Street Markets in the Calais area

Written by on November 17, 2011 in Markets


ARDRES Market – Champ de Foire (Calais area): Thursday morning

Quite big, lively atmosphere, lots of choice and worth a visit. Food produce, household products and clothes – visited by lots of locals and you might find parking close by a bit of an issue. Quite a nice location, a Ville de Fleurie so lots of flowers and great flower sculptures make it feel a very French and traditional market

Ardes has a rich and vibrant history as a military and trading post for the English from 1347 to 1558. The “Field of the Cloth of Gold”, where Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France met in 1520, was at Balinghem in the immediate neighbourhood.

AUDRUICQ Market – Grand Place (Calais area): Wednesday Morning

A big market with a good atmosphere, great selection of food, plenty of household goods and much else.  It’s a very traditional style market and there are a good selection of shops, cafes and restaurants.  There are a couple of small villages nearby called Vielle-Eglise and Nouvelle Eglise (Old Church and New Church) which apparently hold chicory festivals each year!

The strange thing about living in France is that so much goes on, much of it is traditional and passed down from generation to generation but it’s hard to find this stuff when you’re not local but sometimes these quaint festivals and events are quite marvellous!

BERGUES Market – Place Gambetta (Dunkirk area):  Monday morning

A really attractive and lively French market with lots of visitors and worth attending early. Good selection of food, livestock (not so much in winter months), clothes, household products and furnishings, electrical goods and much more.   There are also a lot of shops close by and a pretty town with ramparts and a small museum.

BOULOGNE Market – Place Dalton: Wednesday and Saturday morning

Near the harbour area this is a lively market with a good atmosphere both days but Saturday is much bigger in terms of stalls and visitors. Lots of food stalls, house hold products etc. on a Wednesday.  On Saturday there are additional food stalls and much else.

There are great shops, cafes and restaurants nearby, definitely a place for watching the world go by though you do have to be a little assertive to get a table in some of the restaurants for Saturday lunch!  There are some really excellent delicatessens and patisseries – if you’re a foodie, this is a great day out!  There’s lots to do in Boulogne – far too much to put here so please check it out on the Things to do page.

BOULOGNE Market – Place Vignon: Sunday morning

A small market you can buy food here and some household products and as some of the shops are open on a Sunday morning in town it might be quite useful for you to know this market exists!

BOULOGNE – Quai Gambetta: from May until October Fish market every morning

Specialising in freshly caught fish – the smell is amazing, it’s a great choice of fish and it truly is fresh but get there early to get the best choices!

BOURBOURG Market – Place de l’Hotel de Ville (Dunkirk area): Tuesday morning

Not a big market but quite pleasant. Not big on food products like some markets but the basics are there together with a small fish market.  Some household goods and clothes but this is a market for you if you need to buy something and/or are passing by.

CALAIS town market: Place d’Armes (near to the Port area): Wednesday and Saturday morning

Not a big market  on either day – better on  Saturday and okay if you’re passing through to catch your ferry and want to pick up some French food items and you want a bit of a walk as it’s a nice place to sit and have a coffee and do some people watching! It’s walking distance from the pot and beach and there are good views and it’s sort of fascinating to watch the ferries coming in and going out!

There’s quite a bit to do if you have a couple of hours to spare until your ferry – the Musee des Beaux Arts,  the statue of the Burghers of Calais by Rodin (by the Hotel de Ville, Boulevard Clemenceau) and the War Museum which is housed in a bunker and although quite small is still interesting.

CALAIS town: Place Crévecoeur (Beau-marais district): Thursday and Saturday, Sunday morning

A biggish market – much more so on Saturday when in addition to the food stalls and household products there are more general stalls including lace produced locally.
There are plenty of shops as this market is in the centre of town and there are information boards about which highlight places of interest in both English and French.

BLERIOT PLAGE Market: Friday morning

About 1 mile or so from Calais centre on the D940 this a small market very much for the locals.  Food stalls and household goods and a few shops but probably only worth going to if you’re passing by or staying nearby.

DESVRES Market – Place Leon Blum in the town centre (Boulogne area): Tuesday morning

A pretty good, medium sized market with a really nice atmosphere. I love Desvres market as my lovely chickens came from stalls here!  There’s a good selection of foot stalls but its mostly household products – the housewife’s favourite!

There are shops around, not that many great places to eat but definitely some local styles which are really interesting! Famous for its porcelain and pottery since the 1700s, you can visit workshops and a museum, it’s a biggish subject so if you’re interested please see more in Things to do.

DUNKERQUE Market – Place Général de Gaulle (Dunkirk area) Wednesday and Saturday

Both markets are very big, Saturday’s market seems to have more local producers and there’s a lively atmosphere on both days!  They are both open til early afternoon – around 4.00 pm but not all stalls stay open til then so mornings are your best bet. Food stalls, leather goods, household products, clothes and much else. Quite a nice setting, the port is nearby and there is a port museum.

