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Lille Travel Guide, France

Lille, France - Overview

Lille is a charming city north of France and this is the principal city of the greater Lille Metropole. The Lille Metropole on the other hand is considered as the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country, just trailing the metropolitan areas of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. As of 2005, the city of Lille had a population of 226,800 and that includes the population of Lomme. If the greater Lille Metropole is to be considered, the greater metropolitan area will have a population of 1,091,438.

The very first inhabitants of the city were the Gauls like the Menapians and the Morins. Joining them were the Atrebatesa and the Nervians and they were followed by the Germanic people, the Saxons and the Frisians and later on the Franks.

Lille Milestones

   Legend has it that the foundation of the city can be traced to the year 640. But if the archives are to be checked, the name of the city first emerged by the year 1066. The name Lille traces its roots to the term insula or l’Isla and a reference to the fact that the area was at one time marshy.

   Prior to the 1960s and the 1970s, the city of Lille was known as an important city for various industries like coal, mining and textiles. But during the 1970s, these industries fell and the city of Lille transformed into a city that supported the service sector.

   The city again made news in 1983 when the VAL was opened in the city. This was the world’s first automated mode of transport and after a decade the high-speed TGV was opened and the opening of the train line effectively connected Paris and Lille by an hour.

  Just recently, the city added another feather to its cap by becoming the European Capital of Culture. The citation was made in 2004.

Visitors and tourists in Lille can spend some of their time shopping and the city’s main commercial shopping street is the Rue de Bethume. Tourists can find fun in the Euralille, a mall close to Lille-Europe station. Here visitors can find the Carrefour Hypermarket. This is a nice store for wines and spirits. For those looking for stylish purchases and items, then the smaller lanes of the Vieux Lille should be visited. Lovers of fashion can go to Rue de la Grande-Chaussee and the Rue Esquermoise can be the place to be for inspiring interior design. Flea markets are regular fixtures in the city and usually these markets are hosted at the Wazemmes mostly on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings.

The cuisine and the food in the city are known for their strong Flemish influences. Beer is more preferred here than wine.

The city of Lille gets most of its cultural strength from its artists and the residents of the city, which effectively transformed the city of Lille in a span of one year.

   
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Read our members' reviews about Lille


  • danpopWhat you should see in Lille
    review by danpop posted more then 30 days ago
    Here are some things you shouldn't miss in Lille: - The City Center (it’s marvelous) - La Citadelle - Forum des Sciences - EuraLille - Palais de Beaux Arts (The second most important Museum in France after Louvre) - Marche de Wazemmes - La Fabrik (a new, huge and really cool...
  • danpopMy travel back to Lille
    review by danpop posted more then 30 days ago
    First of all I want to say this: I consider Lille one of the most extraordinary places I’ve been too and returning there is somewhere like a blessing. 6:00 AM, Oradea, Romania. I’m waking up, thinking every 2 minutes: Am I forgetting something? The airline code, checked. The minibus...
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Read our members' travel tips about Lille


  • danpopLille's Citadel
    travel tip by danpop posted more then 30 days ago
    Lille's Citadel is a pentagonal shape wall surrounded by a huge park, and a walkway where I saw numerous persons taking the regular jogging. The Citadel was built around 1668, and nowadays it still houses French Military and its...
  • danpopOpening Hours to Palais des Beaux Arts
    travel tip by danpop posted more then 30 days ago
    Palais des Beaux Arts is opened on Monday from 2 pm to 6 PM (a strange thing as many other museums are closed on Monday). Palais des Beaux-Arts is closed on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday it's opened...
  • danpopSome Lille taxi phone numbers
    travel tip by danpop posted more then 30 days ago
    Finding a taxi in Lille can a be a rather stiff job, as there are not at every street corner as one would expect. You can find a lot next to the train stations (Gare Lille Flandre and Gare Lille Europe), a few next to bigger hotels, and...
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Lille City Ratings

  • Rating88%
    City Rank94
     
  • History & Culture: rated for 80%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 90%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 90%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 90%
  • Food: rated for 90%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 80%
  • Shopping: rated for 90%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 100%
  • Must visit this place: rated for 85%
  
 

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