When the decision was finally made, in 1986, to construct the Channel Tunnel and to establish a rail link between London and Continental Europe, Lille was chosen as one of the intermediate stations. It is here that what was to become the Eurostar high-speed line splits with one line going to Paris and the other to Brussels.
At the time the city was struggling in the post-industrial economy and didn't have the money for such a capital intensive project. However they recognised that having the international station here would be a boost for the city financially and so the idea of Euralille was born. This involved bringing in the private partnership of architects and urban designers OMA (http://oma.eu/oma) to put together plans for redeveloping what was effectively an industrial wasteland, along with former army barracks and other municipally-owned land close to the city centre.
This became an ambitous project, almost like building a new city-within-a-city, which involved the construction of a TGV station, offices (45,000m2), shops (31,000m2), park (100,000m2), 700 apartments, 3 hotels: 4,3,2 stars, 6,000 parking places, Exposition (20,000m2), Congress (18,000m2) with amphitheaters of 1,500, 500 and 300 seats, rockhall 'Zenith': 5,500 seats and parking for 1,230 vehicles with a total budget of 5.2 billion French Francs.
Although the whole area comes under the umbrella of Euralille for most people Euralille IS the shopping mall.
What to buy: The 140 plus shops range from a large Carrefour supermarket where you can get the most mundane things to upmarket designer boutiques and accessory stockists. There's banks, hotels, cafes and restaurants and even a fitness centre, all making it one of the largest, and most diverse, malls in France.
Website has all the details.
Euralille is a one of France's largest and best indoor shopping centres, designed by the world famous architect Rem Koolhaas. Eurlaille opened in 1994 and contains over 140 shops, including a large supermarket, restaurants and a hotel, Hotel Lille Europe.
Euralille is a huge, modern shopping centre on Avenue Corbusier between the Eurostar station and the older Gare Lille-Flandres. Our hotel was almost part of the shopping centre so we couldn’t avoid it. In fairness, it proved to be a useful place to shop for wine and small items we needed for the weekend. However, it's far from beautiful and something of an eyesore in contrast to the beautiful architecture in the centre of the city.
Eurlaille opened in 1994 and contains over 140 shops, including a large supermarket, a hotel, Hotel Lille Europe and a large garden )or more accurately open space), Parvis Francois Mitterand, which looked very popular with skateboarders and rollerbladers.
Euralille is a very modern quarter (dating back to the 90's) dedicated to business and trade which contrasts a lot with the old town.
It's a great place to go shopping. It's really huge ! And it's good to know that all shops are open on official holidays.
If you go out of the shopping mall Euralille on the side of "Esplanade François Mitterrand", you'll now see this sculpture representing a bunch of multicoloured tulips by a Japanese artist (Yayoi Kusama). It's called "Les tulipes de Shangri-La". Good to see such colours when the sky is grey ;-)
Euralille is a one of France's largest shopping centres.
It is conveniently located between the 2 main train stations, and houses around 140 shops over two storeys, along with a Hotel and offices.
There are plenty of cafe's as well, for a caffiene hit mid-shop.
The only negative is that it is not open on a Sunday!
What to buy: There are loads of womens and mens clothing stores, a couple of big sports stores, homewares and gifts.
If you have some time to kill before you catch the train, then definitely pay a visit to Euralille, the biggest shopping centre of Lille, next to the train stations. You'll find clothes, food, decoration, beauty saloons, ...