Where to Stay in Lille: Best Hotels and Neighborhoods

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No doubt about it, the Vieux Ville is where to stay in Lille. Since the city is small, it makes sense to stay in the center. Thus, you’ll be within walking distance of the main attractions. Don’t get us wrong, the city may be small, but it offers a lot. A distinct section of the center is Euralille. It is truly beautiful, with several grand buildings and lovely pedestrian streets.

Lille used to be a huge trading point in Flanders. In fact, some people call it the capital of Flanders. The city boasts a UNESCO-listed City Hall. Most of the historic architecture in the center is from the 17th Century to the early 20th. Today, the city is a university town and bustling with life. Lille has fascinating neighborhoods, but the rest of the metropolitan area is not that interesting. In Lille, the best hotels are in the center.

Where to Stay in Lille

The Best Hotels to Stay in Lille

The city is all about superb architecture, culture, delicious food, and fascinating people. Therefore, the best place to Stay in Lille is the Hotel Hermitage Gantois, near the UNESCO listed Town Hall. We love the location, on a street lined with trees, in the heart of the city. The building is a meticulously refurbished palace with all the luxuries you ever imagined. The spa is glorious, and the service, impeccable.

Our next option is in the nicest hangout in the city, the Grand Place. The plaza is beautiful, and within walking distance to every attraction. Without a doubt, your best option is the Grand Hotel Bellevue, a fully restored Flemish building. Our final recommendation is next to the train station. It’s a safe neighborhood, with superb buildings and a step from everything. The Hotel Calm is a fantastic deal. Clean comfortable rooms, great service, and a fantastic location.

The Best Place to Stay in Lille

Best Areas to Stay in Lille

Near the Grand Place

The most beautiful area in the city is around the Grand Place. The incredible plaza is just north of the city center. Its real name is Generalle du Gaulle. We are talking about a 10,000m2 plaza! The statue with the fountain in the center is from 1845. Every building on the plaza is beautiful. The Vielle du Bourse is the former stock exchange from the 17th Century. The ground floor homes an incredible book market.

The monumental Opera behind the Stock Exchange is from 1913. It is on Place du Theatre, in front of the clock tower. That’s the belfry of the Chamber of Commerce. Most of the area around both plazas is pedestrian. Locals flock to Rue Neuve and Rue de Bethune to shop, have coffee, and people watch. The Tourism Office is on Rihour Square.

We’ve selected the two luxury hotels in the center of Lille. The Grand Hotel Bellevue is next to the Grand Place. The lobby is all marble and glitz. After a full refurbishment in 2018, the hotel looks fantastic. The best rooms have views of the plaza. For incredible views of the opera and belfry, book a room at the Carlton Hotel. The neoclassical palace has everything you want!

Grand Place Neighborhood Lille

Near the Cathedral

The Basilica of Notre Dame de la Treille is the real name of Lille’s Cathedral. The monumental neo-gothic temple is a 5-minute walk north of the Grand Place, on Place Gilleson. Though its construction began in 1854, it took over 150 years to complete. One of the best organs in France is inside. A couple of blocks to the north is the Hospice Comtesse Museum. The former medieval hospital was converted into a fascinating museum.

The area between the Cathedral and Citadel Park is full of restaurants and shops. The 60-hectare park is home to 4000 trees and beautiful birds. You can exercise, walk, admire the plants and discover historic buildings. The fortress itself is considered the best in the country. Completed in 1670, it played a key role in France’s history and is still in use today. To visit you must book beforehand.

One of the best 5 star hotels in Lille is next to the Citadel. The Clarance Hotel Lille has only 19 rooms and is one of the best luxury hotels in Lille. We are talking about an 18th Century mansion in the middle of a lovely garden. Next to the Cathedral and the Museum you’ll find Hotel de la Treille. This 3-star boutique hotel excels in comfort and service. The best rooms have gorgeous views of the Cathedral.

By the Lille Cathedral

Near the Train Stations

Without a doubt, the best area to stay in Lille if you are short of time is near the Train Stations. As mentioned, the city is small, so you’ll be able to go everywhere on foot, and in minutes to catch your train. The train stations are an attraction in themselves. They are next to each other. Lille Flandres is the oldest station, built between 1869 and 1892. Intercity, local, and regional trains arrive and depart from here.

