Lille is one of the most underrated cities in France. It is often overlooked for more glamorous cities, but it shouldn’t be. It is super easy to travel from Paris to Lille, and you can easily visit Lille as a day trip from Paris.
There is no excuse not to visit this beautiful city!
The best way to travel from Paris to Lille is the train. It is the quickest way to travel between the two cities, but it comes with a cost. You will get to Lille in under an hour, but you will be paying twice as much as the bus, which is the next best way to travel from Paris to Lille.
It all comes down to how much time you have, your budget, and your preferred mode of transportation.
I personally think it is worth the price to take the train.
There is something to be said about arriving at a destination three times quicker even if it is double the cost.
This post covers the different ways to travel from Paris to Lille.
We’ll go over the pros and cons of each transportation method, so you can decide on the right option for you!
Before We Get Into It
I write a lot of these transportation guides. I hate researching how to travel from city to city, so once I’ve figured it out, I want to give you all the information in one place.
Here are the France transportation posts I’ve written to date:
I hope they help you when you’re planning your trip to France!
Option One: Take the Train from Paris to Lille
I think the Paris to Lille train is the best way to travel between the two cities.
It is extremely efficient, comfortable, and gets you to Lille from Paris in no time!
Yes it does cost more than the bus, but it is well worth the extra money in my eyes. It is three times faster than the train, so it makes sense you’re paying a higher price for the ticket.
How Long Does the Paris to Lille Tran Take?
There is always some variability to how long the train take.
It depends on what time of day it is, what day of the week, and if there are any delays on the train track. This is uncommon, but it does happen.
On average, you the Paris to Lille train take around an hour!
In rare instances if you’re not able to get on a TGV train (a fast train), you will have to take the TER.
The TER is slower and takes a little over two hours to travel to Lille from Paris.
It is very unlikely you will have to take the TER, so you can expect the journey to only be about an hour!
How Much Does a Train Ticket Cost?
There are a lot of factors that go into how much you pay for your train ticket in France.
It depends on your age, what day of the week you travel, the time of day, and how far in advance you book your seat.
There isn’t really an easy answer to how much a ticket is going to cost you!
You receive a discounted ticket price if you’re under the age of 26, over the age of 59, living with a disability, or assisting someone living with a disability.
Tickets are also become increasingly expensive the later you purchase them.
You can purchase tickets up to three months in advance, and that is when they are the least expensive.
So plan as far in advance as possible!
Generally speaking, you can expect to pay somewhere between €10 and €65 for a ticket on the Paris to Lille train.
Remember! The earlier you book, the less you’ll pay for your ticket!
At a minimum, try to book a week out from your date of departure.
The sooner the better though! Although I completely understand that is easier said than done if you’re the type of person who doesn’t plan a lot in advance.
Where to Purchase Train Tickets
You have two options when it comes to purchasing your train tickets:
- Online in advance (recommended)
- In person at the train station
I highly recommend you purchase your tickets online in advance.
Tickets can be purchased through the SNCF website quite easily. Just be sure to pay attention to whether or not you have to print your ticket or if an electronic copy will work.
There will be a little note before you purchase your ticket. It is easy to miss, but it is important information to note!
Your other option is buying your ticket in person at the train station.
You have to purchase the ticket at the departure station, and it can’t be purchased at other train stations in Paris unfortunately.
If you choose to purchase your ticket in person, I suggest going to the station a few days before you leave and buying it in advance.
It is worth the extra effort! Even buying your ticket two or three days in advance can save you some serious coin.
Where Does the Train Departure from in Paris?
The Paris to Lille train departs from Gare du Nord.
Gare du Nord is the busiest train station in Paris so be sure to arrive a little bit early.
This give you time to navigate through the station and find your departure gate.
You would be surprised at how easy it is to get turned around in Gare du Nord. You don’t want to be sprinting across the station at the last minute trying to catch your train.
Where Does the Train Arrive at in Lille?
There are two stations in Lille where the train arrives at: Lille Europe and Lille Flandres.
The arrival location just depends on the path the Paris to Lille train is taking.
