I didn't really know what to expect of Lille when I went there last weekend, but I was pleasantly surprised to find many things to do in Lille. All I knew about this town in the north of France was, that it is the first stop on the Eurostar line to Brussels and Paris, but there's a lot more to it than that. This is how I spent my two days here:
Lille is a veritable shopping Walhalla and there's something for every wallet size. Rue du Molinel holds the high street brands, but if you want to splurge, head to rue de la Grande Chausseé where you'll find all the famous big label brands. Rue de la Clef is good for independent boutiques and in Rue Masurel you can browse through stylish home design shops.
Visit the La Treille cathedral
This is a very interesting church. It's not very old as it was built in the 1900s. Its exterior has an ultra modern appearance and it is certainly worth to look around. The interior has a more traditional feel and and some colourful stained glass windows behind the altar.
Browse through the Book market at the Vieille Bourse
The old stock exchange is a sight in itself. It's a stunning 17th century building that consists of 24 houses surrounding a courtyard. There's a second hand book market inside the courtyard where you'll find not just books, but also posters, toy cartoon characters and even Japanese manga.
Stroll around the Wazemmes Market on Sunday (and Thursday)
Apparently the biggest market in Europe, this market is certainly worth a stroll around. It's located a bit out of the town centre, around the Saint Pierre Church. It's very lively with a band playing music to entertain the shoppers. You'll find everything here, from flowers, fruit and veg to clothes and even a stall with Moroccan tea pots.
I spent a couple of hours meandering through the cobble stoned streets of the old town which are lined with beautifully restored Flemish style houses. Do remember to look up at the facades now and again and you'll discover quirky and fantastical ornaments looking down on you.