Calais is a town on the north-west coast of France, less than 200 miles from Paris. It is often the first port of call for visitors travelling from the UK, as it is a busy port only 25 miles from Dover, on the east coast of England. It is renowned for its hypermarkets, which sell alcohol and groceries, and is therefore a very popular destination for people hunting for bargains. Calais is less well-known for its relaxing beaches; but Le Touquet, Wimereux and Berck are all pleasant places to visit nevertheless. Calais is home to a large fishing industry, and is also the largest lace manufacturer in France.


Around Calais are several excellent golf courses and casinos. There is a great deal of beautiful countryside surrounding the area, and attractive sandy beaches, some of which offer sand-yachting to visitors. One of the major attractions of Calais is the bronze statue of the Burghers of Calais, made by Auguste Rodin. Displays of local lace can be viewed at the Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la Dentelle.


The best shopping in Calais can be found in the hypermarkets. These stock a range of goods, from regular groceries to local speciality food. Much of the food sold in Calais is local produce, grown by nearby farmers. Another main buy for visitors to Calais is alcohol, which can be purchased very cheaply and in bulk, due to the lower taxes on alcohol in France. As well as the hypermarkets, there are several open-air markets situated in the town centre.

Nightlife and Eating Out

There are two main specialties in Calais. One is carbonnade à la flamande, which contains beef, onions and beer. As Calais is a fishing town, fish is frequently an important part of any local menu – mussel and leek stews, and fish soup being the most popular options. Also common on menus in Calais are locally raised rabbit served with mushrooms, and sausages made from locally raised pigs. Beer is also brewed in Calais, using hops from the region.

Tourist Information

Office de Tourisme 12 Boulevard ClemenceauBP 9462100 CALAISTel: +33 (0)321 966


The nearest airport to Calais is Dunkirk Airport in Marck, which is just five miles from Calais town centre.

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