3-Day Family Christmas Holiday Itinerary in Lille, France

Lille, France

3 days

Christmas market
Ferris wheel on the main square
Lille under the snow
Lille streets
City center

About Lille, France

Discover the charm of Northern France with a visit to Lille, a vibrant city known for its rich history and cultural diversity. Explore the Grand Place, a bustling square surrounded by stunning Flemish architecture. Visit the Palais des Beaux-Arts, one of France's largest museums, housing impressive collections of European paintings and sculptures. Wander through the old town, Vieux Lille, with its cobbled streets, stylish boutiques, and gourmet restaurants. Don't miss the Citadel, a star-shaped fortress surrounded by a beautiful park. Lille is also famous for its lively markets and festivals, including the annual Braderie de Lille, Europe's biggest flea market. With its blend of French and Flemish influences, Lille offers a unique cultural experience.

3-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Christmas Market and Fine Arts Museum


Start your day at the Lille Christmas Market, located in the heart of the city. Here, you can enjoy the festive atmosphere, browse through the various stalls selling Christmas crafts and delicacies, and even take a ride on the Ferris wheel for a panoramic view of the city.


Enjoy a hearty lunch at one of the many food stalls at the Christmas Market. Try some traditional French Christmas dishes like roasted chestnuts and mulled wine.


After lunch, head over to the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, one of the largest fine arts museums in France. Here, you can admire works from masters like Rubens, Van Dyck, and Delacroix.


For dinner, enjoy a meal at a local restaurant serving traditional French cuisine. Try some local specialties like carbonnade flamande, a beef and beer stew, or potjevleesch, a jellied meat dish.


End your day with a stroll through the beautifully illuminated streets of Old Lille. The Christmas lights and decorations add a magical touch to the city's historic buildings and cobblestone streets.


Start your second day with a visit to the Lille Zoo, home to over 70 different species of animals. It's a great place for kids and adults alike.


Have lunch at a nearby café, where you can try some local pastries and cheeses.


Spend the afternoon exploring the Citadel of Lille, a star-shaped fortress built in the 17th century. It's a great place to learn about the city's military history and enjoy some outdoor activities.


Enjoy a dinner at a local restaurant, where you can try some regional dishes like moules-frites (mussels and fries) or tarte au maroilles (a tart made with a local cheese).


End your day with a visit to the Grand Place, Lille's main square. During the Christmas season, it's beautifully decorated with lights and a giant Christmas tree.


On your last day, visit the Natural History Museum of Lille, where you can learn about the region's flora and fauna, as well as its geological history.


Have lunch at a local bistro, where you can try some traditional French dishes.


Spend the afternoon at the Parc de la Citadelle, a large park surrounding the Citadel of Lille. It's a great place for a leisurely walk or a picnic.


For your last dinner in Lille, enjoy a meal at a local restaurant serving traditional French cuisine. Try some local specialties like carbonnade flamande, a beef and beer stew, or potjevleesch, a jellied meat dish.


End your trip with a visit to the Lille Opera House. During the Christmas season, they often have special performances like The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol.

Attractions in Itinerary (9)

Lille Christmas Market

Lille Christmas Market

The Lille Christmas Market is a popular attraction during the holiday season, offering a variety of goods from local artisans, food stalls, and festive decorations. It's a great place to experience the local culture and holiday spirit.

Cultural Experiences
Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille

Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille

The Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille is one of the largest fine arts museums in France, housing extensive collections of paintings, sculptures, and drawings from various periods.

Cultural Experiences
Old Lille

Old Lille

Old Lille is the historic district of Lille, known for its charming streets, old-world ambiance, and Flemish-influenced architecture. It's a must-visit for history and architecture enthusiasts.

Cultural Experiences
Lille Zoo

Lille Zoo

Lille Zoo is a popular attraction in Lille, home to over 70 species of animals. It's a great place for families, with plenty of interactive exhibits and educational programs.

Citadel of Lille

Citadel of Lille

The Citadel of Lille is a historic fortress surrounded by a beautiful park. It offers a glimpse into the city's past and is a great place for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

Grand Place

Grand Place

Grand Place is the main square of Lille, surrounded by beautiful buildings and bustling with activity. It's a great place to start your exploration of the city.

Natural History Museum of Lille

Natural History Museum of Lille

The Natural History Museum of Lille is a renowned institution, housing a vast collection of natural specimens. It offers an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

Cultural Experiences
Parc de la Citadelle

Parc de la Citadelle

Parc de la Citadelle is a large park in Lille, known for its historic citadel. It's a great place to relax, enjoy nature, and explore the historic structures.

Lille Opera House

Lille Opera House

Lille Opera House is a stunning architectural landmark, offering a variety of performances. It's a must-visit for lovers of music, theater, and architecture.

Cultural Experiences

Local Food and Drinks (12)



A popular dish in Lille, it consists of mussels and fries. The mussels are usually cooked in a sauce of white wine, shallots, parsley, and butter.

