The city of Lille is famed for many things. And It might not surprise you that what the city offers are extraordinarily brilliant, hence, their reputation. Lille is France’s fourth-largest urban city. It houses about two UNESCO World Heritage Sites much to the pleasure of locals and tourists. The city is particularly rich in Flemish culture, as visitors will see in its structures and architecture.
>>Also Read: Lille Travel Guide
Here Are A Few Things Lille is Known For:
Also referred to as the Old Lille, the Vieux Lille is the central spot that displays the city’s lush history and heritage. With beautiful baroque architecture that heavily marks the city; be prepared to see upscale houses gorgeously restored as they stroll on attractive cobblestone streets. To maximize your time out, you can employ the services of walking tour operators. The tours will be interactive and educative as you see high establishments like the local shops, parish, and museums.
Marché De Wazemmes
Weekends in Lille are the best, especially if you have much time to spare. Spend Sunday mornings at the active Marché de Wazemmes to discover hundreds of ships with many of local produce on display.
You will find a range of items from food, antiques, ingredients, exotic products, to fabric. Thousands of people from different parts of the country come to the Wazemmes every weekend for its spectacular variety and lively ambiance.
When you visit, you will hear pleasant accordion tunes serenading the air from the background. A visit to the Marché De Wazemmes is the Lillois way to spend the weekend.
Town Hall (Belfry)
The Town Hall is one of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The site is splendid for many reasons, but its most captivating feature is the 104-m height. Incredibly exciting, seeing Lille from the top of Belfry, is worth multiple visits. Visitors will also see imposing Flemish architecture in great angles. They will also give the chance to see the adorable city from an entirely refreshing perspective.
The city’s cathedral is among its famous landmarks. It is a star-shaped military base that has been standing since the 1500s. The Lille Citadel remains a working fortress to the surprise of many. Hence, the prohibition of visitors from entering. But visitors can also check out the picturesque walls, bridges, and gates that ring the area. These make up a spectacular backdrop for a nice picture. Fun fact: the citadel was built in just three years, and it was designed by Vauban, the popular military engineer.
Lille Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art (LaM)
The city also has provisions for art lovers, and part of that is the Lille Museum of Contemporary Art (LaM). LaM boasts of an impressive collection of contemporary art from a wide range of artists. On display are the works of some popular artists like Joan Miró, Georges Braque, Picasso, and many more.
Visitors will see the works of self-taught artists too, like Henry Darger and Carlo Zinelli, the schizophrenic artist. The museum excites with its graffiti arts and fine arts delicately showcased inside and at the exterior of the building. Visitors will discover sculptures, paintings, and manuscripts that depict the city’s credentials as a destination for unique arts.
La Vieille Bourse
La Vieille Bourse is the city’s stock exchange destination built in the mid-1700s. The building still has its allure from then thanks to the brilliance of Julien Destrée, the popular architect. Today, activities and events are regularly held in La Vieille Bourse. When you visit, you will see many locals as they hang out, play chess, and step into a flower shop and the bookstore. Sometimes, this place transforms into a theatre with a display of dance performances.
Palais des Beaux-Arts
The Palais des Beaux-Arts is part of Lille’s landmarks. Visitors can spend their entire day or half-day discovering this big city museum designated for fine arts, modern art, and antiques. They can also appreciate a large array of collections from works made in the 15h-century to the 20th-century.
From the manuscripts, visitors can see the works of famous artists like Van Gogh, Picasso, Gustave Courbet, Monet, and much more. The museum also has a spectacularly detailed outside that makes a nice backdrop for great pictures. After this art encounter, visitors can relax at the small café inside.
La Piscine Museum
La Piscine Museum is another popular landmark in Lille. The museum houses distinct textile art collected from some of the city’s coolest textile companies. These catalogs can be traced back to the 1700s and are delicately placed in a creative spot. There are sculptures that circle the museum, and the highlight of the museum, the indoor pool, amplifies its glory. La Piscine Museum is also an ideal destination to understand more about the city and its heritage.
Nausicaá is the continent’s biggest aquarium, and visitors can watch a splendid sea lion show at the venue. It is home to about 58,000 animals and features exhibitions titled ‘Mankind and Shores’ and ‘Journey on the High Seas’. Given the thrill and frills of visiting here, a visit to Nausicaá is one of the perfect things to do while in Lille. If you are traveling with your family, it is an ideal place to have fun. The pretty displays of marine life from sea lions to jellyfish will blow their minds.
The Grand Place is at the city’s major square where locals often meet. On the active streets, visitors will be hemmed between tall buildings that beautify traditional Flemish architecture. In the region, visitors will also discover significant historic sites like the performing arts theater Theatre du Nord and the Voix du Nord. Visit the different cafes at the Grand Place as they admire the interesting structures and old charm. Meander around the area and be allured by Lille.
Lille has retained its historical position as a trade center with its markets, brand names, boutiques, and markets. But it is widely known for its lively markets. Once in every year, Lille transforms into a massive flea market for the Braderie de Lille and every week food shops filled with scrumptious delicacies in the local markets.
For book lovers, they gather at the Old Stock Exchange to get the best deals on their favorite books. And when you visit during the festive period, the Christmas market is massive and one of the most popular in the entire country.
The native cheese of northern France is the tasty Maroilles, popular for its whiffiness, and the Lillois variant is even more brilliant. Also referred to as the Gris de Lille, the Vieux-Lille cheese is a great taste that makes for an engaging discussion with your family and friends at home. As a pro tip, do not attempt to pack the cheese into your luggage. The cheese is among the stinkest French cheese, and that is something given the over 400 varieties in the country.
What is Lille Famous For – Summary
If you are looking for things to do in Lille, there are many options to choose from. The city is famous for lots of things, but we have featured a few of them. From rich museums, tasty cheeses, incredible architecture, and thrilling landmarks, Lille is the place to be and is truly the gem of northern France.