Attractions in Nord-Pas-de-Calais

Nord-pas-de-Calais forms half of the Hauts-de-France alongside Picardy, it is situated in the north of France and has a border with Belgium. Nord-Pas-de-Calais also borders the English Channel, the North Sea and Picardy. Arras is the capital city of the region.

Due to its location close to the North Sea, the Nord-Pas de Calais region has a strong fishing industry. Boulogne-sur-Mer harbor is the biggest French port in terms of capacity and is also a leading European seafood processing center.

Since 1994, the Nord-Pas de Calais region is linked to the United Kingdom by the Eurotunnel which has the longest undersea tunnel section in the world (38 kilometres / 24 miles).

See also: Cities in Nord-Pas-de-Calais


Situated only a short distance from the Channel Tunnel on the ‘Côte d’Opale‘, you will find Boulogne-sur-Mer with 2,000 years of history…. A rich history marked by the presence of Romans, English and Napoleon…

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Calais is a town in northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department’s capital is its third-largest city of Arras….

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Saint-Omer is a town in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, 68 km (42 mi) west-northwest of Lille on the railway to Calais. The town is named after Saint Audomar, who brought Christianity to the area….

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Vimy is a farming town, situated some 6 miles (9.7 km) north of Arras. The town was first mentioned in 1183 as Viniarcum and was the scene of much fighting during the 14th, 17thand 18th centuries among the French, English, Dutch and Spanish forces.

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Côte d’Opale

Côte d’Opale – The Opal Coast – is the attractive coastline which runs along south of Calais, it has fine sandy beaches and a coastal footpath.

Beaches along the Opal Coast


The little town of Hardelot situated 8 miles (13 km) south of Boulogne offers some very good restaurants, forests, golf courses and has a long golden sandy beach.


Berck-sur-Mer has an immense beach of fine sand and colourful bathing huts. It is also a a centre for sand yachting and the new sport of surfboarding. The old town was formerly a fishing harbour.


Merlimont has long, wide sandy beaches and huge sand-dunes.

Le Touquet Paris-Plage

Le Touquet Paris-Plage has long been a firm favourite as a playground of rich Parisians, with many luxury hotels. Its stylish villas built amid pine trees, date back to the 1920s and 1930s when the ‘jet set’ would fly in to party. In the 1920s, Noël Coward and the “smart set” from England spent weekends here and today Le Touquet retains its peaceful charm.

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The old fishing village of Audresselles sits just south of Cape Gris Nez and is home to two beaches and seashore cliffs.  Audresselles has retained its characteristic features: its long houses with a colored strip along the lower part of the walls, in the village center, and some villas of the “Belle Époque”. The traditional flobarts (little truncated drakkars) are still used by the holiday yachtsmen.

The Château d’Olhain is a 15th-century château located in Olhain, Fresnicourt-le-Dolmen, Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France. The Château d’Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region.

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The Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille (Lille Palace of Fine Arts) is one of the largest museums in France, and the largest French museum outside of Paris.

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The Hospice Comtesse (also known as Hospice of Our Lady ) is a former hospice, most of the buildings date from the xvii th century . Its construction was the idea of Jeanne, Countess of Flanders in 1236.

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La Vieille Bourse in Lille is arguably the most prestigious building in the city. Built around a courtyard, the seemingly unified building is actually a nestling of 24 identical houses built at the expense of 24 merchants, which originally gave shelter for people for trade and finance.

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WW1 and WW2 Memorials and Museums

The region saw some heavy fighting during both the first and second World Wars and there are a number of Military cemeteries here commemorating the brave men and women who lost their lives in the conflicts. There are also a number of Museums which are of great interest.

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“Battlefields of the Western Front”

The Todt Battery (Batterie Todt, in French) is a battery of coastal artillery built by the Germans in World War II, located in the hamlet of Haringzelle, Audinghen, near Cape Gris Nez, Pas de Calais, France. It was one of the most important coastal fortifications of the Atlantic Wall,

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Discover a surprisingly rich museum throughout the Second World War, thousands of exhibits, the soldiers of the various armies set position. Projecting a 30-minute film about the Battle of Normandy in a cinema of the 40s.

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Terlincthum British Cemetery

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Today, Arras is famous across the world for its two magnificent squares, built in a Flemish-Spanish baroque style. From the XI century, they were the centre of commerce. They are spread over 17,000 square metres of historical paving stones. The 155 facades that make up the squares date from the XVII and XVIII century

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Basilica of Notre-Dame de Boulogne. The basilica is a prominent landmark of the city with its 101 metre high dome, it was built between 1827 and 1875 on the site of the medieval cathedral of Boulogne: the basilica is still known locally as the “cathedral”

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The Museum of Fine Arts in Calais designed by architect Paul Pamart opened in 1966 and its name was a by-law in 1958. The creation of the museum , however, is much older and was founded in 1836.

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Main Cities in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais Region

  • Lille – the largest city in Nord-Pas-de-Calais
  • Arras – Capital
  • Boulogne
  • Calais
  • Cambrai
  • Douai
  • Dunkirk
  • Lens
  • Liévin
  • Marcq-en-Barœul
  • Maubeuge
  • Roubaix
  • Saint-Omer
  • Tourcoing
  • Valenciennes
  • Villeneuve d’Ascq
  • Wattrelos

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