In this region of festivities and hospitality, locals like to get together around a good table! The tasty regional specialities are to be found in the popular "estaminets", those small Flemish restaurants providing a rustic décor and a convivial atmosphere. Their hearty food, including "carbonnade", "waterzooï" and "potjevleesch", is usually washed down with a traditional, locally brewed beer.
Lille is a mecca for shopaholics! The city has 3,900 shops, and each district has its own special features. Luxury boutiques in Vieux Lille, department stores and high-street names in the city centre, a huge hypermarket in the Euralille shopping mall and bazaars in the multi-ethnic Wazemmes area. Just a few miles away from Lille, Roubaix is known as the “capital of bargains”, with two factory outlet centres. It also develops a fashion district (near the “La Piscine” museum), dedicated to young fashion designers.
Fun-loving and out-going, Lille boasts the highest percentage of young people in France. The city moves to the rhythm of its carnivals and festivals of all kinds. And at night-fall, the party goes on in the numerous bars and clubs that make Lille nights famous... Vieux Lille (old town) and Massena street are the best places to party!
Every first weekend in September, Lille is home to "La Braderie", the biggest flea market in Europe! Preceded by a half-marathon, the flea market officially opens at 2 pm on Saturday and carries on until 11 pm on Sunday. The city is transformed into a huge pedestrian zone where 10,000 traders, second-hand sellers and especially “Bradeux” (non-professional sellers) gather in a festive atmosphere. All of the city’s restaurants sell mussels and chips, and participate in an unofficial competition to see which one is able to build the highest pile of empty mussels’ shells: it’s quite a sight!
This museum is housed in a former Art Deco swimming pool built by Lille architect Albert Baert between 1927 and 1932. The pool, shower cubicles and a few bathrooms have been kept to act as a background to an applied arts collection (ceramics, textiles, fashion, design furniture) and a collection of 19th and 20th century paintings and sculptures (Ingres, Dufy, Claudel, etc.)