Whether you're looking for your next slow travel escape by train, or trying to be a more sustainable traveller by visiting less-crowded places, there are some incredible cities to explore across the Continent - and we've rounded up the best Lille hotels to show you why the underrated French city is worth adding to your list.
Like Bordeaux and Provence, this fantastic Eurostar destination is one you can visit by train, taking the stress of airports and flying away. The capital of the Hauts-de-France region of northern France could just be your perfect city-break destination this year.
Less than an hour and a half from London St Pancras by direct Eurostar, it’s also roughly the same time by road from Calais if you bring your car across the Channel, making it an excellent no-fly break.
You’ll be rewarded by a vibrant university city that you can explore entirely on foot thanks to its compact historic centre packed with charming 17th-century Flemish brick townhouses and major sights such as the UNESCO-listed town-hall belfry, Gothic Palais Rihour, old stock market, Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse of Flemish life, and 19th-century Cathédrale de la Treille.
Lille is also a fantastic foodie city break destination, bursting with Michelin-starred dining opportunities (one of them in the delightful boutique Clarence Hôtel), cute bistros, iconic pâtisseries (don’t miss Meert with its revered waffles filled with sugar, butter and Madagascan vanilla) and bars specialising in regional crafts beers. One great way to explore the city is with tours in vintage Citroën 2CVs, which include tastings of local beer and champagne.
The best hotels in Lille – a blend of the charmingly historic and the glossily modern, of the romantic and the practical and sometimes family-friendly – mainly divide themselves between the centre, around the Grand Place, and the nearby Euralille business and shopping district with its train stations, Lille Europe (for Eurostar) and Lille Flanders.
Whether you're after a five-star stay, a Lille hotel with a pool or a wonderful old town hotel, here's our pick of the top Lille hotels to book this year.