The cultural hub of northern France, Lille is a lively city with a strong Flemish flavour, a well preserved old town, museums, shopping and an exciting nightlife. Lille was also the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2004 and fully merits this title. The city has a beautiful old town with 17th and 18th century restored houses. The famous Palais Des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Museum) is one of the most important in France and has 15th- 20th century paintings by artists like Rubens, Van Dyck, Delacroix and a collection of porcelain and sculpture. The Old Stock Exchange, Vieille Bourse is also a must see for its ornate Flemish- Renaissance architectural style. Stroll around the city and see the neoclassical Opéra, the Museum of Modern Art and the French military leader Charles de Gaulle’s birthplace. You can also try the Flemish speciality carbonnade in one of Lille’s many restaurants and shake it up later at a nightclub. A short distance from Brussels, Paris and London, Lille beckons travellers with its rich heritage and lively atmosphere.