you a natural interlude to the city’s heart. The Lille Zoo is also located within the park, which is ideal if you have children.
We love markets, which is why we wrote a unique article dedicated to the best markets in Amsterdam. It was, therefore, essential to suggest a market in Lille and not just any market: the Wazemmes market. It is one of the biggest markets in Europe! You can find everything there: flowers, antiques, local products, … . If you don’t want to miss this market, it takes place every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 7 am to 2 pm.
The free tour of Lille with interactive game
All the must-see places in Lille can be visited thanks to a digital city trail. Equipped with a smartphone, you will solve riddles while discovering the best spots in Lille. You will see the Palais des Beaux-Arts with friends or family, the Quai du Wault and much more.
Where to sleep in Lille
A luxury hotel in Lille
The Carlton is a 4-star hotel located in the city centre of Lille. Close to the Grand Place and Lille Flandres train station, it has all the amenities for a dream stay. The Carlton Hotel is ideal for a weekend getaway in Lille with its own restaurant, bar and fitness lounge.
Aparthotel in Lille
Aparthotel Adagio, located in the Vauban district, welcomes you to a dynamic area. With its 69 flats, you have the ideal location to visit the city while enjoying the calm of the apartments.
A hotel in the centre of Lille
De la Paix Hotel is a hotel ideally located to visit all the tourist attractions of Lille for a weekend. With its style combining French refinement and comfort, you won’t be disappointed with your stay.
What to bring back from Lille
After a weekend discovering a new city, we all want to bring back some souvenirs for our loved ones. So, here are the specialities of Lille to offer as gifts or to keep for yourself:
- Méert waffles: The traditional one is filled with vanilla sugar, but you can also choose a variation: speculoos, lemon, pistachios. You can buy them at the Méert pastry shop: a Lille institution not to be missed!
- Maroilles: Known as the cheese of the North, you can buy maroilles at the market. It is a thick cheese made from cow’s milk. The bravest will dip it in coffee.
- Lille’s craft beer: the Lille metropolis has its first beer route, which shows just how refreshing this drink is! Bring back a few beers from Celestin, an artisanal brewery in Lille.
So, are you tempted to discover Lille for a weekend?