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Let’s take a trip to the town of Croix, France, where a transformative project is underway. 

La Maillerie, once a dormant industrial site, is now being redeveloped into a thriving hub for community and sustainability. This urban development merges residential, commercial, and cultural assets to enhance quality of life, increase economic opportunities, and enrich overall community connection. 

The project represents a total reinvention of the La Maillerie area in Croix, France, and Urban Campus is thrilled to be playing a key part. Let’s dive in! 

 

The La Maillerie Project: An Overview 

La Maillerie Urban Development Project in Croix, France 8

How can urban spaces evolve to meet modern needs while also promoting community well-being? 

In Croix, France, the answer lies in the innovative development of La Maillerie. The scope of the La Maillerie project encompasses a comprehensive development plan designed to transform the area into a model of modern urban living. This includes the construction of residential units, commercial offices, retail spaces, and cultural venues, each built with sustainability and community engagement at the forefront. 

La Maillerie’s vision is to create a vibrant ‘mini-city’ where residents can work, relax, and socialize in a community-focused environment. This holistic approach includes the development of new educational facilities, cultural landmarks, and technology hubs. At the center of the community will be our Urban Campus La Maillerie, Lille Coliving Space. Together, these developments will synergize to provide an enriched, community-centric living experience.

 

Life in La Maillerie 

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La Maillerie in Croix, France is quickly gaining attention as an exciting hub for young professionals. The area is characterized by its blend of contemporary architecture and lush green spaces, offering a peaceful environment that promotes a healthy lifestyle. The area is particularly known for: 

  • Convenience and Accessibility: Centrally located with easy access to public transportation.
  • Green Living: New residential living options, like Urban Campus La Maillerie Coliving, with modern amenities and nearby parks and gardens.
  • Cultural Hotspot: Regular arts and cultural events held at cool local venues and public spaces.

La Maillerie also has many options for entertainment and meeting new people. Some favorite places to visit in the area include: 

  • Le Bistrot de la Maillerie – A favorite for its local cuisine and charming ambiance.
  • Café Vert – Known for its eco-friendly menu and organic coffee.
  • Croix Community Theater – Offers a variety of performances, from local plays to international performances.
  • Maillerie Marketplace – A local artisan market selling handmade crafts and local produce.
  • Urban Sports Complex – For those looking to stay active, featuring state-of-the-art facilities for a variety of sports.
  • Les Halles de la Maillerie – A modern marketplace offering a variety of gourmet foods and fresh produce in a lively, open-air setting.
  • Brique House: A popular beer house and prime spot for social gatherings and tastings.

 

Urban Campus La Maillerie, Lille Coliving

Urban Campus is set to enrich the dynamic community of La Maillerie with the introduction of our La Maillerie, Lille Coliving Space in July 2024. This will be our largest coliving to-date, with 121 units. As with all of our coliving spaces, our La Maillerie residence will include common spaces like a coworking space, fitness area, movie room, lounge, additional shared kitchen, and terraces for all of our colivers to enjoy. 

More than just coliving

Our La Maillerie Coliving is not just about providing a place to stay; it’s about creating an interconnected environment where colivers can build meaningful relationships. Urban Campus focuses on reducing urban isolation specifically through our social events and communal spaces, helping residents form friendships and feel more integrated in the area. 

Participating in La Maillerie’s urban development in Croix, France aligns perfectly with our mission to craft living spaces that are not only convenient but also socially engaging and environmentally responsible. By integrating innovative design with community centric initiatives, we aim to contribute significantly to the social fabric of La Maillerie, ensuring that the development becomes a thriving place for personal and professional growth.

 

Urban Campus Looking to the Future

Since its inception in 2016, Urban Campus has been at the forefront of revolutionizing urban living with community-focused coliving spaces aimed primarily at young professionals in France and Spain. We continue to open many new coliving assets, however, are also branching into a wider range of housing solutions

The development project at La Maillerie exemplifies the profound commitment of Urban Campus to transcend traditional housing options. Our mission encompasses community engagement, urban revitalization, and uniting diverse individuals under a new vision of urban living. Our ventures now range from multifamily complexes to affordably priced rental housing (“logements locatifs intermédiaires”), all strategically designed to meet the varied needs of an expansive urban demographic. 

Vision for Urban Living

We envision a future where all urban dwellers have access to housing that is not only economically feasible but also culturally enriching. By continuing to innovate how we design and manage our properties, Urban Campus is invoking meaningful change in the housing sector. Our La Maillerie Coliving is another leap forward in our goal of offering housing options that promote inclusivity, connectivity, and overall well-being. We can’t wait to open! 

Want to read more about La Maillerie? 

 

Photo Credits: 

  • Photos 1-2: Canva Free Media License 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for a place?

Check out our all-inclusive La Maillerie coliving space!

Calling all coffee fanatics!

Lille has a rich coffee culture that pervades the entire city. From the cozy corners of family-run establishments to the hearty warmth of more traditional cafés, Lille’s coffee shops offer a unique blend of flavors, aromas, and experiences. Let’s delve into the top 10 coffee shops in Lille that are sure to satisfy your craving for caffeine. 

 

1. Aux Merveilleux de Fred: The Most Traditional

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Since its inception in 1997, Aux Merveilleux de Fred has become a staple of Lille’s coffee shop scene, celebrated for its exquisite “Merveilleux” pastry. This café has multiple locations peppered across the city, including one close to our Urban Campus Saint So’ Coliving

The allure of freshly made baked goods, visible through a quaint window, captivates every passerby. We recommend indulging in the “Le Merveilleux,” a delightful concoction of meringue. Don’t forget to ask for the secret cream, available in flavors like speculoos, coffee, vanilla, and chocolate.

  • Location: 336 Rue Léon Gambetta, Lille

 

2. Cafés Méo: The Most Local

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Rooted in the 1920s, Cafés Méo epitomizes the tradition of fine coffee in the North of France. Its inaugural shop in Lille, opened in 1928, stands as a monument to coffee excellence, inviting aficionados to savor its premium beans. If you want to connect with the city’s history and time-honored establishments, this is a must-visit. 

