A major port for centuries, and France’s historic gateway to England, Calais hasn’t always been in the news for the right reasons. Many people rush by on their way to Paris or more picturesque places in northern France. But if you have an open mind there’s a lot to keep you occupied.
The ever-present belfry is a UNESCO site, and just opposite is one of Auguste Rodin’s most acclaimed works. You can immerse yourself in the history of Calais’ lace mills and go underground in a preserved Nazi bunker.
Lets explore the best things to do in Calais:
1. Town Hall
Calais’ town hall has a 75-metre-high belfry that is part of a UNESCO site straddling the French and Belgian border, made up of towers within the old Duchy of Burgundy and the historic County of Flanders.
It may look historic from a distance, but it’s actually from the 20th-century, designed in a renaissance revival style.
Inside you can see working models of the Port of Calais, and you can also catch a lift to the observation platform in the belfry for far-reaching vistas.
Most agree that the belfry’s chimes are among the most beautiful in France.