53 Best Places And Things To Do in Calais, France

Calais is a vibrant city located in the Hauts-de-France region of France. Known for its rich history, stunning natural beauty, and strategic location on the English Channel, Calais offers a range of exciting attractions and activities for visitors. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Calais:

1. Calais Beach

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Start your visit by exploring the beautiful Calais Beach. With its sandy shores and breathtaking views of the English Channel, this beach is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing day in the sun.

2. The Calais Lighthouse

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Located near the beach, the Calais Lighthouse is a historic landmark that offers panoramic views of the city and the coastline. Climb to the top for a memorable experience and stunning vistas.

3. Calais Town Hall

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A symbol of Calais’ architectural heritage, the Town Hall (Hôtel de Ville) is a magnificent building worth visiting. Admire its grand façade, explore the interior, and learn about the city’s history.

4. Calais Lace Museum

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Delve into the intricate world of lace at the Calais Lace Museum. Discover the fascinating history of this traditional craft and witness exquisite lacework on display.

5. Cité Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode

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Another must-visit museum in Calais is the Cité Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode. It showcases the city’s renowned lace industry and offers insights into the fashion world.

6. Calais Citadel

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Step back in time with a visit to the Calais Citadel, a historical fortress that played a significant role in defending the city. Explore its impressive ramparts, underground tunnels, and the Calais Museum within its walls.

7. The Calais Wine Superstore

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Wine enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Calais Wine Superstore. Browse an extensive selection of French wines, taste samples, and take advantage of tax-free shopping opportunities.

8. Rodin’s Burghers of Calais

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Admire one of Auguste Rodin’s most famous sculptures, “The Burghers of Calais,” located near the town hall. This powerful artwork commemorates the bravery of six Calais residents during the Hundred Years’ War.

9. Les Baraques Military Cemetery

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Pay tribute to the fallen soldiers of World War I at Les Baraques Military Cemetery. The peaceful atmosphere and well-maintained grounds provide an opportunity for reflection and remembrance.

10. Boat trips to Dover

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Take a short boat trip from Calais to Dover, England, and experience the iconic white cliffs and the rich maritime history of the region. It’s an excellent opportunity for a day trip and a chance to explore another country.

11. Calais Town Center

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Explore the heart of Calais by wandering through its charming town center. Discover quaint streets lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. Take the time to savor delicious French cuisine, try local specialties such as moules frites (mussels and fries), or indulge in a freshly baked croissant..

12. Calais War Museum

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Gain insights into the local history and the impact of World War II at the Calais War Museum. Learn about the city’s occupation during the war, the evacuation of Dunkirk, and the significant events that took place in the region.

13. Parc Richelieu

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Escape the bustling city and immerse yourself in nature at Parc Richelieu. This beautiful park offers lush green spaces, walking paths, and serene lakes. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic, leisurely stroll, or to simply relax and enjoy the surroundings.

14. Calais Theater

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If you appreciate the performing arts, catch a show at the Calais Theater. This cultural venue hosts a variety of performances, including theater productions, concerts, and dance shows.

15. Les Six Bourgeois

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Visit Les Six Bourgeois, a group of six historic buildings that were once used as a defensive structure for the city. Today, they serve as a reminder of Calais’ past and offer an interesting glimpse into the city’s architectural heritage.

16. Calais International City

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Discover the modern side of Calais at the Calais International City. This multipurpose complex hosts various events, exhibitions, and conferences throughout the year. Check the schedule to see if any interesting events align with your visit.

17. Calais Harbour

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Take a stroll along Calais Harbour and admire the picturesque views of the marina. Watch the boats come and go, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of this waterfront area. You can also find several seafood restaurants serving fresh catches of the day.

18. Calais Casino

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If you’re feeling lucky, visit the Calais Casino for a thrilling evening of entertainment. Try your hand at the slot machines or join a game of blackjack or poker. The casino also features a restaurant and a bar for a complete night out.

19. Les Jardins de la Mer

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Conclude your visit to Calais by exploring Les Jardins de la Mer, a beautiful garden that offers a peaceful escape. Enjoy the meticulously landscaped greenery, sculptures, and water features, creating a serene ambiance.

