Top 21 Things To Do In Arras, France

things to do in arras france
Richard Dean
Richard Dean 
Updated

Northern France is a destination worth your time, partly thanks to the beauty of Arras. If you do not know the story of Arras, you will surely be surprised that despite the beauty of this town, there is a dark history. It played a significant role in the First World War (WWI). The Carrière Wellington (a web of quarry tunnels) was even used by soldiers. The real drawcards of Arras are Heroes Square and Grand Place (main square). These two squares make an enchanting scene with plenty of Flemish-Baroque-style houses, shops, restaurants, and cafes. Arras has plenty of old charms, like the belfries in the historic County of Flanders (listed as UNESCO sites). There is more to love and to discover in this magnificent city. Check out our list of the best things to do in Arras, France.

1. Hear some great stories at Carrière Wellington

Carrière Wellington in Arras (France 2016)
Source: Photo by Flickr user Paul Arps used under CC BY 2.0

If you truly want to know France, you must know its history. In the northern part of Arras, you will find a great museum called Carrière Wellington. This underground quarry was formerly the refuge of World War I soldiers. It is hidden underground was used by soldiers as a place to eat ans sleep in safety. An English-speaking tour guide will assist you as you go through the tunnel. The tour will take one-and-a-half hours, plus the staff will instruct you to wear an automated headset and a WWI soldier style-hat, which will certainly lend a feeling that you are part of the army. The museum also features displays, gifts, and souvenirs.

Carrière Wellington

Address: Rue Arthur Deletoille, 62000 Arras, France

Website: Carrière Wellington

Opening hours: 10am - 12:30pm, 1:30pm - 6pm (daily)

Price: 8 USD

2. Marvel at the beauty of Grand Place


Grand Place an amazing spot in Arras. These main squares in Europe are a favorite of many - and it’s not hard to see why. Buildings with distinct architectural charm, the best culinary scene, gorgeous shops, nightlife, and attractions are all here. It also has enough space for parking so you don’t have to worry. The whole place is impressive–in every turn, there is something that will surely inspire you. Grand’ Place is more stunning during the night and in the Christmas season.

Grand Place

Address: Grand Place, Arras, France

3. Go back in time at Abbey of St. Vaast


Another interesting place with plenty of important stories to tell, Abbey of St. Vaast is a museum that highlights important events during the war era and France’s mining history. It presents sculptures, 17th- to 19th-century paintings and ceramics, graphic arts, map of the city in 1716 - the list just goes on and on. It is an interactive museum where all can learn, especially the children.

Abbey of St. Vaast

Address: 22 Rue Paul Doumer, Arras, France

Website: Abbey of St. Vaast

Opening hours: Mon, Wed - Fri: 11am - 6pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed on Tue)

4. Admire the impressive architectural structures at Heroes Square

The Place des Héros (square of the heroes) is the smallest square in #Arras, bordered with the Townhall, and its...

Posted by French Moments on Sunday, 11 August 2013

Another treasure in Arras that will captivate your heart is Heroes Square. It is a stunningly well-preserved square that is surrounded by beautiful structures, from 17th- and 18th-century Flemish Baroque-style homes (decorated with flowers and ribbons) to gorgeous shops and restaurants. This square was originally built to host markets, which shows Arras’ abundant trading economy. And yes, this is a great spot for some photo ops as well.

Heroes Square

Address: Place des Héros, 62000 Arras, France

Website: Heroes Square

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

5. Get a new perspective from above at Beffroi d'Arras

Joyeux Noël à Tous! En espérant que le Père Noël apportera du beaux matériel photos cette nuit :-)

Posted by Rudy Calis Photography on Thursday, 24 December 2015

Arras is full of old charm and the Gothic-style Beffroi d'Arras is no exception to that. It was erected in 1463 but, was only completed in 1554. Going up to this belfry can be frightening and thus not recommended for those who have fear of heights, but if you want to conquer your fear - this is the perfect opportunity. Don’t worry, you will never regret it as the reward is very much worth it - magnificent views of Arras await you.

Beffroi d'Arras

Address: 4 Place des Héros, 62000 Arras, France

Website: Beffroi d'Arras

Opening hours: Mon: 10am -12pm, 2pm - 6pm; Tue - Sat: 9am - 12pm, 2pm - 6pm; Sun: 10am - 12:30pm, 2:30pm - 6:30pm

Price: 3 USD

6. Delve into the story behind the beauty of Les Boves sous la place d’Arras

Posted by Nord Meusien on Monday, 12 August 2019

Les Boves sous la place d’Arras gives you a glimpse of the past. The historic underground quarry will make you feel like you have gone back to medieval times. The historic basement also served as a shelter during time of war. During your visit here, a friendly and English-speaking tour guide will assist you and tell you historical anecdotes.

Les Boves sous la place d’Arras

Address: 4 Place des Héros, 62000 Arras, France

Website: Les Boves sous la place d’Arras

7. Visit the impressive Arras Cathedral


The original Arras Cathedral was situated in northern France and was built between 1030 to 1396. During the French Revolution, the cathedral was destroyed but it was built again after the war. Today, it is considered to be one of the most admirable Gothic structures. Moreover, the cathedral features magnificent paintings that are also great to admire.