ETAPLES SUR MER Market Place du Général de Gaulle (Le Touquet area): Tuesday and Friday morning

On both days these markets are large, very lively, lots and lots of visitors and probably among the largest in this region though the Friday morning market is bigger. Lots of everything – clothes, food, household goods – you name it.  On a Friday you can shop for pretty much anything and there’s a pretty good choice of local food and regional specialities. There are some great restaurants specialising in fish, a maritime museum and some nice walks.

GRAVELINES Market– Place Charles Valentin (Dunkirk area):  Friday morning

A big market with a lively atmosphere – lots of people go so if you want to park nearby get there early!

HARDELOT Market: Sunday morning – from Easter to October every 2 weeks – July/August every Sunday

A small market aimed at the tourist community – this place is very popular with overseas visitors, Parisiens and the French holiday maker. Hardelot is a tourist town of forests, golf courses and beaches, situated some 8 miles (13 km) south of Boulogne and has a lovely holiday feel to it.  It’s worth visiting in its own right and you can see more about this place on our Things to do section.

HESDIN MarketPlace des Armes: Thursday morning

A biggish market, more so in the summer.  A good range of clothes and household products and a lot of food stalls with regional specialities.  Set in Hesdin town square, overlooked by 16th C Town Hall, this is a very typical French market in a beautiful setting with a great atmosphere and is very popular with locals and tourists alike.

LE PORTEL PLAGE Market Place de L’Eglise in the town centre (Boulogne): Tuesday and Friday morning

Pretty good markets – Saturday is bigger and better.  Food stalls and household products both days but more of everything on Saturday including rejuvenating salt from the Thermal and spa town of Landes.
The market is not far from the beach and camping sites and there are shops about (See Things to do Boulogne for more to do in this area)

LE TOUQUET Market Place du marché couvert: June 1st to September 15th Monday, Thursday, Saturday morning; September 16th May to 31st Thursday and Saturday morning

A great French market and one that shouldn’t be missed on a Saturday morning if you’re in the area.  A very classy market, very attractive surroundings and a great choice of items we especially loved the spice stall and the stall which sold recycled hotel linen – such great quality at a very reasonable price. Lots of food stalls, in fact the covered part of the market which is an art deco heritage building is almost entirely devoted to food (the spice stall is amazing!). Lots of clothes stalls, household goods, regional specialities, recycled hotel linen – a great array of goods.

So much to do in Le Touquet- we can pretty much guarantee if you just come for the market you will want to stay longer!

MONTREUIL-SUR-MER Market Place du Général de Gaulle (Le Touquet area): Saturday morning

Medium sized market with a nice atmosphere and fairly traditional.  Usually lots of people in the summer as this is a very popular town for tourists. A good selection of food stalls, clothes and household goods and much else (we bought our rabbits here!) This is a fabulous town and the market setting is great.  There is a lot to do and see here and you can read more in Things to do in Montreuil Sur Mer.

Outreau (Boulogne) Market: Monday and Thursday morning – Place Pierre Beregovoy (Town centre)
Not big markets either day though Thursday has more to offer.  Food stalls, clothes and household products.  There are a few shops nearby and it’s a pretty location.

SAINT-OMER Market: Place Foch: Wednesday morning; Place Perpignan: Saturday morning

Both days provide for a very big market, very lively, lots of visitors and great fun – well worth a visit. Lots of food stalls, some reflecting the Flemish influence of the area, lots of household goods and much else in a really nice setting where you can sit and have a coffee or a beer and watch the comings and goings and savour the atmosphere.

St Omer is a nice town, worth a visit for its gardens, the Musee Henri Dupuis which houses a quite eccentric collection of items and the Hotel Sandelin which is now a museum of paintings, wood and ceramics.  The town is also close to WWII sites of interest such as La Coupole and the Blokhaus which are well worth a day out for all the family.

WISSANT Market  Wednesday morning

It’s a small market, located between Cap Griz-Nez and Cap Blanc Nez on D940 in the streets by the Church and the Town Hall. The market is larger in the summer for the tourists that stay in the local camp sites, hotels and gites.  A good selection of food stalls, some household products and other items.  There are some great views along the coastal roads – definitely a place to stop for a picnic with some food from the market.

The town got its name after the French locals heard the English calling it White Sand in its heyday in Victorian times when it was very popular as a holiday destination for Brits.  Turner painted the local scenes and fishermen here and Thomas a Becket sailed from Wissant to England in 1170 shortly before he was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral ( there is a commemorative plaque on the Church) – worth a visit for the market and much else.

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