Travel tips

An ultimate guide to Christmas markets (2019)

Picture this: sipping on mulled wine while walking down a cobbled street, stopping at Christmas stalls to pick up a last minute Christmas stocking filler or a warm treat. Have you started to feel festive yet? With Christmas quickly approaching, now it’s time to book a perfect little get away to get you in the Christmassy mood that won’t cost you a fortune.

Get the scent, taste and feel of Christmas with our guide to this year’s most phenomenal Christmas markets around Europe.

Vienna 

When: 22nd November-31st December

One of the most exquisite markets in the world, Vienna lights up during Advent like no other city in the Europe. Begin your festivities right in the heart of Vienna at the Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt in front of the neo-Gothic town hall. You can warm up with some punch, skate around an ice rink or have a browse in more than 150 wooden stalls offering all sorts of specialities from candied apples to bratwurst.

And if the crowds get too busy for you, head over to the Schonbrunn Palace in the search for more festive activities. The historical scenery and Viennese pretzels make for a great trip away from the Christmassy crowds.

  • Typical Austrian main course (Schnitzel with potato salad): €9-10
  • Cappuccino: €3.90
  • Pint of beer: €4
  • Mulled wine: €3
  • Bratwurst: €3

Fly from London Luton to Vienna direct on easyJet from £52 in December 2019.

Berlin

When: 25th November-31th December

With more than 70 different Christmas markets popping up all over the city, Berlin is notorious for its festive season full of German delicacies and arts & crafts. Head over to the baroque Charlottenburg Palace right in city centre to try delicious German beers with the well-known currywurst, hot chestnuts and a variety of sweet Christmas treats. A slightly cheaper alternative to the Viennese’ Christmas crowds, Berlin has something to offer for everyone.

And for those coming with their family, head over to the Winderwald (Winter Forest) for magical attractions, an old-fashioned carousel and air swings that the children will love.

  • Berlin Currywurst: €3
  • Candied apples: €2
  • Alcoholic hot drinks (mulled wine, grog, fruit punch): from €3
  • Non-alcoholic hot drinks: €2
  • Potato pancakes with cinnamon & sugar: €4,50

Fly direct to Berlin from London Stansted on Ryanair from £33 return in December 2019.

Prague

When: 30th November-6th January 2020

There is no other place like Prague where you can indulge yourself in the Christmas spirit. You can find Prague’s most well-known Christmas markets at the Old Town Square with its enormous Christmas tree and beautiful settings with the Astronomical Clock right around the corner.

Tuck into sweet pastries, smoked sausages and mulled wine as you walk over the medieval Charles Bridge in the backdrop of the famous Prague Castle.

  • Svarene vino (mulled wine): 60 CZK
  • Medovina (warm honey wine): 60 CZK
  • Trdelnik (popular street snack): 60 CZK
  • Salty Potato Pancakes: 80 CZK
  • Pint of beer: 40 CZK

Return flights from London to Prague on Ryanair from £42 this December.

Budapest

When: 23rd November- 1st January 2020

Looking for a Christmassy getaway that won’t break the bank? Budapest might be the right fit for you. Walk along the Danube River all the way to the Christmas markets outside the St. Stephen’s Basilica where you can warm up with some punch and hot goulash. Or head over to a free-ice skating rink in the Budapest City park, one of the oldest ice rinks in Europe.

Alternatively, you can visit the thermal baths to get away from the Christmassy crowds and relax in hot outdoor pools with while watching the Hungarian capital getting slowly covered in snow.

  • Mulled wine: 2 dl: 600 HUF, 3 dl: 900 HUF, 0,5 dl: 1 500 HUF
  • Punch: 500 HUF/dl
  • lángos: sweet (Nutella, jam, cream) or savoury (plain salted, sour cream, cheese, sausage bacon, vegetarian) 900- 2000 HUF
  • Strudel: 600 HUF
  • Pint of beer: 360 HUF

Fly direct from London Stansted to Budapest on Ryanair in December 2019 from £34 return.

Brussels

When: 29th November-5th January

When it comes to more budget-friendly weekend breaks, Brussels is hard to beat. Head over to the Winter Wonders Christmas markets at Plaisirs d’Hiver that have over 200 stalls to help you get in the Christmas mood. Try authentic Belgian waffles, mulled wine or tartiflettes, a cheese and potato dish, while watching people ice skating at the Place de la Monnaie.

The markets are also known for a gigantic Ferris wheel that offers a spectacular view of Brussels, especially during the evening hours. Not one to miss!

  • Coffee: €4- €5
  • Waffles: €1.5- €5
  • Tartiflette: €7 - €9 per portion
  • Sausage and onion baguette: €4.50 - €6
  • Beer: €2.5- €3

Fly direct from Edinburgh to Brussels from £30 return on Ryanair in December.

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