Let’s start with the beaches of Dunkirk. This coastal city has several sandy beaches, the most famous of which is the beach at Malo-les-Bains. This beach extends over several kilometres and offers activities for all ages, such as water sports, beach walks and seafood restaurants.

Beach of Malo Les Bains ©Dunkerque-Tourisme-ville de Dunkerque

The seaport of Dunkirk is also a major tourist attraction. It is one of the largest ports in France and Europe, with a maritime traffic of more than 70 million tons per year. Visitors can stroll along the quays to admire the commercial and pleasure ships.

For nature lovers, the Dune Marchand nature reserve is a must-see. This white sand dune is a protected nature reserve with unique flora and fauna. Visitors can walk along the paths of the dune to discover the many species of birds and plants.

Carnival of Dunkerque © Pichasso/creative commons

The Dunkirk Carnival is a traditional festival that takes place every year between January and March. It is one of the most famous carnivals in France, with parades, balls and concerts throughout the city. Visitors can join in the festivities by wearing traditional costumes and dancing to the sound of brass bands.

le trois mâts "la duchesse anne" est devenu avec le bateau sand
Duchesse Anne Museum at the quay ©Elise Rebiffé

Dunkirk’s museums are also worth a visit. The Maritime and Port Museum traces the history of the port of Dunkirk from the Middle Ages to the present day, with models of ships, port equipment and objects related to navigation. The 1940 Operation Dynamo Museum is dedicated to the evacuation of Dunkirk during the Second World War, with artefacts and testimonies of this historical period.
The Fort des Dunes is another historical site to visit. This 18th century military fort is located on a sand dune and offers a breathtaking view of the sea. Visitors can explore the tunnels and rooms of this well-preserved fort.

Finally, art lovers can visit the FRAC Grand Large and the LAAC. The FRAC is a museum of contemporary art that houses a collection of works by French and international artists. The LAAC is a museum of modern and contemporary art which offers temporary and permanent exhibitions of 20th century art.

All in all, Dunkirk is a city with many tourist attractions, from sandy beaches to the seaport, museums and festivals. There is something for everyone in Dunkerque, whether you are interested in history, nature or partying.