Go off the beaten track
With the help of a logbook, walk along an indicated path through Lille’s emblematic districts, and uncover hidden and unusual places and facts about the city and its history. Lille becomes your playground as you set out from the Tourist Office to enjoy the itinerary carefully prepared for you by passionate, local experts.
Lille Tourism and Convention Bureau, 42 Place Rihour, Lille, France, +33 08 91 56 20 04
Browse the secondhand book stalls at the market in the Vieille Bourse, the old stock exchange. Erected in 1653, it was and still is the most beautiful building in Lille—or more accurately, several buildings put together, as it is made up of more than 24 attached houses. Pick a book for each other, write a dedication inside, and commemorate your date. And if you so happen to visit on a Sunday during the summer, you can tango away the night under the stars.
La Vieille Bourse, Place Charles de Gaulle, Lille, France, +33 891 56 20 04
There’s nothing like working as a team to see if your partnership is meant to be. Escape games are hugely popular: interactive adventures where you and your team have a set amount of time to unlock the clues, complete a mission, and escape the room. You’ll need to put your heads together, trust each other and, above all, keep your sense of humor.
Revisit your childhood with a trip to Lille’s zoo. Part of its charm is that it’s not too large. It houses about 350 animals representing 100 different species: monkeys, zebras, panthers, rare birds, and more. It is very well maintained and set in the beautiful Citadel Park, making it the ideal place for a lovers’ stroll.
Zoo de Lille, Avenue Mathias Delobel, Lille, France, +33 03 28 52 07 00
Lille was the second city in France to have its own botanical garden, which dates back to the 16th century. Over the years the collection grew to a spectacular 11 hectares (27 acres), with thousands of native and exotic varieties, including an innovative, tropical greenhouse that displays fascinating samples from tropical regions, and makes for a discreet setting for a tender baiser volé.
Jardin des Plantes, 306 Rue du Jardin des Plantes, Lille, France, +33 03 28 36 13 50
At the heart of the 5-star L’Hermitage Gantois hotel is a luxury spa that includes treatment cabins for couples, offering color therapy and aroma therapy, with a 30-minute custom massage for both of you side by side. Access to the pool and the steam room are offered before the treatment, as well as bathrobes, towels and slippers.
L’Hermitage Gantois, 224 Rue de Paris, Lille, France, +33 03 20 85 30 30
Practice your teamwork as you discover Lille on an authentic Dutch-style tandem bike. The tour lasts about two hours and allows you to discover the main sites of Lille and its history. The guide will show you the main landmarks, as well as sometimes overlooked details of this surprising French city.
Le Grand Huit, Avenue Léon Jouhaux, Lille, France, +33 06 08 25 74 91
Toast champagne in a convent
At the heart of the hotel Couvent des Minimes is the champagne bar Le Clos Champenois, set in a suspended loft in a historical, 17th-century religious building in the center of Lille. Decorated all in white, with low-accent lighting, it is a mystical place where the nuns of the Minimes lived and observed their rites. You’ll hardly find a more romantic setting to pop a champagne cork… and perhaps a certain question?
Couvent Des Minimes Alliance Lille, 17 Quai du Wault, Lille, France, +33 03 20 30 62 62
Rock your world
Do you have two left feet? No problem. Let the dance enthusiast at the friendly Club Rock Isen show you how it’s done. They have over 20 years of experience and a loyal local following. Take a one-hour lesson to learn the moves, have a good laugh, then show off your new skills dancing away into the night. The club posts the dates and times of their rocking meetings, usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays, on their Facebook group page.
Club Rock Isen, 127 Rue Meurein, Lille, France, +33 3 20 30 40 50
Cook up a storm
There’s something seriously sensual about cooking together. All those aromas, flavors and textures awakening the appetite. A duo cooking workshop is a fun way to make memories together. Learn a dish or a full menu, such as the fish and seafood Menu de la Criée at Cook & Go, or the Incredible Lunch Break at Atelier des Chefs. Then every time you recreate these recipes at home you’ll remember your special date in Lille.