Close to the border with Belgium, Lille can lay claim to being the most European city of France. The capital of Flanders is renowned for its hospitality, its generosity and its friendly disposition, so the anthem of the European Union, Ode to Joy, has a special resonance here.

Whether you’re strolling along the Grand’Place, wandering around the Old Quarter of Lille or admiring the Vielle Bourse (the Old Stock Exchange), discovering Lille is an enjoyable experience. It is a city characterised by its cultural vitality, quality of life and festive spirit. This is evident at the Lille Braderie, a huge street market that attracts between two and three million visitors each year.

The gastronomic specialties of the city include carbonnade, a Flemish beef dish, and waterzoï, a fish stew. Lille has a tradition of hosting major events, both cultural and sporting. It successfully hosted Eurobasket 2015, UEFA Euro 2016 and the 2017 World Men's Handball Championship, as well as the Davis Cup tennis finals in 2014, 2017 and 2018.

The Stade Pierre-Mauroy is an ultra-modern venue with a retractable roof and a special feature, the ‘Boîte à Spectacles’ which allows half of the pitch to slide back over the other to transform the stadium into an arena for concerts or sports such as basketball.

(Photo: Hello Lille - @nablezon)