Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
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Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
Best Places to Visit Near Lille
The capital of the region Hauts-de-France, Lille is a gorgeous city to travel to, with many things to do. Irresistible for its Flemish heritage, once you are done exploring Lille, you should take a day trip to one of the many amazing neighboring places.
Visit scenic towns in the Hauts-de-France region, discover World War battlefields and memorials, and stroll around European capitals for an exceptional getaway.
Where to go from Lille? Here’s the list of the best day trips from Lille, France.
Best Lille Day Trips
Lille Day Trips in a Nutshell
Best day trips from Lille by train: Roubaix, Disneyland Paris, Brussels.
Best day trips from Lille by car: Amiens, Bruges, WW1 Battlefields.
Just 16 km south of Lille is the lovely town of Roubaix, a former industrial city with an exceptional heritage.
Roubaix is a great Lille day trip as it is incredibly easy to reach by train and metro. The town’s main attraction is La Piscine (23 Rue de l’Espérance, closed on Mondays), the former public swimming pool converted into the Museum of Art and Industry. The venue is spectacular: a 1930s Art Deco building where the pool chamber and the other rooms have been conserved and turned into exhibition spaces.
After visiting the pool museum, make sure to stop by Le Grand Bassin (27 Rue de l’Espérance), a concept store managed by designer-makers with handmade products of quality craftsmanship and promoted artistic events.
Roubaix is a perfect destination for those interested in art and design.
The charming city of Amiens is 140 km south of Lille. Accessible by a one-hour drive, Amiens was an important textile town, and it is nicknamed the “Venice of the North” for its pretty canal district and floating gardens (called Hortillonages).
Unmissable is the majestic Cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Amiens, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Old Town in general. Another must-see is the Maison de Jules Verne, where the famous writer lived for 18 years.
One of the most beautiful cities near Lille, you should also spend time strolling around the historic neighborhood of Saint-Leu, hosting colorful half-timbered houses with trendy cafès and art galleries.
Don’t leave Amiens before exploring the Hortillonages, a 300-hectare floating garden perfect for leisurely walks and bike rides. Amiens is an excellent getaway for a relaxing day but also for those interested in art and history – Click here to buy your train tickets to Amiens
Arras is 55 km south of Lille, accessible by train, and is among the top places to visit near Lille.
A true jewel, Arras Old Town boasts picture-postcard Flemish-Baroque buildings, two beautiful squares (Grand’Place and Place des Héros), and a UNESCO-listed belfry (the 75-meter-high Beffroi d’Arras).
The area has a deep link with World War history, and while in Arras, you should visit the Les Boves network (4 Place des Héros). Used by soldiers during the Battle of Arras in 1917, these underground galleries that New Zealand tunnellers carved out can still be visited today.
A portion of the tunnels today hosts the Carrière Wellington, a fantastic museum that will introduce you to the Battle of Arras and the living conditions experienced by the soldiers.
Arras is a dreamland destination for history geeks and architecture lovers – Click here to buy your train tickets to Arras
4. Disneyland Paris
Located 244 km south of Lille, a mere 1-hour ride by TGV train, Disneyland Paris is definitely worth the trip.
Disneyland Paris needs no presentation. Made up of two different parks, Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios, this iconic destination is among the best Lille day trips for families.
Disneyland Park revolves around the central Sleeping Beauty Castle, the most colorful and detailed you will find in any Disney park. All around the park, you will assist at parades and meet-and-greet with the beloved Disney characters.
Walt Disney Studios Park boasts thrilling rides for the grown-ups and Pixar attractions suitable for the younger.
Disneyland Paris parks feature unique attractions that you won’t find anywhere else, including “Cars: Road Trip,” “Alice’s Curious Labyrinth,” and the newer “Avengers Assemble: Flight Force.”
A trip to Disneyland Paris is ideal for spending fun moments with the whole family. If you are flexible with your dates, check out this Disneyland Paris Crowd Calendar to avoid the busiest days – Click here to buy your tickets to Disneyland Paris
About 80 km north of Lille, Dunkerque (Dunkirk) is a beautiful coastal town and the closest beach for locals in Lille.
The city is the third-largest port in France, and one of its main attractions is Malo-les-Bains, a vast sandy beach that is perfect to visit all year round. The beach promenade is packed with restaurants and ice cream shops to enjoy a sea-view break.
Dunkirk is one of the best places to visit in Northern France, especially for history lovers. The city had a central role during WW2, where the Allied forces coordinated “Operation Dynamo.” You can discover all about it at the Musée Dunkerque 1940 (32 Rue des Chantiers, open daily), which also displays authentic weapons and uniforms.
