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Overview

Lille, the gateway to Northern France

Lille, the gateway to Northern France

Lille is an artistic and historic city located in Northern France. It is France’s 4th largest metropolitan area with about 1.1 million inhabitants and about 100,000 students. In 2004, it was designated as the European Capital of Culture. Lille is at the crossroad of international railway network of Europe with easy access to Belgium and the UK. The city has a long-standing festive tradition. The famous Braderie in September is the main event for all shopping addicts. Lille is also regarded as the European capital of online retail with main brands such as La Redoute, Les 3 Suisses, Camaïeu, Castorama and Décathlon having stores in the city.

About France


Start by visiting the Vieux Lille (old town), which is the most picturesque district of the city. It extends north from the Grand Place and included two different areas, each with distinctive architecture: the historic Flemish old town and the royal district. Between the Grand Place and the Notre-Dame de la Treille cathedral, the historic Flemish old town is home to various shops, art galleries, cafes and restaurants. Some of the landmarks which are not to be missed include the Palais Rihour, the only architectural reminder of the period during which the dukes of Burgundy ruled Lille and the Rue Rihour which is located between the Place Rihour and the Grand Place. Rue Rihour will allow you to follow the evolution in Lille’s architecture. Don’t miss the Grand Place, which has been renamed Place du Général de Gaulle, in tribute to Charles de Gaulle who was born in Lille in 1890. The Grand Place is the habitual meeting place and venue for festivities. At the slightest hint of sunshine, the restaurant and café terraces are literally taken by storm. Have a look at the Vieille Bourse (old stock exchange), one of the finest monument in the city.

Have a taste of local cuisines such as carbonnade flamande (small chunks of beef stewed in beer), waterzoï (poultry or fish in a creamy sauce) and potjevleesch (small potted meat). Don’t miss the famous Maroilles cheese.

The main event for shopping is in September during the famous Braderie de Lille. The Braderie turns the city into a huge pedestrian zone where thousands of traders, antique dealers and second-hand sellers continue a tradition which is both commercial and festive! Equally the shops offers interesting deals for all shopping addicts.


Office de tourisme de Lille
Place Rihour, 59002 Lille.
Tel: +33 (0)3 59 57 94 00

The city’s tourist office has a helpful personnel, insider information and tips as well as handy maps and brochures. The city’s tourist office also arranges tours and excursions and is a focal point for local accommodation.

Train station(s)

Trains are a convenient way of reaching many towns and cities throughout Europe. The majority of cities in Europe have a minimum of one train station, while larger, more populated cities have two or more stations. Train stations, in general, are located in the heart of the city. Review the map below to get an idea of where the train station(s) in Lille can be found.

While you're there

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From our travel community

Customer reviews

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    TGV Travel in France |
    "I was pleasantly surprised to find how easy it was to move around France using their TGV network. The trains were fast and very clean, with storage for luggage both overhead and at the end of the carriage for bags too large to go up. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Great ride on TGV |
    "This trip was planned to replace a drive to CDG Paris Airport and it turned out to be a wonderful experience. In just on 1 hour we went from Lille to CDG and the drop off point was so convenient to our terminal with an easy walk with all our bags. Would highly recommend to other travellers and look forward to using TGV again. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    TGV review |
    "We booked for a first class ticket and it was very comfortable. Tip - if you are travelling with lots of luggage, make sure you book on a single level TGV or book on the downstairs level on a double decker TGV. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Lille to Paris |
    "A very comfortable trip and most enjoyable. We had problem finding the First Class carriage and even when we got off there appeared to be no Carriage 2. We sat in the wrong seat in Second Class but it did not seem to matter. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    First Eurostar trip |
    "I had a very smooth trip once on board. The train left and arrived on time. Seats were comfortable. I didn't quite understand what was involved in checking in at St Pancras. Luckily I left any enough time to get through security and passport control. However, I had arrived quite early as it turned out and my ticket was checked by the staff at the entrance to the departure area. I then caused quite a hold up in my queue trying to scan my boarding ticket. It turned out I was trying to check in too early! My train wasn't open yet. I felt foolish and those behind got quite cranky. Perhaps a Beginners Guide to Departures" would be useful to print on ticket or in response to a suitable question at time of purchase. It would help others and avoid cranky passengers.. I am catching return train tomorrow so hopefully I will better at it this time! Cheers v "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    first trip |
    "this was my first experience of a public train trip in Europe, when the I don't know what I have got myself into was out of the way, it was easy and smooth and enjoyable. I had never booked anything on line before, but I managed it, and tickets and all information was received very soon afterwards. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    More efficient than a plane |
    "It certainly is quicker and easier to travel by train to France from London. No waiting at airports - dead time, easy to unload, no waiting for luggage. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Ticket |
    "We missed our train to Lille and then to Paris. Staff at Lille were very good and provided us with a replacement ticket to Paris. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Train to Airport |
    "Train from Lille Flanders on time and straight to CDG Airport Terminal 2 which is what we wanted. Very comfortable. Bathroom could have been cleaner. "

  • Great trip |
    "So quick, so easy - a must do. Enjoyed the trip very much. "

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