The Long, Long Trail guide to Arras

Arras is not only an interesting and historical town to visit in its own right – it’s a great centre for touring the battlefields of Loos, Notre Dame de Lorette, Vimy Ridge and of the battlefields of the Somme, Arras and Cambrai.

Beautiful architecture at the Grande Place in Arras, with the spire of the Town Hall behind it. Who would guess that the town was devastated in the Great War and much of what you see is rebuilt?

Beautiful architecture at the Grande Place in Arras, with the spire of the Town Hall behind it. Who would guess that the town was devastated in the Great War and much of what you see is rebuilt?

Basics

Arras  is a sizeable town, just off the Calais-Paris motorway and with excellent rail links. Most people in the tourist spots in the area speak English well, many fluently. The majority of local people do not. The currency in use is the Euro. Credit cards are widely accepted but beware: not all petrol filling stations in France accept British or American cards.

Getting to Arras

By car from UK: Arras is a 112 km (just over 1 hour) drive from Calais. This is by autoroute, which is a toll road for which you will need some cash.
By car from airport: Arras is a 158 km (around 1 hour 30 mins) drive from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.  This is direct by autoroute A1/E15.
By  rail: Arras has a main railway station, is a main exchange on the French railway system and is well served from all directions.

What is there to see?

The Arras area is so full of places to go and things to see it is hard to know where to begin. The battlefield areas lie to the north, north east, east and south east of the town. “Must not be missed” sites include:

  • The Canadian memorial and preserved battlefield of Vimy Ridge
  • French national memorial, cemetery and museum on top of Notre Dame de Lorette ridge
  • German cemetery at Neuville St Vaast
  • Private military museum at La Targette
  • The British Memorial to the Missing and military cemetery on the Faubourg d’Amiens (short walk from town centre)
  • The beautiful reconstructed town centre and the caves (“boves” or “soutterains”) running out to the front line
  • Wellington Quarry: caverns used in both wars with a visitor centre (short walk from town centre)
  • The memorials and museum in Bullecourt
  • The Fampoux/Roeux area for cemeteries and memorials
One the must-see places in the Arras area: the vast French national cemetery and memorial basilica at Notre-Dame de Lorette.

One the must-see places in the Arras area: the vast French national cemetery and memorial basilica at Notre-Dame de Lorette.

Tourist essentials

  1. The  main tourist office in in Arras is situated at the Hôtel  de Ville, Place des Héros.
  2. Monday is closing day: most shops and facilities are closed, at least for the morning.
  3. Eating and drinking: there are plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes in Arras, most grouped around the central  squares and the railway station, fitting all budgets. The larger villages around  have some too. You will probably need a packed lunch or picnic when you are out on the battlefields for the day.
  4. Banks and ATMs (cash machines) : lots in Arras.
  5. Parking: there are several ground-level and underground car parks in the town centre (well signposted), and some paid on-street parking. No problems parking at sites on the battlefields.
  6. Supermarkets: there are all kinds of supermarkets in Arras. A small Spar can be found on the Grande Place; there are many large ones including a giant Auchan in the suburb of Ste Catherine; and a little Carrefour at Roeux.
  7. Phoning: international dialling code to France is 33. Numbers are shown below   as they would be dialled from overseas. When calling in France itself, drop the 33 and add a zero at the front of the number. Most hotel receptionists  speak some or very good English. This is not always the case with the smaller hotels and guest houses in this area, but a friendly approach or a clearly written email will usually work well.

Accommodation

When booking any accommodation, buyer beware. The Long, Long Trail can not be held responsible for the availability, price or performance of any of the accommodation listed here. Obviously.

The hotels in Arras itself are well signposted. Look out for orange street signs.