  • Location: 5 Pl. du Général de Gaulle, Lille

 

3. La Clairière: The Most Vegan Friendly

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La Clairière is a hotspot for those seeking vegan, local, and organic options in an intimate setting. This place is known for its lively Sunday brunches and colorful dishes. Plus, it is animal friendly, so you can bring all of your furry friends! 

  • Location: 75 Bd de la Liberté, Lille

 

4. Elizabeth’s: The Most British

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At Elizabeth’s, the charm of British baking takes center stage. Famous for its homemade scones, brownies, and cookies, this tiny café is a cozy retreat. A cup of tea and salted butter scone at Elizabeth’s certainly will not disappoint. 

  • Location: 69-71 Rue Basse, Lille

 

5. Café Augustin: The Closest to Urban Campus

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Just a short walk from Urban Campus Saint So’, Lille Coliving, Café Augustin is a versatile space for work, relaxation, and coffee exploration. You can go for just a small snack and espresso, or try some of their beautifully plated entrees like creamy polenta or soft-boiled eggs.

  • Location: 57 Rue de Valenciennes, Lille

 

6. Coffee Makers: The Most Coffee Focused

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Coffee Makers is where the love for coffee is joyously celebrated. They have a top-quality coffee menu, plus food selections ranging from cinnamon toast to homemade granola. If you are looking for that irresistible scent of freshly roasted beans, Coffee Makers is your place. 

  • Location: 151 Rue Pierre Mauroy, Lille

 

7. Oxalis & Bergamote: The Best for Cheesecake

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Oxalis & Bergamote stands out for its high-quality pastries, not to mention its elegant environment. A favorite among locals, this spot offers a refined café experience, blending delicious sweets with a sophisticated vibe.

  • Location: 44 Rue d’Angleterre, Lille

 

8. L’impertinente: The Trendiest

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Dubbing itself a “Pony-club” rather than a mere coffee shop, L’impertinente adds a dash of fun to the coffee scene. The interior is decorated with bright colors and patterns, which also translate to their gorgeously decorated cakes and pastries. 

  • Location: 9 Bd Papin, Lille

 

9. Briocherie Sylvana: The Most Specialized

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For freshly baked brioche, Briocherie Sylvana is a dream. With a variety of both sweet and salty options, they have a large menu with all different flavors of cakes, muffins, pastries, and much more. This is the perfect place to indulge in your sweet tooth alongside a warm cup of delectable coffee. 

  • Location: 24 Bd Victor Hugo, Lille

 

10. Meert 1677: The Oldest

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Meert 1677, the oldest coffee shop in Lille, offers a luxurious dive into the city’s rich café culture. Known for its vanilla waffles, Meert is a testament to the timeless appeal of fine patisserie and coffee, despite the tourist lines. If you want to experience all of the essentials of Lille, a visit to Meert needs to be on your list. 

  • Location: 25-27 Rue Esquermoise, Lille

 

French Café Culture 

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In France, café culture is an essential part of daily life, reflecting the country’s appreciation for good coffee, leisure, and community. Unlike in many other places, traditional French cafés are not just spots to grab a quick caffeine fix; they are places where people come to relax, meet with friends, or even conduct business meetings. This culture thrives on the principle of taking one’s time, whether it’s for a morning espresso or an afternoon pause.

In Lille, this tradition is evident in the diversity and character of its coffee shops, each telling a part of the city’s story. They serve as communal hubs that reflect the local lifestyle, where the emphasis is on the quality of the coffee and the warmth of the welcome. Moreover, Lille’s café culture mirrors the city’s blend of tradition and modernity, showcasing how contemporary trends in coffee preparation and consumption have been seamlessly integrated into the historic fabric of French society. 

Want to read more about Lille? 

 

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La Maillerie Restaurants: Gear up, food adventurers! 

La Maillerie, a peaceful escape just outside the bustling heart of Lille, is your next stop on the culinary map. Imagine biting into freshly-baked bread in a cozy bistro, or savoring the sophisticated atmosphere of top-tier gourmet spots. We’re on a mission to scout out the best eats in La Maillerie. Ready for a flavor-packed journey? Let’s dive into all of the La Maillerie restaurants there are to explore! 

 

La Maillerie Restaurants: Brique House

La Maillerie Restaurants: The Best Places to Eat!

Located in the heart of La Maillerie, Brique House is a buzzing spot known for its wide beer selection and tasty food menu. With a large taproom and a rooftop area that’s over 1000 square meters, it’s a prime location for group gatherings – especially in the summer sun. 

The menu at Brique House features local dishes like the Welsh, plus other savory options like their beef steak Dallas Burger. Their food comes alongside a comprehensive list of cocktails, wines, and beers with both traditional and experimental flavor selections. Guests can also take advantage of “Brick Hour” for discounted craft beer every day from 5 pm to 7 pm.

 

Au 52

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Opened in 2010, Au 52 in Croix has established itself as a family-run pizzeria with a deep-rooted legacy. Set in an old factory and filled with collector’s items, the restaurant offers a rich menu featuring wood-fired pizzas, artisanal pastas and burgers.

Au 52’s commitment to quality is evident in its selection of ingredients, prioritizing freshness and regional sourcing to ensure that every dish served is of the highest standard. Plus, the environment invokes a sense of history and authenticity, with its warehouse-style design harmoniously blending industrial chic with rustic charm. 

 

Arborenscense 

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Arborescence showcases a blend of creativity and sustainability in its French cuisine. The kitchen is led by Félix and Nidta Robert, whose backgrounds include prestigious stints in global kitchens. The restaurant offers an imaginative menu focused on fresh, often locally-sourced ingredients. They have set menus titled “dawn, reflections, and dream.” These menus feature an array of dishes including grilled apricot, sweetbread veal and lobster. 

Situated in a renovated textile factory, Arborescence is a must-visit for those seeking a unique dining experience. Reservations are recommended for this high-end venue, as its culinary excellence puts it in high-demand.

