A Travel Price Comparison for France Lille vs. Calais for Food, Nightlife, Attractions, and Families

Should you visit Lille or Calais?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Lille or Calais, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Lille

Lille is a fascinating, cultural, and culinary city. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include shopping, nightlife, and food.

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. And you can't forget about the museums, nightlife, and food.

Lille and Calais: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Lille or Calais?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Calais than Lille. While Lille is larger than Calais, Calais has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Calais is more popular for its museums, beaches, and big city activities, while Lille is known for its food, nightlife, historical sights, shopping, and impressive beauty. Lille is more touristy than Calais and is known for its beautiful architecture, excellent shopping, and world class food scene. Calais is popular for being a gateway for travelers to France. It is also home to The Town Hall.

How is Lille different from Calais?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Lille
Calais

Calais is a nice place to visit for its sights and museums. However, Lille is a mediocre city for its museums and history.

Calais offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. 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.

While most people don't head to Lille specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. The city offers an amazing atmosphere, with many of the most beautiful buildings near Place du Général de Gaulle (the main square). Top rated attractions in town include Palais des Beaux-Arts, Musée du Louvre-Lens, and Eglise Saint-Maurice.


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

Lille
Calais

Lille is a must-visit destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Calais is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

For foodies, Lille is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The city has a cuisine all its own. There are many local dishes that are recommended with some of the most popular being les moules (mussels), the Welsh (a beer and cheddar cheese dish), and la carbonade flamande (beef stew). Most dishes are served with a hearty side of fries. The mussels are a favorite and are served with various toppings including local cheese. You can expect your very own pot of mussels with each order. Many of the restaurants around the main square (General de Gaulle Square) offer these local specialties. Outside the old town you'll also find plenty of international restaurants including Asian street food.

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 Lille or Calais Better for Nightlife?

Lille
Calais

Lille is well known for its evening party scene. Also, Calais is still popular, but not quite as popular for nightlife.

Lille is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. With its young population and countless places to hang out, there's rarely a dull night around town. The most popular nightlife areas are Rue Masséna and Rue Solférino. The city also offers plenty of theaters and shows that you can enjoy.

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.

Is Lille or Calais Better for Beaches?

Lille
Calais

Calais is a nice place to visit for the beache. However, Lille is not a beach destination.

Calais has a beach worth visiting. 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.

Lille is not a beach destination.


Is Lille or Calais Better for its Old Town?

Lille
Calais

Lille is well known for its historic old town charm. However, Calais does not have a historic old town.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Lille. The old town (Le Vieux Lille) is charming to explore. Many of the buildings are from the 16th or 17th centuries and feature very ornate architecture. The area is filled with shops and restaurants and it stays active throughout the day. This is an area where locals and tourists alike live and play.

Calais does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Lille or Calais?

Lille
Calais

Lille is a must-visit destination for its shopping areas. Also, Calais is still popular, but not quite as popular for shopping.

Lille is a world class destination for shoppers. The city is filled with shopping opportunities. Almost any store you could want is in or around the old town and the two main shopping centers in town are McArthur Glen and A l'Usine. Also by the train station is a shopping mall.

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.

Is Lille or Calais Better for Families?

Lille
Calais

Calais is a nice place to visit for its family-friendly activities. However, Lille is a mediocre city for its kid-friendly activities.

Calais is a family-friendly place to visit. 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.

Lille is not always a place people visit with their families. There are a handful of kid-focused activities like a small zoo, a small amusement park, several museums and even a puppet theater. Many of the restaurants also have kid's menus that are reasonably priced.


Is Lille or Calais Better for Couples?

Lille
Calais

Lille and Calais are both good to visit as a couple.

Lille makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples who enjoy shopping, dining out, and exploring beautiful cities will enjoy a visit. There are many great restaurants worth experiencing, as well as beautiful architecture and fun shops.

Calais is a good city 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 Lille or Calais Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Lille
Calais

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

Plenty of budget travelers visit Lille. This small city flies under the radar for most backpackers, but there are a handful of hostels and a great experience for those who venture here. It feels more off the beaten path than some French cities, but you'll find great food and a nice atmosphere.

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 Lille or Calais Better for Students?

Lille
Calais

Lille is well known for students. However, Calais is not popular with students.

Lille is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. The city is home to a number of students, both local and international. It has a lower cost of living than many places in France as well as a youthful vibe with fun activities and plenty of shopping.

Calais is not popular with students.


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

Lille
Calais

Lille 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 Lille. There is a metro as well as trams and buses throughout the city.

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 Lille or Calais a more walkable city?

Lille
Calais

Lille 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 Lille on foot is easy. The old town in particular is compact and best explored on foot, but even outside of the old town, many areas are easily explored on foot.

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

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

Should I spend more time in Calais or Lille?

How long in Lille or Calais?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Lille and Calais. In our opinion, Lille has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Lille than Calais. However, 1-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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


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

One day in Lille or Calais?

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Lille. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

In Calais, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this coastal destination offers. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.


A weekend in Lille or Calais?

