There’s so much to do over Christmas, but even the busiest among will be able to fit in one of these quick trips across the pond before the 25th. We’ve picked out some of the best destinations to roll a last minute festive break and Christmas preparations all into one. Only have a day? Affordable wine from France is just 90 minutes away, while real Belgian chocolate can be reached with an overnight crossing. If you have a little longer, hit the road for a festive dash for unique gifts from Germany’s best Christmas markets. Whatever you need, you’re sure to find it all and more in one of our favourite festive cities.
Treat yourself to a last-minute getaway and cross the last names off of your Christmas list while you’re at it. As you wander down historic streets laced with the warming scent of cinnamon, where fairy lights twinkle from the branches of towering trees and magnificent landmarks stand over dainty medieval houses, you’ll find yourself falling in love with the festive season all over again. Here’s our pick of the best Christmas markets in France, Germany and Belgium.
It’s that wonderful time of year again – where people gather together in the chilly town squares to visit Europe’s best Christmas markets, soak up some festive cheer, see the twinkling light displays and enjoy a steaming mug of comforting glühwein. While the markets’ winter wonderland atmospheres are undoubtedly a huge draw, there are countless unique gifts to find for loved ones back home too, with artisans and vendors coming from across the world to sell their wares.
Nothing brightens the spirits during a cold winter quite like the annual arrival of the German Christmas markets. Full of traditional treats, twinkling lights and the comfort of a warming glass of Glühwein (mulled wine), these yuletide gatherings are impossible to resist – with every city offering something different.
As the festive period is almost upon us, we take a look at some of the best Christmas markets Germany has to offer.
The 2,000-year-old city of Cologne is West Germany’s cultural heartland, with a world-renowned carnival, cruises along the Rhine and the famous Kölner Dom just a few of the incredible things you can experience here. As well as being one of Germany’s most popular cities to visit, Cologne offers the perfect basecamp to explore the surrounding area. From fun theme parks to musical heritage, here are some of the best day trips from Cologne.
What once began as a period of merrymaking just before Lent has transformed into a series of colourful events celebrated across the world. Carnivals are now some of the biggest and boldest parties on the planet, with masks, costumes and spectacular parades the norm. While Brazil may be renowned as the spiritual home of carnival, you can catch many of the most extravagant celebrations without even leaving the continent. Slip on your brightest outfit and check out our favourite carnivals in Europe to revel in the delightful madness.
Whether you’re looking to beat those January blues or keep to your 2016 travel resolutions, a European city break is the perfect way to start the new year in style. From the vibrant colours of National Tulip Day in Amsterdam to the cobbled pavements of Bruges and the cosy pubs of Dublin; if you’re wondering where to go in January, this is the perfect inspiration for your early 2016 trip.
Twinkling lights, the crunch of snow underfoot and the comfort of a steaming glass of mulled wine; if there’s one thing keeping many of us going during the winter it’s the welcome arrival of Christmas markets. The rich scent of roasted meats mingle with the homely smell of gingerbread, making these yuletide gatherings impossible to resist, even when the temperature drops down.
With the festive period almost upon us, we decided to share with you some of the most beautiful Christmas Markets in Europe.