Situated near the Belgian border, it is the capital of the Nord-Pas de Calais region and forms part of a conurbation with neighboring Roubaix, Tourcoing and other suburban communities.
With a temperate oceanic climate, Lille is subject to moderately cold winters and lots of rain. The summer months are lovely, with temperatures reaching a comfortable 23°C throughout July and August, perfect for exploring the many parks and gardens the city has to offer.
There are lots of tools and resources available to help you find your new home when moving to Lille. Nearly all the local agents for both the rental and purchasing markets advertise online, so you can narrow down your property search before you even step foot in the city.
The type of lifestyle you want to lead will have a bearing on the districts you choose. It is worth travelling around the area and doing some research on the ground before you settle on a location since the tram and metro links are better in some areas than others.
If you’re looking for somewhere with a bit of life, consider Wazemmes in the old town. With a great collection of restaurants, night clubs and touristy cafes, with lots to keep you occupied.
Young families and those moving to Lille in search of a quieter life might want to consider going further afield, Marcq en Bareoul and Wasquehal both have great transport links to the city center.
Renting in Lille is reasonable, although the property market is very strong. Buyers should expect to pay in excess of 2000 EUR per square meter for an apartment outside of the city center, rising to over 3000 EUR for more centrally located properties.
Renting a small apartment in the city will set you back around 550 EUR a month, with similar properties in the suburbs achieving rents in excess of 420 EUR. Family sized, three-bedroom apartments in less central locations average around 950 EUR per month.
As a member of the EU, France has a reciprocal scheme with other member states, allowing their citizens to live and work in Lille without obtaining visas or permits to work. Those staying over 3 months should notify the authorities of their residence.
If you are between 18-30 years old and a citizen of Canada, Australia or New Zealand, then you can work for up to one year in the country, thanks to the working holiday agreements between France and these countries.
Expats from other non-EU countries need to apply for a work visa if they wish to live and work in Lille. This is usually done through their employer which means that you should have secured employment prior to applying. Our article on moving to France contains more information on visas and permits.