Travel Guides

Calais - Short Break Fun for Families!

Travel Guides

A guide to visiting Calais

Just across the English coast, Calais, the port town and shipping hub, is also a seaside resort, ideal for a family break!

Attractions include:

  • La Compagnie du Dragon
  • Calais Lighthouse
  • UNESCO World Heritage Belfry & Town Hall
  • The Lace & Fashion Museum
  • Memorial Museum 39/45
La Compagnie du Dragon, Calais
La Compagnie du Dragon, Calais

Day 1 : Discover Calais

Calais Seafront

  • La Compagnie du Dragon : Treat the kids to a ride on the Calais Dragon’s back! From its imposing height (10m) and length (25m), it keeps watch over the town and is able to lie down, rise up, rear on its hind legs and spread its wings! Constructed with steel and sculpted wood, it is a dragon of the sea, earth, wind and fire, spitting out flames and water in various forms!

DFDS Partner Rate: Adults (from 12 years old) : 7,50€ instead of 9,50€ Children (up to 11 years old inclusive) : 5,00€ instead of 6,50€ Present your DFDS booking number when purchasing tickets to receive this rate.

  • Grab a bite to eat Relax in one of the many delicious restaurants found on Calais’ seafront. Choose from traditional brasseries, bistrots or cafés to sample some regional delights. In this area mussels and chips are a firm favourite as well as other French classics such as Tartiflette, Tarte Tatin and sweet or savoury crepes.
Calais City Hall - (C) Office de Calais Tourisme Côte d’Opale
Calais Town Hall, France

DAY 1 : Discover Calais

  • Calais Lighthouse Climb the 271 steps to be treated with a magnificent panoramic view over the port, the sea and the town.

  • The Town Hall and its clocktower Visit the renaissance style town hall, built in 1885 and climb the UNESCO World Heritage Belfry tower for sprawling views across Calais and beyond.

  • Memorial Museum 39/45 Head to Saint-Pierre Park opposite the town hall and discover the Second World War Memorial Museum, opposite the famous Rodin sculptures ‘The Six Burghers of Calais.’ Housed in a former German bunker, it now houses several exhibitions giving an insight into Calais’ role in WW2.

  • The Lace & Fashion Museum This museum is housed in a former lace factory typical of the late 19th century. Don’t miss the demonstration of the enormous leavers machines during your visit, with commentary from former lace technicians or ‘tullistes’, as they are called here.

Image Credit: Office de Calais Tourisme Côte d’Opale

Calais On The Coast
Calais Beach

Day 2 : Have some fun

  • Sandyachting base Just outside Calais , you will find long sandy beaches ideal for sandyachting .

  • Indoor play areas If the weather takes a turn, there are plenty of indoor play areas for kids to choose from including Zap Ados, Cosmic Park, Jump City, and bowling for fun for all the family.

Shopping in Calais

Day 3 : Explore the surrounding areas

- Cap Blanc Nez This is the viewpoint not to be missed – a full panoramic view all the way to the White Cliffs of Dover on a clear day. Breathe deeply and take it all in! The Cap Blanc Nez cliffs form part of the Two Caps site, a nature reserve and certified heritage site of France.

Good to know: Calais Tourist Board can provide you with a selection of hiking routes suitable for all the family.

- Shopping Calais is perfect for shopping. There are lots of boutiques in the town to bring back local produce such as cheese, wine and cider. Plus, on your return you can visit the Calais Duty Free Shop at our port to stock up on great deals too.

Prices are subject to availability. Telephone booking fees apply. Terms and conditions apply.