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Some useful information on restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, shops and links in Lille, in the Nord department of France served by Eurostar or by ferry from the United Kingdom.
Eurostar ensures that shopping in Lille is an easy thing to do. Shopping in Paris is fun and comprehensive, but Lille has much too offer as well, and its easier to get to from London. With many good shops and a higher class of merchandise, together with the ease with which it is now possible to travel there, Lille is an increasingly popular destination for United Kingdom shoppers.
Lille is the major commercial centre of Northern France, and plays a major part in cultural events. A French poll found that Lille is ranked third in France for gastronomy (after Paris and Lyon).
Nearby in Roubaix (north of Lille) are some factory shopping centres where bargains can be had even outside of the sale season.
In Lille itself much of the best shopping is centered around Vieux (old) Lille. A good place to start a walk around is the Grand Place. More
Planville interactive street map. www.planville.com
Cross channel companies;
– From Superbreak, Eurostar short breaks. Great value Eurostar Breaks are the ideal way to explore some of the best European city break destinations including Paris, Disneyland Paris, Lille, Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and Ostend. www.superbreak.com
A L'Usine -Roubaix, near Lille, has chain store factory outlets. 228, avenue Alfred Motte. 59100. Tel: 0033 320 83 16 20. Open: Monday to Saturday 10.00am to 7.00pm. www.usineroubaix.fr
McArthurGlen factory Shopping Centre – 44 Mail de Lannoy. 59100. Roubaix, (near Lille). Tel: 0033 328 33 36 00. Over 50 shops with discounted goods from last season (designer factory shops). Directions; from Calais – A26 to Dunkirk, A25 to Lille, exit 7 towards Roubaix, then Centre Ville or McArthurGlen signs. www.mcarthurglen.fr
You can get here by tram. Take the tram from Place de Gare in central Lille.
There is Mister Bed hotel in the centre. 57 rue de Béthune, 6/9 rue du Court Debout. 59000 LILLE. Tel: 0033 320 12 96 96. www.misterbed.fr
There are dozens of Accor chain hotels in Lille (Novotel, Mercure, Suite Hotel, All Seasons, IBIS, Formule 1, and ETAP. www.accorhotels.com
All Seasons Hotel (Accor). 172, rue de Paris. Lille. Tel: 0033 320 300 054. www.all-seasons-hotels.com
Novotel Hotel, 116 rue de l'Hopital Militaire. 59000 LILLE. Tel: 0033 328 38 53 53. www.accorhotels.com
Wazemmes is the most popular market in Lille. At the Place de la Nouvelle Aventure. Sunday (best day), Tuesday and Thursday morning from 7.00am to 2.00pm. Metro; Gambetta.
Sébastopol market, Sébastopol place. Wednesday and Saturday morning of from 7.00am to 2.00pm.
Market de la place du concert. Sunday, Wednesday and Friday morning from 7.00am to 2.00pm.
Lille Braderie – On the first weekend of September each year, the town becomes a huge flea market. Anyone can set up a stall, selling antiques to bric-a-brac. Supposedly the tradition dates from the Middle Ages, when once a year the servants and workers of Lille were given the right to sell old clothes and objects belonging to their employers. Nowadays it is spread over two days amidst a carnival atmosphere. There are several kilometres of stalls and haggling is expected. The Braderie ends at Midnight on the Sunday. www.lille.fr
Worth a try; Tous Les Jours Dimanche, 13 rue Masurel, Lille. Tel: 0033 328 360 592. Antique tables, candelabras and mirrors on offer. You can have a coffee here as well.
Starts at the end of November every year and continues till after Xmas. www.noel-a-lille.com
Roubaix Braderie de l'Art. First weekend of December. Everything sold here has to be made from recycled materials.
Lille 3000 is a festival of cultural events focussing on a particular region, held bi-annually. Mid March to Mid July. www.lille3000.com
Musée d'Histoire Naturelle, Géologique et d'Ethnographie (Muséum de Lille). 19, rue de Bruxelles. CP 59000 Lille. Tel: 0033 328 55 30 80. www.pba-lille.fr
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lille (Palais des Beaux-Arts. Place de la République. CP 59000. Lille. Tel: 0033 320 06 78 00. Apparently second only to The Louvre Museum in Paris, and regarded locally as a "must see". www.lille.fr
Musée de l'Hospice Comtesse, 32, rue de la Monnaie. Tel: 0033 328 36 84 00. This was a hospital founded in 1237 but is now a museum. It contains Flemish, Dutch and northern French masterpieces from the 15th to the 18th centuries together with tapestries and paintings.
