A Travel Price Comparison for France Carcassonne vs. Calais for Attractions, Food, Backpackers, and Families

Should you visit Carcassonne or Calais?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Carcassonne and Calais. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a fairytale, medieval, and historical town. Don't miss this spot, as it's a charming small town with plenty of activities. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. Other popular activities here include food and museums.

Calais

Calais is a authentic, undiscovered, and coastal city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. Other reasons to visit include food, beaches, and shopping.

Carcassonne and Calais: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Carcassonne or Calais?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Calais than Carcassonne, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Calais is better known for its nightlife, beaches, shopping, and big city activities, while Carcassonne is more popular for its museums, food, historical sights, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Carcassonne is more touristy than Calais and is popular for its medieval history, walled fortifications, and well-known castle. Calais is well known for being a gateway for travelers to France. Also, Calais is famous for The Town Hall.

How is Carcassonne different from Calais?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Calais and Carcassonne. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Carcassonne or Calais?

Carcassonne
Calais

Carcassonne is well known for its museums and landmarks. Also, Calais is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

Carcassonne offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The town is filled with medieval sights including the Château Comtal, the Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus, and the Carcassonne Cathedral.

Calais is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. It's a port city with a few good museums and landmarks to see. Check out the Town Hall, Burghers of Calais, La Cité de la Dentelle et de la Mode, and Musée de la Guerre de Calais, as well as the Calais Lighthouse.


Is the Food Better in Carcassonne or Calais? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Carcassonne
Calais

Carcassonne is well known for its restaurant scene. Also, Calais is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Dining out in Carcassonne is an experience not to be missed. There are a number of local restaurants that serve regional specialties such as cassoulet. You can spend a few hours exploring the castle and then grab a delicious bite to eat.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Calais. The region is known for its mackerel, andouillette sausage, and endive and ham gratin. If you're passing through, this is also a good place to stock up on wine and cheese.

Is Carcassonne or Calais Better for Nightlife?

Carcassonne
Calais

Calais is a good destination for nightlife. However, Carcassonne is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Calais. You'll find bars and pubs around town as well as a few clubs. Places range from trendy and high end to local dive bars.

Carcassonne is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Carcassonne or Calais Better for Beaches?

Carcassonne
Calais

Calais is a good destination for its beaches. However, Carcassonne is not a beach destination.

Calais offers a nice beach destination. There are some sandy beaches near town that have nice stretches of sand and plenty of sand dunes. Many locals enjoy sunbathing at the beaches.

Carcassonne is not a beach destination.


Is Carcassonne or Calais Better for its Old Town?

Carcassonne
Calais

Carcassonne is a popular place for its historic old town charm. However, Calais does not have a historic old town.

Carcassonne offers a nice historic old town area. The medieval walled city is seeped in history and filled with atmosphere. Cars are not allowed in town.

Calais does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Carcassonne or Calais?

Carcassonne
Calais

Calais is a good destination for shopping. However, Carcassonne is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Calais. Many visitors stock up on wine and cheese when they're passing through. It's common to head straight to Auchan or Carrefour to stock up on some items.

Carcassonne is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Carcassonne or Calais Better for Families?

Carcassonne
Calais

Both Carcassonne and Calais are notable family-friendly destinations.

Carcassonne is a family-friendly town. Kids who love castles will enjoy wandering the maze of rooms and getting lost in the medieval atmosphere.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Calais. There's the Nausicaa Aquarium, the Museum of the Atlantic Wall, and the Second World War Museum. There are also beaches and parks to explore as well as some nice playgrounds.


Is Carcassonne or Calais Better for Couples?

Carcassonne
Calais

Carcassonne and Calais both notable destinations for a couple.

Carcassonne is a nice destination for couples. It's a medieval city with an impressive castle and walled fortifications. It's a uniquely European sight that is great for couples who enjoy history.

Calais makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples can picnic with wine and cheese or eat their way through the town's great restaurants. There are also some nice beaches where people enjoy sunbathing or relaxing.

