The European Christmas markets Brits can reach by ferry – so you can fill the car with booze on the way home


THERE are several Christmas markets in Europe that Brits can reach on a ferry, leaving plenty of room to stock up on festive treats.

Every year, the French city of Rennes in Brittany hosts a maze of festive Christmas markets.


Every year, the French city of Rennes in Brittany hosts a maze of festive Christmas marketsCredit: AFP

The French city is home to several Christmas markets, including the creator’s market.

Set in Place Hoche, the Christmas market is housed underneath a heated marquee where more than 50 artisans sell handmade gifts.

Another Christmas market takes place at the heart of the city’s historic centre in Place des Lices Square.

Just like the Creator’s market, Places des Lices is also home to festive stalls selling souvenirs and grub, as well as artistic performances.

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All profits from the Places des Lices Christmas market are donated to Amnesty International.

Meanwhile, a third festive market can be found in Parliament Square, where visitors will find chalets, festive food, and handmade gifts.

The French square is also home to a giant fir tree, a 30m Ferris Wheel, and carousel rides.

In addition to the Christmas markets, there are plenty of other festive activities too, including a Christmas jukebox projected on the facade of the city’s town hall.

The jukebox vibrates along to Christmas songs, tunes, and dances from all corners of the globe.

Tourists to the French town will also be able to watch craftspeople demonstrate their handiwork in Town Hall Square, where 60 professionals will showcase how they work with materials like metal and glass.

The demonstrations will be held behind a barricade, so anyone watching will be kept safe at all times.

While dates for this year are yet to be confirmed, last year’s festivities started on November 25, 2022, and lasted until January 1, 2023.

The Christmas markets are free to enter, but visitors will need to pay for rides and any purchases they make at market stalls.

Brittany Ferries operate direct routes between Portsmouth and the French port city of Saint-Malo.

The crossings take place overnight, with voyages taking between 10 to 12 hours.

It’s then an hour’s drive from Saint-Malo to Rennes.

While travelling by ferry may sound like a lengthy journey, it can allow Brit holidaymakers to bring back plenty of French wine.

Hotel rooms in Rennes are reasonably affordable in December too.

Sun Online Travel have found an overnight stay at a studio apartment for £60 per night.

If you don’t fancy driving to Rennes to experience a French Christmas market, then you’ll be pleased to know Saint-Malo has its very own.

While the Saint-Malo Christmas market is much smaller than those found in Rennes, it is home to a display of festive illuminations.

Brittany Ferries also operate other routes from Portsmouth to Caen, Cherbourg, and Le Havre.

For those holidaymakers who don’t fancy heading abroad to visit a Christmas market, then you’ll be relieved to know that there are some great festive attractions in the UK.

One of those is The Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham, which is said to be the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany.

Meanwhile, this travel writer thinks their hometown has the best Christmas attraction in the UK.

Rennes is home to a maze of festive Christmas markets, including one in Parliament Square


Rennes is home to a maze of festive Christmas markets, including one in Parliament Square

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