Vauban's Citadelle. Louis XIV commissioned France's top military architect, Vauban, to build this fortress (1667-1670), and dubbed it 'the Queen of Citadelles'. The citadel is no longer open to the public, but a walk around the Park is worth while. Avenue du 42ème Régiment d'Infanterie. Open daily.
– The easiest way to get to Lille is by the Eurostar service.
Once there however, it is easy to take a local train or the TGV to elsewhere in France and Belgium.
The centre of Lille is well sign posted from the station, and Eurolille Shopping Centre is close by.
Should you need to catch a local train or tram, Lille Flandres Station is opposite the Lille Europe Station.
Lille has a good choice of French and Belgian restaurants.
Vieux Lille is the best place to find a good variety of restaurants. Its narrow streets and pedestrianised roads make the experience of finding a place to eat enjoyable as you can wander about looking at menus and seeing what is being served. Place Rihour, which is Lille's main square has many restaurants around the edge.
Also wander down the rue de Gand rue Saint Etienne if you have the time.
When in Lille why not try something regional like Potje'vlesch – a terrine of veal, rabbit, fowl and pork. It is served cold. Also try any of the numerous beers brewed locally. Other regional specialities include waterzoïa, a dish made from a variety of fish and vegetables, carbonade – a beef stew in a beer sauce, mussels and chips. For desert we recommend lily flowers made out of chocolate, 'babelute' sweets and Méert waffles.
The main shopping areas are around the rue Neuve and rue de Béthune, both of which are pedestrianised. Try and visit Les Tanneurs mall, rue de la Monnaie, rue de la Clef, rue Chats-Bossus, rue de la Grande Chaussée, Lepelletier (Vieux Lille) and Place du Lion for better quality shops.
Much of the old town is pedestrianised and pleasant to walk around. It's easier to find a restaurant here as well.
Printemps has a store in Lille. 39 – 45, rue Nationale. 59000. Lille. Tel: 0033 320 63 62 00. Open: Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 7.30pm (Friday until 8.00pm). Parking is nearby at Place Rihour. www.printemps.com
– Galleries lafayette. 31 rue de Béthune, Lille. A new store opened 28th September 2007. www.galerieslafayette.com
Items to look for are white porcelain, childrens clothes, furs, and chocolate.
Le Marché de la Porcelaine, 3 rue de la Vieille Comédie, Lille. Tel: 0033 320 12 90 93.
– Furêt du Nord, supposedly the largest bookshop in the world. 15 place Général de Gaulle, 59800 Lille. Tel: 0033 20 78 43 43. www.furet.com
There are also plenty of shops selling old and antique books in the Old Town.
Neuhaus, 13 rue du Sec Arembault. 59000 Lille. Tel: 0033 320 54 29 29.
Vandyck Chocolatier, 4 rue des Bouchers, Lille. Tel: 0033 328 82 07 72.
Chocolate Passion, 67, rue Nationale, Lille. Tel: 0033 320 54 74 42. www.chocolatpassion.com
Whilst Lille is best for clothes shopping, should you come by car, there are hypermarkets worth visiting.
– 100, Centre Commercial. 59777. Tel: 0033 320 14 52 20. There is a large shopping mall, Euralille, which many shoppers will find easier to get around. There are over 100 shops to visit. There is a large Carrefour Hypermarket here. www.euralille.com
The Centre Commercial at Englos in North West Lille has a large Auchan Hypermarket. In Lille itself at the Euralille shopping centre, where there is a large Carrefour Hypermarket (100, Centre Commercial. 59777. Euralille).
– Centre Commercial V2, 59658 Villeneuve d'Ascq. Tel: 0033 320 19 03 30. www.lecentrev2.com
In the suburb of Villeneuve d'Ascq there is a large shopping centre V2 with over 150 shops. Take the metro to the station "Hôtel de Ville". There is also a Auchan Hypermarket here.
Optique Combrouze and Rayon de soleil, 61-65-67, rue Faidherbe. Tel: 0033 320 06 48 13.