Is Carcassonne or Calais Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Carcassonne
Calais

Carcassonne is well known for backpackers. However, Calais is not particularly known for backpackers and budget travelers.

Carcassonne is a very popular town for backpackers and budget travelers. There are interesting hostels in the area including a converted 17th century convent.

Calais is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. This part of France is often overlooked by tourists so you won't find many backpackers or hostels in the area. It does offer a glimpse into an authentic side of France.

Is Carcassonne or Calais Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Carcassonne
Calais

Visitors will find notable public transit in both Carcassonne and Calais.

Carcassonne has some public transit options. You can reach the town by train from Dijon, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, or Bordeaux and many people visit the town as a day trip.

You'll find some public transit in Calais, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. The city has 13 bus lines that run through town and into the surrounding areas. If you're arriving by ferry from the UK, there are shuttle buses that connect the ferry terminal to the train station.


Is Carcassonne or Calais a more walkable city?

Carcassonne
Calais

Carcassonne is a must-visit destination for its ease of walking around. Also, Calais is still popular, but not quite as popular for its walkability.

Getting around Carcassonne on foot is easy. Cars aren't allowed in the medieval city so it's best to explore on foot.

Calais is somewhat walkable. Parts of the town are more walkable than others.

For even more information, also check out Is Carcassonne Worth Visiting? and Is Calais Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Calais or Carcassonne?

How long in Carcassonne or Calais?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Carcassonne and Calais. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Calais than in Carcassonne. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Carcassonne, and 1-3 days is enough time in Calais.

Families should spend more time in Carcassonne than Calais. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Carcassonne, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Carcassonne than Calais. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Carcassonne that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Carcassonne than Calais if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Carcassonne.


  • How many days in Carcassonne or Calais? Ideal Length of Stay
    Carcassonne 1-2 
    Calais 1-3

One day in Carcassonne or Calais?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and food when visiting the destination of Carcassonne. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the coastal city of Calais. One day should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A weekend in Carcassonne or Calais?

Carcassonne is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the authentic destination of Calais. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.


Five days in Carcassonne or Calais?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Carcassonne. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

The authentic city of Calais offers shopping and museums. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in Carcassonne or Calais?

Travelers enjoy the food and museums when visiting the medieval destination of Carcassonne. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Calais. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in France, The Best Historical Tours in France, The Best 10-Day Tours in France, and The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in France.


Which place is cheaper, Calais or Carcassonne?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Carcassonne is €106, while the average daily cost in Calais is €139. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Carcassonne and Calais in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Carcassonne 61
    Calais 77
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Carcassonne 122
    Calais 154
Compare Hotels in Carcassonne and Calais

Looking for a hotel in Carcassonne or Calais? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Carcassonne


Hotels in Calais


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Carcassonne Hotel Prices and Calais Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Carcassonne 7.14
    Calais 47

Is it cheaper to fly into Carcassonne or Calais?

Prices for flights to both Calais and Carcassonne change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Carcassonne 39
    Calais 35

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Carcassonne 14
    Calais 8.92

Tours and Activities in Carcassonne

For Carcassonne, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $6.39
  • Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $6.39
  • Castle and Ramparts Entry Ticket: $12
  • A Self-Guided Tour of Carcassonne’s Ancient Basilica: $20
  • Medieval Walls Self-Guided Smartphone App Tour: $20
  • Carcassonne 's Medieval Walls: A Self-Guided Tour: $20
  • Languedoc: Tour and Tasting at Domaine de Baronarques: $21
  • Unusual guided tour of Carcassonne at the time of the Builders: $22
  • Unusual Guided Tour of the Medieval City of Carcassonne: $22
  • Small group tour of the Cité de Carcassonne: $49
  • Complete Private Tour City and Castle of Carcassonne: $108
  • Cité de Private Guided Tour: $160

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Carcassonne 13
    Calais 12

Sample the Local Flavors in Carcassonne

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Carcassonne:

  • Wine tour Cathar country: $469


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Carcassonne and Calais, we can see that Calais is more expensive. And not only is Carcassonne much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Carcassonne would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Carcassonne and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Calais would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Calais than you might in Carcassonne.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Carcassonne Expensive? and Is Calais Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Carcassonne or Calais?

