As this is my second to last night in Nord-Pas de Calais, I'm sharing a bit about my favorite places that I've visited in Lille in the last few months. They're not in any particular order, and I've probably forgotten quite a bit. But here's my top 12, at least according to Four Square (so please pardon the informal punctuation and formatting. I've included photos where I've remembered to take them.
1. @ Hotel Le Moulin d'Or: Favorite hotel in Lille. Very affordable for singles/doubles with bath. In Centre-Ville and right next to the train stations (which is actually a safe area). Also includes free Wi-Fi and cable TV!
2. @ L'Empire: Cheap lunch menu and nice outdoor seating during the summer months. They also have a sign that says "Here We Speak English."
3. @ Gare Lille Europe: Eurostar/TGV station...basically the connection to the rest of Europe. Do not confuse this with Gare Lille Flandres.
4. @ La Piscine, Roubaix: One of my five fave museums in the world. The art-deco building itself is prob even more stunning than the collections. Formerly a bath house in the 1930s, now a modern art museum.
5. @ Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille: Beautiful on the outside, and the interior itself is nice as well. The collection isn't bad, but a bit on the gory side. See if you can go on a free admission day.
6. Palais de la Bière: Excellent Welsh Complet and Carbonnade Flamande (both Ch'ti favorites). Service is a bit slow, but ambiance is nice. Plus they serve food ALL DAY, which is rare in Lille.
7. @ Aux Moules: Best restaurant to bring visitors. They also have a large variety of mussels. (See the name...)
8. @ O'Scotland/L'Irlandais: Two of the most lively bars on Rue Solferino. Just don't get on the bouncer's bad side...
9. @ Le Furet du Nord: Best major bookstore in Lille. Huge selection of BDs, cookbooks, paper products and much larger English-language section than FNAC.
10. @ McDonalds Grand Place: Free Wi-Fi and plenty of electrical sockets. Enough said.
11. @ Kokoa: The milkshakes are amazing. There are over two dozen flavors that can be served as either ice cream or milkshakes. Plenty of other yummy desserts at this modern ice cream parlor as well.
12. @ La Citadelle: Beautiful parks and lovely settings for a picnic or kicking around a football on Sundays.