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Calais

Country
France
State
Nord-Pas-de-Calais
City
Calais
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

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Places to Visit
How to Reach

By Air

Calais Marck Airport only handles private, local flights. International travellers are most likely to fly into Paris' Charles de Gaulle International Airport, the closest major airport to Calais. From here, Calais can be reached by train, including high-speed TGV and Eurostar services, which depart from Gare du Nord.

By Rail

English rail services have trains running from London to Dover and the high-speed Eurostar service links London to Calais and beyond. The Eurostar passenger trains are also an option crossing from Dover to Calais, with a crossing time of just 30 minutes. Travelling to Calais from any major French city should also pose no problem, as there is TGV (high-speed) services to Gare Calais Frthun, just outside Calais.

From Calais, Eurostar trains to London and Paris depart are arrive at the TGV station (Calais Frthun). You can reach the station either by bus or by one of the regular Boulogne trains from Gare Calais. Once on the TGV, you can change at Lille for direct, high-speed service to many cities in France including Avignon, Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes, Nmes, Perpignan and Rennes.

By Bus

From Calais Port, there is a bus service run by the local bus company, with frequent departures to and from the centre. There's also a free daytime bus service that goes to Place d'Armes and to the central train station, although it doesnt run as frequently. Also in the port area, you will find buses providing service to the out-of-city hypermarkets, and to Dunkerque and Boulogne.

By Car

If youre driving, you can cross the English Channel via the Channel Tunnel, with the trip from Dover to Calais taking just 30 minutes on Eurotunnel trains. The ferry from Dover to Calais is also quick and inexpensive.

If youre driving to your onward destination from Calais, there is an excellent autoroute system, which will comfortably take you to your destination. An alternative to the autoroute is driving along the N1 (the old route), on which you can follow the coast from Dunkerque through Abbeville and many charming towns and rolling countryside before heading inland for the drive to Paris.

Key places to visit
City Hall, War Museum, La Forteresse de Mimoyecques, Watchtower, Church of Notre Dame


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Places to Visit

City Hall

The City Hall (Htel de Ville) was constructed in the 15th century in the neo-Flemish style. Its belfry is more than 240 feet high and the sound of its bell is known as one of the most beautiful in northern France. Rodins historically significant statue, The Six Burghers, can be seen in the gardens here.

War Museum

Opposite the City Hall, in a wooded area of the park, is the War Museum (Muse de la Guerre). It was once a German communications bunker. The stark realities of WWII are chronicled in the museum and there are some interesting interactive displays that will appeal to all ages.

La Forteresse de Mimoyecques

The fortress is a maze of tunnels and chambers, which can be accessed from the side of the hill. Joseph Kennedy, who was the brother of US President John F Kennedy, was killed here during an air raid in 1944. The underground area was created during WWII to protect V2 rocket launchers, which were installed to shoot rockets across the Channel.

Watchtower

The 13th century watchtower was spared during WWII and is well worth a visit. The tower is situated in Place d'Armes and once acted as a lookout for approaching enemies. In addition, be sure to visit the old harbour and its lighthouse (Le Phare), from which there are picturesque views of both the port and the coast. The lighthouse dates from 1848.

Church of Notre Dame

From the Muse des Beaux Arts et de la Dentelle, if you walk to rue de la Paix, you will come to the church of Notre Dame, where Charles de Gaulle married Yvonne Vendroux, a young woman from Calais, in 1921. The church was built during the English occupation of France, with the nave dating to the 13th century. It also lays claim to being the only English Gothic-style church in France.

Right Time to Visit

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