A Travel Price Comparison for France Chartres vs. Calais for Attractions, Food, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Chartres or Calais?

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

Should I visit Chartres or Calais? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Chartres

Chartres is a spectacular, historic, and grand town. Don't miss this spot, as it's a charming small town with plenty of activities. Other popular activities here include food and museums.

Calais

Calais is a undiscovered, coastal, and authentic city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. Visitors also love the beaches, shopping, and museums.

Chartres and Calais: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
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


Is there more to do in Chartres or Calais?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Calais. Although Chartres and Calais are both popular with visitors, Calais has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Calais is more popular for its nightlife, beaches, shopping, and big city activities, while Chartres is known for its small town charm. Chartres is more touristy than Calais and is popular for its beautiful cathedral and long running history. Calais is popular for being a gateway for travelers to France. It is also home to The Town Hall.

How is Chartres different from Calais?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Chartres
Calais

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Chartres and Calais.

Chartres offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Most visitors make the trip to see the spectacular Gothic cathedral, Cathédrale Notre-Dame. It was completed in 1220 and is famous for its beautiful stained glass windows.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Calais. 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 Chartres or Calais? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Chartres
Calais

Both Chartres and Calais offer a number of good restaurants to choose from.

Chartres has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. There are a number of restaurants around town so it's easy to grab lunch during a day trip.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Calais area. 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 Chartres or Calais Better for Nightlife?

Chartres
Calais

Calais is a popular place for nightlife and partying. However, Chartres is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

If you're looking for night time activities Calais has a few options to choose from. 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.

Chartres is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Chartres or Calais Better for Beaches?

Chartres
Calais

Calais is a popular place for the beache. However, Chartres is not a beach destination.

Calais is a good option for a beach vacation. 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.

Chartres is not a beach destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Chartres or Calais?

Chartres
Calais

Calais is a popular place for its shopping opportunities. However, Chartres is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting 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.

Chartres is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Chartres or Calais Better for Families?

Chartres
Calais

Calais is a popular place for its kid-friendly activities. However, Chartres is not a good destination for its family-friendly activities.

Calais offers lots of family activities. 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.

Chartres is not the most family-friendly destination. The main attraction in town is the cathedral, but the surrounding area is also filled with history. This may not keep your kids entertained for long, so you can also check out the Stained Glass Museum, La Tanière (a zoo), or one of the parks around town.

Is Chartres or Calais Better for Couples?

Chartres
Calais

With fun activities for couples, both Chartres and Calais make for a good place to visit.

Chartres makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With its cathedral and rich history, many couples enjoy exploring the town. It is filled with history and interesting sights.

Calais is a good town for couples to visit. 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 Chartres or Calais Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Chartres
Calais

Chartres is a popular place for backpackers. However, Calais is not particularly known for backpackers and budget travelers.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Chartres. It's easy enough to visit as a day trip from Paris, so backpackers and other tourists typically allow themselves a few hours to explore.

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

Chartres
Calais

Chartres is well known for its public transit. Also, Calais is still popular, but not quite as popular for times when you don't have a car.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Chartres. There are trains that leave Paris Montparnasse 1 Et 2 every half hour and travel to Chartres. The trip takes about 1 hour 15 minutes.

While Calais offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. 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 Chartres or Calais a more walkable city?

Chartres
Calais

Chartres is well known for its ease of walking around. Also, Calais is still popular, but not quite as popular for its walkability.

Chartres is a very walkable destination. It's easy to see the sights around town on foot.

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


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

Should I spend more time in Calais or Chartres?

How long in Chartres or Calais?

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

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Chartres 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 Chartres.


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

One day in Chartres or Calais?

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

The city of Calais offers food and shopping. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Chartres or Calais?

Chartres 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.

Calais is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Calais, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Chartres or Calais?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Chartres. 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.

Calais is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


A week in Chartres or Calais?

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

Calais is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Vineyard & Wine Tours in France, The Best Food and Culinary Tours in France, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in France, and The Best Luxury Tours to France.


