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About Lille

Lille is the capital of the Hauts-de-France region, the prefecture of the Nord department, and the capital of the Métropole Européenne de Lille. It is located near the border with Belgium in northern France in French Flanders, which is where the nickname Lille-Capital of Flanders comes from. It is also the fourth largest city in France.

The river Deûle flows through the city with a very important port. The city is a major rail hub with many high-speed trains to and from London, Brussels, Paris, and many other regions throughout France. This fact gives Lille a very good position in terms of economic and industrial strength. It is a very rich and developed industrial centre of France with many factories in the suburbs of the city. But the city centre is still one of the most famous cultural and historical areas in France. Lille was besieged several times during its history and its city centre was destroyed several times. In the era of Louis XIV, it became a French city. And was completely rebuilt, as it often was. The last major destruction of Lille took place during World War II when the city was occupied by German troops.

For a long time, it was known that Paris was the cultural and artistic capital of France, while Lille was the financial capital of the country. But we must not forget that Lille has a lot to offer to history and art lovers as well. The city has a very rich cultural background and as the industry grew, so did Lille's reputation as a tourist destination. A big part of the growing reputation among tourists was due to the strong college, as Lille is known as a very good college city and also a city with a large research centre in the fields of medicine and pharmacy.

The city is divided into two parts. In the north is the old part of the city with narrower streets, walls that protected the city in the past, and many historic buildings, most of which are now restored and open to tourists. To the south is the new part of the city, known for its modern architecture and wider streets. The border between these two parts of the city is the Boulevard de la Liberté.

So, if you are planning to explore France, you cannot forget to visit Lille. This cultural and business capital of northern France has something special to offer you. You will enjoy the food, architecture, history and of course have a lot of fun in this interesting city that is a mix of medieval and modern. The people here are very different from those in Paris, Lyon, Marseille or other big cities. So you should come here and get to know the city and the people of Lille.

Basic info and car hire in Lille

  • Location: Northern France
  • Population: 233098
  • Official language: French
  • Currency: Euro
  • Weather:   Temperate oceanic climate
  • Holidays in Lille:  For public holidays in Lille follow this link
  • Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants, and cafés offer Wi-Fi.
  • Road conditions:  Most roads in Lille are in good condition.
  • Car hire in Lille:  The most common pick-up point for vehicles in Lille is of the Lille airport. Please note that prices vary frequently. It is best to book a car 3 to 8 weeks in advance of your desired pick-up date - this will ensure you get the cheapest rental rate. Alternatively, it is also possible to find cheap last-minute car hire. Find the best deal on car hire in Lille!

 Driving in Lille

Low emission zones (CPAs) have been in place in Lille since April 2017. When emissions are high, these zones are closed to vehicles and you need an environmental badge to enter Lille. If the limits are exceeded, entry will probably only be allowed for vehicles with valid Crit'Air E, 1, 2, and 3 environmental badges. Vehicles with a lower sticker will be denied entry.

Lille's low emission zone covers a total of 12 municipalities: Lille, Hellemmes, Lambersart, Lezennes, Lomme, La Madeleine, Marcq-en-Baroeul, Marquette-Lez-Lille, Mons-en-Baroeul, Ronchin, Saint-André-lez-Lille and Lille Sequedin. Prohibitions and restrictions do not apply to the main A1, A22, A25, N227 and D652 roads.

Driving in Lille can be more difficult at rush hour. In the Old Town, be aware that there are many one-way streets and pedestrianized areas that you will need to avoid. It is probably best to explore the old town on foot. You can park your car in one of the parking garages around the centre or in one of the many public parking lots on the side of the road. Remember, however, that there is a charge for these car parks. Therefore, read carefully the information on the signs at the car parks.

Driving in the new part of Lille is much easier because the streets are wider and there are not as many one-way streets as in the old part of the city.

So if you avoid rush hours, driving in Lille will be a pleasant experience for you. But all in all, it is always better to find a good parking space and explore smaller parts of the city on foot and use your car to explore the surrounding areas of the city. You can also use a car to move freely from one place to another. However, make sure that you use a navigation system so that you do not get lost in the city streets. You will also find the road signs marked but in French. 

