Lille

Lille

Sail Dover-Dunkirk and Lille is 50 mins / 50 miles from Dunkirk
Sail Dover-Calais and Lille is 1 hr 10 mins / 70 miles from Calais
Sail Newcastle-Amsterdam and Lille is 3 hr / 190 miles from IJmuiden

Lille, the city of surprises.

Known as France’s best-kept secret, Lille is northern France’s largest city by far and an extremely popular tourist destination. First time visitors are often surprised and delighted by the breathtaking architecture, the quaint winding streets of the old quarter and the all-round vibrancy and energy of the city. With so much going on all year round no wonder it’s enjoyed by so many.

Explore wild gardens and wild animals at the Zoo.

The city boasts an abundance of beautiful parks and gardens to explore and admire at your leisure. There’s the Botanical Gardens and Greenhouse, The Vauban Garden and the most popular of them all, the Citadel Park and Zoo which is free and houses around 400 animals from monkeys, zebras and panthers to rare and exotic birds.

Enjoy the festive season - French style.

There’s nowhere quite like Lille to get into the festive spirit in the run up to Christmas. During the month long Christmas Market - the March De Noel is from Nov 20 to Dec 30 on Place Rihour which gets completely taken over by stalls selling festive food, arts and crafts. The whole place is decked out in beautiful lights and decorations while Christmas carols fill the air.

The kids will love it too, there are pony rides, ice sculpting and musical performances - they can even have their photos taken with Father Christmas.

Close by on the Grand Palace, you’ll find an 18 metre high Christmas Tree and a 50 metre Ferris wheel – the top is a great vantage point to see the whole city sparkling in festive glory.

Festivals, markets and events. Lille is always eventful.

Any time of year is an eventful time to visit Lille - the street parties, festivals and celebrations go on throughout the year. There are weekly weekend markets where you can sample local cheeses, beers and waffles. And during the summer you can join in the displays of Argentinean tango around Vieille Bourse that have now become a nightly tradition. There’s always something happening in this vibrant city of culture.

The European Capital of culture. It’s official.

As you would expect from a city crowned European Capital of Culture 2004, Lille is blessed with more than its fair share of museums, galleries, cathedrals, churches, historic buildings and monuments.

And as most galleries and museums have an extensive calendar of exhibitions and events throughout the year whenever you choose to visit you’ll discover something new and different.

Food entertainment and nightlife.

The French love their food and so does everyone else. From patisseries to budget and mid-ranged restaurants you’ll be well served.

Be prepared to stay up late in Lille. The city has the highest percentage of young people in France so there is a huge choice of bars, clubs and cabaret shows to suit night owls both young and old.

For more details of what Lille has to offer visit: www.lilletourism.com