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On the coast, cutting it close to Britain

On the coast, cutting it close to Britain

Great Britain and the rest of Continental Europe are closer than the United States and Russia (really, we’re 59 miles.) From the white cliffs of Dover to Calais it is just 21 miles, and a popular route for those who attempt to swim the channel. This was also the last part of France to be in English hands during medieval times. It wasn’t until 1547 that France recaptured the town after centuries of English rule. And why wouldn’t they want it back ? It’s a beachside beauty.

In the words of Shakespeare in Henry V, let us now “march on to Calais without impeachment.”

There are two main ways to get to or from Calais. From Ville station in the city center there are frequent shuttle buses to either the Channel port or to Calais Frethun Eurostar terminal. SNCF France has frequent trains operating to Lille or Boulogne, and occasional schedules directly into Paris. The new Eurostar station at Calais Frethun outside the inner city serves the “chunnel” connections into Britain.

About France

Most consider Calais just a commuter city. But there’s plenty to see beyond stretching your legs. Less than 15 minutes from the train station, visit the famous Rodin sculpture Les Bourgeois de Calais. The statue serves as a monument to an occurrence in 1347 during the Hundred Years’ War, when the city was under siege by the British of over a year. The statue is found just in front of the distinctive Flemish Renaissance style City Hall – one of many buildings using this distinctive architectural approach.

Like long walks along the beach, lighthouses and horses ? Calais is your very own personal ad. This seaside town offers you the opportunity to horseback on the sand and a charming little pier where you can hold hands with your paramour. Who needs Paris ?

Should you be heading to The City of Light, the TGV will take you there in 90 minutes. Closer to Calais, visit Dunkirk – just six miles from the Belgian border. One hour or so east by train, the city has the third largest port in France, behind Le Havre and Marseille and is famous for its boisterous Carnival. Thanks to Eurostar service, be in London’s St. Pancras station in a bit over 60 minutes.

Just west, find a coast not known to most outside Europe. The Côte d’Opale runs from Calais to Boulogne-sur-Mer. Just as you can see France from the Cliffs of Dover on a clear day, you can see England from this vantage point. It too has beautiful cliffs such as Cape Blanc Nez and Cape Gris Nez. The coastal landscape has inspired artists and writers – including Victor Hugo.

Come to Calais and travel around with your France Rail Pass – you won’t be le miserable.

Calais station(s)

Trains are convenient way to reach any town and city in Europe. All main towns have a railway station, while major cities have more than two railway stations. Nearly all railway stations are located in the city centre. Check our map to locate railway station(s) in Calais.

Calais city guide

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Customer reviews

  • Value for money
    excellent |
    "Timely, Confortable, inexpensive for the superior class "

  • Value for money
    Trip to Calais |
    "Took the very short trip to Calais to pick up our car. It was smooth, on time and efficient. A great way to travel "

  • Value for money
    Stuttgart to Regensburg Trip |
    "There was no indication anywhere as to where to go once we reached Stuttgart from Paris. Language was a problem since we don't speak German or French. Contradicting instructions were given by the conductors as to where to connect to the next train to Regensburg since there was no direct train from Stuttgart to Regensburg. Other than that, the ride itself, once we got on the train, was okay. "

  • Value for money
    Frethun to Paris |
    "A convenient and quick service to Paris, marred only by duplicate booking of several seats in my 1st Class compartment. There were however many empty seats for me to occupy so it was not too disruptive. "

  • Value for money
    excellent way to travel |
    "Very comfortable trip across to France from London. The carriages were very clean and easy to access. Luggage storage was easy with storage for the larger bags at the front of our carriage, then a double rack system above our seats for backpacks and smaller hand luggage. We were a group of four so had a central table which was great to share food or play cards, etc. Good sound system to let us know when our station, Calais-Frethun had arrived. "

  • Value for money
    on time. |
    "To londen train was on time. There was no room to store the buggy. Return train late because problems in Paris. Normal time at Calais. The ride was okay. "

  • Value for money
    Great train ride |
    "Train travel in Europe, comfortable, easy, value for money "

  • Value for money
    Travelling on rail europe |
    "Train was on time and reached the destination on time. Seats were very comfortable. It would have been great if there was an announcement in English to confirm whn u reach the destination. "

  • Value for money
    Calais To London. |
    "Nice ride. The only problem is the lack of more services in the Calais-Frethun station - No restaurant, Not enough restrooms. Not enough benches or seats in the waiting area. Other than that the ride was very nice and we enjoyed it. "

  • Value for money
    Calais to Paris |
    "When we were dropped off at bus station from the ferry bus we weren't sure how to get a bus to the Railway station in Calais so we taxied. The journey was comfortable and there was a storage area for our bags. We taxied from Paris Nord station to b "

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