Boulogne-sur-Mer Travel Guide

  • View of the Bell Tower from the walls
    View of the Bell Tower from the walls
    by MikeBird
  • inside the dome at the Basilique Notre Dame
    inside the dome at the Basilique Notre...
    by sue_stone
  • Boulogne-sur-Mer
    Boulogne-sur-Mer
    by Mikebond

Boulogne-sur-Mer Things to Do

  • STATUE OF HENRY II

    At the southern wall of the old town stands the statue of Henry II Henry II gave the town a silver statue of the virgin to replace the one stolen by the English.

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  • Porte des Degres

    The old town is accessed by any one of the 4 huge gates on each corner . The grandest by far is the Port des Degres.

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  • OLD TOWN SQUARE

    This pretty square in the heart of the old town has small narrow streets branching from it in all directions and the square itself has cafes on all corners ,A beautiful area to sit , have a drink and watch the world go by!

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  • The old town of Boulogne

    Our coach dropped us directly at one of the 4 gates of the roman wall that lead into the squares , narrow streets , cafes and shops of the old town.

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  • Place Dalton and church of St Nicholas

    From the walls of the old town , we walked half way down the hill towards the new town where we stumbled upon the beautiful square with its market stalls and cafes .The church dominates one side of the square and is free to look inside.

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  • Basilique Notre Dame

    The Basilique Notre Dame at the top of the hill of the old twon dominates the skyline. We were unlucky on the day beacuse although it is free to enter , there was a private service on during our stay so We couldnt access the dome .

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  • Beffroi - inside

    There are free guided tours of the beffroi in both French and English. I recommend you'd go inside to learn something about Boulogne history that is probably not written in your guidebook. However, you must be aware that there are 183 steps to climb (no lift available).At the beginning of the visit you will see this portrait of Godfrey of Bouillon,...

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  • Beffroi

    Boulogne's belfry is 47 metres high.Its construction took place at the end of the 12th century and may be due to Renaud de Dammartin, Count of Boulogne from 1191 to 1214. Originally, it was the donjon of the castle.When his successor Philippe Hurepel finished his castle in the Eastern side of the citadelle, he gave the donjon to the town. It's then...

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  • Château-Musée - overview

    The castle of Boulogne was built by Count Philippe Hurepel. Its construction took place between 1227 and 1231 partly leaning over the 4th-century Roman walls. It was surrounded by a moat and connected to the town by a drawbridge, like a typical medieval castle.However, a feature makes it different from Middle Ages castles: it hasn't got a...

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Boulogne-sur-Mer Hotels

Boulogne-sur-Mer Restaurants

  • local cuisine

    We were not brave enough to sample this particular dish! Just passing by a shop window when they caught my eye.....

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  • Food halls on P &O. ferries

    We had full English breakfast on the ferry on the outward journey and a curry for dinner on our return ferry crossing back to England. Beer with the curry was a bargain £1!

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  • LA CANTINE

    We stopped here for Baguettes and beer ( for myself!) at lunchtime , the staff were friendly and its in a beautiful location on one corner of the old town square. The weather was glorious as we sat outside in the sunshine!

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  • Something unique

    Superb family restaurant serving authentic cuisine from Reunion/Mauritius! First time I have tried this cuisine, and to an Englishman, it’s Indian with a very nice twist. The restaurant is done out in tasteful decor, and the service was charming and very helpful. As an English Expat, I will certainly return when next in Boulogne, as this sort of...

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  • Superb food and friendly staff

    Dropped in to Boulogne on a day trip across for lunch. We chose Pierre Chaude from the board outside and the more traditional look inside. Plus it was packed.We had a table by the window and the radiator. Sticking to the menu of the day we had fish soup, boeuf bourgignon and then creme caramel.The soup was hot and was very tasty, the beef was very...

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  • Enjoyable, relaxed lunch

    Walking up the cobbled, pedestrianised, Rue de Lille towards the Cathedral and in amongst several other restaurants and tourist oriented shops you will find this traditional restaurant that specialises in seafood.The four of us each enjoyed our meal, chosen from a wide menu. I think we thought the starters and main were better than the oversweet...