Carbonnade flamande

Carbonnade flamande

A traditional Flemish beef and onion stew made with beer and spiced bread. It's a hearty dish that's popular in Lille and the surrounding region.



A traditional dish from Lille, it's a terrine of different kinds of meat, usually rabbit, chicken, and veal, set in gelatin.

Maroilles cheese

Maroilles cheese

A strong-smelling cheese made in the region, Maroilles is often used in local dishes, including the famous 'Flamiche', a local tart.



A local tart made with leeks and cream, and often Maroilles cheese. It's a specialty of the region and a must-try for any food lover.

Tarte au sucre

Tarte au sucre

A sweet tart made with sugar, butter, and sometimes rum. It's a traditional dessert in Lille and the surrounding region.

Ch'ti charcuterie

Ch'ti charcuterie

A variety of local charcuterie products, including sausages and pâtés, often served as a starter or part of a platter.



A creamy fish or chicken stew, originally from Belgium but also popular in Lille. It's made with egg yolk, cream, and vegetables.

Rabbit à la Kriek

A traditional dish where rabbit is cooked in Kriek, a type of Belgian cherry beer. It's a unique combination of flavors that's popular in Lille.

Chicory coffee

Chicory coffee

A local specialty, chicory root is roasted, ground, and used as a coffee substitute or additive. It has a slightly bitter, nutty flavor.

Jenlain beer

Jenlain beer

A popular local beer, Jenlain is a type of Bière de Garde, a traditional French farmhouse ale. It's known for its deep amber color and rich, malty flavor.


A traditional juniper-flavored liquor from the region. It's often served as a digestif after meals.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Lille, France, is between June and September when the weather is warm and pleasant. This period also coincides with the annual Braderie de Lille, a massive open-air flea market held every first weekend of September, which attracts visitors from around the world. However, if you prefer a quieter visit, the spring months of April and May offer mild weather and fewer crowds.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1


New Year's Day

April 1


Easter Monday

May 1


Labor Day / May Day

May 8


WWII Victory Day

May 9


Ascension Day

May 20


Whit Monday

July 14


Bastille Day

August 15


Assumption of Mary

November 1


All Saints' Day

November 11


Armistice Day

December 25


Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Lille is a compact city, making it easy to explore on foot. Many of the main attractions are within walking distance of each other.

Lille has a bike-sharing program called V'Lille. There are stations throughout the city where you can rent and return bikes.

Lille has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and a metro system. The Lille Metro is the world's first fully automated metro system.

Ridesharing services like Uber are available in Lille. This can be a convenient option for getting around, especially if you're traveling with a group or have a lot of luggage.

Taxis are readily available in Lille. You can hail a taxi on the street, at a taxi stand, or book one in advance.

Renting a car can be a good option if you plan to explore the surrounding region. However, parking can be difficult in the city center.

Lille has two main train stations: Lille Flandres and Lille Europe. These stations offer connections to other cities in France and Europe.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency€ EUR

Time zoneUTC+1

Driving sideRight

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 112, 15; Fire: 112, 18; Police: 112, 17

Drinking waterYes

Power sockets

Power socket type CPower socket type E

Voltage230 V

Things to know about Lille, France as a first time visitor


Lille is located in the northern part of France, near the border with Belgium.


The city is a major hub for France's high-speed train, the TGV, making it easily accessible from other parts of the country.


Lille has a temperate oceanic climate. Summers are generally warm with average high temperatures of 68°F (20°C), while winters are cool with average low temperatures of 32°F (0°C).


The official language is French. While some locals may speak English, it is advisable to learn a few basic French phrases.


The currency used in Lille is the Euro (€). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's always a good idea to carry some cash.


Tipping is not mandatory in France as service charge is included in your bill, but it's customary to leave small change for good service.


Lille is in the Central European Time Zone (CET), which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+1).


The city is known for its vibrant arts scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and theaters.


Lille has a robust public transportation system, including trams, buses, and a metro system. Consider purchasing a Lille City Pass for unlimited travel.


Lille is a bike-friendly city with many bike lanes and bike-sharing programs.


The city is known for its diverse culinary scene, with a mix of French and Flemish influences. Don't miss trying local specialties like carbonnade flamande (a beef and beer stew) and moules-frites (mussels and fries).


Lille hosts a famous annual flea market, the Braderie de Lille, usually held in September. It's one of the largest in Europe.


Lille has a vibrant nightlife with a wide range of bars, clubs, and live music venues.


The city is safe for tourists, but like any major city, it's advisable to take standard precautions, especially at night.


Lille has a number of shopping districts with a mix of high-end boutiques, vintage shops, and local markets.


The city is home to several universities and has a large student population, giving it a youthful and energetic vibe.


Lille is a green city with many parks and gardens, perfect for relaxing or picnicking.


The city has a rich history, with architecture ranging from medieval to modern. Take time to explore its historic neighborhoods.


Lille is a great base for exploring the wider region, including nearby Belgium.


Remember to carry a universal power adapter as France uses Type E power sockets.