Lille 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Calais. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Lille or Calais?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Lille. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. 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 fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the destination of Calais. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Lille or Calais?

Travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the culinary destination of Lille. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

You'll find food and shopping around the undiscovered destination of Calais. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours from Paris, The Best 2-Week Tours from Paris, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to France, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in France.


Which place is cheaper, Calais or Lille?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Lille is €115, 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 Lille and Calais in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lille 55
    Calais 77
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lille 110
    Calais 154
Compare Hotels in Lille and Calais

Looking for a hotel in Lille 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 Lille


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: Lille Hotel Prices and Calais Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lille 28
    Calais 47

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lille

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lille:

  • Lille Private Transfer from Lille Airport (LIL) to City centre: $57
  • Lille Private Transfer from Lille city centre to Lille Airport (LIL): $57
  • Private Transfer to or from Lille Airport: $54
  • Private Transfer to or from Paris CDG: $535
  • Private Transfer to or from Paris Orly Airport: $642
  • Private One way transfer Lille Airport (LIL) : $77
  • Private Round trip transfer to Lille Airport (LIL) : $155
  • Toulouse Airport private transfer to Toulouse City center: $38

Is it cheaper to fly into Lille or Calais?

Prices for flights to both Calais and Lille 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
    Lille 42
    Calais 35
Typical Food Prices in Lille

Some typical examples of dining costs in Lille are as follows:


  • Dinner for 2
    37

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lille 16
    Calais 8.92

Tours and Activities in Lille

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Lille are as follows:

  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $3.21
  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.21
  • City Highlights Scavenger Hunt and Walking Tour: $4.28
  • Lille Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $5.46
  • City Exploration Game and Tour on your Phone: $6.37
  • Lille City Exploration Game and Tour on your Phone: $8.72
  • Lille Scavenger Hunt and City Highlights Walking Tour: $10
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Mysteries of Lille: $13
  • Vieux Lille 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour: $16
  • Lille City Tour: $18
  • Tournai Self-Guided Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery Game: $22
  • Discover Tournai while escaping the zombies! Escape game: $22

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lille 17
    Calais 12


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

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


Which is Bigger, Lille or Calais?

Lille has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Calais. When comparing the sizes of Lille 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 Lille or Calais?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Lille or Calais in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Lille and Calais. Many visitors come to Lille in the summer for the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, most visitors come to Calais for the beaches, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Lille is around the same temperature as Calais. Typically, the summer temperatures in Lille in July average around 17°C (63°F), and Calais averages at about 17°C (63°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Calais this time of the year. In Lille, it's very sunny this time of the year. Lille usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Calais during summer. Lille gets 202 hours of sunny skies, while Calais receives 212 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Lille usually receives more rain than Calais. Lille gets 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Calais receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Lille 17°C (63°F) 
    Calais 17°C (63°F)

Should I visit Lille or Calais in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Lille as well as Calais. Most visitors come to Lille for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Additionally, the autumn months attract visitors to Calais because of the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene.

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

In the autumn, Lille often gets less sunshine than Calais. Lille gets 105 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Calais receives 119 hours of full sun.

Lille usually gets more rain in October than Calais. Lille gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Calais receives 62 mm (2.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Lille 12°C (54°F) 
    Calais 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Lille or Calais in the Winter?

Both Calais and Lille are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The winter months attract visitors to Lille because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Calais this time of year.

It's quite cold in Calais in the winter. The weather in Lille can be very cold. Lille is cooler than Calais in the winter. The daily temperature in Lille averages around 3°C (38°F) in January, and Calais fluctuates around 4°C (40°F).

Lille usually receives less sunshine than Calais during winter. Lille gets 47 hours of sunny skies, while Calais receives 57 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Lille usually receives more rain than Calais. Lille gets 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain, while Calais receives 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Lille 3°C (38°F) 
    Calais 4°C (40°F)

Should I visit Lille or Calais in the Spring?

Both Calais and Lille during the spring are popular places to visit. The natural beauty are the main draw to Lille this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Calais for the beaches and the activities around the city.

In the spring, Lille is around the same temperature as Calais. Typically, the spring temperatures in Lille in April average around 8°C (47°F), and Calais averages at about 9°C (47°F).

In the spring, Lille often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Calais. Lille gets 158 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Calais receives 162 hours of full sun.

Lille usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Calais. Lille gets 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Calais receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Lille 8°C (47°F) 
    Calais 9°C (47°F)

Typical Weather for Calais and Lille

Lille Calais
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (38°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 4°C (40°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
Feb 3°C (38°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 5°C (40°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
Mar 6°C (42°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 6°C (44°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Apr 8°C (47°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 9°C (47°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
May 12°C (54°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 12°C (53°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Jun 15°C (59°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 15°C (59°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)
Jul 17°C (63°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 17°C (63°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Aug 18°C (64°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 17°C (63°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
Sep 16°C (60°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 15°C (59°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Oct 12°C (54°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 12°C (54°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 75 mm (2.9 in) 8°C (46°F) 65 mm (2.6 in)
Dec 5°C (40°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 6°C (42°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)


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