Nestled between the North Sea and the countryside, Calais boasts an age-old port and 23 kilometres of picturesque coastline. Immerse yourself in the history of Calais and its lace mills, admire its Neo-Renaissance architecture or go windsurfing along the Opal Coast.
Things to do in Calais
Start your exploration of Calais at the UNESCO-listed Town Hall to admire it's Renaissance Revival-style architecture with a 75-metre-high belfry that sits between the French and Belgian border. Admire the Burghers of Calais in front of the Town Hall, one of Auguste Rodin’s best-known sculptures.
Learn about the town’s connection to lace manufacturing at the International Centre for Lace and Fashion, set in one of the last lace factories in Calais. It was established in the 1870s and now houses over 3,000 pieces of machine and handmade lace fashion throughout the decades.
For a unique view of Calais, climb the 271 steps to the top of the Calais Lighthouse to see the White Cliffs of Dover on a clear day. Afterwards, you can stretch out at Calais Beach and partake in the array of water sports, from windsurfing and sailing to kayaking.
For a dose of culture, head to the Musee de la Guerre de Calais to see a 200-metre-long Nazi bunker on a guided tour. See some beautiful pieces of artwork in the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Calais, where you’ll find French, Dutch and Flemish art showcasing work from the French painter Eugene Boudin.
Getting around Calais
The most convenient way to get around Calais is by car. Connected to England by a vehicle ferry, Calais is a 1.5-hour journey from Dover, while the Eurotunnel offers 35-minute crossings to Folkestone. You can also travel on the Eurostar to London and Brussels.