International students in Lille

Exchange students in Lille : the discovery of the Center!

Posted on Posted in Tour of Lille

Lille is composed by about 5 neighborhood and each one has a different ambiance! This article will focus on the center of Lille, discover what’s happening near Republic !

Lille centre

It’s perhaps the most well-known district of Lille. It is the most visited area by the international students and tourists. It’s literally  in the heart of the city! This district is also the best area for public transports (Bus and Metro).

This neighborhood 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. There are many people walking the streets in the center, no matter what time is it, there will always be a lot of people down there!

Grand’Place, Place du Théâtre and Rihour

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

In that place, 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. It dominates Place du Théâtre next to the Chamber of Commerce which hosts the new recently restore stock exchange place. You will be able to enjoy covered terraces which face it. A  few minutes further away, you will face the entrance of Vieux-Lille.

A little advice if you’re rather a night bird, the restaurant La Chicorée on Place Rihour is open 24/7. If you have a sudden craving for a typical dishes from Northern  France at 3 in the morning, la Chicorée is the place to be.

Grand place is also about shopping. There is a large choice of shops : Tea shops, souvenirs, food, clothes, jewellery and many more.. !

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 magnificent old buildings.

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.

The pedestrian streets

The pedestrian streets are very nice, especially rue de Béthune which gathers famous brands like Fnac, Printemps, … On Grand’Place, 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 take a sit in a terrace to taste a typical Northern French beer. If it’s raining, you will still be able to have lunch or dinner in one of the lovely restaurants.

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