The Port of Calais dominates the town. Because the British destroyed it during World War II so that it could not be used as a base for the Germans to invade England, there is not much more than the port in today’s Calais.
North Calais contains the only medieval building, the Tour du Guet, in the old town that survived the WWII destruction. It also contains the church where Charles de Gaulle married a local girl in the Port of Calais in 1921. Visitors will enjoy the lace-making exhibition and a small collection of art in the Musee des Beaux-Arts et de la Dentelle on rue Richelieu.
South Calais houses the 1926 landmark Hotel de Ville with its 60-meter tall belfry and a Rodin sculpture memorializing the sacrifice of local leaders to Edward III. The Musee de la Deuxieme Guerre Mondiale, installed in an old German bockhouse, contains uniforms, models, and weapons from World War II.
Travel critics warn tourists not to bring expectations on their visit to Calais as there’s not much to do besides shopping and bar-hopping.