Located just a quick trip from the Belgian border, the northern city of Lille is known for its distinctive blend of French and Flemish cultures. One day in town is enough time to explore Vieux Lille (the city’s historical center), visit its key cultural landmarks, and discover the city’s culinary bounty. Here’s the perfect itinerary.
Discover’s Lille’s architectural beauty and historical highlights when you start your day with an introductory city tour. If time is of the essence, a private driving tour offers a speedy way to see more of the city in less time. Bicycle and walking tours of the atmospheric old town, Vieux Lille, also help you spot key landmarks while soaking up the ambiance. Whichever itinerary you choose, you can look forward to encountering top attractions such as the Grand Place (the city’s scenic, main public square), city hall (and its lofty belfry), and the Palais Rihour.
After you’ve found your feet in Lille, swing by a bistro for a restorative meal before continuing the sightseeing. Dedicate your afternoon to discovering one of the city’s major landmarks up close. Venture into the Lille Museum of Fine Arts (Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille), among the largest art museums in France, or visit Charles de Gaulle’s Birthplace and Museum. Alternatively, ascend to Lille City Hall’s belfry for panoramic city views—grab a pair of binoculars to aid your sightseeing.
End your Lille explorations on a decadent note when you indulge in the city’s top culinary offerings. Lille has a number of Michelin-starred eateries to its name, including elegant haunts such as La Table, Val d’Auge, and Nature. Alternatively, for a hands-on experience, sign up for an evening cooking class to learn how to make local specialties yourself. And don’t forget to try a beer or two before day’s end: Given its proximity to Belgium, Lille is a city that takes its suds seriously.