Cambrai is a charming city located in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France. Steeped in history and surrounded by beautiful countryside, Cambrai offers visitors a unique blend of cultural attractions, delicious cuisine, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical sites, indulging in local gastronomy, or immersing yourself in the region’s natural beauty, Cambrai has plenty to offer. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Cambrai:
1. Cambrai Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Cambrai)
This museum houses an impressive collection of artworks spanning several centuries. From Renaissance masterpieces to contemporary art, the museum offers a diverse range of artistic expressions.
2. Cambrai Castle (Château de Cambrai)
Image Source: https://www.booking.com/hotel/fr/chateaudelamottefenelon.en-gb.html?aid=356980&label=gog235jc-1DCAsoTUIXY2hhdGVhdWRlbGFtb3R0ZWZlbmVsb25IM1gDaLUBiAEBmAEJuAEXyAEM2AED6AEBiAIBqAIDuALcl-qkBsACAdICJDgyMWVjYzM3LTU3MWMtNGVmZS04NzY1LTNiN2U5MzlhOTkwMNgCBOACAQ&dist=0&keep_landing=1&sb_price_type=total&type=total&
Explore the remnants of the medieval castle that once stood on the site. Although only a few sections remain, it’s still worth a visit to appreciate the history and imagine the grandeur of the past.
3. Saint-Géry Church (Église Saint-Géry)
Another architectural gem, Saint-Géry Church showcases a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles. Step inside to discover its beautiful stained glass windows and ornate decorations.
4. The Matisse Museum (Musée départemental Matisse)
Located in nearby Le Cateau-Cambrésis, this museum celebrates the life and work of the renowned artist Henri Matisse, who was born in the area. Explore his diverse range of artworks and gain insights into his creative journey.
5. Explore the Belfry and Grand’Place
Visit the belfry, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and climb to the top for panoramic views of the city. Afterward, wander around the Grand’Place, the central square of Cambrai, lined with picturesque buildings and bustling cafes.
6. Taste the Local Cuisine
Image Source: https://www.tasteatlas.com/cambrai
Cambrai is known for its culinary delights, particularly its famous “Bêtises de Cambrai” candies. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample these traditional sweets, as well as other regional specialties like Maroilles cheese, Flemish-style dishes, and local beers.
7. Attend the Carnival of Cambrai
If you’re lucky enough to be in Cambrai during February or March, don’t miss the vibrant Carnival. Join the locals in celebrating with colorful parades, lively music, and festive costumes.
8. Discover the Surrounding Countryside
Take a break from the city and explore the picturesque countryside surrounding Cambrai. Rent a bike or go for a scenic drive to visit charming villages, vineyards, and the peaceful landscapes of the nearby Avesnois Regional Nature Park.
9. Take a Canal Boat Ride
Explore Cambrai’s picturesque waterways by taking a boat ride along the Canal de Saint-Quentin. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere as you glide past scenic landscapes, charming villages, and historic locks.
10. Attend the Festival of Saint Fiacre
If you visit Cambrai in August, you might have the opportunity to experience the Festival of Saint Fiacre. This agricultural fair celebrates the patron saint of gardeners and farmers with parades, floral displays, and various entertainment activities.
11. Enjoy Local Markets
Visit the vibrant markets in Cambrai to experience the lively atmosphere and find fresh local produce, regional specialties, and handicrafts. The weekly Saturday market is particularly popular, offering a wide range of goods.
12. Discover the Lace Museum (Musée de la Dentelle)
Located in the nearby town of Caudry, this museum showcases the intricate art of lace-making. Explore the exhibits to learn about the history, techniques, and importance of lace in the region.
13. Attend a Performance at the Theater
Image Source: https://allevents.in/cambrai/theatre
Cambrai boasts a beautiful theater, Théâtre de Cambrai, where you can enjoy a variety of performances, including plays, concerts, and ballets. Check the schedule for upcoming shows during your visit.
14. Participate in Wine Tasting
Indulge in a wine tasting experience at one of the local vineyards near Cambrai. Sample the region’s finest wines and learn about the winemaking process from knowledgeable experts.
15. Take a Day Trip to Lille
Image Source: https://www.travelsewhere.net/day-trip-to-lille-france/
Located approximately 45 kilometers from Cambrai, Lille is a vibrant city worth exploring. Discover its beautiful architecture, lively squares, and renowned museums, such as the Palais des Beaux-Arts.
Places and Things To Do