Lille is a colourful city, with many old buildings representing a perfect expression of Flemish architecture, and a picturesque setting of Medieval houses, cobbled streets, and great cuisine. In addition, it has some important museums such as Palais des Beaux-Arts and LaM. The Old Town is perfect for a stroll.
Boggi Milano has a store in Lille:
1, rue de Chats Bossus, 59800 Lille.
Tel. +33 (0)3 28 52 81 44
Open Monday-Saturday, 10am-7pm
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1. Grande Place
Grande Place will always be part of any visit, with its shops, cafés and restaurants. It’s worth taking a look at the bookshop Librairie Furet du Nord (15 Place du General de Gaulle, open Monday-Saturday 9.30am-7.30pm), for its excellent range of books, publications, DVDs and gifts, and for the views that it offers – it has 8 floors.
2. Vieille Bourse
The Old Stock Exchange is Lille’s finest building, dating to the mid-17th century and arranged around a central courtyard. This is the location for a second-hand book market, and it is a popular location for chess players.
Place du Général de Gaulle, 59000 Lille
3. Old Lille
The Old Town is beautifully restored, offering a flamboyant and colourful setting based primarily on 17th architecture in brick and stone. There is a 2-hour guided tour of Old Lille in English every Saturday at 10.15am. Book ahead at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone +33 (0)359 579 400.
4. Lille Christmas Market
90 chalets on Place Rihour present all sorts of gift ideas, Nativity figurines, Christmas decorations and culinary specialities, such as gingerbread and milled wine. Open every day from 23 November to 30 December 2018, from 11am to 8pm, closed on 25 December.
5. Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille
Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille is considered the second most important museum in France, after the Louvre, due to the range and size of its collection. Artists represented include Rubens, Van Dyck, Goya, Delacroix, David, Puvis de Chavannes, Rodin, Raphael and more. In addition, 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of Henri Matisse’s birth, and Lille is celebrating with an exhibition at Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille, featuring an album of 20 prints titled Jazz. Matisse himself donated the works to the museum in 1947. The museum is open every day except Tuesday, 10am-6pm, Mondays 2pm-6pm.
Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille
Place de la République
6. Town Hall
The Town Hall was built from 1924 to 1932 by architect Emile Dubuisson, inspired by traditional Flemish buildings. The belfry is 104 metres high, a Unesco World Heritage site, and it is open for visits every day, 10am-1pm, 2pm-5.30pm (closed 1 January, 1 May and 25 December). After the first 100 steps, you can choose whether to carry on by lift or by stairs, right up to the top, where you can enjoy the spectacular views.
Beffroi de l’Hôtel de Ville
Rue Roger Salengro
7. La Piscine-Musée d’Art et d’Industrie
With a splendid location, the Art Déco swimming baths designed by Albert Baert and completed in 1932, this museum has collections of drawings, textiles, ceramics, and 19th and 20th-century paintings and sculpture. There is a restaurant/café. Open from Tuesday to Thursday, 11am-6pm, Friday 11am-8pm, Saturday and Sunday 1pm-6pm. It is sited outside Lille, in the town Roubaix, but reachable with the Metro.
La Piscine Museum of Art and Industry
23 rue de l’Espérance
8. Villa Cavrois
This splendid modernist villa was designed and built from 1929 to 1932 by Robert Mallet-Stevens and built for textile industrialist Paul Cavrois. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-6pm, closed on Mondays. The audioguide provides a lot of information on the building and its restoration.
60 avenue du Président Kennedy
9. LaM Museum
LaM is an art museum set at the heart of a verdant green sculpture park, with 7,000 works from the 20th and 21st centuries. Picasso, Modigliani, Klee, and many more artists.
1 allée du Musée
59650 Villeneuve D’Ascq
10.The Somme battlefields
Lille is a convenient base from which to explore the World War I battlefields, particularly in this 100th anniversary period. You need a car. Highlights include the Somme 1916 Museum in Albert, with its reconstruction of trenches set in Medieval tunnels under the main square; the Historial de la Grande Guerre in Péronne; the Newfoundland Caribou Memorial at Beaumont-Hamel, with its sections of the original trenches; and the enormous Lochnagar mine crater at La Boisselle, dating to the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July, 7.28am.
Musée Somme 1916, Rue Anicet Godin, 80300 Albert
Historial de la Grande Guerre, Chateau de Peonne, 8020 Peronne
Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Caribou Memorial, rue de l’Église, 80300 Beaumont-Hamel
Lochnagar Crater, Route de la Grande Mine, 80300 Ovillers-la-Boisselle