City Breaks


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History, warmth and tradition ...

Come and discover this seafaring city that is just waiting for your visit! On arrival, you'll see that Dunkirk is a city looking to the future but doing all that it can to protect and promote its rich history. Dunkirk is also famed for its carnival: its warmth, fun and traditions make it a carnival like no other.

In Dunkirk, there's so much to do!

  • For hiking enthusiasts, there are 600 hectares of sand dunes for you to enjoy! The Dunes of Flanders enable you to discover a natural coastal and maritime environment that is full of surprises…. Hiking circuits have been created, so you can try a short fun stroll through the dunes or set off on a longer nature trail.
  • If you are more into nautical activities, there's plenty for you to do too! Numerous sailing excursions are available, even over the weekend. You can also have a go at land sailing, kitesurfing or even 'paddle-walking'! Dunkirk is all about sports and there truly is something for everyone.
  • There are many parks dotted about the town, which make ideal spots for a family outing. The Sculpture Garden is home to a host of contemporary artworks, in a wonderful outdoor setting. The Parc de Malo, a paradise for small children, is just a few steps from the beach of Malo-les-Bains.

The Top 5 things to do!

Dunkirk contemporary art

1. Museums

The town is full of all kinds of museums, from contemporary art to maritime traditions, with something guaranteed to engage young and old alike!

  • Lieu d'Art et Action Contermporaine (LAAC): set in the heart of a sculpture garden, amidst stunning architecture, the LAAC houses a rich collection of art from the 20th Century.
  • The Port museum: located in a former tobacco warehouse, the museum's collections illustrate the vast history of Dunkirk, once a strategic port on the North Sea
  • The Musée Port Royal: housed in a former powder magazine, you will find an exciting permanent exhibition on the theme of the Corsairs and the naval forces of Louis XIV
  • The Musée des Beaux-arts: exhibitions that combine ancient and contemporary art from the east and the west.

2. The Palais de l'Univers et des Sciences (PLUS)

Set off on a voyage that will take you from the first moments of the Big Bang to the current day. Lose yourself under the starry vault of the planetarium and enjoy the shows and temporary exhibitions; an experience guaranteed to thrill both young and old.

3. Vauban Promenade

At Gravelines, in the heart of the city, you will set off on a journey through time… on the water! On this most tranquil and safe of adventures, come and discover the incredible richness of the work of Vauban, navigating around the fortifications byi pedalo , rowboat or electric boat, in a perfectly preserved setting.

4. The Fort-Mardyck Dunkerque Grand Littoral Zoo

Inside the zoo, young and old alike can experience an adventure, as the natural environment for more than a 170 animals has been recreated including 40 domestic species of French and European fauna.

5. The Mémorial du Souvenir

This memorial was built to tell the incredible story of the Battle of Dunkirk and the evacuation of more than 330,000 allied soldiers from the 'Dunkirk pocket', during Operation Dynamo (in May-June 1940), a vast operation to ship the soldiers back to safety in England.

How to get there

When leaving our Calais terminal, follow the A16 motorway towards Calais/Lille and take exit 62 " Dunkerque Centre" – approximately a 45 minute drive away.

There is plenty of parking available in the city centre.

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Photo Credits: Dunkirk Carnival by © Photo Ville de Dunkerque
Karel Appel, Appel Circus, 1978, coll. LAAC, Dunkerque © Ville de Dunkerque ©Karel Appel Foundation, ADAGP, Paris 2012