Day trips to Calais from the UK are popular without or without a car but this feature is geared at those travelling as foot passengers.
The usual way is to take the ferry from Dover to Calais – P&O Ferries are currently the only operator offering this service which takes around an hour and a half to cross the channel. Allow 45 minutes before boarding and around 20 minutes to disembark at Calais. There’s lot of information in our feature on P&O Ferries for foot passengers.
You can also go to Calais via Eurostar but it’s generally a lot more expensive and not such a flexible timetable.
So, you arrive at Calais Port – what to do?
First of all, go outside the terminal and pick up the Port bus service to Calais Town, remember to have some Euros change to pay for the bus fare. The bus will stop at Calais-Ville railway station from where you can take a train to the main towns in the region, local stations or Paris and beyond. You can pretty much travel all over Europe from here with connections.
If you’re interested in travel in, to or from Calais check out our feature on this subject but we strongly recommend the little Baladin buses that you can use for free which nip about the town – simply hop on and off as you like.
Once in the main town there’s a great deal to see and do – see our Top Ten things to do in Calais town. For the majority of these things you don’t need a car though shopping at Cité Europe might make you wish you had one if you have a shopping spree.
There are lots of restaurants in Calais, bars and brasseries, specialist French food and goods stores, a lovely sandy beach, monuments, churches, museums and gallerie; so do your homework first and you won’t run out of things to see and do or miss anything. Pick up a tourist day pass at the Tourist Office and take advantage of free entry to some museums and discounts at others and they’ll give you a map with all the sites and attractions in town.
If you’re going to Calais in December, be sure not to miss the great Christmas market that’s held here every year.