Jump to content

Calais - is it any different?

Recommended Posts

Do you think things cost the same in Calais as they do in other parts of France, generally? Or do you think things may be higher priced for the British who go there on shopping trips? Also, do you think the quality is the same, or do they shipload the worst of the batch to Calais, because it will be bought regardless?

Everytime I go to France, I do try to take note of prices, but it's not always easy to compare if you can't find the same brands, and also when there may be 3-9 months between trips. If any of you live in Pas de Calais or are able to go there more often than we can, perhaps you can answer this.

When we go to France, we generally do a fair amount of shopping in whichever region we spend our holiday, then cram a bit more in when we go to Calais. But we may go over for a shopping trip later in the year. We are wondering if we would be better going somewhere about one hour inland.

Can you suggest anywhere (we know Arras and St Omer) which has at least a decent Intermarche, plus one of the bigger supermarkets and a good shopping centre. I also fancy looking at furniture and electrical shops if I can find the time. Also, it would be good for there to be somewhere to send husband and son for a few hours so daughter and I can go round the shops in peace (not swimming complexes though - can't get husband near them!)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Do you think things cost the same in Calais as they do in other parts of France, generally? Or do you think things may be higher priced for the British who go there on shopping trips? Also, do you ...[/quote]

We live about one hour from Calais in the beautiful and little known "Sept Vallees" country. We never shop in Calais - everything is definitely more expensive there than in our local supermarkets.

My neighbour asked me if I could buy some booze for his daughter's wedding cheaper at the tunnel terminal or the discount booze warehouses than he could locally. I checked thoroughly and found the local Champion supermarket was cheaper. The shopping at Cite Europe is way overpriced in general.

Apart from St Omer or Arras you could try Bethune. It has a reasonable edge-of-town shopping centre and trading estate. I'm not sure what there would be to amuse your boys however. Golf lessons, perhaps? a trip round the Decathlon sports store?
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I grew up in Boulogne, just down the road from Calais, and I spent six months there on a course. I always knew when I’d arrived in the outskirts because of the pong!

Maybe I’m just biased, but Calais is not as nice as Boulogne, and even if you’re just going shopping, it’s a much more pleasant town to drive through.  It would be much better to go there just for a shopping trip - Speedferries do £50 return trips, £25 for the day.  A nice B&B is L'Enclos de L'echeve in the old town (find them on the net)

Personally I would recommend that you go to Auchan, a huge hypermarket which is off the A16 at St Martin, it’s on a commercial site so there are other shops there too, furniture, sports (our kids love the French sports shops) and DIY. Or alternatively, there is Leclerc at Outreau. You can get there either through the town or again it’s accessible off the A16.

For the family, there is Nausicaa of course, the sealife centre, a crazy golf course next to that, or they can rollerblade on the promenade (depending on time of year and how busy it is). There’s also the old town and the ramparts to walk around and some clothes shops in Boulogne itself.

I don’t know about prices, although in the local French paper this year they had done a survey of prices in restaurants, bars and so on at 10 different seaside resorts from Le Touquet down to Nice and for instance a glass of white wine could almost double in price depending on which part of France you were in. So I imagine it could be the same for supermarkets. We’ve just bought a house in Brittany but my brother lives in the P de C so it will be interesting to see if there’s a difference.   


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks -yes we have actually done a shopping trip to Boulogne before, staying at the B & B hotel on the other side of the motorway from the Auchan. I certainly think it may be a better option than Calais. The only thing is the choice of other types of shops in Cite Europe. I don't think many town centres have such a choice, do they? The countryside is a lot better around Boulogne too.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...