20. Calais International Lace Festival

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If you happen to visit Calais during the Calais International Lace Festival, you’re in for a treat. This biennial event celebrates the city’s lace heritage with exhibitions, workshops, fashion shows, and demonstrations. Immerse yourself in the world of lace and witness the creativity and craftsmanship behind this intricate art form.

21. Calais Regional Nature Park

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Just outside the city, you’ll find the Calais Regional Nature Park. This protected area offers a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Explore the diverse landscapes, including wetlands, forests, and meadows, and enjoy activities such as hiking, cycling, and birdwatching.

22. La Coupole

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Venture a short distance from Calais to the town of Saint-Omer to visit La Coupole. This underground bunker turned museum is a fascinating tribute to World War II history. Discover its role as a V-2 rocket launch base and delve into the captivating exhibitions that provide insights into the war’s impact on the region.

23. Calais Street Art

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Take a self-guided tour around Calais to admire its vibrant street art scene. Many buildings and walls throughout the city are adorned with colorful murals and graffiti, showcasing the talent of local and international artists. Keep an eye out for these artistic gems as you explore the streets.

24. Calais Wine and Food Pairing

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Indulge in a gastronomic experience by participating in a wine and food pairing session. Several wine shops and restaurants in Calais offer tastings that allow you to sample local wines while learning about the best food pairings. Enhance your culinary knowledge and delight your taste buds with the flavors of the region.

25. Calais Karting

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For adrenaline seekers and thrill lovers, head to Calais Karting for an exhilarating experience. Race around the indoor go-karting track and challenge your friends or family to friendly competition. It’s a fun activity for all ages and a great way to get your heart racing.

26. Les Baraques d’Escalles

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Explore the charming village of Escalles, located near Calais, and discover Les Baraques d’Escalles. These traditional fishermen’s huts, also known as “baraques,” were used by locals in the past. Today, they provide a glimpse into the region’s maritime heritage and offer a picturesque setting for a leisurely walk.

27. Calais Christmas Market

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If you visit Calais during the holiday season, be sure to check out the Calais Christmas Market. Experience the festive atmosphere as the market comes alive with stalls selling crafts, gifts, food, and mulled wine. Enjoy the twinkling lights, live performances, and warm holiday spirit.

28. Calais Museum of Fine Arts

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Art enthusiasts should not miss the Calais Museum of Fine Arts, housed in a beautiful 18th-century mansion. The museum showcases an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, including works by renowned artists such as Rodin, Degas, and Delacroix.

29. Calais Dunes

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Explore the natural beauty of Calais Dunes, a protected area that encompasses a vast stretch of sand dunes along the coast. Enjoy a walk or bike ride through the dunes, take in the panoramic views of the sea, and breathe in the fresh coastal air.

30. Saint-Nicolas Church

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Admire the architectural marvel of Saint-Nicolas Church, a Gothic-style church that dates back to the 13th century. Step inside to appreciate the beautiful stained glass windows, intricate woodwork, and peaceful ambiance of this historic place of worship.

31. Calais War Memorial

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Pay tribute to the fallen soldiers of Calais at the Calais War Memorial. Located in Parc Richelieu, this monument commemorates those who lost their lives during various conflicts. Take a moment to reflect and honor their sacrifice.

32. Calais Shopping Outlet

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Shopaholics will delight in visiting the Calais Shopping Outlet, which offers a wide range of discounted designer brands. Take advantage of the tax-free shopping and browse through a variety of fashion, accessories, and household items.

33. Calais Carnival

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If you happen to visit Calais during the carnival season, immerse yourself in the lively festivities of the Calais Carnival. Experience colorful parades, elaborate costumes, music, and dancing as the city comes alive with joy and celebration.

34. Calais Marina

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Take a leisurely stroll along the Calais Marina and admire the yachts and boats moored along the quayside. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, stop by one of the waterfront cafes or restaurants, and watch the world go by as you take in the scenic views.

35. Calais International Kite Festival

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If you visit Calais in April, don’t miss the Calais International Kite Festival. Watch the skies fill with vibrant kites of all shapes and sizes as international kite flyers gather to showcase their skills and creativity. It’s a visual spectacle that delights visitors of all ages.

36. Calais Theatre District

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Immerse yourself in the performing arts scene of Calais by exploring the Theatre District. Discover theaters and performance venues that host a variety of shows, including plays, musicals, concerts, and dance performances. Catch a live performance and enjoy the vibrant cultural offerings of the city.

