We're fast approaching the most wonderful time of the year, so what better way to celebrate than by meeting Santa in his grotto or exploring an enchanting Christmas market? Whether you're looking for some retail therapy in Krakow or a fairytale getaway to Edinburgh, we've rounded up our favourite festive destinations. Read on and immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit today.
With its rich history, magnificent architecture and vibrant culture, Edinburgh is a fantastic year-round destination. However, the show-stopping festivities make the Scottish capital an especially great place to visit at Christmas. Head to East Princes Street Gardens for a traditional Christmas Market featuring a range of rides, attractions and food stalls. Nothing says Christmas like a mulled Iron Bru! Keep the children entertained with a search for Santa's Workshop. Slip and slide on the alpine ice rink located on Edinburgh's famous George Street. For mesmerising city centre views, take a ride on the 60m high Star Flyer. No trip would be complete without a visit to Santa's Grotto.
Where better to celebrate Christmas than the charming city of Budapest? Festive stalls, bursting with seasonal delicacies, spring up across the city's historic squares. The largest Christmas fair is held in Vörösmarty Square. Wind through streets teeming with handmade Christmas crafts while riding on the sweet scent of mulled wine and cinnamon treats. For a more intimate experience, head to St Stephen's Basilica and its stunning Christmas tree display. Live music and an impressive light show make this an unforgettable event. Once you’ve got your fill of festive cheer, make sure to visit the grand Széchenyi Thermal Bath, quite literally a hotspot for visitors since 1913. Take a boat trip down the Danube for a serene view of Budapest's remarkable riverside architecture.
If you're looking for a sleigh full of festive fun, look no further than Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland. With rides, games and food stalls galore, soak up the enchanting atmosphere here this Christmas. The Magical Ice Kingdom, created from over 500 tonnes of ice and snow, provides a stunning seasonal backdrop for family fun. Discover secret passageways full of wizards, unicorns and dragons or get your skates on at the UK's largest outdoor ice rink. Take a moment to chill and grab a drink at Bar Ice. The vibrant 70s themed bar is entirely crafted from ice, so don't forget to wrap up warm!
In need of some Christmas spirit? You’re sure to find it at Krakow Christmas Market. The city’s main square, Rynek Glówny, is filled with wooden stalls selling hand-painted baubles, pottery and folk art. Fellow foodies can indulge in a variety of delicious delicacies, from steaming bowls of goulash to smoked cheese. Sit back with a glass of mulled wine and admire the UNESCO-listed Cloth Hall at the centre of the square. Don’t forget to check out St. Mary’s Basilica; the awe-inspiring gothic towers look especially impressive against a wintry backdrop.
There's no shortage of Christmas cheer in the stunning Belgian capital. The popular Winter Wonders festival boasts a host of magical activities, from a life-sized manger to a skating rink and of course, amazing Christmas markets. Brussels Grand-Place is at the centre of all the action. Considered one of the most beautiful places in the world, the spectacular sound and light shows accentuate the historic buildings. The 20-metre pine tree (traditionally taken from the Ardennes Forest) further beautifies the square.
Where is your favourite Christmas market? Tweet @icelollyholiday and let us know!
Published on 27th November 2015
Published on 26th November 2015
Published on 2nd November 2021