The Largest Street Market in Europe

4:24 AM

23. Visit an outdoor street market
16. Buy french books

That's two off the bucket list! The Braderie de Lille took place last weekend and it was an amazing event to top off my second week here in France. I had heard that it was a big deal in Europe, and that thousands of people came to Lille just to see it but I didn't expect it to be as huge as it turned out to be! The same streets I had ventured through alone on my second day were absolutely filled with people and vendors and it was just a lot to take in coming out of the train station. 

I had so much fun looking at the different stands and managed to snag myself 2 pairs of shoes, 2 dresses, 3 tops, 4 pairs of tights, a hat, and my most exciting purchase: a pillow for 5€. That's right world, I can now toss aside my rolled up Mac sweater and rest my head peacefully on a real pillow. It really was my favourite purchase.

I also, for the first time in my entire life, ate mussels. This was such a hard thing for me but I'm trying to have this "YOU'RE IN EUROPE, DO IT FOR EUROPE" attitude about things I would normally pass up and eating mussels is a prime example. Mussels are the traditional dish of the Braderie and just about every restaurant that would on any other day serve french or northern cuisine had enormous banners advertising the special dish. Ordering it was definitely the easiest part, "Je voulais les moules et frites svp" however as soon as they were presented before me and I realized I had to consume them...oh boy. It helped that Angela liked them and promised me they were good and so I eventually stopped staring at the ugly sea creature and put one in my mouth. Then two, three, four and next thing I knew I had eaten them all. I was so proud of myself!!! Next up is escagots!!!

On Sunday we had dinner at the traditional Flam's restaurant, which serves pies of the north. In my north american eyes, this pie resembled a very thin crust pizza, but with waaaay better cheese than we could ever find in our continent. Of course, accompanied by a locally crafted beer. There are so many from this northern region that I can probably taste a different one every night we go out! Beer lovers dream!

We spend the afternoons wandering aimlessly through the packed city streets, checking out as many vendors as we possibly could. I think I saw more of the city in those 2 days than my past two weeks here all together. I was so excited to find a street vendor that sold me Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Alice in Wonderland for 0.50€ each! Can't wait to read two of my classic favourites in french!

Overall it was just such a great weekend and the Braderie surpassed all of my previous expectations and if you ever happen to be in France for the first weekend of September be sure to hop on a train and head north to Lille, I promise it will be worth the trip. 

                                                                              à bientôt

You Might Also Like


  1. I honestly don't know if i'd be able to manage the mussels but its good that you're trying new things! also i can't believe you were using a mac sweater as a pillow. LMAO.

  2. I couldn't eat mussels either, but good on you for trying it! Great post... the pizzas making me hungry :)
    Nilla Forever

    1. Thank you!! It was definitely not easy to take the first bite but i'm happy I did :)

  3. wow,that's really perfect day
    enjoy your happy time here

  4. Ahh this is so exciting! I'm so happy you are ticking things off your list! :)


Search This Blog



Follow by Email