 

Le Bacchus 

La Maillerie Restaurants: The Best Places to Eat!

Le Bacchus in La Maillerie blends a restaurant and wine bar into one cozy, intimate setting. It offers a deep dive into French wine culture, showcasing wines full of character in addition to local beers, cocktails, and whisky. 

The restaurant prides itself on a menu that combines tradition with creativity, and always uses fresh, local produce. A few highlights include raw duck foie gras and beef tartare. Le Bacchus also has a lush, plant-filled patio that makes it ideal for sunny lunches, dinners or relaxed afterwork drinks. This restaurant truly embodies the essence of French culinary excellence. 

 

Barbara

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Get ready for a blast from the past! Barbara is a remarkable restaurant near La Maillerie themed as a 70s disco “pizza hangar.” This pizzeria is captivating with its flashy decor, from chaotic patterns to flashing neon signs.

Barbara’s menu features Neapolitan pizzas, antipasti, desserts, and selected craft drinks. A few specialties include burrata truffle pizza, “oh my cheese” pizza, and classic desserts like tiramisu. With this killer menu on top of their vibrant decor, Barbara is a one-of-a-kind gem that sticks out amongst the La Maillerie restaurants. 

Want to read more about La Maillerie? 

 

Photo Credits: 

January 30th, 2024

  • Urban Campus is set to open La Maillerie, Lille Coliving in summer 2024.
  • This new construction venture is supported by Nhood (real estate provider) and Batipart (investor).
  • The La Maillerie coliving marks Urban Campus’ largest coliving project, with a total of 121 units.
  • The building features a unique design of shared cluster units in cozy, standard, or premium categories.

We are expanding in Lille! 

Urban Campus is thrilled to announce the continued progress of the La Maillerie Coliving venture in Lille, set to open in the summer of 2024. This innovative coliving development, in partnership with Nhood and Batipart, has been meticulously designed from the ground up to embody the essence of coliving. The building will offer 121 units, making it Urban Campus’ largest coliving space to date.

La Maillerie, Lille Coliving coming in summer 2024

 

Urban Campus La Maillerie, Lille Coliving 

The La Maillerie, Lille Coliving will have a distinctive design featuring cluster units. These units are crafted to balance private and communal living, offering residents their own private bedrooms alongside sleek, shared common areas. Also, future colivers will have the choice of cozy, standard, and premium living options. Each category offers different amenities and modern layouts. 

Urban Campus has always been committed to providing exceptional common spaces for community-building and connection. This project is no different, including state-of-the-art common zones like:

  • Coworking Space
  • Gym
  • Cinema Room
  • Event Space
  • Lounge
  • Shared Kitchen
  • Expansive Terraces
  • Patio

 

La Mallerie in Villeneuve-d’Ascq

La Maillerie, Lille Coliving coming in summer 2024!

La Maillerie is a historic district undergoing a vibrant transformation. It is nestled in the tranquil Villeneuve-d’Ascq region of Lille. This rapidly developing area is becoming a hub for professional opportunities, thanks to its proximity to the headquarters of major corporations like Auchan, Bonduelle, and Leroy Merlin

The area is also home to universities and specialized schools, including the prestigious EDHEC Business School Campus. This blend of industrial growth and educational excellence makes La Maillerie an ideal place for professional development and networking.

Additionally, the neighborhood is a haven for nature lovers and cultural enthusiasts. The region boasts extensive green spaces, including the Parc du Héron nature reserve. Furthermore, the culinary scene is vibrant, highlighted by the internationally recognized Les Halles Biltoki food market. This renowned market is a central spot in the neighborhood, and is conveniently located less than 5 minutes from our new coliving. 

La Maillerie is ideally situated at the crossroads of the Croix and Villeneuve-d’Ascq areas, offering a perfect blend of local charm and convenience. The location also provides access to the lively city center of Lille. 

 

Urban Campus: Expanding and Growing

La Maillerie, Lille Coliving coming in summer 2024!

The launch of La Maillerie is a significant milestone in the ongoing expansion and growth of Urban Campus. Our vision is to revolutionize the concept of urban living, and this venture is a leap forward in that direction.

Above all, we are dedicated to creating innovative living spaces that adapt to the evolving needs of the modern world. This new venture is a pivotal step in our mission to broaden our reach across France. It is a symbol of our growing commitment to enhancing urban life through innovative living solutions.

Explore more: 

 

Photo Credits:

The Lille Christmas Market, or “Le Village de Noël de Lille”

Welcome to the Lille Christmas Market! Get ready for a dazzling showcase of festivities and French holiday traditions. This year, from November 22 – December 31, the Lille Christmas Market is set to captivate visitors with its unique blend of traditional French Christmas culture and local Lille charm.

 

🎄 Lille Christmas Market: A Centerpiece of Festive Celebrations

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The Lille Christmas Market is located in Place Rihour, in the bustling center of Lille’s historic district. Each year the market is filled with charming trinkets and homemade goods. However, this market is far more than just a shopping destination. Lille’s Christmas Market is a vibrant cultural hub where approximately 900,000 visitors come each year to experience the essence of French Christmas traditions.

 

The Spirit of Christmas in Lille

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The market is renowned for its beautifully decorated shops and architectural facades, embodying the “la joie de vivre” of the festive season. Here, you’ll find a plethora of activities that cater to all ages and interests.

🛍️ A Shopper’s Paradise

At the Lille Christmas Market, you can explore over 90 vendors who offer a diverse range of products. From local handcrafted items to international goods, the market is a treasure trove for finding that perfect holiday gift for your loved ones.

🎡 Views from the “Grand Roue”

Don’t miss the unforgettable experience of the “Grand Roue” (Big Wheel) at the Grand Place. The panoramic views from the top offer a breathtaking perspective of Lille’s festive lights and decorations.

🎅 Santa Village and French Christmas Traditions

In Theatre Square or Place du Théâtre, the Santa Village awaits with enchanting Christmas decor. This carefully constructed village is a perfect reflection of France’s rich Christmas traditions, where every corner brims with the spirit of festivity and the magic of French holiday cheer.

