Exchange students in Lille : the discovery of the Center!

Posted on Posted in Tour of Lille

Dear Erasmus students in this article you will discover Lille centre.

Lille centre is perhaps the most well-known district of Lille. It is the most visited place by the erasmus students and tourists. It really is in the heart of the city. It is the district which is best serviced by public transports.

This district gathers both pedestrian streets and beautiful squares such as Grand’Place, Rihour, the Opera House but also Place de la République and Théâtre Sébastopol.

The city centre is the historic, administrative and economical centre of the metropolis.

The pedestrian streets

The pedestrian streets are very shop-lined, especially rue de Béthune which gathers famous brands like Fnac, Printemps, … On Grand’Place, also called Place du Général de Gaulle, you will find one of the largest bookstores in Europe : le Furet du Nord.

In the pedestrian streets you will find any kind of stores: decoration stores, clothing stores and many others.

During sunny days (yes, we’ve got some in Lille !), you will be able to have a sit in terrace to taste a typical Northern France beer. And if it’s raining, you will still be able to flee in one of the lovely restaurants, or even in a cinema or a museum.

Grand’Place, Place du Théâtre and Rihour

The unavoidable Grand’Place is the heart of the old city and it is certainly the most unavoidable place in Lille.

In that square, you will find the Théâtre du Nord, and Voix du Nord which is the local newspaper. You can also find la Vieille Bourse, former stock exchange building, which opens on both Grand’Place and Place du Théâtre. This building is one of the most prestigious of the city and is classified “National Historic Monument”. It reminds us of the intense economic activity which reigned in Lille at that time.

Registered at the inventory of Historic Monuments since 1999, the Opera House has been built in the 1900’s and dominates Place du Théâtre next to the Chamber of Commerce which hosts the new recently restored stock exchange place. You will be able to enjoy covered terraces which face it, and you are at the entrance of Vieux-Lille if you walk a few minutes further away.

A little advice if you’re rather a night bird, the restaurant La Chicorée on Place Rihour is opened 24/7. So if you have a sudden craving for a welsh or carbonade (typical dishes from North of France) at 3 in the morning, la Chicorée is the place to go for Erasmus students!

Place de la République and Théâtre Sébastopol

Place de la République is even larger than Grand’Place itself ! It is surrounded by the prefecture at one side and Palais des Beaux-Arts at the other end of the square, two buildings that can’t go unnoticed.

In the middle of this square you can also find a beautiful fountain.

Further, in rue Solferino, you will find Place Sébastopol, with its theater where you can attend to various shows (dance, music, comedy,…). In front of Théâtre Sébastopol, if you want to quench thirst, go to a wonderful place : the Farafina, which is a rhumerie with an atypical decoration.

This area is THE PLACE TO BE if you want to enjoy your night in Lille.

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