Nord-Pas de Calais

Position of Nord-Pas de Calais within France

Nord-Pas de Calais (Dutch: Noord-Nauw van Kales) is a region of northern France, located to the north of the French capital Paris and situated on the English Channel at the point closest to the English coast. The region also fronts much of the French border with Belgium.



Destroyed in parts by both world wars, home to heavy industry, and cold by French standards, this is not a major tourist region. However, there are some areas of beautiful countryside, fine local foods and beers, and many historical landmarks. War history buffs in particular will find much to see. The lack of crowds can be a plus for people desiring a slower pace. Too many people passing through on the way to Paris miss out.

Get in

Take the train from Paris or Brussels to Lille and branch out from there.


Miners housing, Cité de Sessavalle



The escargots are a traditional French appetizer that have to be tried by everyone visiting.


Unlike most of France, this area is better known for beer than wine. Luckily the beer is also amazingly cheap compared to other places in Europe. A particular local favorite is "Bière de garde," a type of French pale ale. A good one to try is 3 Monts. A 1L bottle (looks like a wine bottle, complete with a cork in it) costs only €2 in a Lille supermarket.

Go next

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