Discover Nord-Pas-de-Calais

Discover Nord-Pas-de-Calais Lille fr

The charm of  magnificent city squares.and belfries

Just over the border from Belgium and a short hop across the channel from England lies the Nord – Pas de Calais region. A region of contrasting landscapes with forests, gentle meadows and marshlands, rolling hills dotted with windmills, a varied coastline with a succession  of towering cliffs sand dunes and  beaches, wide-open spaces of unspoiled countryside that make up the Regional nature park, and a network of waterways for river cruising, and much, much more.It is a region proud of its traditions where fairs, fêtes and festivals of all types are so much a part of daily life. For most of its history, this region was an integral part of the state of Flanders, most of which was located in present day Belgium and Netherlands. This explains to a very large extent the influence of Flemish style architecture, particularly evident in the magnificent town squares and belfries of its cities.

Lille, former capital of Flanders, is the region largest city. It boasts a bustling down town area with scores of spectacular 17th century houses and a most impressive Grand Place. Its status of European capital of culture for the year 2004 has brought the city international recognition..Everywhere you will meet friendly people happy to show you their heritage and traditions. Local gastronomy is another exciting world to discover: waterzooï (a court-bouillon of mixed fish and chicken), moules frites (local mussels cooked with a dab of white wine and served with golden French fries. A glass ol local beer will polish off nicely the experience…

Focus on : La braderie de Lille (city wide jumble sale) held on the first week-end in September.
Over a two day period, some 2 million enthusiasts ply the city’s street in search of that elusive bargain of bargains. Over 100 km of side walks taken over by 10 000 exhibitors. With a plate of “moules frites”an absolute must to regain strength at the end of the day.


Not to be missed:

      ●  The Main square in Arras with its belt of 155 Flemish style buildings.
      ●  The “Swimming Pool”, the city of Roubaix’s Art and Industry museum housed in a former art deco style swimming pool.
      ●  The Matisse museum located in Cateau-Cambrésis, with the 3rd largest Matisse collection in France.
      ●  The Helfaut “Coupole”. WWII Nazi V2 rocket launching base.
      ●  The “Deux Caps” cliff top site, affording fantastic marine views of the “Côte Sauvage”, a stretch of wild coastline at the  meeting of the Channel and the North sea.
      ●  Port city of Calais, gateway to and from England


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A city of choice : Lille

Every step leads to a new discovery !

European capital of culture in 2004, Lille proudly displays its rich restored heritage. The city’s quality of life and conviviality will not fail to seduce you. Local people are well known for their warmth and generosity. Head for an “estaminet” to sample a beer, stroll through the streets while wondering at the magnificent Flemish styles houses all around you and live an unforgettable human and cultural adventure.

Not to be missed:

       ●  Walk through the old city located between Rihour palace and Comtesse island.
       ●  Beaux Arts (Fine Arts ) palace: 22000 square metres of collections.
       ●  House where general de Gaulle was born.
       ● Sunday morning market in Wazemmes.
       ●  Gastronomy in the old Lille: local draught beer, waffles from Méert, potievleesch, Lille chocolate flowers.


Practical note book:

  • Access:

SNCF railway stations : Lille Flandres and Lille Europe. Lille is less than 1 hour from Paris by TGV and 1h30 from London with Eurostar.

Airport : Lille Lesquin.(8 km from the city centre

Distance from Paris to Lille is 220 km


Web :


Things to see

Point of interest