Lille is a city in northern France. It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country behind those of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Lille is situated on the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium. It is the capital of the Nord-Pas de Calais region and the prefecture of the Nord department. A former major textile manufacturing centre, Lille forms the heart of a larger conurbation, regrouping Lille, Roubaix, Tourcoing and Villeneuve d'Ascq, which is France's 4th-largest urban conglomeration with a 1999 population of over 1.1 million.
|Region||:||Nord-Pas de Calais|
|Geographic Coordination||:||50°37′57″N 03°03′30″E|
|Area||:||Land area - 39.51 km2, Urban Area - 450 km2, Metro Area - 975 km2.|
|Population||:||Land area - 226,800 (2004 estimate), Urban Area - 1,000,900 (1999), Metro Area - 1,143,125 (1999).|
Climate and Geography
Lille's climate is mostly pleasant throughout the year, but summer (June to August) is the warmer time to visit with temperatures averaging 68°F (20°C). Winter temperatures can reach 32° F (0°C) in January and the wind can make days very cold. Rainfall is evenly spread over the year, but particularly in autumn and spring.
Lille has a reliable and efficient public transport network comprising buses as well as trams and most impressively one of the world’s first driverless Metro systems. However, most places of interest in this city are located within the city centre making walking the best and most enjoyable means of getting about.
- → Air
- → Waterways
- → Highways
Shopping and Entertainment
Each district has its own special features, and the variety of shops is enough to satisfy every budget and every desire.
♦ With its narrow, cobblestone streets lined with lovely Flemish houses, Old Lille is the ideal place to find the great names in luxury goods, fashion and design. There are plenty of antiques shops and art galleries and a pleasant market on the Place du Concert every Sunday morning.
♦ In the centre and pedestrian streets, you’ll find the department stores and international chain stores. On the Grand Place, the Furet du Nord is one of the biggest bookshops in Europe!
♦ In the train station district, the Euralille shopping centre, designed by Jean Nouvel, houses a hundred shops, restaurants and a hypermarket beneath its futuristic lines.
♦ The multi-ethnic Wazemmes area is a place to come bargain hunting in the bazaars and discount shops in the Rue Gambetta district.
♦ On the Place de la Nouvelle Aventure, you’ll find flavours from all over the world at the large, bustling Sunday morning market.
♦ In the Lille Sud district, Rue du Faubourg des Postes has become the Faubourg des Modes (fashion district).
- The Tourcoing Planètes Jazz Festival is a week-long event that celebrates all kinds of jazz, from traditional to progressive, with concerts at various venues in Tourcoing and Greater Lille.
- Work your way round the stalls at Lille's Festival of Flavours where producers offer tastings of local specialities such as tarte au sucre and crème brûlée á la chicoree.
- In the beginning of September come to Lille to experience the "Braderie". The largest flea market on Europe with over 3 million visitors and lots of shopping. It lasts all weekend when almost all of Lille's streets are turned into pedestrian areas with lots of music and entertainment. Be prepared to come early to stake out the best deals on everything from antiques to LPs, books, clothes, furniture, etc. During lunch enjoy the famous "Moules-Frites" dish. By the end of the day you'll see mountains of "moules" stacked up on the sidewalks!