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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 AirportLille Europe Railway Station, and Lille Flandres Railway Station.  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:

        Aromebase

        PANCOOK

        Le Potager des Demoiselles Cote Bistro

        Quai 38

        Patrimoine Kabyle

        Aux Epherites

        FAQ

        What you need to know about renting a car

        faq
        What do I need to rent a car in France?

        credit card in the name of the main driver needs to be presented. A security deposit may be required while renting a car so the credit card must have sufficient funds. You can find details about the security deposit listed while booking the vehicle as well as on your voucher. It is important to have a valid driving license with the name of the main driver as well as additional drivers when it applies. An International Driving Permit is required in addition to a National Driving License if the National Driving License you or any of the Additional Drivers hold is not identifiable as a Driving License, eg, it is in a non-Latin alphabet (eg Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Japanese). It can also depend on the country or car rental company you are renting with. If you have found a car on our website, you can press the rental terms link from the supplier for more information about driving license requirements. You will need to have identification with you such as a passport and ID cards. When you pick up your rental car you need to have your voucher with you.

        How old do I need to be to rent a car in France?

        The minimum age to rent a car is 21 years old but drivers with this age can rent only Mini and Economy Car Categories. Renters aged 25 and older may rent all Car Categories. With some suppliers for people over 75 years of age. Young driver surcharges may apply to many car rental companies for people under 25 years of age.

        Do I need car insurance in France?

        Insurances are very important when renting a car and can be different between countries. When renting a car in France with Orbit Car Hire the prices will include mandatory insurances in the country.

        Do I need a credit card to rent a car in France?

        In most cases, a credit card is required to be presented in the name of the main driver. A security deposit may be required when renting a car so it is important to have sufficient funds on the credit card. When searching for a car at Orbit you can see credit card requirements from all our suppliers.

        Do I need an international driving license in France?

        Drivers license issued in France or within the European Union does not have to provide an international drivers license. For drivers with a license issued outside of the EU will need to have an international driving license as well as your standard driving license. You must have both licenses with you at all times while driving a car in France.

        How do I find the cheapest car hire in France?

        You can find cheap car hire by comparing prices with all major car rentals at Orbit. A good idea can be to book in advance as the prices can increase closer to the travel period. 

        What is the cheapest rental car in France?

        You will find the mini car category or economy cars to be the cheapest car categories. Vehicles such as Renault Twingo and Citroen C3 often provide the best prices. 

        What is the best car rental company in France?

        You may find excellent service provided by companies such as Europcar, Enterprise Rent a Car, Keddy by Europcar, Alamo Rent a Car, and GoldCar. 

        What types and makes of rental car deals can I find in France?

        You will find car types such as mini, economy, compact, Full-Size, and luxury cars. Popular rental cars are Citroen C3, Renault Twingo, Peugeot 308, Toyota Yaris. 

        Does my rental car have unlimited mileage when I book it for France?

        Most car rentals in France offer unlimited mileage in their offers. 

        How to hire a car in France?

        You can hire a car in France with Orbit Car Hire in simple steps. First, you define where you would like to pick up and return the car, enter dates and times and you can search for your cheap France car hire. 

        How much is it to rent a car in France?

        It will depend on where in France you would like to rent a car and at what period. The summer months can be more expensive than during the winter. You can find prices down to 12 GBP per day. 

        Can you rent an automatic car in France?

        Yes, you can find a wide range of automatic rental cars in France. The best way to find your automatic car hire in France is to filter the "Automatic" transmission when searching for your vehicle. 

        Can I rent a car in France?

        Yes, you can rent a car in France in simple steps with Orbit Car Hire. You just need to be over 21 years of age and have held the driving license for a minimum of one year (This can depend on the car hire companies)

        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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