Roubaix, Nord-Pas-de-Calais: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Roubaix in Nord

Visit Roubaix (Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France)

Roubaix is located near the north-eastern frontier of France (with Belgium), to the north-east of Lille (to which it is connected by metro). It is a substantial town of 100,000 inhabitants.

Although it has its fair share of less interesting sections, the bustling town has several attractions, and is a pleasant place to visit.

Exploring Roubaix

Historically an industrial textile centre, a great deal of effort has been put into the restoration and improvement of the old industrial buildings which now have new uses - the most popular is perhaps the extensive 'factory price shopping' centre. The Archive for the World of Work buildings are another good example, in a converted cotton mill.

Church in RoubaixThe architectural monuments in Roubaix include:

- the church of Saint-Martin and belltower (although the belltower dates from the 16th century much of the church itself is a 19th century enlargement)

- the decorative interior of the church of Saint-Joseph

- the bombastic town hall, built 100 years ago when Roubaix was an important industrial centre

- the very stylish Art Deco municipal swimming pool, now housing the Museum of Art and Industry. Go in to see the interior even if the museum doesn't interest you!

On a much smaller scale, Roubaix also has many tiny houses built for the workers at the end of the 19th century - consisting of just two small rooms, one on top of the other, and facing on to public courtyards. One of this is a listed historic monument - Le courée Dulbar Dekian, on Rue Jean Moulin next to the Soho Cafe.

If you need to escape from the bustle the large Parc Barbieux is a pleasant green space within the town, and there are several other gardens and parks - hence the town's classification as a 4* ville fleurie.

Paris-Roubaix Cycle race

Roubaix is perhaps best known for the action-packed one day cycle race that arrives here each year. Taking place during the spring, the Paris-Roubaix race covers 260 kilometres to reach Roubaix. A substantial part of the course is across cobbles and in rough conditions - challenging at the best of times, and very challenging in wet, cold weather.

Note: the race now actually starts at Compiegne north of Paris, because a number of roads on the original route had been rebuilt, losing the cobbles that add to the thrill of the event - hence a new route with more cobbles was found.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais guide.

See also:

Map of Roubaix and places to visit

Visit near Roubaix with France This Way reviews

Tourist classifications

Roubaix has received the following tourist classifications: listed town of Art and History ; village in bloom (ville fleurie) 4*

Address: Roubaix, Lille, Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, 59100, France || GPS: latitude 50.69, longitude 3.18167

Plan your visit to Roubaix, Nord-Pas-de-Calais

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Le parc Barbieux: remarkable garden
  • Tourcoing: ville fleurie 4* (4km)
  • Wasquehal: ville fleurie 4* (4km)
  • Réserve naturelle du Jardin écologique du Vieux-Lille: site of natural beauty (10km)
  • Cathédrale Notre Dame de La Treille (Lille): religious monument (10km)
  • Beffroi de Lille (Belfries of Belgium and France): heritage site (10km)
  • Lille: secteur sauvegarde (10km)
  • Parc zoologique de Lille: zoo or wildlife park (11km)
  • Le jardin du Manoir-aux-Loups: remarkable garden (11km)
  • Beffroi de Comines (Belfries of Belgium and France): heritage site (15km)

The French version of this page is at Roubaix (Francais)