A Day Trip to Boulogne-sur-Mer on France’s Opal Coast


There is so much you can do in a day when you take a day trip across the channel to Boulogne-sur-Mer. The city is in northern France, and lies on the beautiful Opal Coast. The city attracts many day trippers with it being so easy to reach by train, car, or by boat from the UK. The city has a whole host of things to see and do, and if you plan your trip down to the finest detail, you will be able to see many of them in a day.

There are many ways to get around the city and to the attractions depending on how tight your schedule is, you could take a taxi, your car, the bus, or just have a gentle stroll from place to place.

Basilica of Notre-Dame de Boulogne

This medieval cathedral is a stunning piece of architecture to see when you are in the city. Built between 1827 and 1875, complete with a 101 metre high dome, if you are interested in churches and Renaissance inspired architecture, then the Basilica of Notre-Dame is a must see. It might not be as spectacular as its famous namesake in Paris but it is worthy in its own right.

Plage De Boulogne Sur Mer

If you have taken your car across the channel using Eurotunnel Le Shuttle then you could take a drive along the beautiful coast line. Park up by the beach and have some British-inspired fresh fish and chips. If you haven’t taken the car, then take the tourist train up to the Old Town. There you will find cobbled streets, quaint cafes, bars, and unique shops.

Nausicaa, Centre National de la Mer

The aquarium has wonderfully laid out displays and enormous tanks full of creatures which call the ocean home. The aquarium also provides messages on sustainability, so not only are you getting to see these creatures, you also take home a little more knowledge. This is a great place to fit into your day trip; allow for half a day if you do, as you won’t want to be rushing and missing displays.

Chateau Musee

You will be able to fit this in with a trip to the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Boulogne. The museum offers excellent views for miles around. You can walk around the moat and the courtyard after you have viewed all three floors of the museum. There is a children’s trail in which they are set the task of looking out for masks, Egyptian scribing, and more. If you make your trip on the first Sunday of the month then the entry is free, if not it is only a few Euros entry and well worth it.

Shopping in the Town Centre

The town centre is located between the port and the old town. There are many shops, bars and restaurants if you are looking for something more commercial than the cobbled streets of the Old Town. There is a market which is on every Saturday and Wednesday morning and is a great place to sample local produce.

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