France’s underrated city break that’s much more affordable than Paris

France’s underrated city break that’s much more affordable than Paris

Visited Paris? If you’re looking for an alternative French city break, why not travel to Lille, one of the country’s most underrated destinations?

Situated in northern France and the region’s largest city, Lille is often overlooked by British tourists.

But the thriving city is a fantastic destination for Britons looking for a weekend getaway as it takes just over an hour and a half on the train from London.

With tickets available for under £80 return on the Eurostar, it’s an affordable weekend destination that’s much cheaper than Paris.

So what is there to do in Lille?

Lille’s top-rated attraction on Tripadvisor is Vieux Lille, the old part of the city and perhaps its most beautiful area.

A tourist wrote: “Lovely to walk around, so many independent and quirky shops and places to stop off for a few drinks.”

The city’s imposing Grand Place square is an ideal people-watching spot and there are sometimes dance classes held there in summer.

Lille’s Palais des Beaux-Arts is one of France’s best-regarded art galleries and houses works by Donatello and Goya.

A visitor wrote: “This is a beautiful museum, the building is old and magnificent. You can admire a lot of beautiful art pieces even from old Egypt and Roman times.”

For a quirkier art experience head to the suburb of Roubaix to Musee La Piscine to see incredible works housed in a former Art Deco swimming pool building.

The northern French city has several local delicacies that are well worth a try. La tarte au Maroilles is a savoury quiche made with creme fraiche, butter, salt, pepper and eggs.

For dessert, opt for a gaufre a la vergeoise, a sugar waffle with a sweet filling that’s sold across Lille.

Find cheap train tickets to Lille on Omio or search for a deal on Rail Europe. The best prices are usually found during the week.

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