Lille, capital of region and capital of culture, was found in the 11th Century. There are a lot of attractions in Lille to involve the traveler from shopping in ancient streets to visiting museums and monuments. The town takes pride in its colorful past, and enjoys its markets, carnivals, and everyday life on the streets.
Below are some attractions in Lille the travelers can enjoy.
Visitors can see many street markets especially famous 'braderies' when miles of streets are lined with second-hand stalls, flea markets.
On the first weekend each September the Grand' Place and the central streets are closed for a giant street market called the "Braderie". Anyone can set up a stall - they line 200 km of pavements throughout old Lille, selling paintings, antiques, ornaments, furniture and junk of every description.
Part of the celebrations is eating moules-frotes - mussels and chips.
Markets are not just the brightest attractions in Lille, they also give the opportunity to find fresh local produce from all surrounding areas.
As for eating out, there is a plenty of budget restaurants in Lille. The food is healthy and very cheap. A meal with a small bottle of wine can be had for around 15€. If you like hamburgers then there are McDonalds and Quick establishments near the centre.
For a few euros more you can sample some local dishes and beer. You can try Lillois specialties such as rabbit with prunes, beef in beer, oysters and smoked eels.
Among other attractions in Lille are numerous museums, old quarters, exhibitions and so on.
Lille is real capital of culture. Being in Lille you may visit Charles-de-Gaulles Museum and Birthplace where various items once belonging to him are exhibited.
The Fortifications built by Vauban from 1667 to 1670 are still occupied by the Army but can be viewed on guided tours.
The triangular Euralille can not be unnoticed by anybody. It is huge modern shopping complex in the space between Lille's two main railway stations. Euralille contains shops, banks and restaurants.
Following the tourist circuits of Lille you will discover the Old Stock Exchange (Bourse). You can also visit the Museum of the Hospice Comtesse founded in 1237 by Countess of Flanders and housing a Northern art and culture collection. There are more than one hundred masterpieces of Flemish and Dutch painting on display here. Close to the Hospice Comtesse, is the Cathedral Notre-Dame-de-la Treille.
Leaving the old quarter, there are numerous other churches, museums and buildings. Following the Rue Neuve and Rue de Bethune you find yourself in the big shopping area. This way leads to the Place de la République.
There is recently restored Musee des Beaux Arts (Fine Arts Museum) on the South. Built between 1889 and 1892 it is one of the finest art galleries in Europe and second in size only to the Louvre in France. It contains an important collection of paintings including Spanish paintings. It has galleries of Medieval and Renaissance paintings as well as a collection of sculptures, drawings and ceramics.
Traveling further by foot to Rue de Bruxelles you will arrive at the Natural History and Geological Museum where you can see high quality stuffed animals and live displays of insects and fish. Rocks, minerals and fossils from the coal mines illustrate the geological history of the region.
Leave the museum and see Porte de Paris erected between 1685 and 1692 by Louis XIV. The Beffroi, a 105 metre tower can be seen there. At the bottom of the tower are sculptures of Lille's Giants.