Which place is cheaper, Calais or Chartres?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Chartres is €117, 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 Chartres and Calais in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chartres 59
    Calais 77
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chartres 118
    Calais 154
Compare Hotels in Chartres and Calais

Looking for a hotel in Chartres 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 Chartres


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: Chartres Hotel Prices and Calais Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chartres 26
    Calais 47

Is it cheaper to fly into Chartres or Calais?

Prices for flights to both Calais and Chartres 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
    Chartres 39
    Calais 35

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chartres 22
    Calais 8.92

Tours and Activities in Chartres

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Chartres.

  • City Exploration Game and Tour on your Phone: $6.38

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chartres 12
    Calais 12


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Chartres and Calais, we can see that Calais is more expensive. And not only is Chartres much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Chartres would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Chartres 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 Chartres.

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


Which is Bigger, Chartres or Calais?

Calais has a larger population, and is about 70% larger than the population of Chartres. When comparing the sizes of Chartres 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 Chartres 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 Chartres or Calais in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Chartres as well as Calais. The summer months attract visitors to Chartres because of the small town charm and the family-friendly experiences. Additionally, the beaches, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Calais this time of year.

In the summer, Chartres is a little warmer than Calais. Typically, the summer temperatures in Chartres in July average around 20°C (68°F), and Calais averages at about 17°C (63°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Calais. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Chartres this time of the year. In the summer, Chartres often gets more sunshine than Calais. Chartres gets 239 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Calais receives 212 hours of full sun.

Chartres usually gets more rain in July than Calais. Chartres gets 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Calais receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Chartres 20°C (68°F) 
    Calais 17°C (63°F)

Should I visit Chartres or Calais in the Autumn?

Both Calais and Chartres are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The small town atmosphere are the main draw to Chartres this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Calais for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene.

In October, Chartres is generally around the same temperature as Calais. Daily temperatures in Chartres average around 13°C (56°F), and Calais fluctuates around 12°C (54°F).

Chartres usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Calais during autumn. Chartres gets 126 hours of sunny skies, while Calais receives 119 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Chartres usually receives less rain than Calais. Chartres gets 43 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Calais receives 62 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Chartres 13°C (56°F) 
    Calais 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Chartres or Calais in the Winter?

Both Calais and Chartres during the winter are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Chartres for the museums and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Calais in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Calais can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Chartres. Chartres is around the same temperature as Calais in the winter. The daily temperature in Chartres averages around 5°C (40°F) in January, and Calais fluctuates around 4°C (40°F).

In the winter, Chartres often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Calais. Chartres gets 56 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Calais receives 57 hours of full sun.

Chartres usually gets more rain in January than Calais. Chartres gets 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Calais receives 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Chartres 5°C (40°F) 
    Calais 4°C (40°F)

Should I visit Chartres or Calais in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Chartres and Calais. Many visitors come to Chartres in the spring for the small town charm. Also, most visitors come to Calais for the beaches and the activities around the city during these months.

In the spring, Chartres is a little warmer than Calais. Typically, the spring temperatures in Chartres in April average around 11°C (52°F), and Calais averages at about 9°C (47°F).

Chartres usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Calais during spring. Chartres gets 173 hours of sunny skies, while Calais receives 162 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Chartres usually receives more rain than Calais. Chartres gets 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Calais receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Chartres 11°C (52°F) 
    Calais 9°C (47°F)

Typical Weather for Calais and Chartres

Chartres Calais
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 5°C (40°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 4°C (40°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
Feb 6°C (42°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 5°C (40°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
Mar 8°C (47°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 6°C (44°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Apr 11°C (52°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 9°C (47°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
May 15°C (59°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) 12°C (53°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Jun 18°C (64°F) 51 mm (2 in) 15°C (59°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)
Jul 20°C (68°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 17°C (63°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Aug 20°C (67°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 17°C (63°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
Sep 17°C (63°F) 55 mm (2.1 in) 15°C (59°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Oct 13°C (56°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 12°C (54°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Nov 8°C (47°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 8°C (46°F) 65 mm (2.6 in)
Dec 5°C (42°F) 51 mm (2 in) 6°C (42°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)


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