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Create your own festive break 

It's really easy to create your own festive break. Decide where you want to go, book your ferry crossing and your accommodation and set sail.

Travelling by ferry with a car means you have the freedom of being able to go where you want, when you want, and as we have no baggage restrictions, you can take everything you need and bring back all of your Christmas shopping too!

And as we have 6 routes from the UK to Europe, there are many delightful destinations you can choose from across France, Belgium, Germany and Denmark. Here are some ideas of cities with fabulous festive markets you might like to visit.

Driving distances from DFDS Seaways ports

Lille, France

Lille is a beautiful city with stunning Flemish architecture. During the month long Christmas celebrations, the March De Noel , the Place Rihour is full of festive stalls selling delicious food, arts and crafts. There’s also pony rides, ice sculpting and musical performances plus a 50 metre Ferris wheel so you can admire the whole city in its festive glory.

Lille, France Travel Guide

Caen, France

Traditional Christmas Markets don’t come much better than in Caen. Over 50 stalls sell an array of festive goodies and artisan produce. The market has stalls from all around France and the rest of the world with products on sale including nativity figurines, foie gras, Christmas desserts, art, leather goods and jewellery. Father Christmas will also visit the market to hand out gifts!

Caen, France Travel Guide

Rouen, France

Rouen is one of France’s most historic and ancient cities and it boasts half-timbered houses, gothic churches and museums galore. The Christmas celebrations take place next to the Cathedral and you’ll find an array of stalls selling festive gifts, crafts and tasty treats. There are also two ice rinks where all the family can test their skating skills.

Rouen, France Travel Guide

Ypres, Belgium

Ypres is most famous for its war memorials and cemeteries and during the festive period the city hosts its Christmas market in the main square. You’ll find over 35 wooden stalls plus an ice rink, fairground attractions, carol concerts, and seasonal performances. The whole city is also illuminated to create an enchanting and festive atmosphere that will not be forgotten.

Ypres, Belgium Travel Guide

Ostend, Belgium

Ostend is a fun city with a host of new attractions and museums and during December you can enjoy a taste of Christmas, Belgian style. Explore the sights and sounds of the city’s vibrant Christmas market and explore the traditional stalls. Take a romantic stroll and admire the enchanting lights in the Leopold Park and visit the boulevard of Christmas trees and Santa Claus’s house.

Ostend, Belgium Travel Guide

Ghent, Belgium

Ghent is a very attractive medieval canal and the city’s Christmas Market takes place on St Baafsplein. Here you can pick up delightful decorations, candles, cards and other beautiful crafts. The cobbled streets and winding canals make it a beautiful setting to listen to carol singers, live jazz, folk and even rock performances.

Ghent, Belgium Travel Guide

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is a wonderful place to visit during the winter. Wrap up warm and explore the city’s amazing shopping offering including the large department stories and small boutiques. But the most magical place this time of year is Tivoli Gardens which are full of Yuletide sparkle. The stalls and decorations are Danish inspired with live reindeer! Admire the re-creation of The Kremlin with a 21 metre tall tower then hop on one of the exciting fairground rides.

Copenhagen, Denmark Travel Guide

Ribe, Denmark

Christmas is the most important time of the year for the Viking town of Ribe. They roll back the centuries to celebrate as in days gone by. There’s a Christmas fair, a traditional market at the old Town Hall, parades, concerts and carol services. You can also hop on one of the horse rides around the town’s cobbled streets. The town’s Viking attractions are also well worth a visit.

Ribe, Denmark Travel Guide

Aarhus, Denmark

Aarhus is a compact city; the beach harbour and forest are all within a 15-minute bike ride! Aarhus takes Christmas seriously as the whole city comes alive and buzzes with excitement. Inside the “Ridehset” you’ll find the Christmas market with over 90 stalls and there’s even Christmas music and entertainment to enjoy while you browse. You can also celebrate Christmas at the Old Town Museum "Den Gamle By" where you can visit the special festive exhibitions.

Aarhus, Denmark Travel Guide