Last Updated on March 2, 2024 by April Verge
Looking for what to do at the Lille Christmas market 2024? Then you’re in the right place!
Although Lille may not be the first holiday destinations that comes to mind when you think of this landlocked country, it is definitely home to many holiday light displays and Christmas markets. Mulled wine, shimmering lights, and even a fifty-foot tree decorated with sparkling Christmas lights can be found there. Discover everything you need to know about the Christmas market in Lille, including what to see and how to get there!
Here is your complete guide to the Lille Christmas Market 2024, along with insider tips and things to know before you arrive, so you can enjoy anything from sipping mulled wine while browsing the classic gift chalets to nibbling on candied almonds!
Psst! This blog post contains affiliate links in it which sends me a bit of extra money if you use them… at no extra cost to you. Merci!
If you are in a hurry, here’s a summary of the Lille Christmas Market 2024:
When will the Lille Christmas Market take place in 2024?
Lille Christmas Market Dates:
22nd November – 31st December 2023
From Monday to Thursday: 11 – 8pm
Friday and Saturday : 10 – 10pm
Sunday (december) : 10am – 8pm
December 24th: 11 – 6pm, closed on December 25th
The stalls are closed earlier on the 24 and 30 December: 06:00 pm
Exceptionally closed on December 25
Introducing Lille Christmas Market
The largest Christmas market in northern France area (previously Nord-Pas-de-Calais) is located in Lille. Since 1989, the town center has been the site of the joyous occasion, which is organized by the Fédération Lilloise du Commerce, de l’Artisanat et des Services.
The square of Place Rihour, which is close to the famous Grand Place and the location of the Ferris wheel, has been home to the Christmas market since 1996.
Almost a million people attend the Lille Christmas market every year because of its cozy and joyous ambiance.
How to get to the Lille Christmas market
The closest metro station is “Place Rihour” on Line 1, which runs from the metro station “gare Lille Flandres” in the direction of CHU-Eurasanté. Click here for additional details about Lille’s public transportation systems.
✈️By plane :
You can take a plane to Lille-Lesquin airport in order to get to Lille. From the airport, a shuttle transports you straight to Lille’s center.
🚗By car :
Lille is conveniently accessible from Paris (220 km), Calais (110 km), Brussels (123 km), and Amsterdam (287 km) due to its location at the intersection of five highways.
You can park your car in any of the following INDIGO lots near the Christmas Village:
The closest :
- Pedestrian Streets – Le 31 – 6 Rue de la Rivierette 59800 Lille
- Grand Place – 33 Place Charles de Gaulle 59800 Lille
- Les Tanneurs – 70 Rue du Molinel 59000 Lille
- Old Lille – 5 Avenue du Peuple Belge 59800 Lille
- Lille Plaza – 89 Rue Nationale 59800 Lille
Other Lille Christmas market parking:
- Euralille Shopping Center – 164 Avenue Willy Brandt 59777 Lille
- Euralille Gare B (Tours) – 179 Boulevard de Turin 59800 Lille
- Euralille Gare A (Europe) – 13 Avenue le Corbusier 59800 Lille
- 1 Boulevard des Cités United 59777 Lille
- Euratechnologies – Rue des Templiers 59000 Lille
👉Visit the website or through the Indigo Neo app, reserve your spot.
There are two train stations in Lille, just 400 meters apart:
- Lille Flandres is a terminus station with TGV connections to Paris (1h)
- Lille Europe has TGV and Eurostar connections to London (1.20 hours), Brussels (35 minutes), Cologne (3.20 hours), and Lyon (3 hours).
Go to Gare Lille Flandres if you want to get as close to the Lille Christmas Village as you can.
Visit the SNCF Connect website to purchase your train tickets.
🚃By public transport with Ilevia :
You can navigate the Lille city and reach the Lille Christmas Village with Ilevia.
If traveling via metro, get off at the “Place Rihour” station and head towards CHU – Eurasanté on Line 1. The bus or the tram, depending on where you’re leaving from, are other options.
You can use the Ilevia website to plan your schedule.
You need a transport ticket or an account in order to use Ilevia transit.
🚍Old Lille shuttle and coach stop:
During Lille Christmas Village, the Old Lille shuttle will make a special stop at 58 rue de l’Hôpital Militaire instead of serving the Rihour stop.
Lille France Christmas Market Guide
Lille’s Christmas Market Rides
The Grande Roue – Grand Place: The Grande Roue (ferris wheel), together with its accompanying enormous 18-meter beautiful Christmas tree, is a crucial part of Lille’s end-of-year celebrations, with its 36 nacelles that reach a height of 50 meters and its opulent décor. Open until January 15 from 10 a.m. to midnight on weekdays, noon to midnight on weekends, and during school holidays.
