Area in Lille

For an authentic taste of grassroots Lille, head to the ethnically diverse, family-friendly quartier populaire (working-class quarter) of Wazemmes, 1.3km southwest of place du Général de Gaulle, where old-school proletarians and immigrants live harmoniously alongside students and trendy bobos (bourgeois bohemians).

The neighbourhood's focal point is the cavernous Marché de Wazemmes, Lille's favourite food market. The adjacent outdoor market is the place to be on Sunday morning – it's a real carnival scene. Rue des Sarrazins and rue Jules Guesde are lined with shops, restaurants and Tunisian bakeries, many owned by, and catering to, the area's North African residents.

Wazemmes is famed for its outdoor concerts and street festivals, including La Louche d'Or (The Golden Ladle; 1 May), a soup festival that has spread to cities across Europe.