  • Age limits: The minimum age to drive a car in France is 18 years.
  • International Driving Permit:  Yes, if you are a non-EU license holder.
  • Additional papers:   Identification(passports for all people in the car), the car's registration certificate, and your M.O.T. certificate (for cars over three years old, proving the vehicle meets environmental and road safety standards), a valid driving license, and valid proof of insurance. (It is advisable to buy insurance at the car hire agency in case your policy doesn't cover you while driving in France)
  • Additional requirements:  High-visibility, reflective vest for every person in the car, Warning triangle, Full set of replacement bulbs for head and taillights, Spare pair of glasses, Headlight converters (required if driving from, "Crit'Air" badge (required in central Paris), Breathalyzer.
  • Children in the car:  Children under 13 must be in car seats or wearing seat belts appropriate for their age and height. Babies and infants about a year old or under should always be positioned in rear-facing car seats.
  • Driving side of the road: Right
  • Lights:  Check that all lights are working, clean, and correctly aimed.
  • General speed limits: There is a variable maximum speed on French roads, depending on weather conditions. In dry weather, 2- or 3-lane rural roads are limited to 80 km/h, 4-lane expressways (in rural areas) are limited to 110 km/h, and motorways (in rural areas if classified as highways) are limited to 130 km/h. In rainy conditions, the limits are lowered to 80, 100, and 110 km/h respectively. The 50 km/h speed limit in cities is independent of weather conditions. The general speed limit is reduced to 50 km/h on all roads in fog or other poor visibility conditions when visibility is less than 50 meters.
  • Parking suggestions: In the city area, you must pay for all street parking from Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am-8:00 pm, and you pay per hour. Parking is free on Sundays and holidays. Generally, you can park for up to 6 hours at a time if you do not have a resident's permit, and up to a week at a time with a permit.

Car Hire in Lille

Most popular car hire at Lille

The most selected hire car in Lille is Ford Fiesta, with Renault Clio and Seat Ibiza also being a popular option. The most popular car types in Lille are mini, economy, and compact.

Popular Driving Routes

Popular One-Way car hire from Lille

Want to rent a car for a one-way trip? No worries! Orbit Car Hire offers a variety of one-way Car Hire options in many locations outside of Lille. One-way car rental is ideal for cross-town or cross-country travel, saving time by not returning to your original location. Start your reservation with Orbit Car Hire and find great options on one-way car hire at locations across the France.

  • Lille-Le Havre (318km with approximately 3-3,5 hours of drive)

  • Lille-Caen (388km with approximately 4 hours of drive)

  • Lille-Mont Saint-Michel (514km with approximately 5-5,5 hours of drive)

  • Lille-Crnac (700km with approximately 6,5-7 hours of drive)

What to see in Lille

Palais des Beaux-Arts

In this huge museum, you can see works of art from 1400 to 1900. There are works by many famous painters from around the world such as Monet, Raphael, Gustave Courbet, Rubens, van Gogh, Donatello, Jacob Jordaens, and Picasso. There are also interesting relief maps and plans on display where you can discover 17th century France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. This Belle Époque summer palace was built in the 19th century and is the second-largest museum in France, just after the Le Louvre in Paris. 

La Vieille Bourse

This very important and much-visited building was built in the 17th century and was originally a poke exchange. It consists of 24 Flemish Renaissance houses, all arranged around a central arcaded courtyard. During its existence, this building has always been a popular place for tourists and especially for locals, who use the building nowadays for many different purposes. They meet here and play chess in the garden. There is also a book and flower market in this building. In summer, many cultural events are also held here. 

Big square

A square in the center of the city is a place where people meet and gather. It offers a wonderful view of the buildings that surround the square and has a very special historical charm. In the middle of the square is the Colonne de la Déesse, which was built in the 19th century. 

Zoological Park (Parc Zoologique)

If you are an animal lover or just love nature walks, ZOO is the place for you. The special thing about ZOO in Lille is that admission is free, making it one of the most visited ZOOs in the country. It houses 450 animals from over 70 species and participates in international conservation programs for endangered species. And the environment here in ZOO is really special because you completely lose the feeling that you are in the city. A wonderful green environment will impress you and you and your family will get the feeling that you are in the middle of nature. 

Citadel of Lille

This citadel was built in the 17th century and is very special as it was built in just three years. The star-shaped citadel was built as a military base and is still used for this purpose today. Unfortunately, since it is a French military base, you cannot enter it, but you can admire this monumental building from the outside and it is really worth a visit.

