I have spent next to no time in Lille. Maybe two or three hours, total. The first time was when I was 22, changing trains on the way to Brussels. This is all I remember:
So for years, Lille was to me “the city with the big flowers by the train station.”
But on my way from Basque Country to a wedding in the north of France, I squeezed in a short visit to Lille. My wandering time was limited, but the city made a great first impression.
The famous train station flowers were under construction (probably ruined by hooligans like me climbing on them).
I was struck by how lovely the city was, with charming streets and huge squares filled with people enjoying a mid-afternoon coffee or beer in the sun.
Lille seems like a great place to live. I saw quite a few restaurants and bakeries that looked drool-worthy (which is pretty much the definition of a great place to live for me) and there were lots of open spaces and parks. I wish I had gotten to explore more!
Parisian blogger Lindsay Tramuta wrote up some recommendations for a weekend Lille – Lille-dwellers, did she get it right?