It’s been almost 2 years that I’m living in Lille, North of France. I really do like this city because of its many opportunities. Lille in France is one of the biggest city but this is nothing in comparison with Paris for example.
The city center is quite small but lovely and charming. You can go from one point to another by walking or using subways/bus. One of the main symbols of this city is the belfry near the opera. When it’s sunny a lot of people are chilling on the stairs of the Opera. Otherwise, people are relaxing in “Jardin Vauban”, a beautiful garden near the free zoo.
Still in the city center, the main place called place du général de Gaulle is the famousest one. A big fountain is in the middle of the place during summer and during Christmas, there is a big wheel and a giant Christmas tree. Few blocks after, you are at the “Place Rihour” where a lovely Christmas market is opened during from late November to early January.
Lille is one of the biggest city in the North, so you can discover the North food mainly made of cheese. The most well known is the “Maroilles”. Some people eat some Maroilles on a toast with their coffee for breakfast ( Impossible for me because of the strong smell and taste). For the dessert, you can eat Vanilla”gauffrette” that are small waffles stuffed with Vanilla. This is so delicious !! You can find them everywhere in the city but at the bakery “Aux Merveilleux” they are even better.
Speaking of food, Lille has a lot of different markets where you can buy fresh food. There is one that I particularly love at the “Place du concert”. Another place where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables (and cheap !!) is in the area of “Wazemmes”. You can find the opening timetable on the website : http://www.lille.fr/cms/halle-et-marches-de-lille
In a more artistic approach, at the tourism office, you can take the street art map, rent a bike and see all the street art of Lille. I did it with some of my friends and we spent an amazing afternoon. For me, it was a surprise to see as much art as I couldn’t imagine. Most of the time you are focused on one part of the city and you don’t see the other areas which are also interesting.
There is also several museums in the city. I particularly love two of them: the “Tripostal” welcomes medium and short exhibitions which are mainly made of contemporary art. It is located near the train station. The last exhibition named “Vite, vite Séoul” is really interesting showing the two parts of South Korea. From one side this country is really traditional and have its own customs but from another side, the country is evolving faster and faster with its modernity. The other museum called “Les beaux arts “is located at the “Place de la république”. This museum is more classical. You can find there some exhibitions in addition with the permanent exposition. Once a year you have the “night of museums” where every museum is open at night for free. Some of them are even doing some special exhibitions.
The city of Lille is made with different universities and a lot of schools. This is a student city; a large part of the population is under 25 years old. It provides a lot of offers and discount for students. Because there is a lot of students, there is also a lot of different bars and night clubs. Most of them is “Rue Massena” and “Rue Solferino”. Moreover, stay tuned with the events that are going on. A lot of student events are taking place in the city or just outside the city. For example, every year there is the student night where in a museum outside of Lille you can admire the art and party with a DJ inside the museum for free.