Culture at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille

With its architectural heritage and history testifying to the marked past of northern France, Lille offers its visitors a wide range of cultural activities. Built in the centre of the city, on Place de la République, the Palais des Beaux-Arts contributes to the artistic enrichment of the capital of Flanders. This spectacular building, where thousands of works are preserved and exhibited to the delight of the curious, is THE museum not to be missed in the region. At the heart of a district that's alive day and night, the palace and its square promise an enriching bubble between the bars and restaurants where good living reigns supreme. Take a guided or self-guided tour and discover the permanent collections, as well as the temporary exhibitions at the Beaux-Arts, where Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin left some of their masterpieces.

© MisterStock / Shutterstock
Lille

🚆 Book your train or bus journey to Lille

Compare prices and book your train or bus ticket to Lille!
From
£10 / AS
See the offers

République: between festive excitement and cultural education

In the centre of Lille, the Place de la République sets the tone for this district with its highly distinctive architectural heritage. The Boulevard de la Liberté, which runs alongside the square and through a large part of the centre as far as the citadel, is highlighted by Haussmannian influences in the style of the great Parisian boulevards.

© Pascale Gueret / Shutterstock

At the other end, the majestic Porte de Paris, at the foot of the Hôtel de Ville belfry, gives visitors a whiff of the capital. The lively streets, bustling with bars in the evening and a host of cultural venues during the day, are a firm favourite with students, who flock here in droves.

Holiday Inn Express Lille Centre, an IHG Hotel Lille
Booking.com

Holiday Inn Express Lille Centre, an IHG Hotel

Magnificent hotel in Lille
8 Very good
From
£111 / night
See the offer

A place of 10001 details

On the Place de la République, architecture takes pride of place, with the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, the Prefecture building, the amphitheatre and the Radieuse fountain. Day or night, take the time to snap a few photos on the square to add to your Lille photo album!

© Leonid Andronov / Shutterstock

Facing each other, the Palais des Beaux-Arts and the Prefecture of Lille embellish the site with glass and metal structures, impressive stonework and a host of other imposing features on the roofs and façades.

Between the green spaces, the circular fountain in the square adds a refreshing touch to this privileged setting where culture and architecture come together. Look down as you approach the amphitheatre, which sinks into the ground and is regularly used as a stage by street performers of all kinds!

© MisterStock / Shutterstock

A visit through the collections

Once you've taken the time to enjoy the surrounding area, it's on to the palace and its wealth of artistic treasures. Renovated at the end of the 20th century, it now offers a setting worthy of the collections it houses, covering almost 22,000 m2. Thousands of Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, Italian and French works can be discovered as you explore this museum, one of the largest in France.

© Tupungato / Shutterstock

In this pictorial panorama from the 16th to the 20th century, two collections stand out in particular: the Flemish collection, with Rubens among others, and the 19th-century French collection, featuring David, Delacroix, Géricault, Corot and Courbet. Some of the paintings exhibited in the palace have left their mark on art history: David's Belisarius, the first neo-classical painting (presented at the Salon of 1781); Courbet's L'Après-dîner à Ornans (Salon of 1849), a realist painting that went against the grain of the Romantic movement in vogue at the time; and Puvis de Chavannes' Sommeil (Salon of 1867), which heralded Picasso's future blue period.

To explore, without moderation

In addition to its permanent collections, the museum offers a wide range of temporary exhibitions, which have made a major contribution to its international reputation. Interactive experiences, workshops, presentations and many other events punctuate the life of this palace.

A wide range of themed itineraries allow visitors to be guided through the rooms, where some of the biggest names in the art world rub shoulders. "Le grand bleu", "Beaux gosses", "À table" and "D'un sein à l'autre" are just some of the tours you can take in less than an hour.

Ticket office for the palace tour Lille

Ticket office for the palace tour

Book your ticket to explore the rooms of the Palais des Beaux-Arts, home to works of art by some of the world's greatest names.
From
£4
see the offer

After diving into Lille's artistic culture, take a lunch break and let yourself be fascinated by the gastronomic culture of the capital of Flanders! Just a stone's throw from Place de la République, Aux Epherites is a bistronomic restaurant that has made a name for itself as one of Lille's best addresses. Every lunchtime during the week, the chef prepares an affordable menu according to the season. Appetisers, starters, main courses and desserts are sure to tantalise the taste buds in this restaurant, which reflects the hustle and bustle of the neighbourhood.

What you need to know to prepare for your visit

How to get there

  • Address: Place de la République, 59000 Lille
  • By metro: Line 1, République Beaux-Arts stop

Opening times :

  • Monday: 14:00 - 18:00
  • Wednesday to Sunday: 10am - 6pm
  • Closed on Tuesday

Admission

  • Full price: €7
  • Reduced rate : 4€
  • Free:1st

    Sunday of the month, for children under 12, Sundays for residents of Lille, Hellemm and Lommois...

Guided tours / workshops :

To consult the schedule of forthcoming temporary exhibitions and workshops, visit the official website of the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille.

Lille

✈️ Flights to Lille

Discover our flight deals to Lille
From
£39
see the offer
by Lena COLLINS
Need a hand? take a look at our guide
Lille
Lille
Latest news
Montpellier
Delving into Montpellier's cultural life
Marseille
Our 5 favourite spots on the Côte Bleue: paradise between Marseille and Martigues
Marseille
The 10 most legendary hotels in Marseille
Montpellier
Visit the Ecusson: Montpellier's historic centre
Naples
Discovering the villages of the Amalfi coast, an Italian poem
Read more articles
Best cities