🎶A Musical Christmas

Every Friday night, live concerts bring the market to life, showcasing local talents and adding to the festive atmosphere. Lille’s community spirit shines through in these musical evenings. Be sure to check out the schedule and support the local artists! 

 

French Christmas Traditions: A Backdrop to Lille’s Festivities

Incorporating elements of French Christmas culture, Lille’s market offers a glimpse into the country’s holiday customs as a whole. From the grand Christmas Eve dinners to the regional delicacies, you can find many aspects of France’s Christmas culture incorporated throughout the Lille Christmas Market. 

🍽️ Culinary Delights

The market is a haven for food lovers, offering traditional French festive foods like foie gras, bûche de Noël, and regional specialties. You certainly can’t resist indulging in delicious mulled wine and Belgian waffles. 

🌲 Christmas Across France

While Lille’s market is unique, it is also part of a larger tapestry of Christmas markets across France. From the grand markets of Strasbourg to more intimate settings in smaller towns, French Christmas markets are a cornerstone of the holiday season throughout the country. 

🏰 Historical Significance

The Lille Christmas Market is not just a festive attraction but also a celebration of Lille’s rich history and cultural heritage. The historical center, with its Flemish influence, adds an extra layer of culture to the Christmas festivities.

🍺 Flemish Influence 

The Lille Christmas Market in France exhibits notable Flemish cultural influences and traditions. Lille’s proximity to Belgium and its historical connection to Flemish culture contribute to this unique blend. The market’s atmosphere and offerings reflect this influence in various aspects:

  • Cuisine: The food served at the market often includes Flemish traditional dishes, like Carbonnade Flamande and Belgian beef stew.
  • Architectural Style: The market is set against a backdrop of Flemish architecture, visible in Lille’s historical buildings and decorative styles.
  • Crafts and Goods: The stands at the market showcase Flemish-inspired crafts and goods, reflecting the cross-cultural exchange between the French and Flemish regions.
  • Brewing Traditions: Lille has a reputation as France’s beer capital. The city has a rich history of beer culture influenced by Flemish brewing traditions, which is evident in the markets’ extensive beverage options. 

 

Lille Christmas Market Schedule

  • November 22nd – 31 December 
  • From Sunday to Thursday: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Friday & Saturday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • December 24 & 30: 11:00 am – 6:00pm
  • Closed on December 25

Want to read more about Lille, France? 

 

Photo Credits: 

  • All photos used through the Canva Free Media License

So you’ve been thinking about traveling in France, but wondering…is Lille worth visiting? 

The answer is – absolutely! Lille, France – a city often overshadowed by its more famous French counterparts – is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Plus, it is an easy day trip from Paris.

From the architectural splendor of La Vieille Bourse to the lively atmosphere of Wazemmes Market, each destination in Lille offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply a curious traveler, the Lille attractions promise an unforgettable experience that will leave you wondering why this enchanting city isn’t on every traveler’s must-visit list of.

 

La Vieille Bourse (The Old Stock Exchange)

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La Vieille Bourse is an architectural masterpiece. Once a bustling trade center, this 17th-century building is now a cultural and social hub. Its Renaissance-style courtyard, adorned with beautiful golden arches, is a tranquil oasis where locals and tourists alike browse through the second-hand bookstalls and vintage poster shops. The area comes alive with chess players and street performers, offering a vibrant snapshot of Lille’s community spirit.

 

Wazemmes Market

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A bustling epicenter of Lille’s culture, the Wazemmes Market is a local tradition akin to Madrid’s “El Rastro”. The market is open three times a week throughout the year. It is particularly lively on Sundays, always showcasing an array of local products. From fresh produce to artisanal crafts, Wazemmes is a haven for foodies and shoppers. The neighborhood’s diverse culinary offerings, like the Lebanese falafel sandwiches, are a must-try. Locals often pair their market finds with a fresh baguette and relax in the surrounding restaurants, creating a quintessentially French experience.

 

Saint Sauveur Station

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This repurposed railway station, just an 11-minute walk from the UC Saint So’ Coliving, exemplifies Lille’s knack for transforming historical sites into contemporary cultural spaces. It is a must when it comes to Lille sightseeing. Saint Sauveur Station is a dynamic venue that reflects the city’s artistic pulse. The site hosts a variety of events from live concerts to art exhibitions. Plus the on-site Bistrot Saint So’, nestled in the main building, offers a perfect spot for refreshments and local bites.

 

Belfry of Lille – Hôtel de Ville

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Dominating Lille’s skyline, the Belfry is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Europe’s tallest belfry. Standing at 104 meters, it offers a panoramic view of Lille from the city hall. Climbing the belfry is both a physical challenge and a rewarding experience, unveiling a unique perspective of Lille’s urban landscape. The entrance fee of 7.50€ is a small price for such an unforgettable view.

 

Deûle Canal

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Winding through Lille all the way to Belgium, the Deûle Canal is a picturesque waterway perfect for leisurely activities. Renting an electric bike and riding alongside the canal is a popular way to enjoy the scenery. Along the way, stop at “La Marquette” guinguette for a refreshing drink and to experience the local waterside culture.

 

Sebastopol Theater

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A historical gem built in 1903, the Sebastopol Theater in the city center is a testament to Lille’s rich theatrical tradition. The theater is a focal point of Lille’s artistic scene. It offers a diverse program of concerts, plays, one-man shows, and international conferences. If you’re wondering “is Lille worth visiting?”, the ornate architecture and vibrant performances at this theatre can certainly help convince you. 

 

Citadel of Lille

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Designed by the renowned military architect Vauban, the Citadel is a remarkable example of 17th-century military architecture. Today, it serves as a green oasis on the edge of La Deûle, ideal for outdoor activities like canoeing or jogging. Its vast open spaces are popular for picnics and leisurely walks, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

 

Zoological Gardens of Lille

Nestled within the Citadel, the Zoological Gardens offer a peaceful retreat from urban life. Home to a diverse range of animal species, the zoo is a delightful destination for families and nature lovers. There is free entry with the Lille City Pass, or 4.50€ otherwise. It is an accessible attraction for all, and one of many popular Lille activities. 

