France

Things to do in Boulogne

Discover plenty of things to do in Boulogne during your trip to France in this informative travel guide.

Drive just half an hour south of the port of Calais and you will find Boulogne, which is not only France’s biggest commercial fishing port but is also home to plenty of historical sites, a lovely beach, and peaceful gardens.

With an impressive 35,000 tonnes of fish being landed in Boulogne each year, including around 70 different species, you’ll want to be sure that you indulge in some delicious fresh seafood when you visit this city, and there’s a whole range of other things to do in Boulogne no matter what your interests are.

To give you more freedom and peace of mind when you travel with your car why not upgrade to one of our Flexi tickets? Allowing you to take the scenic route home and not have to rush back, our Standard Flexi and Fully Flexi tickets give you greater flexibility to your departure time!

Here we share some of our favourite things to do in Boulogne which we believe will inspire you to visit this popular destination and discover all that it has to offer for yourself.

 
 

CQF

Haven van Calais

DVR

Haven van Dover

Morning

01;55

04:25

06:50

09:15

Midday

11:40

Afternoon

14:05

16:30

Evening

18:55

20:50

23:40

About the city

Boulogne’s aquarium - Nausicaá

Boulogne is home to Nausicaá, Europe’s largest public aquarium, and you are guaranteed to have an amazing day out here no matter how old you are!

Not only will you be able to wander around the aquarium and view many of its 58,000 underwater residents, but you’ll also find lots of activities that children will love, can watch as some of the creatures are fed, and might even have the chance to take part in an animal encounter too.

Nausicaá offers plenty of opportunities to learn all about sea life and the issues that face it every day, so a trip here is just as educational and thought-provoking as it is fun which makes it a great choice for all the family.

Have a beach day

Boulogne boasts a long and sandy beach which is the perfect place to sit and relax on a summer’s day, but also offers plenty to do when the weather isn’t necessarily suitable for sunbathing.

Children will love the huge range of activities available to them on the beach, including the chance to play football and volleyball or jump on trampolines and bouncy castles. There is also a sand-yachting club which has equipment you can hire for sand-yachting, kite-surfing, and canoeing.

If you do simply need some time out to lay in the sunshine, you can rent out beach huts, deck chairs, and parasols which will truly set you up for the day.

 

Boulogne’s Old Town

Take a walk around Boulogne’s Old Town and you will discover some of its most historical buildings, as well as some interesting places to explore if you want to travel back into the city’s past.

One of the most striking buildings in the Old Town is the Notre-Dame Basilica which stands out due to its impressive dome. Beneath the Basilica you will find the crypt museum, a maze of rooms containing artwork and artefacts from the old medieval cathedral that once stood there.

The oldest monument in Boulogne is its Belfry, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in the centre of the Old Town you will find the Town Hall which bears the city’s coat of arms.

Have a beach day

Once you have seen all that Boulogne has to offer you can seek some peace and quiet in some of its beautiful parks and gardens.

Next to the aquarium itself are the Nausicaá gardens which are triangular in shape and cover an impressive 17,000m². Surrounded by trees and home to a mini-golf course and a children’s playground, you’ll also find that a number of different sports are played here.

For some relaxation amidst the hustle and bustle of the city centre head to the lush green Bucciali Gardens, or spend time in the Jardins Tintelleries which were redesigned after being destroyed during World War 2.

The perfect destination for unwinding or discovering fascinating historical sites, you can discover all of the things to do in Boulogne for yourself when you travel from Dover to Calais 

 

The oldest monument in Boulogne is its Belfry, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in the centre of the Old Town you will find the Town Hall which bears the city’s coat of arms.

Featured Blog Post Underwater Wonders at Nausicaá Aquarium

Discover underwater wonders at Nausicaá Aquarium during your trip to Boulogne. With everything from jellyfish to penguins, it's fun for all the family.

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