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Boulogne-sur-Mer Nightlife

  • A modern theatre

    This theatre is quite famous in Boulogne. The first show-room opened in 1772. The town hall decided to build a real theatre in 1823 following the plans by Eloi Labarre. This theatre, inaugurated in 1827, was destroyed by a fire in 1854.It was Albert Debaysier who built a new theatre, inaugurated on 2nd June 1860.Today many artists perform at this...

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  • Best bar in Boulogne

    The Vole Hole is a small but friendly bar in the old town of Boulogne. Very atmospheric and Fred, the owner, is absolutely super. In summer they have seats outside on the pavement.Look out for the bar stool with cut-off legs to fit in one corner! Anything goes.

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  • Boulogne-sur-Mer Hotels

    20 Hotels in Boulogne-sur-Mer

Boulogne-sur-Mer Transportation

  • our coach to France

    We booked our trip to Boulogne with Impact coach tours .Our coach took us from London to Dover then onto the ferry and from Calais we drove the short distance to Boulogne. Impact tours are based in Ealing-West London and our trip cost only £31pp.

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  • the ferry to France

    We took the cross channel ferry taking about 100 mins from Dover to Calais.We had a good walk around to see all the facilities on offer from restaurants ,shops and video arcades.

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  • Driving in France

    In June/July 2006 we had a 9 day driving holiday in France. We caught a car ferry from Dover to Calais, drove down through Normandy, popped into Brittany and then caught the ferry back to Dover from Boulogne-sur-Mer.We chose to take our own car over, as the cost of the ferry and petrol was significantly cheaper than flying from London and hiring a...

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Boulogne-sur-Mer Shopping

  • The new town

    We found some delightful cake shops and chocolate window displays along the streets of the new town.

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  • Rue de Lille

    Rue de Lille , running from the main square of the old town , all the way up to The Basillica has many restaurants , cafes and shops selling souvenirs and is the main through street of the old town area.

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  • Shopping in Boulogne

    Shopping in Boulogne is varied enough to keep everyone happy….even those hardened shoppers such as VT’er Mariajoy!In the Upper City there are some really interesting antique shops, along side some gift shops.The town centre has some fabulous patisseries, and wine stores, along with the twice weekly food and flower market. There are also the usual...

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Boulogne-sur-Mer Local Customs

  • South Americans on "pilgrimage"

    When we reached the top of the belfry, our guide showed us this ship. It comes from South America every year. Why should any South-Americans make such a long trip by ship when there are airplanes?Well, it is a sort of pilgrimage. No, not to pray Notre-Dame de Boulogne (who arrived on a boat). They come every August to honour a hero of South...

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  • Notre-Dame de Boulogne

    Many French towns and cities have a cathedral devoted to Notre-Dame, i.e. Our Lady, the Madonna. So does Boulogne-sur-Mer. But the Lady of Boulogne has Her own history, which develops amid history and legend.In the Middle Ages, Boulogne was the most important pilgrimage town in France and its relevance can be compared to that of today's Lourdes....

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  • Cheese shop

    The French eat a lot of cheese, especially at the end of their meals. This is a cheese shop located in the centre of Boulogne-sur-Mer where you can buy several kinds of cheese if you like. My family and I are not so much cheese-lovers, so we didn't buy anything, but my eyes enjoyed the view of the barrow with cheese on it. The inside of the shop...

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Boulogne-sur-Mer Warnings and Dangers

  • watch out for strange fellow passengers!

    Booking any trip where you travel with strangers can be a risk and our journey threw up some interesting characters!

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  • Watch where you step!

    I know it has been written about before in relation to Paris and other parts of France, but I just want to state that there is dog poo EVERYWHERE in Boulogne!Please look down before you step anywhere….the footpaths are covered in it….it is pretty revolting.Ok, there does seem to be a lot of dogs around…but have the locals not heard of cleaning up...

