A couple of months ago my parents came back from from a city trip to the Paris of the north: Lille, the cultural capital of Europe in 2004. They LOVED this city so much, that I decided to plan a weekend to this historic city in the north of France, to make an official Lille City Guide. In just a couple of hours the Thalys takes me from Amsterdam to this photogenic and bustling city full of surprises. My mother and I stayed in a perfectly located, cosy Airbnb.
What a beautiful city! Sweet tooths are in seventh heaven here, with over 5 special patisseries in every street that will make you drool. I loved all the pretty terraces and wine bars..
Coffee & Sweets
Meert: world famous waffles, like you have never tried them before. Our favorite is the one with the pistachio filling! They also have lots of unique tea flavors, that you can also buy in the shop. The boxes are beautiful!
Aux Merveilleux de Fred: Lille is famous for these soft pastries with meringue. DIVINE! You can buy mini merveilleux too, but you will probably eat all of them within 10 minutes anyway… So delicious.
Tamper! Espresso Bar
Lille City Guide | photos above: Meert.
Le Barbier qui Fume: all the dishes here are smoked in a traditional way. The service is extremely friendly. Our waiter was so upset to see us leave, after we payed the bill, that he compared his misery to the sinking of the Titanic… We will be back.
Crêperies Beaurepaire: savory or sweet? These folded crêpes are a perfect lunch. Just like the one I had in Laos! Beautiful terrace.
Lille City Guide | first photo: Le Barbier qui Fume. Photo above: Crêperies Beaurepaire.
Basilic Café: huge terrace, with colorful street-art and DELICIOUS food. Try the soft burrata, the Thai soup with shrimps and the meringue with vanilla foam and red fruit. Yumm! The cocktails are just 7 euros..
La Consigne: cosy living room restaurant next to the park with a nice terrace and great kitchen. We loved our dinner here! The staff is so friendly and will help you with anything. Check the photos below! They serve some dangerously good G&T’s too…
Aux Jours Heureux
Lille City Guide | photos above: Basilic Café.
Wine and other drinks
Mother: right next to restaurant La Consigne you find Mother. A laid-back spot to start the evening. It was super busy when we walked by for our dinner next door and loved the vibe.
Estaminet Au Vieux de la Vieille: the perfect spot to relax after a day of exploring and enjoy some people watching with a good glass of wine. Located on a pretty square in the heart of the old city.
Lille City Guide | photos above: La Consigne.
Shops and Sights
Cigoire: stunning conceptstore with infused rum from Lille, cool stuff for your house and unique clothing brands. They move around quite a bit, so check their website for the accurate address!
Habitat: cute interior shop.
Au Bonheur de Sophie: I loved the clothing here and bought a new jacket that I wear almost every day now. Lot’s of nice items.
Love Sories Archive: samples and old collection of one of my favorite lingerie brands: Love Stories. 50% off everything!
Lille City Guide | first two photos: Cigoire. Last photo: Meert.
Memento Mori: shop with unique design items for your home, that will put a smile on your face. Affordable too.
Les Cousins de Léon: dangerous shop if you are easily overstimulated… There are little treasures everywhere you look: pretty things for your home, beautiful bags and jewelry.
Maisons de Monde: furniture heaven.
Lille City Guide | second-hand book market La Vieille Bourse.
Boekenmarkt La Vieille Bourse: second-hand book market at a stunning courtyard. Buy old books, magazines and artwork.
Expositie Ola Cuba: exposition with 35 Cuban artists at la Gare Saint-Sauveur. Untill September 2 2018.
Museum la Piscine: former art-deco swimming pool, now one of the most unusual and stunning museums in France. Closed untill Oktober 19th 2018 because of a renovation.
La Braderie de Lille: the largest flea market in Europe. Find some stunning antiques and vintage items. Every first weekend of September. Bargain hunting galore!