We use cookies to track usage and preferences. Accept View Policy
Call Us Today 01304 201 227

Dover to Calais - Things to Do When You Get There

Dover to Calais - Things to Do When You Get There

Calais remains an extremely popular French tourist destination amongst British tourist. Many of these tourists are drawn because of an abundance of cheap wine, beer on cigarettes on sale in Calais. Others are simply drawn to Calais' fantastic cultural offerings such as the many cafes, restaurants and beautiful architecture on offer there. Last year the Home Office estimates around thirteen million Brits crossed the Channel in order to access mainland Europe. And Calais was one of the most visited European destinations. This growth in trans-channel crossings has been fuelled by an abundance of bargain ferry and Eurotunnel tickets now on sale. For as little as £35, you can hop onto the ferry at Dover and make your journey direct to Calais.

Because Calais is located a short twenty-six miles away from Dover and Folkestone, you can expect to arrive in Calais in under an hour! In this post, we list an activity ‘to do’ list for people looking to travel from Dover over to Calais in the coming year!

Before we jump into this post, we wish to recommend our competitively priced parking service in Dover. This service is ideal for people looking to travel to Calais via train or ferry. We are located only a two-minute journey from Dover’s central ferry terminal, and a ten-minute journey from Folkestone’s Eurotunnel terminal. For a mere £5.05, you are able to park your vehicle for an unbelievable twenty-four hour period. This is far cheaper when compared to the cost of transferring your vehicle via ferry or Eurotunnel over to mainland Europe. Instead, leave your vehicle in the UK. At least you will not have to worry about driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road whilst you travel through Europe!

#1. Open Air Markets at Place d’Armes

Our first sightseeing recommendation in Calais is the unmissable open-air markets at Place d’Armes. Place d’Armes is at the heart of Calais ‘old town’. Enjoy the architecture and breath in Calais abundance of fresh air. You will receive an authentic taste of ‘real’ French culture. Take advantage of discounted yet excellent wine, fresh food, honey and flowers on sale here. 

#2. Supermarket shopping

Many of you will choose to travel to Calais in order to take advantage of the region's discounted wine, beer and cigarettes. If this is the case, Calais' many supermarkets are simply unmissable. Many of these large supermarkets were set up precisely to meet the demand created by Brits in search of cheap booze. Here you will find all manners of alcoholic beverage including wine, beer, Champagne, Cognac and brandy. Many of these goods are on sale for around fifty percentage cheaper than in the United Kingdom. This is largely due to VAT differences on alcohol between the UK and France.

If you are only in Calais for one day, we highly recommend Rue Royale. This is by far the largest alcohol retail outfit in Calais. If you have more time, also visit Cité Europe, Royal Dentelle and the Marques Avenue Factory Outlet.

The best time of year for Calais shopping is in January or June. This is when French stores offer the best discounts.

Be sure to abide by ultra-strict limits on how much alcohol and tobacco you may legally bring back to the UK.

These limits are currently set as follows:

Item Limit
Beer 110 litres
Wine 90 litres (must not include more than 60 litres of sparkling wine)
Spirits 10 litres
Port & Sherry 20 litres
Cigarettes 800
Cigars 200
Cigarillos 400
Tobacco 1 Kilo


#3. Other sights worth seeing

Calais is not just about booze and tobacco. Calais is home to many ancient and modern architectural wonders. For instance, a trip to Calais would not be complete without seeing the Hotel de Ville. This is the wonderful twentieth century Town Hall. This building was constructed in 1925. The original was blitz during the height of World War I.

Also of note is Calais' Second World War museum . This museum features a former Nazi bunker that was constructed in 1941.

If you visit Calais in the summer, then a visit to the local beach is a must. Calais is typically warmer than the UK so take the opportunity to top up your tan. The beach is also lined with chic restaurants and cafes.