The Christmas train – Place Richebé: The youngest passengers board the Christmas train to tour Place Richebé plaza. Every day at 2:00 p.m.
L’Idéal Chenille 1922 – Place du Théâtre: the popular, nearly century-old carousel with its vintage interior. Open from 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, weekends, and school holidays.
Le Petit Quinquin: near the second entrance on the side facing Rue de la Vieille Comédie of the Christmas Village. Open daily throughout the hours when the Christmas market is open.
Lille Christmas Market Foods
Pronouncing the Alsatian name for pretzel is just as much pleasure as eating it. One local source claims that the ideal bretzel should have a texture that is in between that of bread and brioche, meaning that it should give easily when you bite into it and encourage leisurely chewing so you can enjoy the cozy feel and well balanced doughy saltiness.
It’s best described as an Alsatian take on the German pretzel, which is available at nearly every French Christmas market. There are bretzel sandwiches, cheezy bretzels, sweet bretzels, and salty bretzels available.
Cannelé De Bordeaux
Originally from Bordeaux, Canelé [Cah-Nuh-Lay], this little pastry is flavored with vanilla and rum and is a pride of the region. It is available at Christmas markets and throughout France year-round. You can have it for breakfast, dessert, or as an addition to tea or coffee. It has a crisp outside and a creamy custard inside.
Sauerkraut aka “La Choucroute”
The existence of sauerkraut and sausages surprises a lot of first-time tourists to France. Similar to gluhwein and bretzel, this traditional German delicacy is now a part of Alsacian regional cuisine and French culture. Most French Christmas markets provide this meal, which is typically served with meat (pork, hot dogs, sausages, and potatoes, of course).
Waffles probably don’t need an introduction. These dense Belgian waffles are a favorite street dish as well as at Christmas markets. Nutella and sugar-dusted whipped cream (à la Chantilly) are popular toppings.
Popular spiced bread, especially around Christmas, is pain d’épices. It’s called French gingerbread in several web recipes since it resembles gingerbread a lot. It can be consumed on its own, with butter, or as a topping for foie gras or cheese.
Another popular traditional seasonal beverage is spiced wine, or mulled wine, which is particularly popular at German Christmas markets. But because it comes from the Alsace area, which borders Germany, it’s also a traditional drink at Christmas markets all around France. It is known as vin chaud (hot wine) in most of France and as glow wine (Glühwein) at numerous Alsatian Christmas markets.
Things to do in Lille at Christmas (that aren’t Christmas Markets)
The Old town of Lille
The old city’s sparkling light display accentuates its exquisite Flemish architecture. Shop windows compete with one another to have the most creative displays. You can be sure that there is something for every taste and budget with this many stores. Old town is also a great place to visit after you’re done Christmas shopping.
The best spot to find the biggest names in fashion and design is in Vieux Lille (old town), with its charming old Flemish buildings lining its tiny cobblestone alleyways. This area is also home to a large number of galleries and antique stores.
Visit Palais des Beaux Arts
This museum should be far more well-known than it is. It’s brimming with amazing artwork and artifacts, but it’s also highly inventive with modern exhibitions and a readiness to show things in novel ways. Usually, I’m not all that into that kind of stuff, but in this case, it just works incredibly well.
Things to know before visiting the Lille Christmas Market
There are two entrances to the Lille Christmas Village: the primary one on Rue Jean Roisin and the secondary one on Rue de la Vieille Comédie. Please follow the line and show the security guards your belongings before you enter.
Priority access is given to those who have limited mobility. Kindly make use of the exit and show the security guard your card.
Consider purchasing a Lille City Pass if you intend to visit several of the city’s top monuments, sights, and museums while you’re there. This city pass provides discounts on a variety of shopping, museum, and guided tour options in addition to public transportation.
Calculate the cost of your intended activities and the discount in relation to the card’s price to determine whether the card is worthwhile. Here are more details on the Lille’s City Pass.
He stays in his chalet at Lille Christmas Village every year and comes back to see the children. The chalet is on the street de la Vieille Comédie side, near entry number two to the Christmas market. You may snap a keepsake photo with Santa and take it with you in a beautiful satchel.
Dogs are welcome, but they have to be leashed. Dogs classified as dangerous need to wear muzzles.
Where to stay in Lille
There are many of accommodations in Lille, as one might anticipate from such a mid sized city, with amenities and preferences to suit every budget. Here are some of the top places to stay in Lille, ranking them according to location and reviews, from the ultra-luxurious to the affordable.
