Should You Visit Lille?

Are you thinking about visiting Lille, France? Here's what you need to know before planning your trip.


Is Lille worth visiting?

Lille is worth visiting for one to three days so that you can explore everything that the city has to offer. We first visited in the fall of 2022 and have returned several times. During our time here, we fell in love with its beautiful squares and impressive architecture. Lille is a convenient stop off between Paris and Brussels. Many of the sights are in the lively old town, particularly around the main square - Place du Général de Gaulle. The area is also filled with local restaurants that serve up traditional dishes. Many visitors pass their time wandering the city, while shopping and dining on unique offerings.

Lille, France Lille, France

Reasons to Visit Lille

Food
The city has a cuisine all its own. There are many local dishes that are recommended with some of the most popular being les moules (mussels), the Welsh (a beer and cheddar cheese dish), and la carbonade flamande (beef stew). Most dishes are served with a hearty side of fries. The mussels are a favorite and are served with various toppings including local cheese. You can expect your very own pot of mussels with each order. Many of the restaurants around the main square (General de Gaulle Square) offer these local specialties. Outside the old town you'll also find plenty of international restaurants including Asian street food.

Shopping
The city is filled with shopping opportunities. Almost any store you could want is in or around the old town and the two main shopping centers in town are McArthur Glen and A l'Usine. Also by the train station is a shopping mall.

Nightlife
With its young population and countless places to hang out, there's rarely a dull night around town. The most popular nightlife areas are Rue Masséna and Rue Solférino. The city also offers plenty of theaters and shows that you can enjoy.

Historical Sights
The old town (Le Vieux Lille) is charming to explore. Many of the buildings are from the 16th or 17th centuries and feature very ornate architecture. The area is filled with shops and restaurants and it stays active throughout the day. This is an area where locals and tourists alike live and play.

Authenticity
Lille has an authentic vibe where you can experience local culture, cuisine, and activities without the large tourist crowds of other popular destinations.




Is Lille worth visiting in the Summer?

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during summer with average temperatures around 17°C (63°F).

The peak season for travel is summer in Lille, so expect to see more tourists than usual. This destination is somewhat popular with travelers, and in the high season it's busier than usual.

You'll also find it quite easy to get around on foot, because this is a very walkable city, especially in the nice weather. This is a great time of year to admire the historic sights and dance the night away.


Summer Weather in Lille
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
July 17°C (63°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)
August 18°C (64°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
September 16°C (60°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)

Is Lille worth visiting in the Autumn?

Autumn is the shoulder season for travel in Lille. This destination is somewhat busy with tourists, but in the shoulder season you'll find less crowds and better deals.

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during autumn with average temperatures around 12°C (54°F).

Soaking up that old town charm in the autumn is one of the favorite activities of visitors. The quaint scenery combined with the weather this time of year is quite nice. You'll find plenty to do during autumn, as you'll be able to admire the wonderful scenery and browse around the old town.


Autumn Weather in Lille
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
October 12°C (54°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
November 7°C (45°F) 75 mm (2.9 in)
December 5°C (40°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)

Is Lille worth visiting in the Winter?

This is the low season for travel in Lille. This destination is fairly touristy, but in the low season you can find fewer crowds and better deals.

The weather in Lille can be quite cold during winter, and averages around 3°C (38°F). But be prepared for much lower temperatures, too.

You'll like that you can take public transit easily in the winter, too. You can get around quickly while avoiding bad weather if needed. During this season it's fun to experience the cuisine, the historic old town, and the nightlife scene.


Winter Weather in Lille
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
January 3°C (38°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
February 3°C (38°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
March 6°C (42°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)

Is Lille worth visiting in the Spring?

The weather in Lille can be quite cold during spring, and averages around 8°C (47°F). But be prepared for much lower temperatures, too.

Spring is the shoulder season for travel in Lille, which means slightly less visitors than in the peak season. This destination is somewhat busy with tourists, but in the shoulder season you'll find less crowds and better deals.

The city this time of year is absolutely beautiful. Admire the gardens, parks, and fantastic architecture, too. Soaking up that old town charm in the spring is one of the favorite activities of visitors. The quaint scenery combined with the weather this time of year is quite nice. This is a great time of year to browse the shops, admire the wonderful scenery, and admire the historic sights. Also, you can experience the nightlife.


Spring Weather in Lille
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
April 8°C (47°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
May 12°C (54°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
June 15°C (59°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)

Things to Consider Before Visiting Lille

Museums: Lille isn't a place that's filled with a huge number of sights and attractions. The city offers an amazing atmosphere, with many of the most beautiful buildings near Place du Général de Gaulle (the main square). Top rated attractions in town include Palais des Beaux-Arts, Musée du Louvre-Lens, and Eglise Saint-Maurice.

Not As Family-Friendly
While there are some family activities, it's not as child-friendly as other destinations.

The Cost
Depending on your budget, schedule, and travel style, Lille might be an expensive destination for you. You can find out the travel costs for Lille here or see if Lille is expensive here.

Related

What is Lille most famous for?

Lille is most famous for its beautiful architecture, excellent shopping, and world class food scene. The city is very popular for its food and shopping. It's also known for nightlife and historical sights. It is often described as historic, under-rated, fascinating, cultural, culinary, and friendly.

What is the most famous sight in Lille?

The most popular sight in Lille is Grand Place (Place du Général de Gaulle). You can see prices and costs for this and other sights in Lille on our travel costs page.

Or, see tickets, activities, and tours for Grand Place (Place du Général de Gaulle) and other attractions here.

Lille

How touristy is Lille? Is it a popular city to visit?

Lille is more popular with local tourists than with international visitors. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)

  • From IEPER Private 4-hour Tour of the Ypres Battlefield: $269
  • In Flanders Fields and Passchendaele Half Day Morning Tour: $88
  • Private Lille Tour by Classic Convertible 2CV with Champagne: $66
  • From Ypres, The Christmas Truce to Passchendaele Ypres Based WW1 private tour: $270
  • In Flanders Fields and Passchendaele Grand Tour: $243
  • Privatized tour - 2hrs - De l'Isla à Euralille: $76
  • Adventure 1h with a 3-seater Buggy: $119
  • From Ypres 4hr Christmas Truce and Monster Mines of Messines PRIVATE Tour: $299

How long should I spend in Lille?

The ideal length of time for a trip to Lille is one to three days. Since Lille has a variety of activities such as dining and shopping, most people need this much time to see and do everything here.

If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Lille? and Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Lille?.

More Things to Do in Lille