France : Safety by City
- Le Havre
Lille is a medium-sized city, with a huge student population, located in the Nord-Pas de Calais region of northern France.
Lille is a gorgeous city with a young population, and with many universities in the city or very close by.
Even though Lille is small, the downtown feels like you are in a big city, with people that are very nice, welcoming and patient.
With the high-speed trains, Lille is fantastically positioned: it is 1h away from Paris, slightly less than 1h30 from London, less than 1h from Brussels.
It’s also reasonably fast to get to Amsterdam or Cologne.
Warnings & Dangers in Lille
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
Overall, Lille is mostly a safe city. Follow the general rules of precaution and your common sense, and you will probably encounter no problems. There is less crime due to the presence of police and military everywhere and you should just be vigilant for suspicious terrorist activities.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Transportation and taxis are generally safe and reliable in Lille, though many pickpockets are cramming in other forms of public transport. Taxis are usually your safest bet.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Pickpockets and purse snatching are very common in Lille, it is a constant risk. Cell phone snatching also happens so you should keep all your valuables out of sight. Avoid wearing purses and keep your money in a hidden place, not easily accessible by pickpockets.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
There aren't any natural disasters threatening to hit the city of Lille, so you can relax in that aspect.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
As for muggings, Lille is relatively safe. There haven't been many reports of someone being violently mugged or kidnapped.
TERRORISM RISK : HIGH
Since this country has been targeted by terrorists numerous times, (as well as some countries near France, such as Denmark or Belgium) there is the reason to believe that this country can be targeted again. This is why it is important to remain aware of your surroundings at all times and report any suspicious activity.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There aren't many scams in Lille, but you should, just in case, double-check your change, since you might get tricked and negotiate everything in advance to prevent being ripped off,
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Lille is somewhat safe to travel to if you are a female traveling solo. Apply all the general precaution rules such as not walking alone in poorly lit and deserted areas, not finding yourself in the strange company at night.
So... How Safe Is Lille Really?
Even though it’s a very charming city, Lille has been dealing with a bad reputation when it comes to crime, and many places in the area are often perceived as among the most dangerous in France.
What you’ll certainly encounter on the streets are drunken people and you might even have a problem with pickpockets – these are the two most prominent problems on the streets of Lille.
However, the precaution measures you will have to take are on par with those you would have to take in any other popular tourist destination, and that shouldn’t stop you from traveling to this gorgeous city.
When it comes to bad areas, Moulins is where not-so-good things go down in the city, and here you’ll see unemployed individuals roaming the streets, some even selling light narcotics like marijuana in plain sight.
Many call it the “ghetto” part of Lille.
Violent crime, especially against tourists or strangers is rare, but you should bear in mind that purse snatching and pickpocketing are extremely common.
Another major issue in France is the terrorist attacks that have been happening during the last couple of years.
Due to this, police and France’s military units are patrolling the important landmarks, train stations, and airports.
How Does Lille Compare?
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- Visas - Most countries do not need a visa to enter France, for any stays shorter than 90 days. Any longer than that, you might need to acquire a visa. EU nationals can stay (and work) in France for as long as they like. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past your planned date of return. If you are not sure about your visa status, contact your local French embassy.
- Currency - Euro is the official currency for Lille. You can find ATMs at every airport, most train stations and on every other street corner in all towns and cities. Credit cards are widely accepted throughout the country.
- Weather - The climate in Lille is warm and temperate, and there is significant rainfall throughout the year in Lille. Even the driest month still has a lot of rainfall.
- Airports - Lille Airport is the main airport serving the city of Lille, France. It is located in Lesquin, some 7 km south-southeast of Lille.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Lille, since it covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Lille Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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4 Reviews on Lille
Adding this to my bucket list
Thank you for sharing this information. I am a solo traveler and I am always looking for small centrally located places that are safe for me to stay alone. It seems I can get to several cities from Lille. Adding it to my travel list.
Too many drunk people
There are too many drunk people in the streets in Lille from my experience. Not sure if everyone is enjoying themselves too much that day or that really is just the norm there. I didn’t feel too safe there with my close friend and we were both girls who just wanted to see what Lille was like. Their markets have quite a range of goods though so that would be a point of reason to visit.
5 stars from a woman that keeps coming back to it
Safe with cobbled streets and old buildings, your typical old European city. I find it safer than Paris or Marseille but I still wouldn’t pace mindlessly, they still have the odd character here and there.
Don't miss it!
I lived in Lille for 6 months as an international student. It’s true that you see a lot of drunk people at night in the centre, especially on streets like rue Solferino, Gambetta etc, but if you are in those areas it’s probably because you’re looking to get drunk yourself. As a young white woman I felt very safe, only had one incident of catcalling by a drunk guy the first week of my arrival, in the old town area. I didn’t experience any pickpocketing incidents, nor did any of my friends, while I was living in Lille.
One of my friends’ roommates got attacked in the middle of the night, almost outside his home in La Madeleine. This is the only negative thing I’ve heard, but La Madeleine is not a very busy or touristy area, so I would personally avoid it. I would also avoid the area of Moulins as the article recommends, as a lot of my friends who stayed in student residences near Porte d’Arras have said it was a dodgy neighborhood, with drug dealings etc.
The centre of the city is lovely, there are always lots of events happening and many good cities are easily accessible from Lille, so I would 100% recommend visiting it.