Bruges vs. Lille

My friend and I have 2 extra days in Europe and are trying to decide between spending them in Bruges or Lille, France. Any suggestions? We haven't been to either one. Thanks!

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
5014 posts

I can only say that my friend recently went to both; he's in Turkey at the moment, so I can't ask him for more details. However, I know he was not as taken with Bruges as I was (I liked it, he was more neutral). And he had 3 days in Lille (including the arrival jet lag day), and had ideas for day trips in case he didn't like it, but didn't need to take any day trips because he liked it more than he expected. I've never been to Lille, so I can't compare them myself. Lille will definitely have fewer tourists than Bruges, and it's substantially larger, if those are factors. Until recently, Lille was very economically depressed (see the wonderful but depressing movie The Dream Life Of Angels to see the "rust belt of France" aspect of the area), while Bruges has a time tripping quality that some love and others find too "theme park" to enjoy.

Wake Forest, NC, United States
60 posts

I've never been to Lille but we did go to Bruges last year for a few days and loved it. We loved it so much that we will be making a stop there again next month towards the end of our rail trip!

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
3276 posts

I stayed in Lille, but only because I could get a room there with points. It was Ok, but my real goal was to go to Bruges, and since it is only 40 miles away we just drove there for the day. I think Bruges is definitely more charming than Lille, but I was there during the Christmas Market and really enjoyed it. I am sure it is lovely in the summer as well. Much more a tourist destination than Lille....

Posted by Nancy
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvan, United States
2 posts

Thanks everyone! That's great input!

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
4263 posts

Hi, I've been to both but more recently and more time was spent in Lille than Brugges. If you want to see the big city in northern France, go to Lille. Brugges is when you prefer a smaller, quaint place. I liked both but Lille was more interesting to me.

Posted by Bob
Gettysburg, PA
1472 posts

" San Francisco or Alameda? " James says it all!!!! Bruges, for sure.