 

Equatorial Greenhouse

Just a 13-minute walk from UC Saint So’ Coliving, the Equatorial Greenhouse is an enchanting escape into nature. This natural space boasts tropical trees, exotic flowers, and rose gardens, providing a serene atmosphere for relaxation and self-reflection.

 

LOSC (Lille Olympique Sporting Club)

Embrace the local sporting culture by supporting LOSC, Lille’s beloved football club. The Pierre Mauroy stadium has a capacity of 50,000, and functions both as a sports venue and a hub for concerts and events. The fervor of a live football match here is an exhilarating experience that encapsulates the city’s passionate spirit. Although a bit further from the city center, there is plenty of public transportation you can easily utilize.

So, what do you think…is Lille worth visiting? 

 

Photo Credits: 

  • All photos used through Canva Free Media License

Are you ready to discover the best things to do in Lille, France?

Look no further! Lille is a charming city in Northern France known for it’s stunning architecture and distinct culture. We’ve compiled a complete list of everything from restaurants and bars to unique in-person experiences that will give you a taste of the lifestyle in Lille. Whether you are new to the city or only have a short stay in Lille, the city has something special to offer you. Come with us to discover the best things to do in Lille, France!

 

Flemish Influence 

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Lille is known for its strong Flemish influence, which is reflected in the city’s architecture, cuisine, and general atmosphere. Taking a stroll with your fellow colivers through the historic Old Town is one of the best ways to marvel at the these architectural characteristics, which reflect a mixture of French and Flemish design. We also suggest exploring the Vieux Lille and Saint Sauveur neighborhoods, where you can discover several picturesque monuments. Lille was even awarded the impressive title of World Design Capital for 2020, honoring the one-of-a-kind architectural styles throughout the city. 

 

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As far as architectural recommendations, we have a few. La Nouvelle Bourse, constructed in 1910, is a neo-Flemish bell tower. It is part of the Palais de la Bourse and is erected opposite the old 17th century stock exchange. The Roubaix Swimming Pool, built in 1927, is another must-see. The pool is housed within André Diligent Museum of Art and Industry, surrounded by statues and Art Deco displays. Plus, there is the façade of Notre-Dame de la Treille. This is a neo-gothic cathedral built with 100 slabs of marble and enormous stained glass windows.

 

Restaurants in Lille, France

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Lille is a fantastic place to try new dishes and expand your palate. You can try some of the local specialties, which include:

  • Carbonnade: a dish is made from beef, baked lard, onion, raw sugar, vinegar, light beer, rustic bread, mustard, salt, and seasonings.
  • Potjevleesch: a traditional Flemish dish consisting of onions, wine, vinegar, fresh herbs, and sheep, chicken, pig, rabbit, and cow meat, slowly simmered in a crock pot.

If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Lille, check out the following places…

 

1. Octopus

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Octopus is a go-to spot for any adventurous eater. This restaurant is known for their incredible octopus dishes. In fact, they even have a whole menu dedicated just to octopus. If you are craving something different, they also has a variety of other dishes including fish, veal, mussels and squid. Plus, you can peruse their extensive wine menu to pair with your meal.

Location: Octopus, 2 Pl. Sébastopol, 59000 Lille, France

 

2. Bloempot

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Bloempot impressively sources 100% of their food locally from only organic or wild farming. It is located in the heart of Vieux Lille with an elegant terrace. Bloempot offers the exciting option of an “experience menu”, where the chefs decide what to cook and serve it to you with your eyes closed! As this is quite the popular restaurant, be sure to make a reservation in advance. 

Location: 22 Rue des Bouchers, 59800 Lille, France

 

3. Estaminet Au Vieux de la Vieille

Estaminet Au Vieux de la Vieille is a traditional flemish restaurant. The ambience, decoration, and music of this restaurant transport you to the northern taverns of the early 20th century. This is the perfect place to order Lille’s famous Welsh, which is a hot plate made of ham, egg and cheddar. If you’re just looking to relax with a coffee or beer, the vibe in Estaminet Au Vieux de la Vieille couldn’t be better.

Location: 2 Rue des Vieux Murs, 59800 Lille, France

 

Bars in Lille, France 

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1. Artchives

Artchives is a unique blend of a bar, restaurant, and art gallery. They are known for their chic cocktails, all made with creative recipes and distinct presentation. You can drink, eat, and enjoy their contemporary art gallery, which features artistic talent from all around the world. They also host fun events like live jazz music nights.

Location: 74 Rue Jacquemars Giélée, 59800 Lille

 

2. La Biche & Le Renard

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La Biche & Le Renard is an intimate bar in Lille that’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Renowned for its exceptional craft beer selection and expertly crafted cocktails, it’s a must-visit during your stay in Lille. The bar’s colorful interior decor adds to its vibrant atmosphere, creating a lively backdrop for drinks and dancing. With drag shows, spacious outdoor areas for large gatherings, and talented DJs, La Biche & Le Renard is the go-to spot for a dynamic and entertaining night out.

Location: 14 Rue de Gand, 59800 Lille, France

 

3. Quai Des Bananes

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Renowned for their playful and visually stunning cocktails, Quai Des Bananes welcomes you into a tropical paradise. Amidst the smoky ambiance and lush, jungle-inspired decor, guests can explore their cocktail menu and also order from their snack menu. They have a menu of over 400 original cocktail creations, each with a one-of-a-kind flavor and aesthetic. Some cocktails even come with a full coconut on top of the glass!

Location: 84 Rue Royale, 59800 Lille, France

 

Cafés in Lille, France

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1. Elizabeth’s Tea Rooms

Elizabeth’s Tea Rooms is a cozy tea room nestled in the city center’s charming streets. With a French-inspired ambiance, it’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a variety of hot or cold drinks. Their menu includes hot chocolate, tea, coffee, and fruit juice. They also offer a tempting selection of pastries, including gluten-free options, with cakes, muffins, brownies, cookies, and scones. Plus, on Sundays, they have a more extensive brunch menu to order from. 