The Cathedral of Lille

Also known as the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Treille, this cathedral was started in the 19th century but was not completed until 1990 due to lack of funding. Today, it is very popular among tourists and locals, mainly because of its beautiful decorations and artwork. It not only serves religious purposes but also hosts concerts, art exhibitions, etc.

  • Visit Lille

    Explore France 

    Drive your rental car beyond Lille

    If you take a road trip through France, you will fall in love with the northern part of this beautiful country. Since Lille is the capital of northern France, you must visit this unique city. But the northern part of France is known for much more than just Lille. It is an absolutely stunning place to explore and you will have a hard time deciding which part of the country you liked the most. There are so many castles, monuments, villages, small towns with very nice people and delicious cuisine that you must try. The roads here are in good condition, so you will really enjoy driving through the countryside and visiting all the attractions. There are so many places to visit here that you need to make a good plan to do everything in the time you have.

    Here are some suggestions:

    Le Havre is a port city with fantastic museums and an impressive cathedral. Nearby is the Côte d'Albâtre, considered one of the most beautiful coasts in northern France. Another place you will not regret visiting is Caen, one of the most beautiful cities in Normandy. There is a very popular Château de Caen, built by William the Conqueror about 1000 years ago, which you must see. Mont Saint-Michel is also a place you must visit. It is a village on a small island with a large church at the top of the island. It is also part of the UNESCO heritage list and was an important pilgrimage destination in the Middle Ages. A large city that will delight you is Brest, which will impress you with the Tour Tanguy and the Natural Park d'Armorique.

    For those who do not love cities and urban centers, there is also plenty to see in the north of France. One of the places you'll love is definitely Carnac, known for its stones that are said to be over 6,000 years old! There are also some really beautiful beaches in the area that you will enjoy, especially in the summer months. If you want to learn more about the history of this region, you should visit Paimpont. You can also explore unique and mystical forests here in the Paimpont area.

    All in all, Northern France has a lot to offer, from cities with rich culture and history to perfect small villages with very friendly people and delicious food. For the more active amongst you, there are also plenty of hiking trails or beaches to visit that you will really enjoy. All you need to do is get in your car, buckle up and drive safely.

  • Explore Lille

    Enjoy the culture in Lille

    Where to eat, drink, and party in Lille

    Lille is one of the most popular destinations for French gastronomy. Food plays a big part in the lives of the French. And it's no different in Lille. Here, not only the food is important, but also the service and the environment. The restaurants are really beautifully and stylishly decorated, the service in these restaurants is really good and the icing on the cake is some really delicious food. So what more do you want as a foodie? Here in Lille, you have everything you could want. You can choose between many different places to eat in Lille. From Flemish home cooking to haute cuisine and international cuisine to Michelin-starred restaurants and quaint and quirky eateries, you'll be spoilt for choice.

    The culinary scene in Lille is both French and Belgian influenced, which adds another dimension to the food here in Lille. Some of the most popular dishes are made with meat or fish. It all depends on what you prefer. Some of the traditional main dishes are: Carbonade Flamande, Potjevleesh, Waterzoi.

    But some snacks and desserts are very popular here. But of course, we can not forget about the Fromage. Since France is considered the land of cheese, this wonderful dish in this country comes in thousands of varieties. In Lille, you can try cheeses from all over France, but of course, the cheese from the North of France is the number one here.

Best restaurants in Lille:



Le Potager des Demoiselles Cote Bistro

Quai 38

Patrimoine Kabyle

Aux Epherites


What you need to know about renting a car

How to make a booking with Orbit Car Hire?

You can easily book your vehicle with Orbit Car Hire. First, you have to choose the date and location of your rental in our booking form. In the next step, you can pick out the vehicle you want from the list provided. After filling out the personal information form there is a step where you choose the payment method and you simply fill in your credit card information. In the end, you can print out your voucher, which is needed at the time of pick-up.

What are the charges for security deposits?

Every car rental has its security deposit policy. You will find the information about the security deposit while booking the vehicle or on your voucher. 

What if I would like to change my booking?

