Europe Places Travel Guide -> Nord-Pas-de-Calais -> Lille, France

Main City Square: Grand Place Lille
Photo: Main City Square: Grand Place Lille

Lille, France

See the map showing Lille Nord Pas de Calais Map - Lille Weather.

Lille in the North of France is known for, amongst other things, great shopping and its historic city centre including the town square. As well, Charles De Gaulle was born here and there is a museum dedicated to him and his works.

Lille Places to Visit

Other museums in Lille include the Museum of Natural History (musée d’Histoire naturelle et de géologie) the Canonniers Museum and the Hospice Comtesse Museum, with regional paintings, tapestries, wood sculptures and fine porcelain examples.

Not far from the square is the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, one of the great art galleries of France.

Markets

The Wazemmes Market, open normally every day except mondays is one the largest markets in France. They often have live accordion music to entertain.

Other markets, such as the the upscale Concert Food Market and the smaller Sébastopol market in the city centre has fresh local produce, while the market in the historical courtyard of the Vieille Bourse (1652-1653) booksellers have books of all kinds.

Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille

This impressive art museum, the 2nd largest in France after the Louvre, has a wonderful collection of works by some of the greatest names in European art, including Rodin, Raphael, Tissot, Rembrandt, Goya, El Greco, Jean-Baptiste Chardin, Van Dyck, Toulouse-Lautrec and Delcroix. Sculptures, paintings and drawings are amongst its collections, as well as ceramics and other creative works. The building itself is a prime example of French architecture from the late 1800s.

Lille Surrounds

In the surrounds of Lille, there is the Museum of Art and Industry, housed in a 1930s Art Déco bathhouse and the LaM, an art gallery museum of modern art from both the 20th and 21st Centuries.

The Lam collection includes drawings, paintings, sculptures, prints, illustrated books, photos as well as artist’s books and diverse electronic media.

Things to Do

Lille has a City Pass, with excellent discounts available, not only for The Fine Arts Museum, La Piscine -Art & Industry Museum in Roubaix and the LaM (modern art & art brut museum), but also for the City Tour and the house of de Gaulle.

The pass is available at the Office de Tourisme, it can also get you entry to other attractions in the Nord Pas de Calais, including the Musée des Moulins, Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires and the Domaine Napoléon. Other places to visit include the Matisse museum in Le Cateau-Cambresis and the le Musée de Flandre in Cassel.

With the pass, you get free transport on the regional trains to all these places on the regional trains.

Parks and Gardens

At the Citadelle Park (more than 120 acres) there is the Lille Zoo with more than 400 animals, native and exotic. The Vauban Garden is styled after typical English country gardens, complete with waterfall, century old trees and colourful flowerbeds.

Lille also has a Botanical Garden with a large greenhouse. This historical garden was established in 1596 with thousands of flowers, including spectacular rose and dalhlia collections. In the greenhouse, there are numerous plant and flower species from the tropics.

Other wonderful parks to visit include the Henri Matisse, the Jean-Baptiste Lebas and the Garden of Giants. At the Garden of Giants, there are over 45,000 types of plants, covering some 2 hectares of landscaped gardens, bush and forest.

Visiting Lille

Lille has two train stations, both are located in the city centre. From there, there are regular tram and subway services. Just 10kms from Lille metropolitan centre is the Lille-Lesquin International Airport.

For great touris information about Lille and its many attractions, one of your first visits should be to the Office de Tourisme et des Congrès de Lille, located at the Palais Rihour, Place Rihour in the city.

Weather for Lille: Lille Weather.

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Photo: Main City Square: Grand Place Lille

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Europe Places Travel Guide -> Nord-Pas-de-Calais -> Lille, France

Palais Des Beaux Arts (Lille Palace of Fine Arts)
Photo: Palais Des Beaux Arts (Lille Palace of Fine Arts)

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