Lille Lille is in the north east corner of France, close to the Belgian border. It is readily accessible by train, being on the main rail route between London and Brussels and Paris, though not all trains stop at Lille. Journey time from London is 100 minutes or so.The Eurostar station is not far from the  centre, 10 minutes walk, past the Flanders station which is the main station for day trips from Lille. There are plenty of hotels in Lille. Since the place has become popular with British tourists, rates have gone up. On a recent visit we stayed at the Art Deco Hotel Romarin, one tram stop from Gare Lille Europe, but still only a few minutes from the centre. Rates were good. The centre contains the Place Charles de Gaulle. Sitting on the fountain watching the world pass by is a popular activity. On one side of the place is the old town, bijou shops and wobbly streets. On other sides are bigger shops, pedestrian centres and touristy things. Prices in restaurants have increased with all the new tourism, and food quality is OK (we always prefer Belgian food). There are some good places, especially L'Ecume des Mers (now closed). The picture does not do this restaurant justice, and the food, especially the fish, was exceptional. The art gallery is famous but has a strange collection. It is nice to sit outside, and is only a short walk from the centre. Lille was the European city of culture for 2004. There are some churches to visit, with organ recitals on Sunday afternoons. The old town is nice to walk around, there are some ancient monuments to visit and galleries to see. Take a tram for a day trip to Roubaix and visit the most unusual art gallery you are likely to see, housed in a (partially) converted swimming pool. Once you get out of the city there are smart houses at affordable prices. Lille is famous for its Sunday market. In August or September (check dates) is the largest fairground in Europe, and we mean huge, where people come from all over Europe to ride the rides and eat the waffles. On the down side, increased tourism has meant more beggars, buskers and vagrants, and they are very persistent. On the other hand, there is one of the best chocolate shops in the entire world, even if it is expensive and even if they do insist on not speaking English!  
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