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Getting around Lille

Public transport

Transpole (tel: +33 3 2040 4040; www.transpole.fr) operates a good network of buses and trams, as well as two automated, driverless metro lines known as the 'VAL'.

The town centre is small enough to cover on foot, but the metro is useful for longer journeys. Buy a carnet of 10 tickets in advance to save money. Alternatively, a daily travel card, the Pass'Journée, allows you to travel anywhere on the network all day.

Taxis

Taxis are available from the main taxi ranks located at the airport, outside Lille Europe and Lille Flandres railway stations, and at various busy locations in town. You can book taxis in advance from Taxi Union (tel: +33 3 2006 0606) and Taxi Lille Métropole (tel: +33 6 6232 4924).

Driving

It is possible to bring your car into the city centre, but not recommended. The best option is to use the Parc-Relais (park and ride service) which links 10 car parks outside and around Lille with public transport into the city. The four car parks for Lille city are Porte des Postes, Porte d'Arras, Champ de Mars and C.H.R.B-Calmette.

Car hire

Car hire is available from Avis (tel: +33 820 611 695, in France; www.avis.fr), Europcar (tel: +33 3 2006 0146; www.europcar.fr) and Hertz (tel: +33 825 826 026; www.hertz.fr).

Bicycle hire

Lille is famous in cycling circles (the historic Paris to Roubaix race rivals the Tour de France in these parts), but don’t be put off by its reputation for bone-shaking cobbled streets - there’s also an easy-to-navigate cycle path network.

The city has its own town bike rental system in the form of V’lille (tel: +33 3 2040 4040; www.vlille.fr). There are more than 200 self-service stations around the city, where you can pick up and drop off red bikes bearing the red V’lille logo. You can buy a one-day or seven-day pass, after which the first 30 minutes of any journey are free. Those wishing to travel further afield can take their bike with them on the tram, but must board either the first or the last tram car, and be mindful of the one-bike-per-tram policy.

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Hôtel Brueghel

Overlooking the gothic St Maurice Church, this delightful, old fashioned hotel is a gem. Check out the wood-panelled lobby and the tiny lift that whisks guests up to the 66 simple and small rooms, all featuring rustic Flemish furnishings.

Hôtel de la Treille

Perfectly located between rue de la Monnaie, Lille's prime shopping street, and rue de Gand, packed with bars and restaurants, this 40-room hotel offers very good value for money.

Hôtel des Tours

A business class hotel located in the heart of Old Lille in a very calm, peaceful and historic setting. There are 64 small rooms decorated in a contemporary style and equipped with direct-dial phone and minibar. There is also a large car park and a business centre.

L'Hermitage Gantois

This chic boutique hotel is housed in a beautifully renovated 15th-century hospice and successfully blends medieval features (such as the delightful courtyards and the chapel) with minimalist contemporary design. There are 67 well-equipped rooms and suites (some featuring period furniture), several meeting rooms and salons, a plush (but affordable) restaurant and a bar.

Crowne Plaza

Overlooking the Lille Europe station this hotel has 120 bright rooms many with panoramic views of the city. The Crowne Plaza also boasts a restaurant and bar and five meeting rooms accommodating up to 100 people.