The new station Lille Europe opened in 1993 exclusively for high-speed trains. Eurostar stops here on its way to London and Paris. Fast trains to Belgium and the rest of France stop here too. Take note that unlike in other cities, the area around the train station is super safe, clean, and orderly. After all, it’s next to the center of the city. The incredible Saint Maurice Catholic Church in front of the stations dates back to the late 14th Century.

Since the last time we went to the city we were rushing to Brussels, we stayed at the fantastic Hotel Calm, one of the best hotels in Lille Old Town. You get an unbeatable location, clean comfy rooms, and great service. We’ve stayed in several Citadines around Asia and like them a lot. The Citadines City Center Lille is literally in the middle of both stations. They offer rooms and nicely appointed apartments.

Close to the Train Stations

Near the Town Hall

The Belfry of the Town Hall is part of a group of belfries included by UNESCO in its World Heritage Site. The tower is 104 meters tall. Climb its 110 steps, take the elevator, and enjoy 360 views of Lille and beyond! Not only is it splendid, but it represents a turning point in civil rights. The whole building is breathtaking. Completed in 1932, it is entirely made of concrete. The collection of art pieces within is equally impressive. Better visit both!

For the new and exciting, go to Lille Grand Palais, a contemporary masterpiece that hosts the city’s best events. A short walk from there is the Porte de Paris. The monument celebrates Louis XIV and dates back to 1692. The area around the Town Hall is pretty green. Both Augustine and du Reduit squares are an oasis of peace in the heart of the city. Besides, tall trees line the avenues around the Port.

L’Hermitage Gantois is one of the best 5 star hotels in Lille. The building opened in 1462 and worked as a hospice until 1995. Following extensive renovations, it opened in 2003 and is now a top class hotel. Everything is elegant! For simple inexpensive accommodation in Lille, book a room at the ibis Centre Grand Palais. If you don’t know the brand, expect clean, comfortable rooms in a good location.

Around the City Hall

Near the Palais des Beaux Arts

One of the oldest museums in the country, the current Palais des Beaux Arts is a grand belle époque palace from 1892 on the Place du Republique. Refurbished and extended in 1997, it holds over 72000 art pieces. We love the plaza as much as the museum. Opposite the museum, you’ll find the Prefecture. The metro station and the amphitheater are new. Young people flock to the plaza to chill.

The Synagogue is behind the Palais. Inaugurated in 1897, it was the first one in the north of the country. Though the Nazi’s used it to store their weapons, the furniture inside is the original. The area is called the Latin Quarter and extends to the La Gare Saint Sauveur. Planned to be the biggest train station in Lille, it opened as a transport hub in 1861. Today, the building is in constant change, and homes a bar, restaurant, cinema, and brilliant cultural center.

A recent addition to the city, the Moxy Hotel Lille occupies the former faculty of medicine.  Fully restored, it offers comfortable rooms, a historic patio, a gym, and a restaurant. It is one of the best reasonably priced hotels to stay in Lille and France. The Holiday Inn is closer to the Palais. It’s a contemporary building with underground parking.  You get breakfast for free.

Near the Palais des Beaux Art

How Long to Stay in Lille

Don’t get us wrong, the city may be small, but it packs a lot. No wonder, locals call it Little Paris. You can spend a week discovering the main attractions and still feel you need more. Thus, how may days in Lille depends on your time. The atmosphere is relaxed and lively. Since it’s a student town, there are tones of activities, bars, cafes, and people to meet. If you want to experience a French city other than Paris, this is your place. Stay as long as you want!

That said, what we love about Lille is that you can get a pretty good picture and spend just one night. The city is gorgeous and hectic during the day, but at night you’ll have it all to yourself.  You have a lot to cover. All of the buildings and museums we recommend are for sure worth your trouble. However, don’t forget to experience the place. Sit down at a traditional French café, have a crepe, and hang by the plazas.

How Many Days in Lille

Moving Around

Lille is the capital of the Hautes-de-France Region, the northernmost in the country. The city is clean, safe, and home to some 220,000 people. However, the population in the metropolitan area exceeds a million. If you stay in the center, all you need is to walk. It takes half an hour to go to one end to the other. If you are tired, take the metro. It has 8 stations in the center that cover from the train station to the river in no time.

Though cars are allowed in the center, a big section is pedestrian. If you rent a bike it can be difficult biking in the center, plus you will waste a lot of time securing your bike at every beautiful building. That said, biking along the river, and to the outskirts of the center is a lovely experience. There are safe bike lanes and you can reach a couple of cool parks. The city has an easy to use and extensive bike-sharing system, Ilevia. Give it a go!

Moving Around

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