Top things to do

Top Choice Pastries in Lille

Meert

Famed for its gaufres (waffles) made with Madagascar vanilla, Meert has served kings, viceroys and generals since 1761. The sumptuous chocolate shop's coffered ceiling, painted wooden panels, wrought-iron balcony an…
Gallery in Lille

Palais des Beaux Arts

Lille's illustrious Fine Arts Museum displays a truly first-rate collection of 15th- to 20th-century paintings, including works by Rubens, Van Dyck and Manet. Exquisite porcelain and faience (pottery), much of it of…
Gallery in Lille

La Piscine Musée d'Art et d'Industrie

If Paris can turn an outmoded train station into a world-class museum (the Musée d'Orsay), why not transform an art-deco municipal swimming pool (built 1927–32) – an architectural masterpiece inspired by a combinati…
Bar in Lille

L'Illustration Café

Adorned with art-nouveau woodwork and changing exhibits by local painters, this laid-back bar attracts artists, musicians, budding intellectuals and teachers in the mood to read, exchange weighty ideas or just shoot…
Gallery in Lille

Musée d'Art Moderne, d'Art Contemporain et d'Art Brut – LaM

Colourful, playful and just plain weird works of modern and contemporary art by masters such as Braque, Calder, Léger, Miró, Modigliani and Picasso are the big draw at this renowned museum and sculpture park in the …
Historic Building in Lille

Vieille Bourse

Ornamented with caryatids and cornucopia, this Flemish Renaissance extravaganza was built in 1653. It consists of 24 separate houses set around a richly ornamented interior courtyard that hosts a used-book market an…
Area in Lille

Wazemmes

For an authentic taste of grass-roots Lille, head to the ethnically mixed, family-friendly quartier populaire (working-class quarter) of Wazemmes, 1.7km southwest of place du Général de Gaulle, where old-school prol…
Market in Lille

Braderie de Lille

On the first weekend in September, Lille's entire city centre – 200km of footpaths – is transformed into the Braderie de Lille, billed as the world's largest flea market. It runs nonstop – yes, all night long – from…
Club in Lille

Le Network

Central Lille's hottest discotheque has two dance floors, three bars, plenty of flashing lights and space for 700 revellers. On most nights the music is three-quarters house and electronic and a quarter R&B. The…
Flemish in Lille

Le Bistrot Lillois

Dishes both Flemish and French are served here under hanging hops. The highlight of the menu is os à moëlle (marrow bone); Flemish dishes worth trying include carbonade flamande (braised beef slow-cooked with beer, …