Arras Cathedral

Address: 14 Rue des Teinturiers, 62000 Arras, France

Website: Arras Cathedral

8. Step into the historic La Citadelle d'Arras

Photographie de la Porte Royale de la Citadelle d'#Arras ©Jean Noel Huchez

Posted by Arras Citadelle on Monday, 25 June 2018

Built in the 17th century by Vauban, La Citadelle d'Arras (Citadel of Arras) is a pentagonal fortress which has a lovely chapel and recreation center. In 2008, La Citadelle d'Arras was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The citadel has become a “small town in the city” which has full of charm and character, from historical structures to attractions and lush green paths.

La Citadelle d'Arras

Address: 146, allée du Bastion de la Reine Arras, France

Website: La Citadelle d'Arras

9. Discover the wonders of nature at Cité Nature


Cité Nature is a scientific and cultural center that is committed to promoting agriculture and nature. They also promote well-being through a balanced and healthy diet. Here, your eyes would probably twinkle with their artistic and scientific displays and thematic gardens. The whole place is exciting for all ages - both kids and adults will learn a lot.

Cité Nature

Address: 25 Boulevard Robert Schuman, 62000 Arras, France

Website: Cité Nature

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat - Sun: 2pm - 6pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 3 USD

10. Catch a show from TANDEM National Scene | ArrasThéâtre


Of course, there are also places in Arras for some great school entertainment. Dance, circus, songs, theater–with over 150 films and almost 80 contemporary performances every year, TANDEM National Scene always has something for you here. TANDEM is a smart collaboration between Hippodrome de Douai and Théâtre d'Arras. Stay tuned for upcoming shows like La Boite A Sel and Visite Du Lam - these shows are a must-watch.

TANDEM National Scene | ArrasThéâtre

Website: TANDEM National Scene | ArrasThéâtre

Price: From 10 USD

11. Find some serenity at Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste d'Arras

L'Eglise Saint-Jean-Baptiste Rue Wacquez-Glasson

Posted by Ville d'Arras on Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Amidst the bustling center of Arras, you will find a beautiful and quiet oasis. Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste d'Arras (Church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste) has an old charm that will captivate anyone’s heart. It was erected in 1584 and survived the Revolution, wherein it was turned into the Temple of the Goddess Reason during that time. It features a nave with aisles and a beautiful bell tower located on the first floor. In 1719, the tower collapsed but was re-constructed in a classical style in 1723.

Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste d'Arras

Address: 1 Rue Wacquez Glasson, 62000 Arras, France

Website: Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste d'Arras

12. See an exceptional dance show at Casino d'Arras


If you are looking for another entertainment that is worth your time and money, then Casino d'Arras is where you should head to. It is an innovative cultural project for producers and artists. The ground floor offers a 582-seat theater, while the balcony has 348 seats and 6 sites for those who are differently abled. If you aim to see a spectacular dance show, Casino d'Arras is the place to be.

Casino d'Arras

Address: 3 Rue Emile Legrelle, Arras, France

Website: Casino d'Arras

13. Try the exciting zip line at Parc Cit'Loisirs

Posted by Cit'Loisirs - Accrobranche on Friday, 9 March 2018

Situated in the heart of the Citadel of Arras, you will find an adventure ground for all ages. Presenting Parc Cit'Loisirs - a beautiful and interesting tree climbing park, which also known as a historical landmark. They offer plenty of activities suited to every age. The kiddos will love the KOALA, which offers challenging obstacles. Perhaps joining “The tree, this hero” will keep everyone moving - this is a treasure hunt that will let you discover the wonders of nature and flora of the park. If you want more, try their zip line and conquer your fear of heights. Parc Cit'Loisirs also caters to special events like birthdays, team building, seminars, and more.

Parc Cit'Loisirs

Address: 77 Allée du Bastion de la Reine, Arras, France

Website: Parc Cit'Loisirs

Opening hours: Wed: 1:30pm - 7pm; Sat - Sun: 11am - 7pm (closed on Mon - Tue & Thu - Fri)

Price: From 8 USD

14. Learn about the rich history behind Fortifications of Vauban

Les fortifications de Vauban (avec la citadelle) classées patrimoine UNESCO de la Ville de Besançon #welovebesançon

Posted by Photographies Franche-Comté on Monday, 16 February 2015

Sébastien Le’ Prestre de Vauban was a military architect. His work, the Fortifications of Vauban features fortified sites and buildings in 12 groups from the eastern to western and northern borders of Arras, France. It consists of bastion towers, urban bastion walls, and citadels, plus sea forts and mountain forts. The walls are made with an impregnable series. The grounds which feature vistas across Médoc peninsula and Gironde Estuary are best for strolling. In 2008, Fortifications of Vauban was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

15. Pay your respects at Arras Memorial

Arras Memorial and Fauberg-D'Amiens Cemetery 8
Source: Photo by user Carcharoth used under CC BY-SA 3.0

In the western part of Arras in Faubourg d'Amiens British Cemetery, you will find a very solemn and important place - Arras Memorial. The memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens which commemorates the souls of 34,785 soldiers from the joint forces of New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom during World War I (WWI). The memorial also features a sculpture by Sir William Reid Dick and the Arras Flying Services Memorial, which commemorates the 991 airmen who are without a known grave.

