Nord-Pas de Calais - At a glance

Cross-Channel France at a glance

Country name France

Location North of France, 140km of shoreline. The region shares a common border with Belgium and, at the nearest point between Cap Gris-Nez and Dover,is only 34km from the English coast.

Size/area 12,414km² of which 5,743km² comprises Le Nord and 6,671km² the Pasde Calais

Population Around 4 million inhabitants of which there are 2,555,020 in Le Nordand 1,441,568 in Pas de Calais

Regional capital Lille

Languages French. National statistics show less than 4% in Le Nord, and less than

2% in Pas de Calais, say they, or their parents, can talk or at least understand Flemish. Far more people probably speak Ch’ti than Flemish.

Currency Euro

Exchange rate £1 = €1.20, US$ = €0.76 (August 2010) (for up-to-date rates, go to

International telephone code 0033 (0)3 or if calling on a mobile phone 0033 (0)6

Time GMT+1

Electrical voltage 220–230 volt socket

Tourist Board websites and

Public holidays 1 January (New Year’s Day), Easter Monday, 1 May (Labour Day), 8 May (1945 Victory Day), May Ascension Day (always on a Thursday, 39 days after Easter), May Whit Monday (Lundi de Pentecôte, always a Monday, 50 days after Easter), 14 July (Bastille Day), 15 August (Assumption), 1 November (All Saints’ Day), 11 November (Remembrance Day), 25 December (Christmas Day)

School holidays Usually from beginning of July until beginning of September; 10 days for All Saints (around 1 November); two weeks around Christmas and New Year; two weeks in February and two weeks for Easter

Back to the top


Nord-Pas de Calais articles

View all

Find Herbert: a long-lost relative

John Ruler looks at how his love of Nord-Pas de Calais helped him discover a long-lost relative who perished in World War I.


The Battle of Arras

John Ruler discusses the Battle of Arras, one of the defining moments of World War I.


The cemeteries of Boulogne

One of the top three cross-Channel ports that received supplies and troops in World War I, Boulogne-sur-Mer still bears the scars today.