One of the best things about living in and visiting Lille is its proximity to Belgium. It is incredibly easy to visit Belgium for the day! Whether by car, train or bus, there are many straightforward day trips from Lille to Belgium. Let’s take a look at the best and easiest day trips from Lille across the border to Belgium!
Pro tip: I always book my train tickets through Omio or Trainline! They list for you all of the train and bus options to help you find the cheapest and quickest option! I have been booking European train travel through them since I moved to London in 2019!
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⏰ around 35-minute train ride from Lille
🚂 The main train station in Brussels is called Bruxelles-Midi which is about a 25-minute walk to the city centre
Brussels being the capital city of Belgium is, of course, probably the easiest day trip from Lille! You easily spend a half day there! It’s known for its gold-detailed Grand Place, its humorous Manneken-Pis and the massive Atomium statue. The Grand Place was my personal favourite!
The few times that I have visited Brussels, I also decided to check out some of the tours and experiences around the city. And the most memorable experience was a chocolate-making class! It was an amazing experience and was such a fun way to spend an afternoon! I also took a history chocolate walking tour of the city (complete with free samples)! All of this to say, you can find some pretty cool activities and experiences in Brussels, be sure to look into some for your visit!
PRO TIP: Be sure to check out my top 10 things to do in Brussels when planning for your trip to Belgium’s capital!
⏰ 1.5-hour train ride from Lille
🚂 You would arrive at Brugge train station which is around a 22-minute walk into town
This is one of my favourite day trips from Lille and the one I have visited the most. Bruges is a cute medieval town and it is known as the Venice of the North! It is for this reason that it is actually known as one of the most picturesque hidden gems in Europe!
You can spend your day wandering the waterways and canals, or even taking a tour of them! Its old, historic centre is also a really beautiful place to wander, explore the shops and try a waffle! Make sure you don’t miss walking around Rozenhoedkaai for a wonderful view of the canals with a backdrop of traditional Flemish buildings!
⏰ 1-1.5 hour train ride from Lille
🚂 Ghent’s train station is called Ghent-Sint-Pieters which is around a 36-minute walk into the main city centre
Ghent is a port city in Belgium and people often have a hard time choosing between visiting Ghent or Bruges. They both have canals and have similar vibes. Ghent is known for being smaller than Bruges however it is a lot less touristy.
If you have a day to spend in Ghent you can stop by the Castle of Counts, St Michael’s Bridge, the Cathedral and of course, the canals. I personally visited during the Christmas market season which was another really great time to explore the smaller cities in Belgium!
⏰ 1.5-2 hour train ride from Lille
🚂 Antwerpen-Centraal train station is stunning and is a 23-minute walk away from the main square
I would say Antwerp is probably the most underrated city on this day trips from Lille list, even though it is technically Belgium’s second-largest city. People often skip it in favour of Brussels. When I visited, I hadn’t heard much about it and went in not knowing what to expect. And I actually really enjoyed my visit. It is a really nice place to spend a day, especially if you’ve already visited Belgium’s more popular cities.
For your next trip, stop by Antwerpen Centraal, Meir Shopping Street, Antwerp Cathedral of our Lady and Grote Markt. If you have more time to spend consider visiting Peter Paul Rueben’s House, the zoo, the castle or one of the other amazing parks and museums found around the city!
More time to spend in Lille?
I hope this list inspires you to explore some of the many day trips from Lille. Belgium has some really beautiful and unique cities as well as some pretty delicious foods and chocolate. What more do you need for a day trip!?
If you’re spending more time in Lille, why not explore some of its most delicious sweet shops? Or get try local Northern French cuisine. Or maybe even spend the day in Roubaix. Rainy day? Not a problem. I have put together a Rainy Guide to Lille on my Thatch page to keep you busy and having fun!