There is a wide selection of accommodation in the town and surrounding  villages

 Hotels

Hotel d’Angleterre ****
Address: 7 Place du Marechal Foch, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 51 51 16
Fax: 33 3 21 71 38 20
Email: info@hotelangleterre.info
Website URL: http://www.hotelangleterre.info/
19 room hotel. Situated in Arras town centre facing railway station and a 5 minute walk from main squares. On street parking and paid parking at adjacent Hotel Mercure.
Astoria Carnot **
Address: 10-12 Place du Marechal Foch, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 71 08 04
Fax: 33 3 21 71 60 95
Email: contact@hotelcarnot.com
Website URL: http://www.hotelcarnot.com/
29 room hotel. Situated in Arras town centre facing railway station and a 5 minute walk from main squares. On street parking and paid parking at adjacent Hotel Mercure.
Balladins Arras Confort **
Address: Rue Cambrai, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 48 77 22
Fax: 33 3 21 22 27 91
Email: via website
Website URL: Click   for hotel page on Balladins web site
A Balladins group hotel
Budget 45 room hotel. Situated out of Arras town centre on main road to Cambrai, facing University of Artois.
Diamant **
Address: 5 Place des Héros, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 71 23 23
Fax: 33 3 21 71 84 13
Email: info@arras-hotel-diamant.com
Website URL: http://www.arras-hotel-diamant.com/
12 room hotel. Situated in Arras town centre directly on one of the two large squares. Underground paid car park nearby.
See other guests comments on Tripadvisor
Hotel du Golf ***
Address: Rue Briquet-Tallandier, Anzin-St-Aubin, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 50 45 04
Fax: 33 3 21 15 07 00
Email: commercial.hoteldugolf@fr.oleane.com
Website URL: http://www.golf-arras.com
64 room hotel. Situated in the suburb of Anzin-St-Aubin, 5km NW of Arras centre. Large free parking. Golf course adjacent.
Ibis **
Address: 11 Rue de Justice, Place Ipswich, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 23 61 61
Fax: 33 3 21 71 31 31
Email: via website
Website URL: Click for hotel page on Accor hotels site
An Accor Group hotel 63 room hotel. Situated in Arras town centre  located between the two main squares. Underground paid car park nearby.
See other guests comments on Tripadvisor
Les Trois Luppars **
Address: 49 Grand Place, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 60 02 03
Fax: 33 3 21 24 24 80
Email: via reservation form on website
Website URL: http://www.ostel-les-3luppars.com/
42 room hotel. Situated in Arras town centre directly on one of the two large squares. You can park on this square except on market days or when there is a major event. There is an alternative underground paid car park nearby.
See other guests comments on Tripadvisor
Mercure Atria ***
Address: 58 Boulevard Carnot, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 23 88 88
Fax: 33 3 21 23 88 89
Email: H1560@accor.com
Website URL: Click for hotel page on Accor hotels site
An Accor Group hotel 80 room hotel. Situated in Arras town centre facing railway station and a 5 minute walk from main squares.  The hotel has its own underground car park.
See other guests comments on Tripadvisor
Moderne ***
Address: 1 Boulevard Faidherbe/2 Place Foch, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 23 39 79
Fax: 33 3 21 71 55 42
Email: contact@hotel-moderne-arras.com
Website URL: http://www.hotel-moderne-arras.com/
54 room hotel. Situated in Arras town centre facing railway station and a 5 minute walk from main squares. On street parking and paid parking at adjacent Hotel Mercure.
Best Western Hotel l’Univers ***
Address: 3 Place de la Croix Rouge, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 71 34 01
Fax: 33 3 21 71 41 42
Email: palace.hotel@scarlet.be
Website URL: http://www.hotel-univers-arras.com/
A Najeti Group hotel.  A very smart 38 room hotel. Small car park and some limited on-street parking just outside. Situated in Arras town centre. 
See other guests comments on Tripadvisor

Chris Baker says

“I often choose to stay in Arras, even if I am visiting the Somme. It is easy to get to, easy to park, there are some great hotels and there is a wide choice of restaurants and bars. I find it an atmospheric and welcoming town. Don’t be put off by the tower blocks and concrete of some of the outer suburbs, for the old (reconstructed) town centre is a delight. I like “Les Trois Luppars” hotel and stay there often but have tried others listed and never had a problem. My current favourites for eating are the Café Leffe and the La Bateau du Ch-ti, both on Place des Héros”.

B&B / Guest houses

Gite Monts d’Artois
Address: 8 Rue Molonne, 62153 Ablain Saint Nazaire
Phone: 33 3 21 45 19 02
Email: charles.boca@wanadoo.fr
Website URL: http://www.gitedesmontsartois.com/
Out of Arras but well  situated for Vimy Ridge and Notre Dame de Lorette.
La Maison d’Hotes
Address: 1 Place Guy Mollet, 62000 Arras
Phone: 33 3 21 58 85 94
Fax: 33 57 38 80 71
Email: franck@lamaisondhotes.com
Website URL: http://www.lamaisondhotes.com/
5 rooms. Situated in Arras town centre a 2 minute walk from main squares. Some on street parking and paid parking at Grand Place.
See other guests comments on Tripadvisor
Les Volets Bleus
Address: 47 rue Briquet Tailliandier,  62223 Anzin Saint-Aubin
Phone: 33 3 21 23 39 90
Philippe and Patricia Rousseau
Email: contact@voletsbleus.com
Website URL: http://www.voletsbleus.com/en/index.htm
In a suburb  of Arras near a golf course. Well situated for the battlefields and close to a bus stop for town.
See other guests comments on Tripadvisor

Camping

Camping Arras
Address: 166 rue du Temple, 62000 Arras
Phone: 33 3 21 71 55 06
Camping La-Paille-Haute
Address: Boiry-Notre-Dame, village near Arras
Phone: 33 3 21 48 15 40
Fax: 33 3 21 22 07 24
E-mail: camping.flandres.artois@wanadoo.fr
Website URL: http://www.la-paille-haute.com