12 destinations for a fantastic 2019

March 5, 2019

With 2019 in full swing and people starting to think about the possibilities for the year ahead, now is the perfect time to spark some travel ideas and consider some getaways. If you’re looking for inspiration for particular seasons then look no further than these wonderful locations.




The winding, cobbled streets and renaissance architecture, combined with a vibrant artistic scene and thriving cafés, have given this Belgian city an almost universal appeal. Each building has an air of understated beauty about it, lending back to the city’s medieval roots. If you travel around May time, you’ll encounter the culinary festival ‘Antwerpen Proeft (Taste of Antwerp)’ where you can sample lovely local dishes.


If you’re looking for milder, springtime climes then it could be worth taking a trip down to the south of France for a visit to this delightful city in the French Riviera. The gorgeous coastline and cityscape have earnt it the nickname of ‘Nice la Belle (Nice the Beautiful)’, which is understandable once you see the spectacular sights for yourself. Visiting at the back end of February will give you just enough time to catch the Nice Carnival – a winter fiesta complete with an impressive light parade.


Famous for its elaborate canals and rich architectural history, the capital city of the Netherlands has been consistently popular with holidaymakers searching for a sophisticated city break. There’s an almost endless number of things to do across Amsterdam, but if you can make it down around the Ascension Day long weekend (8-10th May) then the Rolling Kitchens festival is the perfect place to try some Dutch delicacies alongside a whole range of different cuisines.



Luxembourg City

Nestled between Germany, Belgium and France lies a luscious landscape of dense forests with the capital standing proud at the heart of this secluded country. The city centre is set over several levels and even spans gorges to give the city a fairytale feeling as you wander the streets. Visiting in June will give you longer days to roam in the sun, with the soft evening light providing a gorgeous backdrop to the wall of the Old City and the variety of summer music festivals on offer.


Renowned for its wines produced in the local area that are heralded by some as the best in the world, this gorgeous city sits just off of the western French coast with a verdant national park on its doorstep. With golden sands only a stone’s throw away, there’s plenty of destinations close by where you can catch some rays when you need a break from soaking up the culture and numerous wine tours.


A Parisian getaway is a timeless classic – with the Louvre and Eiffel Tower being among Europe’s most iconic attractions. There’s no shortage of sights to discover here, so ensure you make time to see any favourites as you’ll likely get distracted by any number of eye-catching cathedrals, monuments and museums. Bastille Day lands in the middle of July with stunning parades and an evening firework display which lights up the Champs-Elysees, making this a great excuse to head over for a long weekend that ends with a bang.




A unique atmosphere surrounds this major Baltic port, owing to its recent history which led to portions of the city being rebuilt in the styles reminiscent of those found in France, Italy and Dutch architecture. ‘Trakt Królewski (The Royal Route)’ has an abundance of stories to tell, with each individual building steeped in the rich heritage that Gdansk has come to be known for. One of the benefits of visiting in late September is the addition of golden tones brought on by the changing of the leaves, embellishing the streets with warm splashes of colour.


If you’re looking for somewhere with plenty of parks to explore without straying too far from the city, then this gem in North Germany may be the answer. Hannover’s ‘Roter Faden (Red Thread)’ is the perfect way to see all the major sights of the city without needing to rely on maps, making this a brilliant place to put away your phone and focus on the moment. One of Hannover’s most appealing features  are the Herrenhausen Gardens – four distinctive gardens, each with their own flair but every one of them a must-see.


Home of Oktoberfest (Sept. 21st to Oct. 6th) and potentially the most famous beer hall in all the world, Munich is the place to be if you’re planning on taking part in the traditional celebration of Bavarian culture. Outside of the festivities, you’ll find the city wonderfully welcoming with the scent of hearty German foods around almost every corner and a number of ‘Biergärten (beer gardens)’ throughout the city if you still fancy a drink but with a bit more peace and quiet.




This city owes its energy to its days spent as “The Gateway to the World”, a tireless port city that throws itself at life with everything it has. St Pauli’s nightlife is among the most lively and vibrant you can find in Europe, with residents and tourists mixing to celebrate and embody the soul of Hamburg. Influences from all over the world can be found here, and there’s no better place to escape from the routine of everyday life than with the good food and company you can find here.


When winter sets in, few places are more idyllic than Bruges. The snow highlights the architectural features of the medieval core of the city, painting a picturesque setting for you to explore. As the nights draw in, wrap yourself up and brave the bracing night to be rewarded by sight of the city in lights – a truly breathtaking sight. Timing your trip to catch the Snow & Ice Sculpture Festival between late November and early January can add another dimension to the visual spectacle offered by Bruges.


Although it might be a bit early to be planning for next Christmas, adding Berlin to your list of must-see destinations for 2019 is essential. A true melting pot of modern German life, bringing people together to enjoy the finer things in life and express themselves across all manner of creative mediums.  Planning your trip early means you can capitalise on the best offers, and the local sights won’t disappoint – especially if you’re looking for a likely location to spend the festive season roaming snow covered streets.

DFDS run several regular routes to Europe all year round. Enjoy an overnight crossing from Newcastle to Amsterdam or be in France in 2 hours or less from Dover to Calais & Dunkirk. All destinations have great transport and road links to the rest of Europe so they’re the perfect platform to explore.

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