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Although often overlooked as a tourist destination, Northern France is packed with attractions to delight travelers. Nestled in an enchanting natural environment, this region has nothing to envy other popular destinations. Its magnificent landscapes, idyllic beaches and many hidden treasures make it a place of singular appeal.
So, if you’re planning to spend a few days in one of the northern cities, or simply want to make a day trip, here are 5 must-do activities to enjoy with your partner, family or friends.
1. Pay your respects at the Canadian National Memorial!
The Canadian National Memorial is an emblematic site paying tribute to the Canadian soldiers who fell in the First World War. Nestled in the heights of Vimy, this site offers a moving experience that plunges you into the heart of this dark period in our history.
As you walk through the reconstructed trenches, you’ll feel the intensity and harsh conditions faced by the soldiers during this conflict. The size and symbolic architecture of the monument itself are impressive. The two pylons represent the inseparable link between Canada and France, with a mother mourning her sons lost in battle, and angels symbolizing justice and peace.
So don’t hesitate to come and discover this place steeped in history, sure to provoke deep reflection on the momentous events that have shaped our landscape today.
Address : Route départementale 55, Chem. des Canadiens, 62580 Givenchy-en-Gohelle
2. Treat yourself to an unforgettable experience at Nausicaá!
Nausicaá, located in Boulogne-sur-Mer, is a veritable jewel of the ocean. Recognized by UNESCO as one of Europe’s leading sites for discovering and raising awareness of the marine world, this giant aquarium promises an unforgettable experience. As you explore Nausicaá’s 3 immersive and entertaining trails, you’ll have the privilege of literally plunging into a fascinating world where the hidden treasures of the oceans are revealed, including sharks and sea turtles.
But you’ll also discover how fragile they are, and how important it is to take care of them. One of Nausicaá’s star attractions is its huge European aquarium, which takes young and old on an extraordinary journey to the heart of the marine environment. Once inside this aquatic sanctuary, you can’t help but marvel at its awe-inspiring beauty.
So let yourself be enchanted by this marvellous maritime adventure. You’ll come away not only intellectually enriched, but also with a renewed awareness of the vital importance of preserving our oceans. Don’t hesitate to get your ticket for the Boulogne sur Mer aquarium now!
Address: Boulevard Sainte-Beuve 62 200 Boulogne-sur-mer – Tel: 03 21 30 99 99
3. Get lost at the Musée du Louvre-Lens
The Musée du Louvre-Lens is much more than just an art institution. Here, you can embrace 5,000 years of art history and humanity in a single glance. The museum embodies the cultural renaissance of a region once dominated by the mining industry, and stands as a symbol of renewal. Located on a rehabilitated mining site, it bears witness to the desire to restore the image of an entire region.
As soon as you step through the doors of this emblematic museum, you’ll be immediately struck by its innovative scenography. The museum has transcended the traditional boundaries of cultural institutions, offering tours adapted to all kinds of audiences. Creative workshops are organized to awaken the artistic sensibilities of young children.
And that’s not all: the Louvre-Lens never ceases to evolve, with temporary exhibitions that further enrich the diversity of the works on display. Every visit will be a unique and surprising experience.
Address: 99 rue Paul Bert 62300 Lens – Tel: 03 21 18 62 62
4. Get caught up in Dunkirk Carnival fever!
Carnaval de Dunkerque is a truly festive and convivial experience, where authenticity and camaraderie reign supreme. Spread over three months, it’s a veritable marathon, during which the whole city is transformed into one huge costume parade. But what really makes this Dunkirk carnival special is its participatory dimension. You can (and should) take an active part in this memorable event, wearing clothes you’ve collected at home or made especially for the occasion.
Music also plays a key role in this popular celebration. Fife, drum and other brass instruments will echo through the lively streets of Dunkirk. So if you don’t like noise… it’s best to avoid this colorful event!
So let yourself be carried away by this unique carnival fever! Immerse yourself in a whirlwind of colorful costumes, lively music and infectious laughter.
5. Let yourself be seduced by Old Lille
Vieux-Lille is an architectural treasure trove where history and modernity blend harmoniously. The historic buildings, some dating back to the 17th century, have been carefully preserved and bear witness to the Flemish influence in this border region between France and Belgium. The colorful red and yellow brick facades are emblematic of the district, giving it a unique atmosphere. As you stroll through the cobbled streets, you’ll immediately be seduced by the picturesque charm that emanates from the area, making it the perfect place for a leisurely stroll.
But there’s more to Vieux-Lille than its remarkable architectural heritage. It’s also a lively place where a vibrant cultural scene is constantly in evidence. So be sure to explore the art galleries scattered throughout the district. These range from talented local artists to captivating international temporary exhibitions. A rich cultural experience awaits you.