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In no time at all you can be enjoying a shopping trip to Calais, where thousands of visitors travel everyday taking advantage of the exceptional lower prices, especially on alcohol and tobacco. The difference in French taxation means that you can get hold of wines and champagnes regularly up to half price cheaper than you would find in the UK and around a 20% saving on other goods. Additional savings can be made in January and June when sale lasting up to 5 weeks reduce prices even further.
There is a wide range of large outlets for stocking up such as hypermarkets, supermarkets (Carrefour), warehouses (Eastenders) and department stores (Monoprix) but there are also a number of smaller boutiques that offer particular French delicacies and specialities such as Rene Classe (designer crockery), Au Royal Chocolat and Royal Dentelle (traditional lace). Many of these can be found on the popular and fashionable Rue Royale.
If you are looking for a unique experience try visiting one of a number of open-air markets that are held in Calais and the surrounding areas. Most notably the fishing markets such as Les Delices de la Mer, the fruit and vegetable stall of Place Creve-Coeur or the general Place d’Armes.
Read more on this destination in the AA Key Guide to France.
Top shops in Calais
Atout Coeur, 38 Rue Royale - Inside this store you will find a lovely range of costume jewellery by some of the leading brands and you will find the walls are adorned with interesting artwork that is available to buy. The exhibits of local artists work change each month.
Auchan Hypermarket, 1 Route de Boulogne - Off one of the main roads around Calais you will find this large hypermarket where you can stock up a huge range of products.
Calais Wine Superstore, Rue Marcel Doret - This British-owned independent wine store is increasingly popular, due to its emphasis on good value wines. You'll save at least £3 per bottle on UK supermarket prices. The knowledgeable, friendly staff speak English and you can even taste up to 72 wines for free everyday! Take advantage of their travel deals - they'll book and pay for your Eurotunnel or P&O crossing.
Calais Vins, Rue Gutenberg - One thousand wine vintages line the walls of this shop, plus many English beers, whiskies and ports. Some regional products complete the selection. Best of all, you can try before you buy.
Carrefour, 1001 Boulevard du Kent - A well known French chain of hypermarkets in France where you can purchase general household items as well supermarket consumables.
Cite Europe, 1001 Boulevard du Kent - This shopping mall 4km (2.5m) from Calais is popular with English shoppers. There’s a huge hypermarket, wine merchants, clothes and show shops and lots of restaurants for a mid-shop break, selling everything from pizza to moules frites.
Eastenders Prime Wine, 14 Rue Gustave Courbet - A well known superstore to British travellers looking to stock-up on cost-effective wines, spirits and beers before returning to the UK.
Henry Furman, 74 Lafayette Boulevard - A men’s fashion store, specialising in large sizes, with some of the most popular designer names available.
La Maison du Cadeau, 2 Boulevard Jacquard - Fashionable jewellery and watches, humidor and tobacco accessories as well as general gift items are just some of the things that you can find at this interesting shop.
Pierrot et Colombine, 13 Rue du Commandant Mengin - A party store with all manner of items you may need for any celebration including costumes, decorations and even fireworks all at reasonable prices.
Royal Dentelle, 106 Boulevard Jacquard - Find the perfect gift or souvenir at this wonderful home of lace fashioned in every form from tablecloths and place mats to cushions and bedding. You can also find a great range of lovely household accessories to compliment the lace items.