– Phildar (Wool). 61 rue de Béthune. 59000 Lille. Tel: 0033 320 74 77 61. www.phildar.fr
Commercial Unions and craftsmen of Lille. www.destinationlille.com
Chez Nico'las, 80 rue Esquermoise. 59000 Lille. Open: Monday to Saturday from 8.00am to 7.00pm. Tel: 0033 320 55 13 26.
Le Voltaire, N%deg;12, rue Nationale. 59000 Lille. Open: Monday to Saturday from 7.15am to 9.00pm. Tel: 0033 320 54 82 08.
If you have the time you may find a bus trip to a nearby Belgian town will save you even more.
For day-trippers arriving with Eurostar, walking around is the best way to see the town. However if you want to visit the suburbs, especially the Factory shops, you will need to use the trams or metro.
Buy a book of tickets for 10.20 euro from the Kiosque at the Gare Lille Flandres station in Lille or from one of the 300 shops or agents displaying the sign "Point Service".
Only one connection is allowed and a ticket can be used for a single trip only.
Don't forget to punch your ticket once to make it valid when you first board the bus, tram or metro.
You can find out more at four information offices: Gare Lille Flandres, Lille Place des Buisses, Gare d'échange Tourcoing Centre, Gare d'échange Roubaix Eurotéléport.
VAL Metro – This driverless train started in 1983 and runs above and below ground. Line 1 links Lille to Villeneuve d'Ascq. Line 2 links Lomme to Roubaix and Tourcoing. If you are travelling three stops or less, buy the " Zap " ticket.
Trams serve the suburbs of Roubaix and Tourcoing in Greater Lille. They run from 5.15am weekdays (from 6.10 weekends) to midnight.
Bicycles – there is a bike hire scheme in operation.
– Ch'ti vélo. 10 avenue Willy Brandt (between Lille Flandres train station and Euralille shopping center) (Monday to Friday, from 7.30am to 7.30pm, Saturday and Sunday, from 9.00am to 7:30pm). Tel: 0033 328 53 07 49. www.chti-velo.fr
Transpole: Oxygène station at the Champ de Mars (Monday to Saturday, from 7.00am to 7.00pm and Sunday, from 10.00am to 7.00pm) and at Place des Buisses (next to the Lille Flandres train station, Monday to Friday, from 7.30am to 6.30pm, except in July and August). www.transpole.fr
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Parking – should you come by car there are over 20,000 parking spaces in Lille. Simply follow the prominent "P" signs.
Segway – you can hire a segway from 3.50 euro.
Lille train station taxis: 0033 320 06 64 00.
Rihour taxis: 0033 320 55 20 56.
Union taxis: 0033 320 06 06 06
Cycle Taxis – Covered bike taxi service in the city centre. £1 initial charge + £1 per km and per person (2 people max). Tel: 0033 624 16 08 18. www.cycloville.com
– Transpole, Lille Public Transport. www.transpole.fr
– NORD – Departmental Tourist Office, 6, rue Gauthier de Châtillon – BP 1232. 59013. Lille Cedex.
– NORD, as de Calais. www.tourisme-nordpasdecalais.fr
– Cafe Leff, 1,3,5 Place Rihour. Tel: 0033 320 54 67 37.
– Meert Patisserie (and restaurant) – 27 rue Esquermoise, Lille (Metro: Rihour). Tel: 0033 320 57 07 44. The first in France apparently, gorgeous food in pleasant surroundings. www.meert.fr
Ideal when visiting Lille and making savings, the Lille City Pass offers price reductions at museums, monuments, for guided tours, public transport as well as special offers on shopping, restaurants and leisure activities.
Tickets cost 20 euro fro a 24 hour pass, 30 euro for a 48 hour pass, and 45 euro for a 72 hour pass
The price includes: The City Pass gives a free access to:
– all museums in Lille and the area (collections and exhibitions) – the Lille City Tour (50-minute minibus tour commented in English)
– various tourist attractions in Lille and the area – public transport (metro, tramway, bus)
It also offers: – a 10% discount and a gift at Galeries Lafayette
– an aperitive drink in a selection of restaurants – a 30% discount on car rental
– a discount check-book in Roubaix factory shops
In addition, the 72-hour City Pass includes a free access to: – museums and tourist attractions in Arras, Douai, Dunkirk, Le Cateau
-Cambresis (Matisse museum), Lens and Valenciennes -regional trains of the SNCF network in the Nord-Pas de Calais region