With just over 200,000 residents, Lille is not a huge city at face value. The capital of the North, however, is a city of many layers, and there is a much greater dimension to Lille that the thousands of visitors it welcomes every year with open arms add to it.
The main meeting place and landmark in Lille, La Grand Place’s official name is Place du Général de Gaulle—after the illustrious Lille native—but everyone still calls it the Grande Place. For a meeting point, don’t miss the beautiful central fountain or the Furêt du Nord, arguably the biggest bookshop in Europe. Just a few meters away on Rue Esquermoise is the emblematic Patisserie Meert with its famous waffles.
This is a lively and eclectic neighbourhood—particularly on Sunday mornings during the flea market. It’s a very popular area with Arabic and Asian influences—hence the fantastic food stalls.
The old cargo station turned exhibition and cultural center is easy to reach by métro. It’s a great place to go out with a group of friends or bring the whole family. There is always something interesting and usually free on the program of events including film screenings, art exhibitions, and performances.
Gare Saint Sauveur, Boulevard Jean-Baptiste Lebas, Lille, France, +33 03 20 52 10 39
This fantastic spot around the Sébastopol Square is a lovely spot for a stroll on a Saturday morning while visiting the market packed with regional producers. It also provides a great area for a night at the theater.
With its beautiful fountain, the area surrounding the square is best known for the amazing Fine Arts Museum and also as a civic ‘nerve center’ as it is the starting point of every popular demonstration.
Why not save the best for last: the area around the Citadel is one of the most popular in town. On weekends, locals flock to the park for a leisurely stroll, an energetic run along the gardens, or to meet families and friends. Enjoythe friendly atmosphere and get together for a picnic or to play a game of pétanque.