Practical Information

Time Zone

Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between last Sunday in March and last Sunday in October).

What you need to have/know

Here is a check list that will ensure a smooth trip.


A valid passport. Make sure you have a valid passport with you. It may seem obvious but there have been cases where Brits have been confused about this. This is because in mainland Europe you can cross borders without a passport thanks to the so-called Schengen zone. This does not apply if travelling from Britain.


The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France. Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some large hotels, though you will get a better exchange rate at the ATMs. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers cheques, particularly in major tourist destinations. Foreign currency is not accepted.

When using your credit card you may find that there is a minimum amount so make sure you always have some cash with you for small purchases.


Banks are open Monday to Friday, 9am-12 noon and 2pm-4pm. Many open either on Saturday or Mondays. They close at noon on the eve of a bank holiday.


Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. European two-pin plugs are standard.




Most restaurants and hotels add a 15% service charge so don’t feel obliged to tip except if you feel particularly well served. Where they don’t add service, then you are expected to leave a 15% tip. Taxi drivers expect 10-15% of the fare and hairdressers 10%. Hotel staff generally receive €1.50 a day and tips of €1 are given to washroom and cloakroom attendants and museum tour guides. Tour bus drivers and guides are also tipped.

How to Get to the to Calais Town Centre from the Port

When you exit the ferry port, follow the Toutes Direction sign. At the roundabout take the fourth exit sign-posted Centre Ville. Turn left (2nd exit) at the next roundabout, drive along the canal and at the traffic lights turn right onto rue Mollien. This leads to the Town Hall and Calais Sud on the left with Calais-Nord to your right. Turning right leads to the seafront, rue Royale and Place D’Armes.

Check the Weather Before You Go To Calais

Your Health

As France is an EU member state, there are reciprocal agreements entitling the British traveller to health care under the local system. Make sure you have your EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) before travelling to France. This is a replacement for the E111 and means you have access to free or reduced cost emergency care in a State hospital in any of the EU member countries. To renew or obtain an EHIC, log on to or call 0845 606 2030. For further information call the EHIC enquiries line on 0845 605 0707.