Lille, has a warm atmosphere, rich in culture, and known for its vibrant arts. The city has a lot to offer, from cultural activities and events to delicious food and wine that you should definitely try out! The culture and the people are friendly and easy going, with many outdoors activities for the weekends. The city is conveniently located near Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK, making it a center of international sensations.
What to expect
- Here are the highlights of what you can expect when living in Lille.
- The weather is chill and comfortable. Summers are hot and sunny, and winters are white and cold. It rains sporadically, however, all places are fully equipped with the necessary heating to offer a comfortable and pleasant experience!
Average Daylight: 16 hours in summer and 8 hours in winter.
Average weather: 23º C in summer and 2º C in winter.
Average rainfall: 171 days.
Cost of living
- The cost of living is moderate, it is not as high as other European cities. Like many cities around the world, the city center is the most expensive area, however, the neighborhoods around it are more accessible and affordable.
Finding an apartment
- Due to the increase in demand for long-term rental apartments, finding an apartment can be a little challenging. However, there are plenty of websites and housing agencies that are ready and available to help you. It is highly recommended to search for an apartment in the neighborhoods around the city center, where you can find a flat that suits your needs and adjusts to your lifestyle and budget.
- Lille is relatively a small city, but that doesn’t stop it from having an extensive public transportation network, with metro lines, trams, buses, and more. In fact, the metro is the world’s first automatic subway, first used in 1983. Apart from public transportation, you can also use the bicycle-sharing system with many stations located in the city center and its surrounding areas. Riding a bike is one of the most preferred modes of transportation within locals, visitors and expats, as the city has many bike lanes in amazing condition that make the movement from place to place really easy.
- Over the past few years, Lille has become a major economic powerhouse to the North of France, and thus, attracting many professionals that diversify the labor and job markets.
- Lille’s economy is mostly made up of manufacturing and Information and Communication Technology. The city is a major startup hub, and the professional scene is everywhere. International companies and professionals arrive in Lille to enter the competitive environment and grow even more!
- Lille is widely international, and many people speak in English, so meeting people will be more of a smooth process than a challenge. People in Lille are friendly and open, and eager to meet new people from different backgrounds to share and learn from each other.
Photo by DEZALB on Pixabay
- The city has a vibe of an old town, with amazing architecture, cobblestone streets, elegant squares, and a thriving café culture. Lille is one of the top gastronomic cities in France with a wide variety of restaurants. It was elected the European Capital of Culture in 2004, and still maintains the title.
- Lille has connections to the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and the UK, and many more destinations, where you can travel by train or by airplane. The International Airport of Lille has a long list of destinations that allows you to travel to and from Lille easily and comfortably.
- There are more than a dozen museums in Lille, including the Palais des Beaux-Arts, which is considered to hold the second-richest collection of ar in France. Much of its exhibition was acquired during Napoleon’s battles. If you are a bookworm, you should visit the second-hand book market, which contains all genres from different years and many famous authors. You can also check out the TriPostal, an art venue located in a former post office.
- Shopping is one of the most popular activities among locals. There are three main streets in the city filled with large and small shops, luxurious and jewelry shops, and much more!
- When the sun starts to set the young vibes from Lille begin to flow, as bars and restaurants start to fill up. There are hundreds of bars in the city, that range from fun and friendly, to elegant and formal. There is everything you need to have a great time at night!
- There are a lot of restaurants to choose from, from casual cuisine to local specialties. Even though the city has become more international, and you can find all kinds of food in Lille, you should definitely try some of its most traditional foods to really get into the culture. Pain au Chocolat: a pastry served warm from the oven, flakey on the outside, and soft on the inside, with a wave of chocolate. Tartine: the French bread and spread, bread, specifically baguettes, are one of France’s iconic foods. Tartine is a baguette with different spreads, like hazelnut butter, or apricot jam, or dark chocolate spread. Raclette: it’s a wheel cheese that is cut in half and the edge is grilled. Then you scrape the melted cheese over fries, bread, chips, whatever you’d like. And many other dishes that are a must when living in Lille!
Photo by jovanel on Pixabay
- Lille has many football fans, with the Stade Pierre Mauroy, about 6 km south of the city center. If you are a football enthusiast, Lille is the place for you! Aside from soccer, you can also participate in sporting events, like marathons, swimming, and more! Another popular sporting activity is microlight flying. There are many services dedicated to take you up to the sky and admire Lille’s beauty.
- The city of Arras, just 40 minutes south of Lille, is a place of outstanding Flemish architecture. The belfry, Vauban Citadel, and City Hall are just a few highlights of this city. Arras holds the biggest Christmas market in the North of France. While you visit the city, the Vimy Memorial is to the north of Arras, honoring a major World War I battle, the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
- Guise: about an hour and a half away from Lille city center, you can find the town of Guise. Here you can visit the Guise Castle, which was first built in the late 10th century and then was severely damaged and risked disappearing completely. Until the decision to restore it was made. Just outside the town is the Familistere de Guise, a compound built by Jean-Baptiste André Godin for his utopian cooperative community, and it is a must-see while you are there.
- Roubaix: a former public swimming pool in the town, La Piscine, is now the Museum of Art and Industry. The central pool was converted into an exhibition space, which still has a thin layer of water, and sculpture on each side. Just 30 minutes away from Lille, La Piscine is worth a visit for the collection of paintings, fashion, and design.
We hope that you have found this guide useful.
Find more details, information, and KPIs about Lille in our Expat Guide.
The Fut-Ure Team will likewise be happy to help you to set up in the city if you are looking for a job in the region, or give you more information about the local Talent market (including details and advice in topics like Taxes and legal) if you are planning to open an office in Lille.
Take a look at our Job Offers, and contact us!
Let’s build your Fut-Ure together.