|LILLE (Rijsel in Flemish), northern France's largest city by far, surprises many visitors with its impressive architecture, the winding streets of its tastefully restored old quarter (Vieux Lille), and a plethora of restaurants where quality and quantity go hand in hand. looking for a Lille hotel, have a look at this website. The city boasts some vibrant and obviously prosperous commercial areas, modern residential squares, a large university, a brand-new métro system, and a very serious attitude to culture, reflected in a busy music and arts scene and some great museums. At the same time, the city spreads far into the countryside in every direction, a mass of suburbs and largely abandoned factories and for the French it remains the very symbol of the country's heavy industry and working-class politics. Lille is facing up to many of the tough issues of contemporary France: some of the worst poverty and racial conflict in the country, a crime rate similar to that in Paris and Marseille, and a certain regionalism Lillois sprinkle their speech with a French-Flemish patois ("Chti") and to some extent assert a Flemish identity. But there's also classic French affluence and, in the build-up to its stint as European Capital of Culture in 2004, the authorities are pulling out all the stops to scrub up Lille's grimy image. Whereas in the past travellers tended to bypass Lille, the city is now becoming a fashionable place to spend a weekend.|
Pages in section ‘Lille’: The City, Arrival, Hotels, Restaurants, Drinking and nightlife, Listings, Vieux Lille, South, Euralille.