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  • Watch where you are going

    Much as I love Boulogne, one of the things I DO NOT like is the amount of dog poo on the pavements.In the UK dog owners are erquired to pick up their dog droppings, so this sort of mess is rarely seen on our streets.I really hate to see so much mess on the pavements, and unless you keep an eye out, you could easily step in it!

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Boulogne-sur-Mer Off The Beaten Path

  • Etaples Military Cemetery

    Located around 27kms south of Boulogne in Etaples, on the road to Le Touquet, is the Etaples Military Cemetery.The cemetery contains over 10,000 burials from the First World War and just a few from the Second World War.Located right by the roadside, it is a sobering site when you come across it. We pulled over to have a closer look. We just looked...

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  • Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

    On our weekend to Boulogne we had some spare time on Sunday morning so decided to take a drive to Le Touquet-Paris-Plage. It took approximately 30-40 minutes to drive to from Boulogne.Le Touquet used to be a very popular destination for holidaying Parisians back in the early to mid 1900’s, due to its close proximity to Paris, and fabulous seaside...

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  • Colonne de la Grande Armée

    This "Great Army Column" is a high monument commemorating Napoleon. Its construction started on 9th November 1804 and it was named "Colonne Napoléone". When the Empire fell, the construction stopped and was resumed later on with its present name.We were told that Napoleon turns his back on England as a symbol of his disliking of that country.The...

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Boulogne-sur-Mer Favorites

  • Art Nouveau

    Some houses have beautiful Art Nouveau balconies, like the one you see in this picture. Have a look at the second photo to see a detail.Art Nouveau was a style that developed between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.

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  • Christian martyrs of the 20th century

    In the basilica of Notre-Dame you can read this panel that commemorates people who were killed in the 20th century because they were Christians, such as Maximilian Kolbe or Edith Stein.

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  • Walk along the walls

    The top of the town walls has been arranged as an area for walking and having rest. There is a path surrounded by grass and trees, with benches here and there.

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Explore Deeper into Boulogne-sur-Mer
Place Dalton & the Food Market
Things to Do
Ville Haute – Upper City
Things to Do
Basilique Notre Dame
Things to Do
Beach & Promenade
Things to Do
Visit the Notre Dame de Boulogne
Things to Do
Admire the town's kitchen garden
Things to Do
Stroll round the fortifications
Things to Do
SpeedFerries : No longer operating
Transportation
Sea Life in Nausicaa
Things to Do
Outside the walls
Off The Beaten Path
Cathédrale de Notre-Dame - more to see inside
Things to Do
Cathédrale de Notre-Dame - Autel Torlonia
Things to Do
Saint-Nicolas
Things to Do
Fine but expensive chocolate
Shopping
Mairie
Things to Do
Palais de Justice
Things to Do
Hôtel Désandrouin (Palais impérial)
Things to Do
Aquarium scene in Waterworld
Things to Do
Waterworld - Nausicaa
Things to Do
Cathédrale de Notre-Dame - overview
Things to Do
Cathédrale de Notre-Dame - the dome inside
Things to Do
Porte des Dunes
Things to Do
Two kisses on the cheeks
Local Customs
The crypt of the first basilica
Things to Do
From the Middle Ages to the Revolution
Things to Do
Entering the crypt
Things to Do
A great record for a small town
Local Customs
Trésor d'art sacré - the musts
Things to Do
Trésor d'art sacré - overview
Things to Do
Les remparts
Things to Do
Château-Musée - museum
Things to Do
Château-Musée - courtyard
Things to Do
The Palais de Justice (Law Courts)
Things to Do
Boulogne's Belfry
Things to Do
Shopping in Bologne
Shopping
Philippe Olivier - Cheese!
Shopping
Patissier Fred
Restaurants
Nausicaa Aquarium
Things to Do
Patisseries
Local Customs
Parking in Boulogne
Favorites
Map of Boulogne-sur-Mer

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