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Boulogne is a working town. It's France's busiest fishing port. But it also used to be where all the ferries came in from the UK, so many Brits will know it. And many think it's a lot prettier than Calais - indeed some of the best places to stay in Boulogne can be found in the elegant centre of the town.
Despite being bombed extensively during WW2, the oldest bit of Boulogne - within the walls of the medieval castle which sits on the hill - survived. The rebuilt section is now referred to as the New Town and spreads to the riverside and the coast.
Within the castle's walls are Boulogne's Cathedral, the belfry, Town Hall and of course the castle, a 13th Century moated chateau. It's picturesque in the summer when the moat's filled with waterlilies. The castle is now a museum. In the crypt of the Cathedral are stone cannon balls belonging to the army of Henry VIII, who once besieged this city. The walls and ramparts are also worth investigating.
As you'd hope from France's largest fishing port, Boulogne has an excellent food market, specialising in seafood. It runs Wednesdays and Saturdays. There's also an impressive aquarium.
There are some nice beaches at Equihen, Le Portel and Hardelot. And just outside of Boulogne is a monument commemorating Napoleon's successful invasion of England…All of our recommendations for the best places to stay in Boulogne are well situated to make the most of all this!
For central location
- If you want to stay somewhere central to make the most the town's history, book a room at Enclos de L'Eveche. It's an intimate townhouse hotel with only five rooms. Simple, elegant and reasonably priced, its family suite means it's also good for families.
For great value
- If you're on a budget Hotel La Matelote is one of the best places to stay in Boulogne. It's more of a restaurant with rooms. Neat, slightly masculine rooms, decorated in red and golds. The restaurant is next door and has a Michelin star. So this is also one of the best places to stay in Boulogne for foodies.
For the beach
- If you're hoping for a beach break try the Atlantic Hotel. It's just along the coast from town, on a far nicer stretch of beach. Its charming Art Deco facade makes it memorable, but you'll also remember the spectacular sunsets. And possibly the seafood.
For a country escape
- Just out of town amid beautiful countryside you'll find La Ferme du Vert. Here they offer charming rooms and suites, some of which can sleep up to five (great for families). There's also a great restaurant.
- Slightly further afield you'll find the unusual but spectacular La Grenouillere. The emphasis here is on all things eco. The design is very zen and it's easily one of the best places to stay in Boulogne and surrounds for foodies - the restaurant serves an experimental menu filled with ingredients sourced from the surrounding fields and rivers.
Still not sure which is the hotel for you? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Boulogne, or call, or email, one of our gurus for advice. Want to widen the net? Check out all our Channel Port recommendations.
Best Hotels in Boulogne
Auberge d'Inxent 5 rooms from $73Boulogne
A rural inn near the river with bags of character and an excellent table d'hotes. Wonky beams, fireplaces, vine covered terraces, geraniums, and trout fresh from the river. A great choice for a country escape, and great value.Value chic - With simple rooms from just €77, it's great value for moneyFishing - Excellent fishing nearby.Full of characterRecommended by - Sawdays
Enclos de L'Eveche 5 rooms from $78Boulogne
An elegant townhouse hotel in the centre of Boulogne with an intimate atmosphere. Simple but elegant bedrooms and one family suite with parquet floors and high ceilings. Great value for families and friends visiting the city or stopping off to or from the ferry.Private Hot Tub - Some of the rooms are equipped with jacuzzi bath tubsSights nearby - Right in the centre of BoulogneLocal markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - Sawdays
La Ferme Du Vert 16 rooms from $78Boulogne
An attractive stone farmhouse hotel and restaurant in a rural village. Bedrooms and suites can sleep up to five people. All decorated in warm earthy colours with parquet floors, white washed walls, and wooden beams.Sights nearby - Well located for major sights.Great walks - Good for walkers.Local markets - Good for local colour.
Le Clos de La Prairie 8 rooms from $115Boulogne (Gouy-Saint-André)
Gorgeous farmhouse with attentive hosts and an excellent restaurant. Various rooms and suites can accommodate couples, families and groups of friends. Interiors designed with contemporary elegance enhance a sense of wellbeing. A great choice for a country escape.Great walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Sawdays
La Prairiere 4 rooms from $115Boulogne
A charming bed and breakfast with comfortable accommodation 2.5 miles from Montreuil-sur-Mer. Rooms are simple and homely with authentic wooden beams. A wonderful open fireplace in the communal lounge and lovely surrounding garden. French breakfasts with home made jams. Classic french countryside.Birdwatching - Marquenterre - an area of natural beautySights nearby - Les Jardins de Valloires - gardensOther Activities - Fantastic local beachesGolf - Le Touquet golf course
La Grenouillere 12 rooms from $146Boulogne (La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil)
Unusual but spectacular. Design centric rooms and suites made from natural fibres emulate the ethos of the kitchen. Fresh, natural, and uncluttered - mentally too. A zen habitat for those looking for something gourmet and different.FoodiesGourmetEco breakSailing - Can be booked nearby.Recommended by - Relais & Chateaux
Chateau de la Marine 4 rooms from $198Wimille, Channel Ports
A glorious chateau-come-B&B near the charming seaside resort of Wimereux. The stylish rooms feature refined furniture and tasteful artworks. Let them know if you would like evening meals in the enchanting dining room. The perfect stopping point for a trip through Wimille.Country Escape - Set in a stunning parkland estate, just five minutes from the seaside resort of Wimereux, it's perfect for a country getaway.Great walks - Make the most of the beautiful walking in the surrounding parkland estate.Secluded setting - For escaping.
Hotel La Matelote 35 rooms from $211Boulogne-sur-Mer, Channel Ports
A cosy restaurant with rooms. Bedrooms and reception rooms are smartly furnished with red and gold decoration and mahogany furniture. The ground floor harbours a small pool and jacuzzi although it's all about the restaurant here. The michelin star outlet is famed for seafood. Unmissable.Foodies - The focus is on quality local produce at Tony Lestienne's Michelin starred on site restaurant.Sights nearby - Boulogne-sur-Mer has the nations's largest fishing port great for a visit and for sampling seafood.Great walks - Grab a packed lunch and take a stroll on the 12 kilometer long beach.Swimming Pool - Small indoor pool
Hotel Atlantic 18 rooms from $251Digue de Mer, Channel Ports
Excellent seafood and spectacular sunsets at this Art Deco seafront hotel. Contemporary rooms with floor to ceiling windows that let in lots of natural light and offer spectacular views. The fantastic restaurant serves fresh fish of the day. An all encompassing seaside hotel.Beach Life - Situated in the charming seaside town of Wimereux, each room overlooks the sea right on your doorstep.Foodies - An excellent restaurant featuring classic french cuisine with a focus on regional seafood.Great walks - Long stretches of sandy beaches make for great post dinner walks.Sights nearby - Visit the interesting historical sight of Fort de la Creche.