Each first weekend of September, Lille (in Northern France) becomes the worldwide capital of flea markets and bargain-hunting, while offering a unique opportunity to every visitor to (re) discover the colorful Flemish city with its exuberant architecture, witness of the rich commercial past of Lille. And 2017 will be no exception, as the Grande Braderie will take place during two days, between Saturday 2nd September 2017 and Sunday 3rd September 2017.
The Lille flea market is the largest flea market in Europe and one of the most famous events in France and beyond its borders. The Grande Braderie de Lille fair is the place to find that hidden gem (the “perle rare” as French people would say), harvest nice vintage & retro items in large quantities, and especially to immerse oneself in an atmosphere that reflects the city itself: warm, friendly and festive, especially through the tasting of the traditional “moules frites” (mussels with french fries).
This year, the city of Lille expects no less than two to three million visitors, who will walk the city streets to the sound of music and to the many events organized from Saturday 2.00 p.m. to Sunday 11.00 p.m.
What’s new in 2017?
Improved quality: One of the main complaints of flea market enthusiasts and antique dealers attending the Grande Braderie de Lille, was that this massive flea market had turned into a commercial event used by retail stores to sell their old stocks at a discount. But this will change in 2017: the overall Braderie has been revamped in order to give more space to flea market vendors, antique dealers and local residents! In a statement, Lille’s city council said it wanted to “bring back the original spirit of the Braderie, by offering a larger mix of yard sale, flea market and antique fair.” Since the Braderie de Lille was already a fantastic event in its own, we can only rejoice to this great initiative!
More events & celebrations: New events have been set up on the example of the “Lille reste en fête”celebration which replaced the Braderie in 2016. A special Braderie for comic books will be organized again at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, while a special Braderie for kids will be held at the Gare Saint-Sauveur. Last but not least, a special “Antiques & vintage shopping itinerary” will be set up for professional antique dealers and flea market shoppers along the boulevards Louis XIV and the Boulevard de la Liberté.
Increased security: Security has always been paramount to local authorities. This is the reason why, back in 2016, the Grande Braderie de Lille was canceled – following the terror attack in Nice, which claimed the lives of 86 people. In 2017, security will be reinforced with 22 access points placed under strict police surveillance.
Official Map of the Grande Braderie de Lille
The up-to-date official map of the Braderie de Lille 2017 is available! Click here to download: Official Map – Grande Braderie de Lille 2017.
While more space will be given to actual antiques dealers in 2017, the overall surface dedicated to the Grande Braderie de Lille will be 10% smaller than usual. In 2017, the Grande Braderie de Lille will not extend to the neighborhoods of Moulins and Wazemmes, where it used to be held on the streets Boulevard Victor-Hugo, Rue de Douai, Rue d’Arras and Rue Gambetta. Boulevard Jean-Baptiste Lebas will also be outside the perimeter of the Braderie 2017.
The Grande Braderie de Lille in Numbers
the number of days during which the Grande Braderie runs (in 2017: Saturday 2nd September – Sunday 3rd September | in 2018: Saturday 1st September – Sunday 2nd September | in 2019: Saturday 7th September – Sunday 8th September | in 2020: Saturday 5th September – Sunday 6th September | in 2021: Saturday 4th September – Sunday 5th September)
the number of hours it would take to walk down all the streets of Lille where the Grande Braderie takes place.
the number of kilometers of stands spread all over Lille during the Grande Braderie.
the number of tons of mussels consumed during the 2015 Grande Braderie de Lille (together with 30 tons of french fries!). “Moules frites” are a traditional dish of the Grande Braderie de Lille; every year, restaurants in the city embark on a challenge during the whole event: to stack the biggest pile of empty mussel shells outside of the restaurant!
the year the Grande Braderie de Lille was first mentioned in a written record! What a lasting tradition.
the number of vendors selling at the Grande Braderie de Lille.
the number of counterfeit items seized by customs in 2010 during the event.
2 500 000
the number of visitors at the Grande Braderie de Lille in 2015. In comparison, the Braderie de Rennes, the second largest fair of France welcomes about 400,000 visitors each year (last Wednesday of June).
Quick Facts & Travel Information about Lille
Lille, just a couple of hours train journey away from London, though may be French, is also the old capital of Flanders. Her heritage has seen her as Flemish, Burgundian, Spanish, Dutch, French, German, French, German and French again. Yet, Lille retains an instrinsic Flemish flavour both in her cuisine, her architecture and even in the Ch’ti accent of the locals.
The city offers a fascinating day trip or short break for shoppers, culture vultures and gastronomes. And if you fall into any of those categories then everything you will ever need to know about how to get there, where to shop, where to eat, sleep and sightsee, is just a click or two away. It’s all right here on this website and designed to help you get the most out of your daytrip, short break or shopping spree in Lille. This site is updated regularly, so be sure to make Lille-guide your first port of call.
Accommodations in Lille
As two million visitors flock to Lille, it is essential to plan your stay in Lille as much in advance as possible, in order to find a hotel near Braderie de Lille. From classy hotels, apartments to canal side boats, Lille offers a diverse choice of hotels. Make a reservation today for your upcoming stay at the Braderie de Lille and get instant confirmation with FREE cancellation on most rooms with booking.com.
Do & See
Lille’s old town is quite simply gorgeous. Walk its streets, take time to look at its architecture and to walk along its cobbled streets. Start at Grand’ Place – the main market square, and take it from there taking it as many of the sights we have suggested here.
Flemish culture plays a strong role in the cuisine available in Lille. Take a look at the menus and any items with tongue twisting names will be of Flemish origin. There are brasseries and gastronomic restaurants as well as tea rooms, but be sure not to leave Lille without having tried an estaminet.
Lille is a university town and as such the 200,000 population is mostly under the age of 30. The shopping here reflects that. There are several funky shops that sell gifts ideally suited for weddings and house warmings, as well as gorgeous boutiques selling beautiful and sometimes querky homewares. Artisans sell their wares and an eclectic mix of fashion outlets range from designer names to tiny boutiques. When it comes to shopping, Lille does it with style.
Bars & Nightlife
Be sure to stay up late as Lille is a young city and as a result there is ample nocturnal entertainment to suite everyone. Funky bars galore, night clubs, saucy shows and cabarets all jostle for your attention.
More about the Grande Braderie de Lille on braderie-de-lille.fr (official website; content in French only).
10 Useful Phrases to Bargain in French at the Braderie de Lille
“C’est combien?” – How much is that?
“Quel est votre meilleur prix?” – What is your best price?
“Désolé, c’est trop cher pour moi” – Sorry, it’s too expensive for me
“Pouvez-vous baisser encore le prix?” – Can you go a little lower?
“Vous me faites un prix si j’en prends plusieurs / si je prends tout?” – Is there a discount if I buy more than one / all of them?
“Coupons la poire en deux” – Let’s meet each other in the middle / strike a bargain
“Je n’ai que 20 euros. Est-ce que ça va?” – I only have 20 euros. Is that enough?
“Je peux payer en liquide?” – May I pay in cash?
“Je le prends” – I take it
“Marché conclu!” – Deal!