See the French City of Lille with TourFrance.com
Visit the city of Lillr, France and enjoy its lively atmosphere and fun style. At TourFrance.com you can book flights to Lille as well as hotels and cars and plan your trip from A to Z online.
In close proximity with the French border with Belgium, sits the energetic city of Lille. It is a huge industrialized city with a large textile industry, and yet its huge student population manages to keep it young, lively and full of entertainments.
Most of the sites and activities Lille has to offer are in the city centre. The best way to get around this area is by foot, and distances easily allow it. Stop at the main square, also called the "Grand'place". It has some interesting historic buildings and a beautiful fountain with the statue of a goddess.
The old quarter of the city, "Vieux Lille" offers a snick insight of the city's character. The peaceful stone alleys stand in fierce contras to the selection of designer shops and the fancy, deluxe restaurants and you can really get a feel of the city simply by walking these streets. Also, no French city can afford not to have at least one well-known cathedral, and in Lille the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Treille takes this role. This Roman Catholic basilica and cathedral is a national monument of France and is worth a visit.
Even if you are not great opera lovers, try to visit the Opera at the evening time. Together with the Chamber of Commerce which is located right next to it, this old building is very impressive, especially when lit against the night's sky.
Every city has its museums, but Lille, being a city of education, has a few that will interest even tourists who are tires of paintings and sculptures. The huge and magnificent Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille is the biggest Museum in France outside of the city of Paris. It was built at the request of Napoleon I at the beginning of the 19th century which makes it in to the oldest museum in the country. Apart from the Louvre, it is the biggest collection of art in France including works by established masters such as Rembrandt, Raphael, Goya, Donatello, Rubens, Van Dyck, Jean-Baptiste Chardin, Rodin and many others.
If you are lucky enough to be in the city at fall, don't miss the fantastic September fair. The city does get hectic around this time, but seeing the mixture of acrobats and performers with the vendors selling art and antiques, is worth the inconvenience. For the locals this is the time to party and drink heavily, so be prepared for some noisy good-times.
The most crowded day at Marche de Wazemmes, the city's open market, is most certainly Sunday. But even if you visit it on Thursday or Tuesday - the other two days of the week n which it is opened, you will definitely won't find yourself there alone. Here you can get anything - from delicious fresh tangerines to shoes, books and toys. Many small pubs and bistros can be found around the market place and offer a great chance to have a glass of cool beer with some local snacks.
The small botanical garden with the long name Jardin botanique de la Faculte de Pharmacie was established in 1970 and contains hundreds of species of plants, arranged in plots according to botanical family, medical use or toxicity and ecology. There's also The Jardin des Plantes de Lille, which is a bigger botanical garden established in 1948 and is designed as a leisure park and includes many fin activities and the city's astronomical observatory. There is even a third garden - the Jardin botanique Nicolas Boulay. Admission to all three botanical gardens is free of charge and the offer many learning experiences and fascinating info.
For more information regarding this French city's activities and tourist attractions, please refer to Lilletourism.com, which offers more detailed assistance.