Location: 71, Rue Basse, 59800 Lille, France

 

2. Pâtisserie Méert

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Méert, the city’s oldest coffee shop, is a true place of history and tradition. Méert is perhaps best known for their exquisite Madagascar vanilla waffle, a decadent treat that’s become a hallmark of luxury. Beyond the waffles, Méert tempts visitors with an array of chocolates, teas, sweets, and coffee that can be savored on-site or taken home. Check out their various spaces in Lille, which include restaurants, tea rooms and coffee shops.

Location: 27 Rue Esquermoise, 59000 Lille, France

 

Experiences in Lille, France

1. Le Zénith

Le Zénith is a massive concert arena that hosts over 60 concerts each year. With a seating and standing capacity of 7,000, including 4,550 fully seated places, it provides ample space for concertgoers to enjoy a wide range of performances. The stage, measuring 448m², is a versatile platform for various artists and events. Le Zénith features a diverse lineup, from Pink Floyd tribute nights to classical pianists and traveling dance shows, offering something for every taste in live entertainment.

Location: 1 Boulevard des Cités Unies, 59777 Lille, France

 

2. Gare Saint Sauveur

Gare Saint Sauveur is a bustling cultural center known for its wide range of cultural events. Throughout the year, it hosts festivals dedicated to cinecomedies, music performances, BBQ gatherings, and art exhibitions – just to name a few. The center maintains a diverse and ever-changing calendar, so it is always worth a look to see what is happening at Gare Saint Sauveur.

Location: 17 Bd Jean-Baptiste Lebas, 59800 Lille, France

 

3. Hôtel de Ville de Lille

The Hôtel de ville de Lille, known as Lille’s Town Hall, is a prominent building in the city. This architectural gem was meticulously constructed between 1924 and 1932, showcasing an Art Deco style infused with Flemish neo-Renaissance influences. Notably, its belfry was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005, joining the ranks of numerous other belfries in Belgium and France. You can visit the building and climb the 104-meter high belfry for an incredible view of Lille.

Belfry Hours:

Open Wednesday to Sunday

10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5:30 pm

  • by prior arrangement with the Tourist Office

Town Hall Hours: 

Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

Saturday, 8am to 12pm

Location: 59033 Pl. Augustin Laurent, 59800 Lille, France

 

4. Wazemmes Market (Marché de Wazemmes)

Wazemmes Market offers a classic outdoor market experience that captures the essence of French street markets. Visitors can explore a variety of offerings, from fresh foods, vibrant flowers, and produce to exquisite fabrics international products. One of the largest markets in France, Wazemmes Market exudes a charming “Soho” atmosphere, combining a bustling energy with a touch of cultural flair.

Market Hours:

Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 7.00 am to 2.00 pm.

Covered market from Tuesday to Saturday from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm

Sunday and bank holidays from 8.00 am to 3.00 pm

Public Transport:

Metro 1, stop Gambetta

Location: Place de la Nouvelle Aventure, 59000 Lille, France

 

5. Palais des Beaux Arts

Palais des Beaux Arts stands as one of the largest and most prestigious art museums in France. Established in 1892, this cultural institution boasts a rich tapestry of artistic treasures that span centuries. Among its illustrious collection are antique pieces that date back to the 2nd century BC, alongside masterpieces by renowned artists such as Donatello, Monet, El Greco, and Picasso. The museum’s diverse offerings provide a captivating journey through the evolution of art, making Palais des Beaux Arts an invaluable destination to visit in Lille.

Hours:

Monday 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Wednesday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Closed Tuesdays, 1 January, 1 May, 14 July, 1 November, 25 December

Public Transport: 

  • Metro – line 1, station: République Beaux-Arts
  • Bus – Bus lines 12 and 18, Citadine de Lille, Liane 1 and 90
  • Taxis – Lille railway station, Place Richebé
  • Parking – Place de la République – 300 spaces
  • Access for disabled visitors at the side of the building, on Boulevard de la Liberté

Location: Pl. de la République, 59000 Lille, France

 

Photo Credits: 

  • Cover Photo: Canva Free Media License
  • Photos 1 – 4: Canva Free Media License
  • Photo 5: Bloempot Instagram – see original post
  • Photo 6: Canva Free Media License
  • Photo 7: La Biche & Le Renard Instagram – see original post
  • Photos 8 – 14: Canva Free Media License

Les Halles de La Maillerie

If you are curious to get to know La Maillerie, you must discover the culinary utopia known as Les Halles de la Maillerie. Nestled in La Maillerie near the border of Belgium, Les Halles de La Maillerie is one of the many innovative Biltoki food markets scattered around France. Here, friends, families and local artisans connect over delicious food, refreshing drinks, and regional specialities. Les Halles de la Maillerie has become a well-known destination, firmly establishing itself as a cornerstone of the culture in Villeneuve d’Ascq, Croix, and the surrounding areas.

 

The History of Les Halles – What is Biltoki? 

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Les Halles de La Maillerie is part of the Biltoki food market network. This is a global network of marketplaces focused on reimagining the traditional market experience. The concept of Biltoki was brought to life by four visionary co-founders, all from the French Basque country: Jerome Lesparre and the Alman brothers –Romain, Bixente, and Xabi. In fact, “Biltoki” is a Basque word which means “a place for people to gather.” 

Biltoki’s remarkable journey began in 2009. This group of co-founders made a collective decision to leave their established careers and return to the French Basque Country. Initially interested in real estate projects, their path took an unexpected turn in Anglet, France when they stumbled upon a historic building with vacant space. Determined to create something meaningful, they sought input from the local community. They quickly uncovered a resounding desire for a fresh food market. The founders began recruiting local vendors and artisans, wanting to highlight local and regional specialities. Soon, Biltoki’s inaugural venture, the “Halles des 5 Cantons” was born. 

 

Biltoki markets today 

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Nearly 14 years later, Biltoki markets have a presence in seven cities. They even have plans to expand into several different countries. At the heart of Biltoki’s mission is the commitment to uniting the finest local artisans in each town. They shine a spotlight on the both unique and popular products crafted by these local artisans, celebrating the unique flavors and culture of each region. 

