Eurostar: Beautiful French city just 82 minutes from London by train that is way cheaper than Paris

As temperatures are beginning to hot up, the time has come to start planning a summer holiday. But, for many, air travel has become significantly less appealing in a post-pandemic world.

Thankfully budget airlines can be swapped for a no-luggage restriction, more legroom alternative – The Eurostar. With Europe boasting some of the most unique cities in the world, a short trip under the Channel is a quick and easy option to begin your holiday.

As there are over 800 cities in the continent to choose from, it’s not surprising that most opt ​​for the capitals of each country, the most obvious being Paris. However, if this year you’re looking for a French escape on a budget, Lille could be a great choice instead.

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Lillois are widely admired for their exceptional hospitality and friendly nature

According to BudgetYourTrip.com the average daily cost (per person) in Paris is € 184, while the average daily cost in Lille is € 92. Although every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in the city, taking into account prices of accommodation, food, transportation, and entertainment.

Situated in northern France, this major city was once considered a grimy-industrial metropolis but now is famed for being a commercial hub. With a rich history the old town – Vieux-Lille -is best explored by foot and flaunts beautiful French and Flemish architecture along stunning cobbled streets.

Across the city, there are also fascinating museums and galleries you’ll get lost in, as well as several with interactive areas to keep the kids (or the big kids) entertained. Amongst the most well-known arePalais des Beaux-Arts, one of the largest museums in all of France, andMusée de l’Hospice Comtesse, a converted hospital from the French Revolution.

If you think more with your stomach than your head, food is a major part of the city’s character. As the city borders with Belgium, much of the cuisine is from a Flemish descent with dishes such as carbonnade flamande (a beef stew cooked with beer) and waterzoï (chicken or fish in a white wine sauce) available at many restaurants.

The Belgian tie also means the city is renowned for its luxurious chocolates and local beers which are a mainstay on menus. Head to the massive Carrefour hypermarket, found next to the train station, to stock up on the town’s French produce.

But one of the biggest pulls is surely the people. Lillois are widely admired for their exceptional hospitality and friendly nature, as well as known for their love of a party with unmissable parades, carnivals, fairs and concerts running throughout the year.

With the journey taking approximately 82 minutes by train from London, Lille is the perfect place to visit for a day trip or a short break. From St Pancras International a return fair on the Eurostar this summer could cost as little as £ 59 directly into the city.

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