lille

Hello, lille

The title of European Capital of Culture awarded to Lille over a decade ago was not the height of its ability, but rather a humble beginning, for in the years to follow Lille has grown to become a cultural hub second to none in northern France – and, some would argue, even beyond. There is a strong Flemish flavour in Lille, which manifests itself literally, through Lillois cuisine, and figuratively, through the ornate buildings of the charming old town (Vieux Lille).

To Do & To See

Plenty of things to do and see

Old town Lille

Old Town

Start your stay in Lille by exploring the old part of town and wandering along Vieux-Lille's cobbled streets. Apart from fine examples of old Flemish architecture, the area contains a plethora of small boutiques and cosy cafes. Do not miss the charming little Place aux Oignons.

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Palais des Beaux Arts

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.

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La Piscine Museum

La Piscine Museum

The building of what once was an Art Deco swimming pool has now been turned into a fine/applied arts museum (La Piscine Musée d'Art et d'Industrie), classical sculptures and busts lining the filled-up pool in a bizarre yet curious presentation.

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People in gallery

Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art

The Lille suburb of Villeneuve-d'Ascq is worth the trip if only for its singular Modern Art Museum (Musée d'Art Moderne, d'Art Contemporain et d'Art Brut – LaM), which showcases works by celebrated modernists (such as Picasso and Modigliani, to name a couple), along with a noteworthy collection of outsider art.

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Citadel of Lille

Citadel of Lille

First built in the 17th century following the seizing of Lille by French forces, the Citadel is an impressive star-shaped fortress which now houses the French Rapid Reaction Corps. Guided tours of the Citadel are held monthly. The park area surrounding the fortress contains pleasant greenery and the Lille Zoo.

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Vieille Bourse

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.

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