JumperandJacket · 08/11/2021 19:19
Anyone know Lille? I'm taking DD13 there for a few days in December. We're going to the Christmas market. I'd love to hear about anything else you'd recommend.
ginjenny · 13/11/2021 12:18
I've just come back from Lille! We went for 3 nights, driving via Eurotunnel and staying in an Airbnb just outside Lille! It's an interesting city, old, with lots of cobbled streets - take comfortable walking shoes! There's lots of different places to eat in and around the main square of Lille and there's a place called kitchen market which has various smaller eating places all under one roof!
We went to a mall called Lillenium and stopped in Steak 'n' Shake which I highly recommend if you're after a decent burger!
Personally I found Lillenium a bit "soulless"! It's a huge mall but not a lot there with lots of empty space and with not much going on! Perhaps we were there at a quiet time and the weekends may be more lively! That said, there's a huge Leclerc supermarket which I absolutely loved browsing! Worth a trip anyway!
A lot of the shops were in the process of putting up their Christmas decorations and it looked like a Christmas fair was being set up in the main square. It will be magical in December with all the lights, trees, market etc!
We went to Notre Dame de Treille Cathedral and another impressive church, the name of which escapes me, both worth a visit. There's also a belfry there that we wanted to visit but ran out of time!
One thing to note is that face coverings/masks are worn everywhere, even outdoors! I'm not sure it's mandatory to wear outside but it definitely is for indoors! You also have to have your NHS App/proof of vaccine document to get into any eating places and some indoor establishments! We went to the tourist office and were stopped at the door and our documents scanned! We'd printed off our NHS vaccine document rather than keep using the NHS app! This may change though in December!
Have a lovely time in Lille! We really enjoyed it there!
JumperandJacket · 13/11/2021 16:55
Thank you so much for this really helpful answer! Great to hear you had such a good trip.
whataboutbob · 18/11/2021 18:27
If you haven’t already booked accomodation I recommend hotel Brueghel.
Restaurant aux moules is good for a quick lunch or supper in nice surroundings. Service is a bit fast but the food is decent.
There’s a North African style spa/ hammam in Wazemmes I think, might be a nice mother and daughter thing. And Waxemmes market is quite atmospheric, it has a covered and an outdoor bit, local and French stalls as well as North African, French Caribbean etc.
The free zoo is worth a stroll.
If your daughter is into art the Musee de la Piscine in Roubaix ( accessible on the metro) is well worth a visit, it’s in a converted Art Deco public baths.
Cheermonger · 18/11/2021 18:28
I’ve been to the Christmas market, it’s beautiful you’ll have a fantastic time,
BonteGracieuse · 19/11/2021 20:45
I hope it's not too late, but don't eat around the Grand Place. Go to the Rue de Gand in Old Lille. They have a street full of "Estaminets", which are the old traditional restaurants serving the local extremely hearty cuisine. They do like cooking with cheese.
It's a lovely city, and well worth spending a lot of time walking around.
If you can take her into a bar, there's a place called "La Dernier Bar avant la Fin du Monde" - the last bar before the end of the world. The toilets are in a Tardis, and there's loads of great kitsch decor!
Lillagroda · 19/11/2021 22:05
I’m a native. All the above I would echo. To add, bearing in mind a 13YO, Alice Délice (kitchen gadgets), Nature & Découvertes (hard to define, kind of homewares, kind of outdoors activity stuff), Le Chat Bleu (chocolate shop, tiny and easy to miss, don’t miss!), Casa, Yves Rocher, maybe even Petit Bateau? Oh, little Dr Martens shop, hidden away. All those could be fun. Or turn out expensive!
The zoo, citadel, and then Jardin Vauban opposite are worth a visit definitely if time allows. And I love La Treille, the see-through facade is crazy. Palais des Beaux-Arts, central and good. There’s a Modern Art museum in Villeneuve d’Ascq, looks miles away but is easy to get to on the metro. The metro is driverless so sit right at the front if you take it, it’s fun.
Shopping wise, obviously Euralille which is now a Westfield, but there are several small shopping galleries around the city centre, Le Printemps department store is good, also the big FNAC and Le Furet du Nord.
Food - I agree Grand Place is a bit watered down, obvious reasons - catering to tourists - but it isn’t bad for a safe introduction to Ch’ti cuisine, and definitely has its use for things like a quick, cheap breakfast. Wazemmes on market days is a great place to get a tasty lunch from a stall. Also, I love Le Broc, which is a cheese restaurant. I agree Vieux Lille is a better place to go for a good, solid dinner though!
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