Except visiting Braderie – a weekend when Lille becomes one big jumble sale, I also managed to see the city of Lille itself. Here I will tell you about things to do in Lille, the transportation system there and about where and what to eat!
Things to do
After being exhausted from the Braderie we went to more far away destination, almost to the Belgium side, but easy to reach by metro.
The place is called La Pisine. It is a converted art deco swimming pool. I went there just out of curiousity, because I think the idea is great. In the end it turned out to be a very interesting place to visit. Ceramics, paintings, sculptures – it has many things to offer.
By the way, the usual entrance is 8 euros, but we got in for free because every 1st Sunday of each month the admission is free of charge! Try it out if you are there those dates! 🙂
The Citadel was contracted on the west side of the city in order to make it difficult for possible enemies to attack. It has some military installations, but generally it is a very nice and quiet place to visit, I really liked it! You can get inside the Citadel as well.
It is very easy to get to Lille, with the fast speed train it takes 1 hour from Paris and 1 hour 20 minutes from London. It has 2 “Gares” (railway stations) Lille Flandres and Lille Europe, located one close to another.
Yes, by the way, Lille is the 4th biggest city in France and it has a metro. I remember I had a very nice impression of it – they have music inside, the staff is really polite, they help you buy tickets and apologize that tickets machines work slow :). 1 metro ride costs 1,5 €.
There is also a bike share system like in all big European cities, so if you like this type of discovering the city – go ahead, it is very convenient! Here it is called V’Lille.
We ate in a great restaurant (recommended by a local friend) called Le T’Rijsel. It is maybe a bit touristy, but the food is worth it. They specialize in regional food, Flamand cuisine. For example, Welsh (yummy melted cheese and ham on a bread), Carbonade Flamande (amazingly prepared beef and onion stew). And you can always try mussels there of course!
Also, try Les Merveilleux! Just believe me – if you have a sweet-tooth like me, just try it, you will love it! It is a special type of merengue, that comes in a variety of flavors. They are called “marvelous” for a reason! 😉 You can observe the cakes being made – a fun bunch!
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