LILLE – www.lilletourism.com
The people of Lille are proud of their reputation for friendliness. That doubling down on something good is common to many things in this fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country. The historic old town is a gorgeous showcase of French and Flemish architecture. The local fine arts museum has the second largest collection of art in the country. As a major international crossroads, Lille was designated the European Capital of Culture in 2004. Even the annual flea market is the largest in Europe. All of that wrapped in a rich culinary scene that includes great local craft beers.
With over 100,000 students – many of them from abroad – Lille is France’s third largest university complex.
As France’s fourth largest metropolitan area, Lille is an international crossroads, a dynamic financial center and city notable for its welcoming living environment, well-preserved heritage and active artistic and cultural life. In 2004, Lille was designated the European Capital of Culture.
Vieux Lille: a showcase of the city's historic French and Flemish architecture, including the Notre-Dame de la Treille cathedral
Musée du Palais des Beaux-Arts: home to France's second largest art collection
carbonnade flamande: small beef chunks stewed in beer and often sprinkled with gingerbread
beer: this is the center of French beer country, so local micro-breweries have plenty of typically strong-flavored beers with high alcohol content
Nicolas Hulot: journalist, ecologist, writer and the current Minister of Ecology
Also in the Area
Musée Louvre-Lens: objects from the Louvre collections are lent, on a medium- or long-term basis, to this art museum
Musée de la Bataille de Fromelles: a moving journey in the footsteps of real soldiers who fought in World War I
Citadelle d’Arras: a 17th-century fort built by Vauban in the town of Arras, which was never directly involved in any heavy fighting
Access from Paris
by road: about 2 h 25 min (140 miles) via the A1 autoroute du Nord
by train: about 1 h by TGV from the Gare du Nord, and about 50 min by direct TGV from Paris CDG airport
For more about what to see and do in and around Lille, including on the “Lose your bearings in architecture” itinerary, visit www.topfrenchcitybreaks.com