When visiting Lille, make sure to reserve a room at the Clarance Hotel for a really extravagant experience. This five-star boutique hotel is located near Lille Main Train Station and features amenities including a spa and fitness center. It is also housed in a 19th-century mansion.
Couvent des Minimes Alliance Lille is a stylish four-star hotel that is situated in the city’s ever-trendy center district, which is unquestionably the finest spot to stay if you want access to the rest of ancient Lille and the greatest dining options. The hotel in Lille offers a sauna, a fitness center, and a seasonal bar as highlights.
Mama Shelter Lille is one of the Lille accommodations with the best reviews. The accommodations at this hotel provide Wi-Fi, a restaurant and bar on the eighth floor, and a rooftop bar with panoramic views of Lille. The cathedral is about a fifteen-minute walk away.
The Urban Hôtel & Spa should be your first choice if you’re looking for a wallet- and budget-friendly location to stay in Lille. The Kölner Dom and the major train station are both within ten minutes’ walk from this well-rated, budget hostel, which has a piano lounge and a shared kitchen among its amenities.
Additional Christmas Markets Close to Lille
There are numerous Christmas markets to visit throughout western France, so if you’re interested in organizing your own vacation, make sure to look at my suggested Christmas markets.
Arras Christmas Market
Arras’s Christmas market is set in the stunning Grand’Place, a Flemish Baroque architectural complex that is unmatched throughout Europe. Nestled in the center of the town, amid an impressive forest of Christmas trees, 140 artisans and exhibitors will welcome you with a genuine and joyous atmosphere.
Arras Christmas Market Dates:
25th November to 30th December 2023
Calais Christmas market
The market is held in conjunction with Calais’s Christmas parade, which takes place on beautifully lit streets and features a festive train leading a procession of floats manned by dancers, acrobats, elves, snowmen, and animated toys.
Calais Christmas Market Dates:
1st December – 30th December 2023
Bruges Christmas Market
You will undoubtedly be captivated with the charming city of Bruges during your visit, as it boasts one of the most beautiful Christmas Markets in all of Europe. Bruges’ old city center will be converted into a massive Christmas market starting at the end of November.
Bruges Christmas Markets Dates:
24th November 2023 to 7th January 2024
Amiens Christmas Market
Since 1997, people of all ages have been visiting the Amiens Christmas Market. It offers a fantastic selection of gift ideas with its 130 chalets spanning more than 2 miles. French and international craftspeople will be selling a range of handcrafted gifts, Christmas décor, and delectable treats from November 23 to December 31.
Amiens Christmas Market Dates:
24th November to 31st December 2023
FAQs about the Lille Christmas Market
Is Lille Christmas market worth visiting?
The Lille Christmas Market is worth visiting for its enchanting atmosphere, featuring a festive wonderland of traditional crafts, seasonal treats, and lively events. Renowned for its magical ambiance, it promises a memorable holiday experience in the heart of Lille, attracting visitors seeking joyous celebrations and unique offerings.
What dates is the Lille Christmas Market?
The Lille Christmas Market in 2024 is scheduled to take place from
22nd November to 31st December 2023. This annual event transforms the heart of the city into a festive wonderland, offering visitors a delightful experience filled with traditional crafts, seasonal treats, and holiday cheer.
Where is the Lille Christmas Market 2024?
With over ninety vendors on Place Rihour, the Lille Christmas market is situated directly in the heart of the city. Located nearby are the enormous Christmas tree and Ferris wheel at the Grand Palace.
What can I expect to find at the Lille Christmas Market?
At the Lille Christmas Market, visitors can expect a magical experience filled with festive delights. This enchanting winter wonderland features a diverse array of stalls offering traditional crafts, handcrafted ornaments, seasonal treats, and the joyful atmosphere of holiday cheer.
Are there any special events or performances at the Lille Christmas Market?
Yes, the Lille Christmas Market often features a lineup of special events and performances, including live music, festive parades, and appearances by Santa Claus. Keep an eye on the event schedule for specific details.
Is there an admission fee to enter the Lille Christmas Market?
The Lille Christmas Market typically offers free admission, providing visitors access to a festive wonderland featuring traditional crafts, seasonal treats, and family-friendly activities. However, specific events or attractions within the market may have separate admission fees.
Final Thoughts on Lille Christmas Markets
The Lille Christmas Market is a magical and enchanting experience that should not be missed. With its picturesque setting, wide variety of stalls, and delicious food offerings, it truly captures the spirit of the holiday season. Whether you are searching for unique gifts or simply looking to immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere, this market has something for everyone. So grab a hot chocolate, take a leisurely stroll through the beautifully decorated streets, and let the Lille Christmas Market transport you to a winter wonderland.
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Attractions, Activities and Tours 🇫🇷
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