Lille Christmas Market is wonderfully set in the city’s busy shopping district and is a popular destination for French, British and Belgian visitors. Let’s look closely and find out why you should visit Lille during the festive season!
Lille Christmas Market
The Christmas Market of Lille is the largest of its kind in the Hauts-de-France region (formerly Nord-Pas-de-Calais). The Fédération Lilloise du Commerce, de l’Artisanat et des Services has organised the festive event in the town centre since 1989.
Since 1996, the Christmas market has occupied the square of Place Rihour, not far from the historic Grand’Place, where the Ferris wheel stands.
The warm and festive atmosphere of the Lille Christmas market attracts approximately one million visitors each year.
Christmas lights in Lille
Each year, the streets of Lille shine with bright and festive lights making the city centre a warm and exciting place. Ornaments, lights, tinsel, and garlands decorate the colourful façades and shop windows.
In the Vieux-Lille district, fir-tree garlands of red and gold ribbons adorn the streets of Rue de la Grande Chaussée and Rue de la Monnaie.
The district around the Chamber of Commerce and the Opera is also a must-see.
Christmas at the Grand’Place
The focal point of central Lille is the large square of Place du Général de Gaulle, also known as the Grand’Place. This is where the people of Lille gather for big celebrations.
The structure stands in the centre of the Grand’Place and comes from the Netherlands. At 50 metres high, it is one of the tallest big wheels in France. It comprises 36 cabins which can carry 180 passengers. With a weight of 150 tonnes, the Ferris Wheel sparkles with 10,000 light bulbs.
As you can imagine, the view from the top is breathtaking and embraces the whole city of Lille and its surroundings: the belfries of Lille, the opera, the train station and the Euralille CBD.
The Ferris Wheel operates from 20 November to the beginning of January from noon until late at night.
A winter-wonderland village is set up around the big wheel featuring an 18-metre-tall Christmas tree.
Christmas at Place Rihour
The scent of cinnamon and roasted chestnuts will surely lead visitors to the prominent Place Rihour. Just a few metres from the Grand’Place, the modern-looking square has welcomed the famous Lille Christmas Market since 1996.
The village of chalets gathers 90 stalls with ideas for Christmas presents, santons and ornaments for the tree. Some chalets welcome local and regional craftsmen: jewellery, decorative objects, toys… and will make you discover their products and know-how.
The solidarity chalet is also back in 2022, with about twenty associations throughout Christmas.
This is where you will find many local and international savoury and sweet food products such as raclette, croziflette, French fries, speculoos, waffles, gingerbread, mulled wine and hot chocolate.
Finally, children can meet Father Christmas in his chalet in the Lille Christmas Village.
Access to the Lille Christmas Village is via the main entrance on the Rue Jean Roisin side or the secondary entrance on the Rue de la Vieille Comédie side.
The Lille Christmas market is open from 18 November to 30 December 2022.
Animations in the Christmas Village
New animations will energize the Christmas Village of Lille during the six weeks.
Concerts and parades will take place every Friday evening from 6 pm to 8 pm.
For children, creative workshops will take place on Wednesday afternoons in December.
As the capital of an industrial region, Lille can only surprise you with its beautifully restored old town. Everywhere the dazzling architecture of the town centre reveals a perfect harmony of brick and stone on richly decorated façades, reminiscent of a prosperous past. Today, Lille, on the border with Belgium, is a thriving city with more than one million inhabitants and many restaurants, brasseries and cafés.
- Find out more about Lille on the blog.
- Visit the tourist office board website of Lille.
- Visit the official website of Christmas in Lille for more info about opening dates and times, events, etc.
Staying in Lille during Advent
Find your accommodation in Lille during the festive season by clicking on this link or browsing the map below:
Ideas for activities and visits in Lille
Some ideas of visits and activities to do during your stay in Lille:
How to get to the Lille Christmas market
The nearest metro station is “Place Rihour” – Line 1 – direction CHU – Eurasanté from the metro station “gare Lille Flandres”. For more information on public transport networks in Lille.
Situated at the crossroads of five motorways, Lille is easily reached from Paris (220 km), Calais (110 km), Brussels (123 km) and Amsterdam (287 km).
You can park your car in the vicinity of the Lille Christmas Market in the INDIGO car parks (book your space on the website https://fr.parkindigo.com or via the Indigo Neo application on App Store or Google Play).
Lille has two train stations 400 metres from each other:
- Lille Flandres is a terminus station with TGV connections to Paris (1h),
- and Lille Europe has TGV and Eurostar connections to London (1.20 hours), Brussels (35 minutes), Cologne (3.20 hours), and Lyon (3 hours).
The closest international airports to Lille are Paris, Charles-de-Gaulle (51 minutes) and Brussels-Zaventem (38 minutes), both accessible by train.
(f) for féminin, (m) for masculin, (adj) for adjective and (v) for verbs
- Advent = Avent (m)
- chalet = châlet (m)
- Christmas = Noël
- Christmas market = marché de Noël (m)
- craftsman = artisan (m)
- Father Christmas = Père Noël (m)
- Ferris wheel = grande roue (f)
- holiday season = période de Noël (f), temps des fêtes (m)
- Nord = Nord (m)
- Santa = Père Noël (m)
- square = place (f)
- street = rue (f)
Featured image: © OTCL Lille : Laurent Ghesquière