La Braderie, Lille – Europe’s largest annual flea market

Over the weekend of 6 and 7 September, 2008, Europe’s largest annual flea market at La Braderie will be taking place at La Braderie, Lille.  It takes place every year over the first weekend of September.

La Braderie dates back to medieval times. The city’s streets come alive as over a million people from all over Europe flock to Lille to join the marathon bargain hunt. Over the weekend, the city is transformed into a vast outdoor market covering over 200km of pavement. Stalls selling everything from rare antiques and furniture, to vintage clothing, bric-a-brac and art line the narrow cobbled streets, alongside street entertainers and food stands offering mouth-watering French and Flemish cuisine.

Travelling to and exploring Lille from the UK couldn’t be easier with Eurostar. The high-speed international passenger service offers direct and seamless journeys to Lille in just 1h20 from the centre of London. And arrival in Lille Europe station, situated just minutes away from the city centre, means all the must-do attractions are within easy walking distance.

To truly get into the spirit of La Braderie, there are plenty of bistros and restaurants in the city centre offering an opportunity to sit back and watch the world go by over a plate of “moules-frites” washed down with a locally brewed beer. Traditionally the city’s restaurants stack up the empty mussel shells and compete to see which one amasses the highest pile by the end of the weekend.

Return fares to Lille start from £55 standard class. Travellers can indulge themselves on their way to and from La Braderie by travelling Leisure Select class, enjoying roomier accommodation and meals and drinks served at their seat from just £115 for a weekend day return.

Tickets are available on www.eurostar.com.