It has been said that the French are not accommodating to foreigners. Many of these rumours are Paris related. Not so with Lille France. For first visitors to France Lille is probably the ideal place to visit. Although, not very good with languages apart from French they are polite and accommodating.
We stayed at the Novotel Lille Centre Grand Place 116 rue de l’Hopital Militaire, 59000 Lille. Stayed here for 3 nights. It is about 15 minutes walk from the Eurostar Station. Make sure you have a street map though before you start your walk to the hotel. Room was very clean. It was a bit small, but most city hotel rooms are. Didn’t like the fact that the toilet was separate and that there wasn’t a basin to wash your hands. You had to come out and then use the the one in the bathroom. We had a separate walk in shower which was nice.
There were a fair amount of small cobbled streets with interesting shops.
Do not venture out without a street map the streets are quite complicated and typical that several roads merge together. The French aren’t very good at picking up their dog poo so make sure that you look down when you walk. The zoo in the park by the river is worth a look. It houses more than 70 species of animal, from five continents. We enjoyed watching the monkeys which were amusing to watch. The zoo has free entry. There is more information here.
The shopping centre by the Euralille is also worth a look but don’t expect things to be cheap. Not expensive but the Euro has something to do with it.