If you need to change your booking you have made through Orbit Car Hire please contact our customer support team at customerservice@orbitcarhire.com or by phone at +354 823 0165. You can cancel your booking free of charge at least forty-eight hours before your rental is due to start. For further information please read the Terms of Use. 

How do I cancel my booking?

You can cancel your booking free of charge at least forty-eight hours before your rental is due to start. For further information please read the Conditions of Use. Our customer service team will address your requests in due time:

When do I pay for the rental car?

You pay a small deposit when making the booking as a guarantee. The remaining balance is paid when you pick up your rental vehicle. Please keep in mind that the payment at the counter is paid in local currency. 

What is included in the price?

Most of the reservations made by Orbit Car Hire include unlimited mileage, local tax, mandatory fees, and collision damage waiver. In steps 1 and 2 in the booking process or on your voucher, you can see all the details about your booking inclusions.

Are there any hidden fees?

There are no hidden charges! All mandatory surcharges and fees are presented in the 3rd step of the booking process and our Terms and Conditions. Please note that additional charges may apply for some rentals in case of:

  • Out of hours surcharge (when picking up the vehicle out of office hours),
  • One way fee (when returning the vehicle at a different location),
  • The service charge for fuel (prepaid fuel policy),
  • Young/senior driver fee (this condition is set by the car hire company and is usually not about the regulation of the specific country),
  • Excess and deposit amount (before hiring you to need to make sure your credit card limit is high enough for the deposit amount to be blocked which usually equals the excess amount or higher).

We advise our clients to read the Terms and Conditions carefully before the rental to avoid any surprises. Our knowledgeable customer service agents will gladly help you with any questions via phone, email, or live chat during our opening hours.

What is a voucher and why do I need it?

A voucher is a document that confirms your booking, the price for your booking, and the payment of your booking. It is mandatory to have your voucher with you at the time of pick up. If you do not have the voucher with you at the time of pick up, the vehicle provider may refuse to release the vehicle to you or can change the price of the rental.

What is an airport or premium location fee?

Premium location/airport fee is a fee that covers the location service costs. This fee is usually included in the price but may still occur at some locations and is charged locally.

What is Premium Coverage and how does it work?

Premium Coverage is an optional service by Orbit Car Hire which, if accepted, covers your financial accountability for damage or theft to the hired vehicle. This is not insured with a car hire company that reduces the excess amount, but a cover that refunds you in case the car hire company charges you for damage or theft. With this option, you will be reimbursed up to 3000 EUR. For more information, you can read the Terms and Conditions or contact us.

How do I get the cheapest car hire?

Prices vary frequently. It is best to book a car 3 to 8 weeks in advance of your desired pick-up date - this will ensure you get the cheapest rental rate. Alternatively, it is also possible to find cheap last-minute car hire. Find the best deal on car hire in Alicante!

How many countries does Orbit Car Hire compare?

We at Orbit Car Hire compare car hire prices in over 140 countries, including popular destinations within Europe such as Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Iceland, Croatia, Malta, France, Slovenia, Germany. 

What currency should I use to pay for the car?

You can pay the confirmation fee on Orbit's page in EUR, GBP, ISK and USD. When you pick up your car hire you will pay the remaining balance in the currency that is in the country of pick up. 

Can I rent a car from inside the terminal?

You can hire a car from inside the terminal. When you compare our offers, you can filter "In Terminal" to see all the offers we have that are inside the terminal. 

What is the cheapest car to rent?

The cheapest car to rent is the Fiat 500, Volkswagen Up and Fiat Panda. 

Can I add an additional driver to my booking?

You can always add an additional driver to your booking when you are finding your deal on Orbit Car Hire. If you have already made a booking, you can contact us to add the additional driver. You can also add an additional driver to your booking when you pick up the vehicle. 

What payment methods are accepted by Orbit Car Hire

You can pay with a debit card and credit card when making a booking with Orbit Car Hire. We accept Mastercard and Visa. 

Can I drop off my car at a different location?

Yes, you can. When you look for car hire deals on our webpage you can press "Yes" to "Different drop off location" and you will see all the best deals for a one-way car hire. 

Car Hire Locations in Lille 3 location(s) found

Find The Best Car Hire Companies In Lille

  • Alamo Car Hire
  • Car Hire with Keddy by Europcar
  • Enterprise Rent a Car
  • Europcar
  • GoldCar Rental
  • National

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