Hôtel de Ville


Arras' Flemish Gothic city hall dates from the 16th century but was completely rebuilt after WWI. Four géants (giants) live in the lobby. For a panoramic view, take the lift (plus 43 stairs) up the 75m-high, Unesco-listed belfry. Or, for a subterranean perspective, head down into the souterrains (caves) under the square, also known as boves, which were turned into British command posts, hospitals and barracks during WWI.

Tours of the boves (40 minutes; in English upon request) generally begin at 11am, with at least two more departures in the afternoon. City hall tours run at 3pm Sunday year-round, with an additional tour at 3pm Monday to Friday July and August. Tickets are sold at the tourist office (on the ground floor).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Arras attractions

1. Grand' Place & Place des Héros

0.04 MILES

Arras' two ancient market squares, the Grand' Place and the almost-adjacent, smaller place des Héros (also known as the Petite Place), are surrounded by…

2. Carrière Wellington

0.78 MILES

Staging ground for the spring 1917 offensive, Wellington Quarry is a 20m-deep network of old chalk quarries expanded during WWI by tunnellers from New…

4. Lens' 14-18 Museum

7.81 MILES

Housed in four black concrete cubes, this 2015-opened WWI museum provides an in-depth introduction to WWI on the Western Front. Over 300 extraordinary…

5. Ring of Remembrance

7.95 MILES

It's hard not to be overwhelmed by the waste and folly of the Western Front as you walk past panel after panel engraved with 579,606 tiny names: WWI dead…

6. Ayette Indian & Chinese Cemetery

8.49 MILES

Towards the end of WWI, tens of thousands of Chinese labourers were recruited by the British government to perform noncombat jobs in Europe, including the…

7. Louvre-Lens

9.76 MILES

The innovative Louvre-Lens, opened in 2012, showcases hundreds of treasures from Paris' venerable Musée du Louvre in state-of-the-art exhibition spaces…

8. Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial

16.17 MILES

This evocative memorial preserves part of the Western Front in the state it was in at fighting's end. The zigzag trench system, which still fills with mud…