Arras Memorial

Address: 62000 Arras, France

Website: Arras Memorial

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

16. Gain insight into the life of an iconic French Revolution personality at La Maison de Robespierre

Posted by Association ARBR Amis de Robespierre on Sunday, 9 June 2019

Maximilien Robespierre was one of the popular and influential icons of the French Revolution. If you are curious about this iconic personality in France, perhaps a visit to La Maison de Robespierre (The House of Robespierre) will somehow satisfy your curiosity. La Maison de Robespierre was the home of Robespierre and his sister from 1787 to 1789. It showcases some information about Robespierre. Moreover, it also has a good selection of master craftsmanship and arts which are best for souvenirs.

La Maison de Robespierre

Address: 32bis Rue Ernestale, 62000 Arras, France

Opening hours: Fri - Sun: 3pm - 6pm; (closed from Mon - Thu)

17. Enjoy fresh air at Parc du Rietz


If you want some relaxation and quiet time - a place that will take you away from the hustle and bustle, Parc du Rietz is where you should head to. This is a green park in Arras which was recently renovated and redeveloped. Parc du Rietz has now a fresh new look with manicured landscape and lush greenery. And yes, the children’s playground and basketball are also renovated and now in good shape, which means the facilities are safer and more enjoyable.

Parc du Rietz

Address: 29 Rue Alexandre Georges, 62000 Arras, France

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

18. Indulge in some delicious French cuisine at Assiette au Boeuf


Indeed, no French escapade would be complete without exploring its culinary scene. You don’t have to look too far if you are aiming to taste one of the best beef dishes in town–Assiette au Boeuf is always ready to serve hungry tummies. Their Beef Plate is served in generous portions, and the sauce is made with the finest ingredients and in a secret formula, which makes their beef shines among the rest. The beef is also combined with their fresh and homemade well-browned fries. Overall, Assiette is a combination of everything that you are looking for in a gastronomic experience, from the atmosphere to impeccable service and food.

Assiette au Boeuf

Address: 56 Grand'Place, 62000 Arras, France

Website: Assiette au Boeuf

Opening hours: 12pm - 2:30pm, 7pm - 11pm (daily)

19. Shop till you drop at Aushopping Arras

Posted by Centre Commercial Aushopping on Friday, 30 June 2017

Aushopping Arras is a gorgeous shopping arcade which features plenty of nice shops and restaurants/eateries. Accessories, shoes, clothes, food - almost everything you would need is already here. All the staff are nice and the reception will give you information on what you are looking for. The atmosphere is cozy and perfect for a stroll.

Aushopping Arras

Address: Centre commercial Auchan - 225 Avenue Winston Churchill, Arras, France

Website: Aushopping Arras

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 8pm (closed on Sun)

20. Taste artisanal breads at Boulangerie Marie Blachère

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Happy Friday! Celebrate with a WFH breakfast to power you through the final stretch of the week. Pro tip: add a cup of Joe to your breakfast sandwich for just $2! ?

Posted by Marie Blachère US on Friday, April 2, 2021

France is a paradise bread lovers - you will probably regret it if you won’t able to explore its rich and impressive culinary scene. One of the food treasures you can find in this lovely town is Boulangerie Marie Blachère. It is a traditional French bakery that is consistently known for serving the best and freshest selection of artisanal bread, pizzas, muffins baked, croissants, baguettes, and more. All of their pastries are baked and prepared on site,which means all products are guaranteed fresh.

Boulangerie Marie Blachère

Address: 550 Middle Neck Road Great Neck, New York

Website: Boulangerie Marie Blachère

Opening hours: 6am - 8pm (daily)

21. Taste some French beers at Baramousse


Baramousse is a combination of great French beers, cool atmosphere, and friendly staff. If you want to experience the taste of delicious beers, you will not regret visiting Baramousse. Whether you are looking for new friends, aiming to taste the best French beers in town, or planning to dance the night away - Baramousse has got you covered.

Baramousse

Address: 8 Rue de la Taillerie, Arras, France

Opening hours: Sun, Tue - Thu: 4pm - 12am; Fri - Sat: 4pm - 1am (closed on Mon)

Discover great places in Arras

Arras
Source: Photo by user OliBac used under CC BY 2.0

There is no shortage of things to see and to do in Arras, France. At every turn, there is always a reason for your eyes to twinkle with awe, from old Gothic-style churches to charming Baroque-style house, from historic tunnels to world-class attractions and performances - the list is endless. Indeed, great and beautiful places await you in Arras.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Richard holds a passion for biking. When not staring at bike parts or computers, he's probably at the market, searching for some ingredients for his next secret recipe--yes, he loves experimenting....Read more

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