The capital of French Flanders and its historical centre
From Lille Europe railway station, you can reach the Old Town and surrounding area easily in just 10 minutes.
- Once at the Grand'Place, head to the Furet du Nord (it's the largest bookshop in Europe, you know) and explore the streets of the Old Town.
- Be amazed when you reach the rue de la Grande Chaussée: this small, cobbled street is home to high-end names such as Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Le Comptoir des Cotonniers and renowned shoe store La Botte Chantilly.
- Then head down the more alternative rue de la Clef: here you will find a younger clientèle in the clothes stores, music shops and comic bookshops that lie behind the pretty, colourful shop fronts made of wood.
- If bargain hunting or wandering through the antique shops is more up your street, we recommend you visit the rue Basse and surrounding area. It boasts an array of art galeries, antiques shops and smart boutiques located inside 17th century private residences. Not forgetting Lille's second-hand stores such as Nostalgie, Vintage Expo, Tilt Vintage, etc.
- The city also organises frequent closet clearances in the city's bars, plus large-scale clearance sales including the unmissable "braderie de Lille", during which the entire city metamorphoses into a gigantic rummage-sale market ;-)
A trip to Roubaix: the place to be for clever shoppers
All year round, brand factory outlets sell collections from previous years at discounted prices (reductions of at least 30%). Buy ready-to-wear clothes, shoes, leather goods or accessories – you're spoilt for choice.
- L’Usine (accessible by bus from Roubaix railway station): this former spinning mill now accommodates 85 concession spaces offering cut-price debranded stock
- McArthurGlen (accessible from Lille via the Metro): more than 80 stores offering year-round discounts
Tips and great ideas
- The blogger Mat’ has written a post that compiles locations open on Sundays: a must-read for anyone planning a Sunday trip.
- And we haven't forgotten the children either. The blog Mother in Lille picks out shopping recommendations for all the family.
- Since no getaway of a day or two can be complete without good food, why not take time out to enjoy a waffle at Méert or take a break at Aux Merveilleux de Fred.