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A day in Roubaix

I had been planning to go to La piscine museum for a while. When I read about it, I was immediately intrigued as it looked like a perfect day trip. Especially for one of those weekend where you want to go out and explore. So I had been mentioning it a few times to my boyfriend, but we never got around to go. Then when it was his time to plan a getaway for my birthday, he had the great idea of going to Roubaix 🙂 . He is a great listener!

We took the car to get there, since it’s just across the Belgium border, about 1h30 drive from Antwerp. The museum is indicated very well, so easy to find. Parking was marked likewise. There is paid parking around the museum and at the back of the building.

La piscine, french for “the swimmingpool” is an old art deco swimming pool turned into a museum. The pool was constructed between 1927 and 1932 by Albert Baert. It functioned as a leisure pool up until the mid eighties. It wasn’t up to 15 years later that it was remodelled and reopened as a museum. Architect Jean-Paul Philippon created a modern entrance building, a special exhibition space and garden for the remodelling of the pool to a museum.

What to expect?

After buying our tickets, at 5,50€ each we entered the museum which led straight to the pool area. Or at least what used to be a pool. They did a great job with the transformation. The feeling of an art deco swimming pool is still there, while using the space optimal for exposing art pieces. The former pool is surrounded by magnificent sculptures. The what I think used to be showers and or changing rooms are now used for temporary collections and porcelain pieces. Stepping away from the baths, you’ll discover more of their painting collections. The painting collection intrigued me the most. There were a lot of beautiful pieces by for example Jean-Joseph Weerts and Marius Avy. It was also fun that they had some interactive puzzles/games. The bench in the middle of the room has a little draw on the side, with each time another little “game”. I was blown away by this museum. It has a beautiful and unusual setting, a gorgeous collection and plenty of variety.

When you’re all wandered out in the museum, you can head over to McArthurGlen. A big shopping outlet, about a 15min walk away from the museum. Perhaps I had to start with that piece of information for some of you 🙂 .

Just next door to the musuem, there is Le vestiaire, a loft like space featuring Maisons de Mode designers boutiques and pop-up stores. It’s a great stop to stroll around and discover these new, young designers as well as stopping for a coffee at the bar-restaurant located here.

How to get there?

From Belgium

  • By car
    About 120km away from Brussels and Antwerp. So about 1h30 drive, with paid street parking in the area.
  • By train
    • Antwerp – Roubaix :2 h, direct train for 27€ (one way).
    • Brussels – Roubaix: 2h, with one stop-over for 22€ (one way).
    • Gent – Roubaix: 1h, direct train for 15€ (one way).
      For more information or to book your tickets go to www.b-europe.com

The train station is 550m (6min walk) away from the museum and 1,6km (20min walk) from the outlet shopping center.

From the U.K.

  • By train
    There is a direct train from London St. Pancras International to Lille Europe (1h20 to 1h40). Prices vary a lot when going with the eurostar. For tickets and train info go to www.eurostar.com or find your last minute (cheaper) tickets on https://snap.eurostar.com/uk-en/ .

From Lille Europe, you walk 500m to Gare de Lille Flanders, here is a direct train to Garre de Roubaix (9min – direct train) and from there it’s also a 500m walk to the museum.

Opening hours

Tue – Thu: open from 11h to 18h
Fri: open from 11h to 20h
Sat – Sun: open from 13h to 18h
Closed on Mondays and French national holidays

Admission

Adults: 5,50€
Students: 4€
Under 18: Free

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