Reading the latest Braderie reviews I was disappointed for the lady who went on a day's coach trip and found only commercial tat. While there certainly is an element of that in the Braderie weekend, I assume someone with limited time and knowledge of Lille would have spent most of her time in the town centre, where the "commercants" have their stalls. Wander a little further towards the Quai area, and you pass through streets of "vide grenier" families, selling a variety of genuine wares. Go a little further and you will find the "antiquaires", some expensive, some less so, selling vintage French domestic and decorative items. The Braderie is not for those with limited time - the crowds alone mean progress can be slow. I prefer to travel to Lille on the Friday, when the town is quiet and "normal", do a little window shopping on Friday evening as traders set up their stalls, make an early start on Saturday for the best bargains, and wind down with a cold Leffe as the crowds build up later in the day.
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