The very first city of my solo adventures would be Lille! Lille is a city on the North East side of the country. It is located near belgium and known as one of the gateway to Europe as well. Lille is also one of the stops for the eurostar, making it one of the crossroads to everywhere in Europe. Although being one of the largest establishment in France, it is definitely much much less crowded than Paris, making it pleasant to walk around and yet at the same time, it is still a metropolitan with all the stores and boutiques that you may want. A perfect mid size city to stay in. I have to say that it is definitely not a city that was on my list beforehand, but I did get a host who offered to host me in Lille and the train ticket from Paris was affordable. With that comes a little review on Lille! I figure that this would be rather beneficial, especially for those who would like to stop by in the middle of their Eurostar journey or those on the way to other city!
Lille city centre is rather compact, making easy to walk around, the sites are mainly close to one another making it perfect for a day trip or something. I personally do not think that you will need a lot of time here. You can also find that the architectural styles here have various amounts of Flemish influence, including the use of brown and red brick. Making it a rather gradual transition from France to the nearby Belgium as well as netherlands. I do not think that there is any standout attractions in Lille or any must see, but rather it is a place to be enjoyed as a whole. For the most of us, you will be around the train station area, this place is also just a couple street away from the city centre, which most would agree to be around Place Rihour! This is the place where you can find most shops and restaurant. It is also always busy right here!
I also chance upon some streets in the city which according to my friend are the most pretty ones in Lille! It is surely nice to just stroll around aimlessly in this perfect weather.
Being in this part of Europe, you can also definitely check out some of the Friterie in town! Fries are always a good choice over here! It is not a side, it is a meal!
There are also a couple of places that I really enjoyed in this city that I would like to share with you guys. I did have a host in Lille and spend a little time with her, so sightseeing wasn’t really my top to do thing in town!
First up, the Marché de Wazemmes, anyone who knows me knows of my relationship with Markets. I love them! The Wazemmes Market is one of the most diverse one, selling all sorts of things and from everywhere in the world. Asia, Africa, you name it. Fruits, Foods to all sorts of other stuff including daily necessity, you can name it. I do have to say that it does not look French at all. While Sunday is the most busy day, it is also open on the other days. There is an indoor market as well, but the outdoor one are where all the deals are to be found! It is open from Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 7.00 am to 2.00 pm. And the covered market are from Tuesday to Saturday from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, Sunday and holidays from 8.00 am to 3.00 pm.
Stop by at one of the shop at the fringe of the market for some piping hot Poulet Roti, roasted french style. They are the perfect selection for lunch and so affordable!
Another nice place especially in the afternoon is also the Citadelle! Located in the west side of the city, it is a short walk away. This Citadelle, is alike a little maze and in a pentagon shape. It is a good walk around the area for some natural as well. It has it roots from the 17th century and you can check out the surrounding area.
If you are down for some shopping, Lille also has one of the largest shopping centre in Europe, the Euralille, which is just between the two train station, you can find almost all the brands here as well as a huge Carrefour supermarket. Here are also some of the other pictures I took in Lille, if you have time, you should also definitely check out the Lille City Hall which have a towering tower as well as the nearby Porte de Paris and Palais des Beaux Arts.
Overall, I had a super pleasant 2 days stay in Lille, taking it down a notch for a little, afterall, I have been almost on the road for a month at this time. Next up, I will be heading down south, visiting Alsace in Strasbourg, near the border of Germany. I am so excited for this French city with Germain influences! Stay Tuned!