 

Opening Les Halles de La Maillerie

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In December 2021, Biltoki ventured into Northern France with the opening of Les Halles de La Maillerie. This marked a significant milestone for the co-founders, as it was their first project in this region. Spanning just over 1000 square meters, Les Halles de La Maillerie can host up to 25 independent vendors. Here, local artisans from Villeneuve d’Ascq, Croix, and other areas in Lille are able to find new sales opportunities and increased visibility.

Les Halles has a variety of food vendors and goods to explore. These include merchants of wine, cheese, sweets and fresh produce. Plus, you’ll find butcher’s shops, coffee stations, bakeries, fish & chips, and italian specialities. With so many culinary offerings, you can visit the weekly markets at Les Halles many times and always try something new. 

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Les Halles Biltoki resides in an old historic building, formerly home to the renowned 3 Suisses e-commerce company. Its transition into a Biltoki food market was more than just a renovation. The transformation was meaningful, breathing new life into a space steeped in local history. The founders were also drawn to the evolving district project and renovations taking place in La Maillerie. Our team at Urban Campus is thrilled to play a role in this district project, with our new coliving space opening in La Maillerie in 2024. 

Les Halles de La Maillerie stands out for its warm and familial ambiance. The market is defined by a sense of close-knit community and familiarity. Loyal customers are always returning to their favorite tables, snacks, and cherished merchants. There are also a plethora of events and activities like live music concerts, food festivals, tastings and culinary events, and even karaoke. These events enliven the local community, further cementing Les Halles as an essential part of La Maillerie’s cultural fabric. 

 

Café Biltoki

At every Biltoki market, you’ll find the heart and soul of the venue – the Café Biltoki. These bars and cafés, owned and operated by the founders themselves, serve as a common thread connecting the diverse array of Biltoki markets. Whether you’re craving a glass of wine, shot of espresso, or some engaging conversation, the café is the perfect place to do so. Beyond serving visitors, this is also a place where vendors can gather after a day of hard work.

The Biltoki Cafés epitomize the four fundamental values that define Biltoki. These are authenticity, commitment, audacity and hospitality. Authenticity is paramount, as Biltoki is a family-owned business and strives to remain true to its roots. Commitment drives their efforts to positively impact communities through urban revitalization and local artisan support. Audacity fuels their innovative and boundary-pushing approach, challenging norms and trends. Lastly, hospitality is at the core, creating warm and inviting marketplaces where everyone feels welcome. 

 

Where to find Les Halles de La Maillerie 

Directions

64 allée des Mannequins, 59650 Villeneuve d’Ascq

Bus 32: station le sart nord

Tram: station le sart

Subway: station croix centre

Hours

Monday: closed

Tuesday – Wednesday: 8h00 – 14h30, 16h30 -19h30

Thursday – Friday: 8h00 – 14h30, 16h30 – 22h30

Saturday: 8h00 – 22h30

Sunday: 8h00 – 15h

 

Photo Credits: 

  • Cover Photo: Halles de La Maillerie Instagram – see original post
  • Photo 1: Canva Free Media License
  • Photo 2: Halles de La Maillerie Instagram – see original post
  • Photo 3: Halles de La Maillerie Instagram – see original post
  • Photo 4: Halles de La Maillerie Instagram – see original post
  • Photo 5: Canva Free Media License
  • Photo 6: Canva Free Media License

Imagine this…

Lille, a serene city nestled in northern France, suddenly transforms into a frenzy of exhilaration and delightful chaos. Crowds swarm the streets, drawn by the allure of unbeatable deals and charming trinkets. People rush to bargain with vendors while the aroma of traditional Flemish food drifts through the air. Music, smiles and laughter are all around as people enjoy an unparalleled, one-of-a-kind cultural experience. 

The Largest Flea Market in Europe

This paints the picture of La Braderie de Lille, the largest flea market in all of Europe. La Braderie de Lille takes place every year during the first weekend of September and features more than 8,000 vendors selling clothes, books, antiques and more. The renowned event welcomes roughly 2 million visitors, and has grown in recent years to include concerts, rides, food stands and even a half-marathon!

You certainly don’t want to miss the 2023 market, which is scheduled for September 2nd and 3rd. La Braderie de Lille is an exceptional opportunity to delve into Lille’s traditions while partaking in unique festivities with friends and colivers.

 

The History of La Braderie de Lille

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The roots of La Braderie de Lille can be traced back to the 12th century, stemming from Flemish fairs in the Middle Ages. The origin of the market is specifically linked to a secondhand fair that took place in the year 1127. The event repeated annually, gaining more and more popularity each year. Eventually, the market offered the opportunity for housekeepers and servants to sell their masters’ old clothes and possessions. This skyrocketed its popularity, as it became a way for the lower class to supplement their income. 

Throughout its history, the Braderie underwent several transformations, evolving both in its concept and presentation. Today, it is one of the largest gatherings in all of France. Its reputation is known far beyond France’s borders, and each year the market entertains both locals and visitors from all around the world. Steeped in tradition yet embracing modernity, La Braderie de Lille has earned its place as a cherished event that showcases the culture of Lille to the world.

 

Mussels & Fries

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Central to La Braderie is the iconic dish of moules-frites, or mussels and fries. While the dish’s exact origins remain unclear, one theory suggests that repeated poultry epidemics led to a rise in popularity of mussels as a traditional food. Now, the menu at La Braderie is dominated by mussels and other traditional Flemish dishes, which always pair well with a refreshing beer. As part of the festivities, local restaurants take part in a unique challenge by piling emptied mussel shells outside their entrances. The restaurant that manages to build the tallest shell heap earns the distinction of being the festival’s top restaurant.