Calais has a larger population, and is about 50% larger than the population of Carcassonne. When comparing the sizes of Carcassonne and Calais, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Carcassonne or Calais?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Carcassonne or Calais in the Summer?

Both Calais and Carcassonne during the summer are popular places to visit. The small town charm and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Carcassonne this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Calais for the beaches, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Carcassonne is generally a little warmer than Calais. Daily temperatures in Carcassonne average around 24°C (75°F), and Calais fluctuates around 17°C (63°F).

In Calais, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Carcassonne. In the summer, Carcassonne often gets more sunshine than Calais. Carcassonne gets 275 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Calais receives 212 hours of full sun.

Carcassonne usually gets less rain in July than Calais. Carcassonne gets 17 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Calais receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Carcassonne 24°C (75°F) 
    Calais 17°C (63°F)

Should I visit Carcassonne or Calais in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Carcassonne and Calais. Many travelers come to Carcassonne for the small town atmosphere and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Calais in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene.

Carcassonne is a little warmer than Calais in the autumn. The daily temperature in Carcassonne averages around 17°C (62°F) in October, and Calais fluctuates around 12°C (54°F).

Carcassonne usually receives more sunshine than Calais during autumn. Carcassonne gets 161 hours of sunny skies, while Calais receives 119 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Carcassonne usually receives more rain than Calais. Carcassonne gets 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Calais receives 62 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Carcassonne 17°C (62°F) 
    Calais 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Carcassonne or Calais in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Carcassonne as well as Calais. Many visitors come to Carcassonne in the winter for the museums and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Calais for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Calais can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Carcassonne is much warmer than Calais. Typically, the winter temperatures in Carcassonne in January average around 8°C (47°F), and Calais averages at about 4°C (40°F).

In the winter, Carcassonne often gets more sunshine than Calais. Carcassonne gets 88 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Calais receives 57 hours of full sun.

Carcassonne usually gets more rain in January than Calais. Carcassonne gets 51 mm (2 in) of rain, while Calais receives 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Carcassonne 8°C (47°F) 
    Calais 4°C (40°F)

Should I visit Carcassonne or Calais in the Spring?

Both Calais and Carcassonne are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Carcassonne for the small town charm and the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Calais because of the beaches and the activities around the city.

In April, Carcassonne is generally much warmer than Calais. Daily temperatures in Carcassonne average around 14°C (56°F), and Calais fluctuates around 9°C (47°F).

Carcassonne usually receives more sunshine than Calais during spring. Carcassonne gets 178 hours of sunny skies, while Calais receives 162 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Carcassonne usually receives more rain than Calais. Carcassonne gets 56 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Calais receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Carcassonne 14°C (56°F) 
    Calais 9°C (47°F)

Typical Weather for Calais and Carcassonne

Carcassonne Calais
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 8°C (47°F) 51 mm (2 in) 4°C (40°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
Feb 9°C (49°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 5°C (40°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
Mar 11°C (52°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 6°C (44°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Apr 14°C (56°F) 56 mm (2.2 in) 9°C (47°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
May 17°C (63°F) 50 mm (2 in) 12°C (53°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Jun 21°C (70°F) 28 mm (1.1 in) 15°C (59°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)
Jul 24°C (75°F) 17 mm (0.7 in) 17°C (63°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Aug 24°C (74°F) 32 mm (1.3 in) 17°C (63°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
Sep 21°C (69°F) 47 mm (1.9 in) 15°C (59°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Oct 17°C (62°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 12°C (54°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Nov 12°C (53°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 8°C (46°F) 65 mm (2.6 in)
Dec 9°C (49°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 6°C (42°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)