37. Calais Customs House

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Gain insights into the city’s maritime history and its role as a major port at the Calais Customs House. This historic building houses a museum that showcases the customs and trade of the region, offering a fascinating glimpse into the economic significance of Calais throughout history.

38. Les Baraques Forest

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Escape the urban environment and enjoy the tranquility of Les Baraques Forest, a peaceful woodland area near Calais. Take a leisurely hike or bike ride through the forest trails, breathe in the fresh air, and connect with nature.

39. Calais Horse Racing

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If you’re a fan of horse racing, attend a race at the Calais Racecourse. Experience the excitement as horses thunder down the track, place bets, and soak in the thrilling atmosphere of this popular sporting event.

40. Calais Skatepark

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Skaters and BMX riders can head to the Calais Skatepark to showcase their skills and enjoy some outdoor recreation. This well-designed skatepark features ramps, rails, and other obstacles, providing a fun and challenging environment for riders of all levels.

41. Calais Golf Club

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Golf enthusiasts can tee off at the Calais Golf Club, which offers a picturesque 18-hole course. Enjoy a round of golf amidst beautiful surroundings and take in the scenic views as you navigate the fairways and greens.

42. Calais Beer Festival

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Beer lovers shouldn’t miss the Calais Beer Festival, where you can sample a wide range of local and international craft beers. Explore different beer styles, meet brewers, and engage in beer-related activities and workshops.

43. Calais Lighthouse

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Climb to the top of the Calais Lighthouse for panoramic views of the city and the coastline. This historic landmark offers a glimpse into the maritime history of Calais and provides a unique perspective of the surrounding area.

44. Calais Beaches

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Calais boasts several beautiful beaches where you can relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the refreshing waters of the English Channel. Plage de Calais, Plage des Dunes, and Plage de Sangatte are popular choices for beachgoers, offering a range of facilities and amenities.

45. Calais Chocolate Factory

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Indulge your sweet tooth with a visit to a Calais chocolate factory. Take a guided tour to witness the chocolate-making process, from cocoa bean to delectable treats, and sample a range of delicious chocolates along the way.

46. Calais Boat Tours

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Embark on a boat tour and explore the waters surrounding Calais. Choose from a variety of options, including sightseeing cruises, fishing trips, or even a ferry ride across the English Channel to the nearby shores of England. Enjoy the scenic views and the opportunity to spot marine life.

47. Calais War Bunkers

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Uncover the hidden history of Calais by exploring the war bunkers scattered along the coastline. These remnants of World War II provide a fascinating glimpse into the city’s role in the conflict and offer a chance to learn about the experiences of those who lived through it.

48. Calais Gardens and Parks

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Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by visiting one of Calais’ many gardens and parks. Parc Saint-Pierre, Parc Richelieu, and Parc du Musée offer peaceful green spaces where you can relax, have a picnic, or take a leisurely stroll amidst beautiful landscapes.

49. Calais Oyster Farming

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Discover the world of oyster farming by visiting one of Calais’ oyster farms. Take a guided tour to learn about the cultivation process, see oyster beds, and even have the opportunity to taste freshly harvested oysters, known for their exceptional flavor.

50. Calais Sports Stadium

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If you’re a sports enthusiast, catch a game or event at the Calais Sports Stadium. From football matches to athletic competitions, this state-of-the-art stadium hosts a range of sporting events that provide thrilling entertainment for spectators.

51. Calais Street Food

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Sample the local street food scene in Calais and savor a variety of delicious treats. From freshly baked pastries and crepes to mouthwatering seafood and regional specialties, the city’s street food vendors offer a tantalizing array of flavors to satisfy your cravings.

52. Calais Guided Walking Tours

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Discover the hidden gems and historical landmarks of Calais through a guided walking tour. Knowledgeable local guides will lead you through the city’s streets, sharing fascinating stories and insights about its history, architecture, and cultur

53. Plage de Calais

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Plage de Calais is the main beach in the city and stretches along the coastline near the city center. With its wide expanse of sandy shore, it provides ample space for sunbathing, picnicking, and leisurely walks along the water’s edge. The beach is well-maintained, and its calm waters make it suitable for swimming and water sports.