5 Things You Probably Don’t Know about Lille

By Matt Gulizia, ISA France Site Specialist
Originally posted on April 13, 2015

Much of the world knows virtually nothing about the city of Lille, France, including how to pronounce its name (hint: rhymes with deal!). Well, we think it’s time that changed. Here are some little known facts about this charming city in the Nord-Pas de Calais region of France:

  1. Lille blends French and Northern European culture, gastronomy and architecture, making it an intriguing city unlike any other (…if Paris and Brussels had a baby, they would call it Lille).
  2. Lille is a true “college town,” with over 100,000 of its inhabitants being students! Its culture, nightlife and daily activities are highly geared toward the city’s student population.
  3. Lille is the third largest metropolitan area in France and is within a 155 mile radius of 5 of Europe’s capital cities.  Because of this, Lille is a major transportation hub of Europe and students can easily travel by train to Brussels (40 minutes), Paris (1 hour), London (1 hour 40 minutes), and many more sites quite easily!
  4. Lille boasts an extensive array of beautifully manicured parks and gardens.  Some of our favorites include the Bois de Boulogne and the Jardin Vauban.  The city also boasts its Parc Zoologique, a free zoo very near to the city center that houses over 70 different species of animals.
  5. Lille is renowned for its summer markets, festivals and concerts.  One of its most notable events is the Braderie de Lille, the largest flea market in all of Europe, which takes place at the end of every summer.

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