Hello, lille

Over a decade ago, Lille was awarded the European Capital of Culture title, marking not its pinnacle but rather the start of its journey. In the years since, it has established itself as a premier cultural destination, rivalling any other in northern France and, according to some, beyond. Once a thriving commercial hub in French Flanders, Lille still exudes a strong Flemish character, both in its cuisine and the ornate buildings of its charming Old Town.

Best things to do in lille

Plenty of things to do and see

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Palais des Beaux Arts

Second only to Parisian Louvre in the calibre of its collection, Lille's Fine Arts Museum (Palais des Beaux Arts) contains works by assorted great masters, the likes of Rubens and Manet. The basement level holds archaeological finds and miniature representations of the region's 18th-century fortified settlements.

The Old Stock Exchange

The building of La Vieille Bourse, as it is known locally, consists of a couple dozen separate buildings and a beautiful courtyard containing a book flea market. It is a fine example of 17th century ornamental Flemish Renaissance.

Lille Zoo

Located only a short walk outside the old town, the Lille Zoo is a pleasant afternoon pastime for the whole family. Ticket prices are times lower than those at an average west European zoo, all animals are well looked after, and an impressive collection of species for a zoo of such compact size is represented.

Lille Cathedral

Finally completed only at the turn of the current century, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille bears striking dissimilarity to Gothic and Romanesque cathedrals across Europe - perhaps, due to its pronouncedly modern facade. The inside contains a crypt and sacred art museum.

Best things to do in lille

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