What to see in France

The must-see museums of northern France

Château de Chantilly
Château de Chantilly


The museum is an institution open to the public, which acquires, preserves and exhibits objects and transmits a heritage. And France is a champion in this field, believe it or not! Spread throughout France, even if the capital is privileged, there are a certain number of them in the north, some of which are classified among the most beautiful museums in France, in Lens, Roubaix, Lille or Valenciennes. Here is a route that you can make attractive for the whole family with camping accommodation. You should also know that many museums welcome children with games adapted to their age so that culture is a moment of pleasure for all.

The Louvre-Lens

Linked to the Louvre Museum in Paris despite its autonomy, it was built on the site of a former mining basin, opened in December 2012 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The impressive building was designed by Japanese architects as a long, single-storey block of glass and aluminium set in the heart of a beautifully landscaped park. The museum has three exhibition spaces, the most important of which is the Gallery of Time. This is where around two hundred works are on display, ranging from antiquity to the industrial revolution. These works come from the Louvre Museum in Paris, half of which are renewed once a year. It is an exceptional and fascinating tour that is offered here. Finally, you will have the opportunity to discover the hidden side of the works and to observe a restoration workshop.

La Piscine in Roubaix - André Diligent Museum of Art and Industry

Installed since 2001 in an old swimming pool built between 1927 and 1932, the architect Jean-Paul Philippon has preserved the old Art Deco style structure as well as the cabins above the water basin. Restored in a refined way by having preserved all the codes of the old swimming pool, it is a really magnificent place. Paintings and sculptures (19th and 20th century) are kept here, including La Petite Chatelaine by Camille Claudel, which is undoubtedly one of the wonders of this museum. Collections of jewellery, stained glass, furniture and ceramics are to be seen, as well as those of textiles since Antiquity, a nod to the industry that was very important in the city of Roubaix.

For a campsite close to the museum, the Caravaning du Grand Sart ** in Sainghin-en-Mélantois, 21 km from La Piscine in Roubaix. This accommodation offers 74 pitches and also welcomes campervans.

The Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille

The Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille is certainly one of the richest museums in France. It offers magnificent and unique collections such as relief plans of fortified cities in the North and Belgium by Vauban, but also a department devoted to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, a cabinet of drawings including about forty by Raphael, but also ceramics from the 17th and 18th centuries, French and European paintings (Rubens, Delacroix, Goya, David, Courbet) and 19th century sculptors such as Rodin, Carpeaux and Claudel. Located in a beautiful 19th century building, the various collections on display are enhanced.

For your stay in the North, 7 campsites will welcome you near Lille and especially in Houplines.


Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille
Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille© IStock


Musée Condé de Chantilly

The work of a man with an exceptional destiny, Henri d'Orléans, the Château de Chantilly is one of the wonders of French heritage. A garden designed by Le Nôtre and large stables add to this exceptional place where the charm of the 19th century has not disappeared. The Condé Museum is housed in the Château des Princes de Condé, built by the Duc d'Aumale to protect his collections. It houses an admirable collection of furniture, objets d'art, old photographs, prints and drawings, as well as a collection of remarkable paintings such as Raphael's Three Graces, but also paintings by Ingres, Poussin, Corot, Fran Angelico, Clouet, etc.

11 campsites are located near Chantilly and the Condé Museum.

Valenciennes Museum of Fine Arts

Open to the public since 1801, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Valenciennes possesses rare pieces such as the immense Tapestry of the Tournament which dates from the 15th century and represents a joust of knights before a princely audience. In 1900 this work was judged prestigious enough to decorate the pavilion of the Ministry of War at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. It also features paintings such as Rubens' Descent from the Cross, the second greatest masterpiece of the painter, which is the central part of a triptych. There are also works by Van Dyck, Bruegel and Jordaens. Eighteenth-century painting is also present here, with paintings such as La Vraie Gaieté by Louis-Joseph Watteau. Finally, the museum's archaeological crypt is of great interest and may also arouse the curiosity of your children.

There are 3 campsites within a few kilometres of Valenciennes and its Fine Arts Museum.



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