It doesn’t matter what station you arrive at. They are within a 5-minute walk of one another and are both located in downtown Lille.
The arrival station should not be a deciding factor when figuring out what Paris to Lille train to book.
It honestly doesn’t matter one bit!
Advantages of Taking the Train from Paris to Lille
- Quickest way to travel between the two cities
- Departures and arrives at centrally-located train stations
- Up to 13 trains depart per day
Disadvantages of Taking the Train from Paris to Lille
- Significantly more expensive than the bus
- Have to book way in advance to get the best price
- Overhead luggage storage is basically your only option (pack light!)
Option Two: Taking the Bus from Paris to Lille
If the train is a little too rich for your budget, the next best option is taking the bus from Paris to Lille.
It is more affordable than the train, and you don’t need to book your seat as far in advance.
The downside is the bus takes a lot longer than the train!
How Long Does the Bus from Paris to Lille Take?
The journey time on the bus is much more variable than the train.
You always run the risk of getting stuck in a traffic jam and having your bus journey drag on way longer than you anticipated.
On average, the bus from Paris to Lille takes 3 hours and 15 minutes.
That is significantly longer the the train!
How Much Does a Bus Ticket Cost?
The price of a bus ticket doesn’t vary as much as the price of a train ticket.
You also don’t need to buy it months in advance to get the best price, which is a big plus!
You can expect to pay between €10 and €20 for a bus ticket to Lille from Paris.
So, the lowest ticket price is similar to the train, but the most expensive bus ticket is way less expensive than the most expensive train ticket.
Where to Purchase Bus Tickets
You have the same two options when purchasing bus tickets.
You can either purchase them in advance online or buy them at the bus station.
Since you don’t have to worry about buying tickets in advance, you can choose whatever method if the most convenient for you.
If you’re buying them online, I suggest using the website Omio. They tend to have the best prices.
Most buses accept electronic copies of your ticket, so you shouldn’t have to worry about finding a printer while you’re on vacation.
But it is still best to read the fine print when you purchase your ticket!
Where Does the Bus Depart from in Paris?
Buses from Paris to Lille depart from Bercy Seine Station.
The station is about 5km south of The Louvre and Cour Saint Émilion is the closest metro station.
Where Does the Bus Arrive at in Lille?
The bus arrives at Lille Europe.
It is right in the heart of Lille, and you’ll be able to walk pretty much anywhere you need to go from the station!
Advantages of Taking the Bus from Paris to Lille
- Very affordable
- Guaranteed luggage storage under the bus
- Convenient arrival location
Disadvantages of Taking the Bus from Paris to Lille
- Takes three times longer than the train
- Departure station isn’t the most convenient
- Not as many amenities as the train
Other Ways to Travel from Paris to Lille
The final two ways you can travel to Lille from Paris are driving yourself or catching a ride share.
Neither are all that desirable, and I don’t recommend them.
The only time I recommend driving from Paris to Lille is if it is part of a larger road trip around France/Europe.
Otherwise it isn’t worth the hassle of paying to rent a car, driving, parking, and all the other not so fun stuff that goes along with renting a car.
There are ride shares that drive from Paris to Lille, but they are a bit of a risk.
You have no idea whether or not you’ll get along with the other people in the car. Three hours is a long time to be crammed in car with strangers you may or may not get along with.
Plus they tend to cost more than a bus ticket, so there isn’t really an advantage to them.
That’s it. That’s pretty much everything you need to know to plan your trip from Paris to Lille.
Essentially, you have to choose whether you want to take the train or the bus.
Not too difficult of a choice in my eyes. The train is superior choice for me!
If you end up taking the train, be sure to book your ticket as early as humanly possible.
You do not want to end up paying last minute prices when they can easily be avoided.
And don’t forget to get any discounts you’re eligible for.
The French are pretty generous at handing out reduced fares to people, and you don’t want to pay full price for a ticket if you don’t have to.
No matter how you choose to travel from Paris to Lille, the journey is worth it!
Lille is a gorgeous city and is well worth taking the time to explore.
You can visit Lille as a day trip, but spending two or three days there will give you a chance to better understand the city and all of its charm.