Lille may be one of France's most underrated major cities. With a couple of friends (the usual suspects if you've seen my previous travel posts), we decided to take a day trip to Lille. I had personally never heard much about the city, having only a vague recollection of hearing the name somewhere.
However, I was pleasantly surprised at how much the city had to offer, even on such a short visit. Lille is the capital of the Hauts-de-France region on northern France, near the border with Belgium so expect a lot of funky architecture and buildings with great character.
As with most "old towns", Vieux Lille is the historic centre and showcases its 17th-century brick town houses and cobbled pedestrian streets in all its glory. We took the train from Paris and the journey takes about 1 hour only! Just one of the many reasons why Lille is such a great day-trip option.
Arriving in Lille, the train station is located in the heart of Vieux Lille and you can start your journey by crossing the large central square, the Grand Place, and taking any of the boulevards or side streets branching out from the square.
The city itself is actually quite small and makes for a perfect destination for a day trip. Exploring the smaller and quieter side streets can also give way to cute backdrops perfect for that random photo-shoot! The photo on the left for example, was taken on one of the more tranquil residential streets and we didn't see a soul whilst traipsing about with our cameras. Probably the best in my case since I tend to hate...or not really "hate" but perhaps dislike is a better word for it...being in the photo as opposed to my usual place behind the camera. Nevertheless, it's good to have friends willing to put up with your weirdness, especially since they also have the same quirks.
And as usual, there's no better way to soak in a new place than through their food! We had absolutely zero idea where to eat so we ended up getting lost and then welcomed at Les Ptiots, a tiny and cosy restaurant serving traditional French cuisine from the region.
Not a bad way to end this little day trip!