Northern France Tourism : official website

A light brown leather bag, colourful paper flowers in the background

Opt for a ‘Braderie’ adventure!

During 2 non-stop days, Lille beats to the rhythm of the ‘Braderie’. The town turns into an enormous flea market where different cultures meet and enjoy eating the traditional mussels and chips together. A large amount of varied entertainment accompanies the event (a half-marathon on the Saturday morning, concerts, funfairs, etc.). Stroll through kilometres of streets mingling with the happy crowd where dealers, bargain hunters and tourists jostle side by side. The atmosphere is festive, encouraging you to enjoy the flea market to the full!

Flea market stalls at night
  • The flea market at night
  • © Anaîs Gadeau

The runners do not bargain with the kilometres.

On your marks! The athletes are in the starting blocks and ready to go for the international Lille Métropole half-marathon which opens this exceptional, festive weekend. Despite some of the athlete’s being disguised, adding fun to the race, it remains a test of physical endurance. Antics for entertaining the spectators or a good strategy for featuring in a full-page photo in the local paper? The official start is given. While other visitors have come to bargain in this city transformed into a gigantic open-air market, the runners take to the streets with long strides. The city teems with two million people over two days of madness. A great atmosphere guaranteed!

Two adults disguised as a rooster and a crocodile after the half-marathon
  • The rooster and the crocodile have crossed the finish line too.
  • © B. Vendeville

There is something for everyone - every neighbourhood has its own style!

Lille becomes almost totally pedestrian and the neighbourhoods take on different themes. So the athletes meet at the town hall, Saint-Sauveur, for the beginning of the races. The antique enthusiasts prefer the Boulevard Jean-Baptiste Lebas. Those who prefer the flea market for knick knacks, furniture, crockery, collections...the esplanade along the Deûle is the place to be. Fans of fairground rides revel in the funfair at the Champs de Mars. In the old town, Vieux-Lille, the elegant shops display their lowest prices, and the houses empty their attics. And in the “Arts neighbourhood”, Porte de Roubaix and Opera, the so-British appreciate the accent, but more than anything, the old tea cups that our English friends have come to sell.

A close-up of a gramophone on a stand at the flea market.
  • Listen to the music with this old gramophone
  • © A. Vendeville
dish of mussels in a restaurant
  • The mussels are served
  • © Office de tourisme de Lille

Mussels and chips - the culminating event of the day

A break for mussels and chips is obligatory and is served on every street corner with a glass of beer.