 

The Half-Marathon

The Braderie half-marathon kicks off the festivities and sets the stage for the whole weekend. As the sun rises on Saturday morning, tens of thousands of eager runners prepare to race. There are 3 different options – 5, 10 or 21 kilometer races – allowing runners of various levels to participate. The half-marathon started back in the 1980s and now attracts many international participants. It has become an essential part of the Braderie itinerary. After crossing the finish line, participants usually head straight for a plate of mussels and fries. If you’re interested in participating, you can secure your own spot by registering for your preferred race on the official site.

 

Preparing for La Braderie

Get your accommodation

  • Reserve accommodation in advance. As there are many people traveling to Lille for La Braderie, it is wise to book something as soon as possible. If hotels are filling up, consider staying in a nearby city or even taking a train from Paris or Brussels. Of course, if you are living with us at Urban Campus Saint So’, Lille Coliving, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Use the official map

  • You’ll want to get a hold of the official Braderie map, typically released a few weeks before the event. This map is a valuable resource with a layout of the market vendors, helping you pinpoint exactly which areas you want to visit.

The earlier, the better

  • Just like any typical garage sale or fair, the first day at La Braderie is your best chance for top-notch deals. The selling kicks off around 8am on Saturday, but rumor has it that Friday evening might be the best time to secure quality bargains.

Prepare to walk

  • Opt for your most comfortable walking shoes and leave your car, bike or scooter at home. The flea market spans an expansive area, with around 100 km of stands scattered throughout Lille. Be ready to walk!

Bring cash and be aware of pickpockets

  • For smoother transactions with vendors, it’s advisable to carry cash. However, in bustling crowds, be vigilant about pickpockets and keep your valuables close to your body. 

La Braderie de Lille stands as an essential experience for lovers of culture, adventure, and of course secondhand shopping. There is something for everyone to enjoy, whether it be quality live music or time spent eating delicious food. So, as this year’s Braderie approaches, only one question remains: will we see you there? 

 

Photo Credits: 

  • All photos used through Canva Free Media License

Welcome to La Maillerie, a hidden gem in the peaceful Villeneuve-d’Ascq region of Lille. This blossoming area is the location of our new Urban Campus coliving residence, opening in 2024! La Maillerie is a historic district that has been embracing a fresh vision for the future. The area is growing quickly with increasing job opportunities, green spaces and a tight-knit sense of community. It’s the ideal place for those seeking tranquility away from the city rush, yet still desiring quick access to Lille’s urban delights. Come with us and get to know La Maillerie in Villeneuve-d’Ascq!

 

Growing Opportunities in La Maillerie 

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The Villeneuve d’Ascq region is a prominent economic center within Hauts-de-France, with a substantial presence of nearly 2,500 companies. It also serves as the headquarters for renowned international companies like Bonduelle and Decathlon. Within the area, La Maillerie is a developing industrial hub with close proximity to the head offices of major corporations like Auchan, Bonduelle, and Leroy Merlin. It is an exceptional place for fostering connections with dynamic professionals and expanding your network

Moreover, you can find universities, laboratories and specialized schools with a focus on architecture, chemistry, commerce and IT. La Maillerie is also the home to esteemed EDEHC Business School Campus, drawing hard-working business students to the area. With such a plethora of opportunities and resources, La Maillerie has become an ideal setting for professional growth and advancement.

 

Nature Galore

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The Villeneuve-d’Ascq region is a dream for nature enthusiasts, with an abundance of outdoor spaces to explore. The region has 6 lakes, a network of cycling paths, and more than 200 hectares of green space. The renowned Parc du Héron, a vast nature reserve, stands out as a must-visit destination. The park has an impressive array of 220 bird species, plus an expansive lake with wildlife like turtles and fish. You can stroll on the long walking paths or have picnic in the ample green space. If you’re feeling brave, try hiking up the Marchenelles hill – a 40 meter hill surrounded by more than 120,000 trees. Whether it’s birdwatching, picnicking, or a peaceful walk, La Maillerie has quick access to an abundance of natural wonders to explore and cherish.

 

Explore the Cultural Attractions

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La Maillerie has a rich history with lots of cultural heritage to uncover. Whether your interests lie in art, sports, or history, you’ll find something captivating to discover. The LaM Museum of Modern Art is a prominent attraction, revered as a leading museum of modern art in Northern Europe since its establishment in 1983. The museum is built within a spacious park and regularly hosts open-air events. The LaM has collections that delve into modern, contemporary, and “raw” art, emphasizing unique artistic intersections that will challenge your creative eye.

If you’re a sports enthusiast, you are in for a treat with the renowned Stade Pierre Mauroy stadium. The stadium has a seating capacity of 50,000 and is a frequent venue of concerts and sporting events. It is the official stadium of the Le Losc regional soccer team and will also be hosting various events during the much-awaited Olympic Games in July 2024. The stadium’s versatility is remarkable, with five distinct configurations that can be changed in just 24 hours. It is also known to attract big names in the music industry, like Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters in May 2023.

 

Eat, Drink & Take it Easy 

La Maillerie offers enticing options for dining and exciting weekend activities. Perhaps the most notable is Les Halles Biltoki, an enormous food market in the heart of town and conveniently close to our future coliving space. Les Halles Biltoki is a popular gathering spot for after-work drinks, happy hours, and leisurely brunches. The market features 25 independent food traders housed in a modern and spacious building, plus an inviting outdoor terrace. With such a diverse range of food vendors and places to relax, you can come to Les Halles in La Maillerie many times and always try something new.  

For beer drinkers, Brique House is the place for you. This beer house has a giant 800m2 taproom with an extensive selection of brews and a menu full of comfort food. They also have two beautiful terraces and a large rooftop, where you can drink and enjoy the sunshine in the summer. Brique House is know for crisp interior design paired with a laid-back atmosphere, and they hold special events in their spaces every week. We highly recommend grabbing a beer here and taking it easy with friends, family, or future colivers.

 

Photo Credits: 

  • Cover Photo: La Maillerie Instagram Account – see original post
  • Photo 1: Halles de La Maillerie Instagram Account – see original post
  • Photo 2: Canva Free Media License
  • Photo 3: Canva Free Media License
  • Photo 4: La Maillerie Instagram Account – see original post