Things to do in  Nord-Pas de Calais

Top 15 attractions in Nord-Pas de Calais

Lille Museum of Fine Arts (Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille)

With a collection spanning the centuries, the Palais des Beaux-Arts has something for everyone. Inside, you’ll find works from some of Europe’s most celebrated artists, including Raphael, Bosch, Goya, Monet, and many others.More

Lille Old Town (Vieux Lille)

Vieux-Lille—the city’s Old Town—is its most historic quarter, with notable Flemish-style architecture and major landmarks. The area, located just north of the city center, dates back centuries. Come for the history, architecture, and its gourmet food and drink offerings.More

Wellington Quarry (Carrière Wellington)

The Wellington Quarry (Carrière Wellington) museum opened in March 2008 in Arras in the North of France, inside a quarry used during World War I. It commemorates those who built the tunnels and, subsequently, fought in the Battle of Arras during World War I. The Arras Tunnels formed an intricate network that ran from the town center to the German front lines, and housed over 20,000 soldiers of the British Empire and the Commonwealth. In fact, it was New Zealand soldiers who named the quarry after the city of the same name in their home country.Although they were used as air shelters during the Second World War, the tunnels remained essentially forgotten until their rediscovery in 1990. 350 meters of the quarry’s galleries, located approximately 22 meters underground, can be accessed today. The museum showcases historical artifacts to help visitors understand the context around the Battle of Arras, notably why the military strategy was so remarkable at the time and what life was like for the underground soldiers.More

Lille Town Hall and Belfry (Beffroi de l'Hôtel de Ville de Lille)

Lille Town Hall is known for its quintessential red-brick Flemish architecture. But the municipal building’s real draw is its soaring 104-meter (341-foot) Belfry. A typical feature of Northern France and Belgium—so much so, they were granted UNESCO World Heritage protection—belfries once alerted citizens to imminent dangers or gatherings. Today, the structure offers panoramic views of the city.More

Hospice Comtesse Museum (Musée de l'Hospice Comtesse)

The Hospice Comtesse Museum is the city museum of Lille, housed in an old hospital founded by Jeanne, Countess of Flanders, in the 13th century. You’ll find paintings, tapestries, wood sculptures, and porcelain, and rooms furnished to reflect convent life in centuries past.More


Among history buffs, the historic French town of Vimy—located just southwest of Lille—is a popular day trip destination from Paris. This World War I battle site and its Canadian National Vimy Memorial honors the more than 10,000 Canadian soldiers who were killed and wounded during the 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge.More

Birthplace of Charles de Gaulle (Maison Natale de Charles de Gaulle)

Charles de Gaulle is one of the most celebrated Frenchmen of the past few centuries—and Lille’s Birthplace of Charles de Gaulle (Maison Natale de Charles de Gaulle) offers a glimpse into the early years of the French general and statesman. Visit his birthplace-turned-museum to see family keepsakes, documents, and other mementos.More

La Madeleine

La Madeleine church in Paris is one of the most striking buildings in the entire Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Designed as a tribute to Napoleon’s army and its glorious victories, the church is built in the neoclassical style of a lavish Greek temple and dominates the surrounding neighborhood with its 52 towering Corinthian columns.More

Lille Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille)

Notre Dame de la Treille Cathedral in Lille is a Roman Catholic church that took almost 150 years to complete. The building is known for its modern stained glass panels and impressive organ.More

Notre Dame de Lorette

Also known as the Ablain Saint-Nazaire French Military Cemetery, Notre Dame de Lorette is the world’s largest French military cemetery. Located in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, the 60-acre (25-hectare site contains the remains of more than 40,000 soldiers and is a poignant reminder of the Great War’s devastation.More

Grand Place

Lille’s main public square, the Grand Place—which also goes by the Place du Général de Gaulle—is a top gathering point in this northerly city. Grand Palace is ringed by many of the city’s historic buildings and attractions, including the Vieille Bourse, and located in Lille’s atmospheric Old Town (Vieux-Lille).More
Lille Natural History Museum (Musée d'Histoire Naturelle de Lille)

Lille Natural History Museum (Musée d'Histoire Naturelle de Lille)

One of France’s oldest museums, Lille's Natural History Museum (Musée d'Histoire Naturelle de Lille) has been open since 1822. Not only has it weathered two world wars, but this small zoological and geological museum now boasts more than 200,000 specimens. Highlights include taxidermied models of now-extinct species such as the Passenger Pigeon and the Tasmanian Tiger.More
La Piscine Museum (Musée d'Art et d’Industrie André Diligent)

La Piscine Museum (Musée d'Art et d’Industrie André Diligent)

Don’t let the name fool you (piscine means “swimming pool” in French). This ornate Art Deco-era building is actually an art museum. The sprawling collection—a mix of temporary and permanent exhibits—is housed in a former municipal pool in the small city of Roubaix, located just outside Lille. The museum is particularly famous for its textile works, ranging from Coptic Egyptian to contemporary fabrics.More
Science Forum (Forum Departmental Des Sciences)

Science Forum (Forum Departmental Des Sciences)

Dedicated to all things science, this cutting-edge center and exhibition space invites you to discover and participate in the world of scientific observation and research. The Forum is focused on making learning fun—regular interactive temporary exhibits are designed to appeal to kids as young as two, while the Forum also holds special events and workshops, called atéliers.More
Museum of the Gunners in Lille (Musée des Canonniers Sédentaires de Lille)

Museum of the Gunners in Lille (Musée des Canonniers Sédentaires de Lille)

One of Lille’s oldest museums, the Museum of the Gunners of Lille (Musée des Canonniers Sédentaires de Lille) is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in military history. Housed in a historic former convent in the center of the city, this intimate museum is dedicated to one of the oldest artillery corps in Europe: The gunners have defended Lille since 1483.More

Top activities in Nord-Pas de Calais

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