Desperate to see the views of the blue open sea, the Ville de Boulogne-sur-Mer, a coastal city in northern France located in the Haut-de-France region in Pas-de-Calais sub-prefecture, became the first French coastal town I’ve ever visited in France before I travelled to other towns on the Opal Coast like Wimereux, Calais, and Dunkirk. I chose it randomly without any knowledge of what I could see there — and I was truly surprised by the positive experience!

How to get to Boulogne-sur-Mer from Lille?

To get to Boulogne-sur-Mer from Lille, I booked a TGV train which left the Gare de Lille-Europe train station in Lille and took just an hour before arriving at my destination. It looked far on the map and the trip felt fast thanks to the availability of a high-speed train.

View of the train station in Boulogne-sur-Mer from the hill.

The Château de Boulogne-sur-Mer

I arrived at the main train station of Boulogne-sur-Mer on a sunny but windy Spring morning. So, it felt cold when I left the building and started my walk to the city centre.

From the train station, I was drawn towards a hill that looked like it had some historical prominence on it from the distance. As the sky was spotless blue, this also motivated me to go there as I thought I could get some nice overlooking views of the city from the hill.

Encountered a wall surrounding the hill as I climbed.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a brick wall surrounding the slopes of the hill, which gave me the impression that perhaps it was a citadel. It turned out, that this place was actually a castle called Château de Boulogne-sur-Mer and there is a town inside.

Boulogne-sur-Mel’s town hall is also located inside which had breathtaking views.

The beautiful city hall of the Ville of Boulogne-sur-Mer.

I spent some time enjoying the flower-filled garden in front of the city hall building and the sunshine. Shortly, I started to explore the old town in the chateau. I loved seeing the old houses, the many restaurants around, and other commercial businesses.

Further up, I entered an old church called the Notre Dame of Boulogne, which houses a relic. Little did I know that it also had a 2,000-year-old crypt!

The Notre Dame de Boulogne.

The Crypt at Boulogne-sur-Mer

As I have not been into a crypt before, I was glad to pay the small entrance fee. I felt so glad I did this as I saw many interesting things underground. It felt amazing to think this place was built 2,000 years ago!

It blew my mind away how large the space is under the church.

Here are some other pics I took from the crypt. If you plan to visit Boulogne-sur-Mer, this place is something you cannot miss to experience!

After the crypt, I explored the old town in the chateau a bit more and enjoyed the overlooking views of the city.

Overlooking view of the modern part of Boulogne-sur-Mer from the chateau.

Soon enough, I made my down the castle and walk in the direction of the Boulogne beach. Here are the interesting points I’ve seen along the way.

As I strutted along the river La Liane and relished a leisurely walk to the upper town, I came to know that Boulogne-sur-Mer is considered a major fishing port in France. I was fascinated to see so many large fishing boats cruising along the La Liane River towards the open sea.

Shortly, I saw a building called Nausicaa, one of Europe’s largest aquariums which, unfortunately, I did not have time to explore (I could imagine it would easily consume half the day, anyway). Nausicaa is one of the things Boulogne-sur-Mer is known for.

Dear Nausicaa, I will be back to explore you.

Scenic Beach at Boulogne-sur-Mer

Walking past Nausicaa gave way to the view of the Boulogne’s scenic beach with its conspicuous and characteristic red lighthouse.

The red lighthouse of Boulogne-sur-Mer is a prominent feature besides its beach.
The beach in Boulogne-sur-Mer is large but is smaller compared to the beaches in Calais and Dunkirk. It offers similar scenic views of France’s Opal Coast.
Boulogne-sur-Mer beach in video.
I can imagine this beach is filled with people in summer.

After sightseeing on the beach, I decided to take lunch at one of the beach restaurants. Of course, it had to be seafood to mix with the lovely views!

Seafood salad lunch at Boulogne-sur-Mer. Of course!

Breathtaking Views of Opal Coast at Boulogne-sur-Mer

My adventures in Boulogne-sur-Mer did not end on the beach. From the restaurant where I had lunch, I noticed that it leads to an uphill coastal area.

View of the Boulogne-sur-Mer from the uphill coastal area.

So, I hiked up there and discovered some hiking trails along the Opal Coast. This is something I would remember and will come back for.

Hiking trail in Boulogne-sur-Mer.

What’s more: the hill offered jaw-dropping views of the nearby town of Wimereux.

The rocky cliffs of the Opal Coast in Boulogne-sur-Mer offer a beautiful view. Wimereux, the next town, is just five kilometres away! Next time, I will hike up there.

In summary, my day trip to Boulogne-sur-Mer has been extremely satisfying. I will definitely return when the weather is good and do some exciting activities such as hiking along its scenic coast to the next towns.

Obligatory selfie along the picturesque coast of Boulogne-sur-Mer.

Have you been to Boulogne-sur-Mer? Let me know your thoughts!

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