Côte d’Opale

The cultures of five continents meet inside the Château-Musée, housed in a 13th-century fortified castle. Egyptian antiquities (some brought here by Boulogne-born Egyptologist Auguste Mariette) are displayed alongside 19th-century Alaskan Inuit masks made from driftwood, pre-Colombian ceramics from Peru with Grecian urns, and a 4th-century Roman wall. The museum's pride and joy is the 530 BC amphora Suicide of Ajax.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Côte d’Opale attractions

1. Haute-Ville

0.07 MILES

Boulogne's hilltop Upper City is an island of centuries-old buildings and cobblestone streets. You can walk all the way around this 'Fortified City' atop…

2. Basilique Notre Dame

0.07 MILES

The Haute-Ville's minor basilica is locally referred to as a cathedral, although it's never held that status. Its towering 101m-high dome, visible from…

3. Porte Neuve

0.07 MILES

This 13th-century gate, modified in the 17th and 19th centuries, is at the northeastern end of the Haute-Ville's rue de Lille.

4. Hôtel de Ville

0.16 MILES

Boulogne-sur-Mer's red-brick town hall was built in 1734, but its 37m-high square medieval belfry dates from the 12th century. It's free to climb the…

5. Hôtel Desandrouin

0.17 MILES

Built between 1777 and 1780 as a private mansion, the Hôtel Desandrouin (also known as the Palais Impérial) was later used by Napoléon in 1803, 1810 and…

6. Auguste Mariette Statue

0.21 MILES

Cast in bronze, this statue atop a small pyramid commemorates the pioneering Boulogne-born Egyptologist Auguste Mariette (1821–81), founder of Cairo's…

7. Musée Libertador San Martín

0.32 MILES

The house where General José de San Martín, the exiled hero of Argentine, Chilean and Peruvian independence from the Spanish, lived from 1848 until his…

8. Fish Market


To encounter the city's long-time commercial bedrock, commercial fishing, head to the quay used by small fishing boats. Hungry seagulls dive and squawk…