A City in Its Prime

Lille is en route to becoming one of France’s most exciting destinations. Historically, this former industrial centre has been overlooked by visitors from abroad, but thanks to a thriving student population and having been crowned European Capital of Culture in 2004, that’s starting to change. Over the last decade, Lille has been transformed by an uptick in chic coffee shops, fashion-forward boutiques and laid-back wine bars. Add to that a roster of world-class museums like the cavernous Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille, and it’s easy to see why Lille has captivated the attention of travellers in the know.

In further contrast to Lille’s industrial heritage, the scenic Old Town features a stunning cathedral and many beautiful examples of French/​Flemish architecture. These charming streets also host the annual Christmas market, which sees this centuries-old neighbourhood come alive with bustling market stalls, twinkling lights and holiday spirit.

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