The city has many other things to see, such as the Musée Portuaire, the Instagrammable blockhaus Réfléchir, and the Fort des Dunes.
Dunkerque makes for a fantastic beach day but is also an ideal getaway for war history enthusiasts. If you visit during the days around Mardi Gras, you will experience one of France’s most famous carnivals! – Click here to buy your train tickets to Dunkerque
TIP: This Dunkirk Operation Dynamo Battlefield Tour is a great-value tour that visits the WWII beaches, battlefields, and memorials of Dunkirk and includes hotel pickup, lunch, and entrance fees.
6. WW1 Battlefields
The French and Belgium Flanders areas were part of the Western Front and were the theater of fierce battles during the First World War in 1914-1918. The battle scars are still evident today, and the area features many war memorials and cemeteries.
Lille is perfectly situated for visiting these historic sites. The best way to explore the Great War sites is by joining one of the guided WW1 battlefield tours from Lille with an expert guide. Here are the most popular day tours from Lille that visit the WW1 battlefields:
- Australian Battlefields Tour in Fromelles and Flanders
- Canadian WW1 Vimy and Somme Battlefield Tour
- Australian and New Zealand Battlefield Tour in the Somme
- Fromelles and Ypres Day Tour
Touring the World War 1 battlefields is an excellent idea for history lovers.
France’s capital city, Paris, is located 220 km south of Lille, and it’s an easy 1-hour ride by TGV train.
The best day trip from Lille you can make, Paris is among the most popular destinations worldwide. Nicknamed the “City of Love” and the “City of Light,” Paris boasts timeless beauty and charm.
With iconic landmarks, first and foremost the Eiffel Tower, countless museums, beautiful architecture, and rich history, there are so many things to do in Paris that you will be spoilt for choice! – Check out this itinerary for one day in Paris
Also, stop in one of the many restaurants to savor the unmatched French cuisine. Paris is perfect for a romantic day trip, art and architecture lovers, and foodies – Click here to buy your train tickets to Paris
8. London (United Kingdom)
London is located 290 km north of Lille. Although the important distance between the two cities, it only takes 1 hr 30 min to reach London from Lille by Eurostar train – Click here to buy your train tickets to London
One of the top-visited cities in Europe, London is among the best places to visit near Lille. Just a train ride from it, London is packed with world-class museums, glamorous shopping venues, funky markets, edgy districts, great urban parks, and eateries serving cuisine from virtually everywhere.
Whether you prefer walking around or hopping on a double-decker bus, London will surprise you with its architecture. The city also boasts an interesting underground music scene and many festivals, so you surely won’t get bored.
You should visit London if you are into architecture, cultural sights and events, history, and shopping. To optimize your time in London, check out this Grand London bicycle tour that explores the best of the city on two wheels.
9. Bruges (Belgium)
The lovely medieval town of Bruges is only 80 km north of Lille. The journey from Lille to Bruges takes 1 hour by bus and 2 hours by train, with a change of trains in Belgium.
With picturesque cobblestone streets lined with Flemish-style buildings and canals weaving through the historic center, Bruges is a fantastic Lille day trip idea.
Walk around and discover the Basilique du Saint-Sang, famous for housing Christ’s bloody cloth, and the 15th-century Belfry Tower, from the top of which you can admire incredible views over the Gothic city. For a romantic and relaxing time, cruise the city canals.
Unmissable is a stop at Markt Square, which has held a weekly market since 1985. In wintertime, the square turns into a Christmas wonderland with dozens of festival stalls and a fantastic ice rink.
Bruges makes for a relaxing getaway surrounded by stunning architecture and history – Click here to buy your train tickets to Bruges
TIP: This Bruges walking tour and canal cruise always gets good reviews
10. Bruxelles (Belgium)
Belgium’s capital city is 112 km east of Lille. This is one of the easiest Lille day trips, as it only takes 35 minutes to reach Brussels by TGV train – Click here to buy your train tickets to Brussels
A wonderful day trip from Lille, Bruxelles is known for a huge number of things, among which is the European Parliament. Visiting the Parliament is an incredible activity to do in the city, alongside walking around its center, which boasts astonishing architecture.
Particularly impressive are the Grand Place, the city’s main square, and the Palais de Bruxelles, one of the royal residences of Belgium’s monarchs.
If you are traveling with kids, an unmissable attraction is Mini Europe, an amusement park with miniature models of European countries. Brussels is also known for its cuisine, chocolate production, and craft beers.
You should take a day trip to Brussels if you want to discover an under-the-tourist-radar European capital with many landmarks. For a one-day visit, we recommend this 3-hour walking tour that explores the best of Brussels with some tastings.
And there you have it, the best day trips from Lille, France, in the country and abroad. Which Lille day trips tempt you most?