Basic French to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase


When to use it




Greeting someone


Au revoir

oh reh-vwar

Saying goodbye to someone


S'il vous plaît

see voo play

Making a request

Thank you



Expressing gratitude




Agreeing or confirming




Disagreeing or denying

Excuse me


ex-koo-zay mwah

Getting attention or apologizing

Do you speak English?

Parlez-vous anglais?

par-lay voo on-glay

Asking if someone speaks English

I don't understand

Je ne comprends pas

zhe ne kom-prond pah

When you don't understand what was said

Where is...?

Où est...?

oo eh

Asking for directions




Looking for a bathroom




In case of emergency




Looking for food




Asking for water




Ordering a beer




Ordering wine

Check, please

L'addition, s'il vous plaît

la-di-syon, see voo play

Asking for the bill

How much does it cost?

Combien ça coûte?

kom-byen sa koot

Asking for the price

I'm sorry

Je suis désolé

zhe swee day-zo-lay


Good night

Bonne nuit

bon nwee

Saying goodnight

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Underwear (3 pairs)

  • Socks (3 pairs)

  • T-shirts (3)

  • Pants/Jeans (2 pairs)

  • Sweater or Jacket

  • Pajamas

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Dressy outfit (if planning to visit a fancy restaurant or event)

  • Scarf (for cooler evenings)

  • Rain jacket or umbrella (in case of rain)

  • Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Makeup and makeup remover

  • Hairbrush or comb

  • Travel-sized first aid kit

  • Prescription medications (if applicable)

  • Sunscreen

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or ID card

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash (in Euros)

  • Hotel reservation confirmation

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Emergency contact information

  • Map of Lille

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Headphones

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Travel adapter (France uses Type E plug)

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Snacks for the journey

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Travel guidebook for Lille

  • French phrasebook or dictionary

  • Travel pillow and blanket

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • Notebook and pen

  • Books or e-reader for entertainment

  • Backpack or daypack for daily excursions

Weather Conditions

Lille, France, experiences a temperate oceanic climate, which means it has mild summers and cool winters. The city experiences rainfall throughout the year, so it's a good idea to always carry an umbrella or raincoat, regardless of the season. During the summer months, from June to August, temperatures in Lille typically range from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). It's the perfect time to explore the city's outdoor attractions like the Citadel of Lille or enjoy a picnic in one of its many parks. However, remember to stay hydrated and wear sun protection, as the sun can be quite strong during these months. In the autumn months, from September to November, temperatures drop to between 10°C and 20°C (50°F to 68°F). The city is particularly beautiful during this time as the leaves change color, but it can also be quite rainy, so pack accordingly. Winter, from December to February, can be quite cold with temperatures ranging from 1°C to 6°C (34°F to 43°F). Snowfall is not uncommon during these months, so if you're planning to visit Lille during winter, be sure to pack warm clothing, including a heavy coat, gloves, and a hat. Spring, from March to May, sees temperatures between 6°C and 18°C (43°F to 64°F). It's a lovely time to visit as the city comes alive with blooming flowers, but as with autumn, it can also be quite rainy. Regardless of when you visit, it's always a good idea to check the local weather forecast before your trip to ensure you're packing appropriately. Enjoy your visit to Lille!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview


6° / 1°

January is the coldest month in Lille, with temperatures often dropping to near freezing. It's a good time to visit if you enjoy winter activities and don't mind the cold.


7° / 1°

February is still quite cold in Lille, but the days start to get a bit longer. It's a good time to visit museums and indoor attractions.


12° / 3°

March sees the beginning of spring in Lille, with temperatures starting to rise. However, it can still be quite chilly, especially in the evenings.


16° / 5°

April is a pleasant month in Lille, with temperatures often reaching the mid-teens. It's a great time to explore the city's parks and gardens.


20° / 8°

May is a beautiful month in Lille, with temperatures often reaching 20 degrees. The city's parks and gardens are in full bloom and it's a great time to visit.


23° / 11°

June is the start of summer in Lille, with long, warm days. It's a great time to visit if you enjoy outdoor activities and sightseeing.


25° / 13°

July is the warmest month in Lille, with temperatures often reaching 25 degrees. It's a great time to visit if you enjoy the heat and want to explore the city's outdoor attractions.


25° / 13°

August is another warm month in Lille, with temperatures similar to July. It's a great time to visit if you enjoy the heat and want to explore the city's outdoor attractions.


21° / 10°

September sees the start of autumn in Lille, with temperatures starting to drop. However, it's still a good time to visit, with plenty of warm days.


17° / 8°

October is a cooler month in Lille, with temperatures often dropping to the low teens. It's a good time to visit if you enjoy autumnal scenery and don't mind the cooler weather.


11° / 4°

November is a chilly month in Lille, with temperatures often dropping to the low single digits. It's a good time to visit if you enjoy winter activities and don't mind the cold.


7° / 2°

December is a festive month in Lille, with Christmas markets and lights throughout the city. However, it can be quite cold, so make sure to pack warm clothes.

Did you know?

Did you know that Lille is the fourth largest metropolitan area in France after Paris, Lyon, and Marseille?

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