Lille Museum of Fine Arts (Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille)
If you’re looking for a rainy day activity in Lille, the Palais des Beaux-Arts is a must. The collection – one of the biggest in France – represents the finest European artists in history, so no matter what artistic styles or periods you’re interested in, you’ll find something worthy of note here. This was one of the first-ever museums in France, instituted by Napoleon in the early 19th century to increase art appreciation among regular people.
Particular highlights of the museum include Old Woman/Time by Francisco Goya, Olga in a Fur Collar by Pablo Picasso, Study for the Alba Madonna by Raphael, and The Concert in the Egg by Hieronymus Bosch, although there’s plenty more besides, including Greek artifacts. The grand belle-epoque building itself is also worthy of note, so leave a little time to explore the exterior – to learn more about its construction you can join a guided walking tour of Lille.
Things to know before you go
- Entry to the museum is ticketed, with discounts for visitors under 25. Children under 12 visit free.
- The museum is wheelchair-accessible and there are lifts serving every floor. The museum has several wheelchairs for use by visitors, ask at reception.
- Look out for the unusual collection of models of fortified cities from the 18th century once belonging to French military engineer Vauban.
How to get there
The museum is located on Place de la République in the center of Lille. It’s easy to get to on foot from other parts of the city, and walking tours regularly take time to stop here. The closest metro station is République-Beaux-Arts. Lille also operates a bike-sharing system. with stops around the city.
When to get there
The museum is open every day of the week except for Tuesday and is only open in the afternoon on Mondays. Ticket desks close half an hour before the museum shuts its doors.
Visit Notre Dame de la Treille Cathedral
With a mix of modern and gothic-revival styles and an interior that surprises with its modern stained glass and monumental organ, Notre Dame de la Treille Cathedral is a must-visit for anyone interested in church architecture. The building too almost 150 years to complete—the last stone was laid in the 1990s—and the varying styles of this period are marked in the different types of decoration.
- Grand Place
- Lille Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille)
- Lille Old Town (Vieux Lille)
- Birthplace of Charles de Gaulle (Maison Natale de Charles de Gaulle)
- Lille Natural History Museum (Musée d'Histoire Naturelle de Lille)
- Hospice Comtesse Museum (Musée de l'Hospice Comtesse)
- Lille Town Hall and Belfry (Beffroi de l'Hôtel de Ville de Lille)
- Museum of the Gunners in Lille (Musée des Canonniers Sédentaires de Lille)
- Science Forum (Forum Departmental Des Sciences)
- Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art (LAM)
- Villa Cavrois
- Le Fresnoy National Studio for Contemporary Arts (Le Fresnoy Studio National des Arts Contemporains)
- La Piscine Museum (Musée d'Art et d’Industrie André Diligent)
- La Manufacture de Roubaix
- Maison Folie Hospice d'Havré