Lille: First Impressions

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:

Capture d’écran 2016-04-26 à 17.38.32
Here I am, seven years younger and really tan after a summer in France, pretending to be Thumbelina.

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.

More about Lille’s bike share system from Lille local Dana


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?

7 thoughts on “Lille: First Impressions

  1. The touristy parts of Lille are really pretty! It looks like you visited when the streets weren’t too filled with people. Glad you enjoyed it!

    I’m not a big fan of most of the things Lindsay blogged about. I would love to try Bloempot, but it’s quite difficult to get reservations there unless you reserve weeks/months in advance – I can’t plan that far ahead!

  2. I’ve never been to Lille but absolutely want to check it out. Looks like a nice place to visit!

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