It’s never too early to start planning in a magical Christmas market break! COVID-19 may have disrupted the travel plans of many so far this year, but that doesn't mean we can't plan in our 2021 Xmas break to ensure we get that full festive fix.
Of course with an abundance of cities to choose from, it’s often difficult to pick out where to go for your Crimbo vacay, however our team are on hand to help! Here’s a selection of market breaks for you to consider to get you into the Yuletide spirit.
Disclaimer: This guide is intended purely for inspiration. Please check the UK government’s advice for individual destinations before attempting to travel and also make sure you are aware of local safety guidelines when visiting different countries.
Easily accessible from the UK via air, sea or train, Amsterdam is a hugely popular city break destination all year round, and even more so when the chilly air arrives and the festive season really kicks in. Full of Christmassy stalls, food, parades and often snow-capped scenery, the Dutch capital is great for a December weekend away.
Make sure to have a skate on the ice rink in Museumplein and check out the Amsterdam Light Festival, featuring 35 works of art and installationswhich brighten up the famous local canals.
Christmas markets are always done right in Germany. In fact, you’ll often see huge German influence in markets all around the rest of Europe, particularly when it comes to the food and gifts on offer. Berlin is a top city to visit at the best of times and Xmas is a period when it turns into a wintery wonderland.
You’ll find a huge Ferris wheel, Winter World scene, copious stalls as well as all of the other main attractions such as Checkpoint Charlie.
Eastern European cities really know what they’re doing when it comes Christmas markets, and in Krakow you can expect an array of quaint stalls, cobbled streets with tasty food and beverages and a huge central square with an enormous tree that makes for a perfect Instagram snap backdrop.
Get your skates on and head to the ice rink inbetween festive snacks and don’t forget about Krakow’s other attractions such as Auschwitz and the Wieliczka Salt Mine.
Perhaps not one of the first destinations you think of when it comes to wrapping up during winter, Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter transforms into a scene of twinkling lights during December for a Christmas experience still as magical as the rest.
You can expect to pick up your Crimbo souvenirs from the stalls dotted around the city, and little ones will be drawn to Poble Espanyol which during the first few days of opening welcomes kids to share their Christmas lists with Santa Claus himself, not to mention the large nativity set.
Home to one of the biggest Christmas markets in the whole of Europe, visit Vorosmarty Square for a daily advent calendar unveiling as well as all the usual handmade crafts, delicious cuisine and general Xmas-themed vibes.
Budapest City Park hosts a huge ice rink for the energetic visitors, whilst those looking for a break away from the festive frills can check out the Szechenyi thermal baths which will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated (and warm!) following a day of Crimbo shopping.
The Danish capital really comes into its own during winter, boasting an abundance of lights that add extra magic to the hugely popular Tivoli Gardens, as well as cobbled streets and squares that are filled with cute Christmas gifts and tasty festive treats.
Santa Claus will be popping by for the youngsters to meet, and the Nyhavn Harbour is certainly the place to be for a relaxing mug of mulled wine with a top view to boot.
Complete with more than 20 markets during the Yuletide period, the impressive architecture and Gothic buildings make Vienna one of the most pleasing Christmas market break destinations of them all.
Each one offers a huge range of Xmas treats and gifts, not to mention usually snowy conditions that really do make for the optimum festive feel.
Where would you most like to head for your next Christmas market break?
Published on 20th November 2015
Published on 21st November 2017
Published on 8th October 2019