5 Of The Best Must-See Sights In Lille

Lille, a city worth a visit.

The paved streets in Old Lille
The paved streets in Old Lille. Photo by Leonard Gorges on Unsplash

This may be an unknown fact to most people, but Lille is one of the most student-populated cities in France and for good reasons! With its numerous bars, restaurants, clubs, museums… Lille is the perfect city for any student. One of the main reasons of its attraction, is the international scene. Before Covid, Lille was the ideal destination for the English, and any resident of the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.) Here are top five sights you must see when visiting Lille.

1. Braderie, flea market in French.

Braderie de Lille, 59800 Lille, France

Mussels & fries. FACEBOOK Braderie de Lille
Mussels & fries. FACEBOOK Braderie de Lille

This French-renowned braderie is a must-do! This colorful flea market is the largest in France and attracts numerous people every year. It takes place during the first weekend of September, in the paved streets of Old Lille. The speciality of this weekend? Almost every restaurant in town serves mussels and fries. Imagine, sitting in the sun, laughing with your friends while enjoying a delicious seafood platter. Can you see it?

In one weekend, you can shop (for low prices,) party until your feet hurt, and have a great time.

2. The Vieille Bourse, old stock exchange in French.

Place Charles de Gaulle, 59000 Lille, France

vielle bourse
The old stock exchange in Lille. Image par jo vanel de Pixabay

You cannot miss this historic monument. Located in the middle of Place Charles de Gaulle, the old stock exchange is home to all kinds of merchants. You can buy posters, rare books, old newspapers…etc. If you are lucky, you will even be a bystander to a chess game or a tango class. This open-air building dates back to 1910 and is one of the most prestigious monuments in Lille. When you first step into it, you will be amazed at the golden details on the columns and the sculpted stone on the interior facades.

3. The Citadel Park.

Voie Piétonne du Bois de la Deûle, 59130 Lille, France

The citadel in Lille
The citadel in Lille. Image par DEZALB de Pixabay

Imagine Central Park but in Lille (not as glamourous.) This enormous park is situated right in the middle of the city surrounded by the Deule river. You can jog, pay a visit to the zoo, walk your dog, have a nice stroll, and even picnic. In the center of the park, lies a fort. Originally, the citadel was a military base built in 1667. Nowadays, you still cannot access the fort, however, you can see it. It is a very impressive monument due to its architecture, and natural preservation.

4. Charles de Gaulle’s childhood home.

9 Rue Princesse, 59000 Lille, France

Maison natale Charles de Gaulle
FACEBOOK Maison natale Charles de Gaulle

Charles de Gaulle – French hero, president, and symbol of the 5th Republic – grew up in Lille. You can find his home: 9 rue Princesse. This house was first opened to the public in 1983 and is a property of the Charles De Gaulle Foundation. According to the official website, more than 20,000 people came to visit the museum in 2019.

Home to family reunions, birthdays, and events; you can dive into this war hero’s childhood. This museum also hosts projections, demonstrations of famous fights, and even tours in historical costumes.

5. Le Musée la Piscine, the swimming pool museum in French.

23 Rue de l'Espérance, 59100 Roubaix, France

Museum La Piscine
The Museum La Piscine in Roubaix. Image par HekMek_real de Pixabay

Le Musée la Piscine – located in Roubaix, a little town on the outskirts of Lille – is one of a kind. This old pool (hence its name) was the work of the architect Albert Baert and is now transformed into an art museum. Today, the museum of Art and Industry is filled with every form of creativity, including: sculptures, paintings, drawings, and photographs. You will also discover that the museum hosts: conferences, classes from L’Ecole du Louvre (a prestigious art school in Paris,) a restaurant, as well as a tea salon.

Eve studied in Lille for three years.

Eve McGuardian


Eve was born and raised in NYC and later on, moved to Paris. She grew up in an international home and is fluent in both French and English. Every chance she gets, she travels; either to discover a new culture or as a volunteer in an organization. The most memorable cities she has been to are: Ischia, a little island off the coast of Naples for the people, Istanbul for the culture, and Paris for the architecture.

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