Lens is a city in Hauts-de-France, France. A former industrial city, its wealth was founded on textiles and coal mining. In 2009, the Louvre opened a branch in Lens, called - naturally enough - Louvre-Lens.
The town is located in the north of France, in the plain of Artois, about 15 km north of Arras, 20 km west of Douai, 27 km south-west of Lille, 90 km south south-east of Calais and 180 km north of Paris as the crow flies.
Lens is served by the A21 motorway (called the “mining ring road”) which forms a semi-ring road to the north and east of the town and connects the city to Douai, Valenciennes and other motorways, the A1 motorway (Paris-Lille) to the east, and the A26 (Calais-Reims) motorway to the west.
Its station is served by six TGV round trips by the LGV Nord (1 h 10 from Paris) but also by the TER Nord-Pas-de-Calais lines 6, 13, 21 and 23 going to Valenciennes, Arras, Dunkirk and Lille (reduced to 30 minutes by Libercourt since December 9, 2007).
Public transport is provided by the Tadao company, under the authority of a mixed union which brings together the Communaupole de Lens-Liévin, the Hénin-Carvin agglomeration community, the Artois agglomeration community and the community of communes of Nœux and surroundings. A tram project linking Liévin to Hénin-Beaumont via Lens is planned to replace the Tadao buLLe line. In addition, a new bus station was built in 2009.
The airport of Lens - Bénifontaine is the closest to the city, the closest airport being that of Lille-Lesquin.
- 1 Gare de Lens, Place du général de Gaulle. The railway station, built in the 1920s, an early Art Deco work.
- 2 Vimy Monument. Of particular interest to Canadians and World War I buffs, the column of limestone surrounded by allegorical figures. Re-dedicated after extensive renovations in 2007, the site is also home to an interpretive centre and two small cemeteries. The whole site is Canadian territory, donated by the French people in recognition of Canada's sacrifices during that war. Walking from Vimy railway station to the monument takes about one hour, and only 2 trains stop there every day day, so getting a taxi from Lens or a bus tour from Lille or Arras may be easier if you don't have your own transport.
- Watch football: RC Lens were promoted in 2020 so they play soccer in Ligue 1, the top tier of the game in France. Their home ground is 1 Stade Bollaert-Delelis (capacity 38,000), 1 km northwest of the railway station.
- 2 Center for the History of the Memorial 14-18 Notre-Dame-de-Lorette. At the foot of the hill of Lorette, in Souchez, in the middle of the old battlefields, a building with an original architecture by Pierre-Louis Faloci, made of black concrete and glass, accommodates the Center d'Histoire du Mémorial. 14-18 Here, emblematic objects, high-quality unpublished photographs, period films and animated maps provide an understanding of the extent of the conflict in Nord Pas-de-Calais during World War I. More than 300 large-scale photographs format, official or anonymously taken by the soldiers, plunge us into the reality of this appalling war. This historical content of the place was prepared by an international scientific committee headed by historian Yves Le Maner.
- Escape Bollaert: An escape game in the heart of the Bollaert-Delelis stadium is the Blood and Gold adventure that Lens-Liévin Tourisme, in partnership with the Racing Club de Lens, offers you to experience: not only will you be happy to enter the Bollaert stadium, but in addition you will be proud to have come out! Will you be able to escape the players' locker room or track down the club president?
- 3 Louvre-Lens Museum. The Louvre-Lens museum-park exhibits the Louvre in the heart of the mining basin. And also: shows, readings, conferences, workshops, etc. Modern gallery with glass walls housing works of art from the Louvre in Paris and temporary exhibitions.
- 1 Brasserie Saint Germain, 26 route d'Arras (Aix-Noulette), ☏ . Craft beers brewed on site. Sale of spirits including whiskeys distilled on site.
As of June 2022, Lens has 5G with all French carriers.