Who doesn’t love a Christmas Market? Most of us have spent some leisurely time during the cold winter months wandering around a glowing town and possibly stopping for a warming glass of something! This year why not make a weekend of it, somewhere you have possibly not visited before, and take in a Christmas Market at the same time.
We have chosen venues that are easily reached on a weekend break, with reasonably priced flights and affordable accommodation.
In this timeless city they indulge in two charming Christmas markets. The infamous Christmas Markets of Budapest showcase everything that is traditional about this country. They run over a period from 8th November to 1st January. There is a real effort to preserve traditions with the focus on quality handcrafted gifts and mouth-watering street food. There is a huge Christmas tree with special effects lighting up the square in front of St Stephen’s Basilica. Crafts on offer include glass blowing, wood carving, candle making, pottery, leather and lace work. You won’t find glitzy commercially produced Christmas fayre here!
Flights to Budapest
London to Budapest: From £45 return
Manchester to Budapest: From £77 return
If you wish to visit a little closer to home, Manchester hosts an award-winning Christmas market running from 8th November to 22nd December. Manchester Christmas Market is the largest and most popular of its kind in the UK. This is a great destination to take the kids with the introduction this year of a designated family site with magicians, street theatre and LED light performers, all keeping the little ones entertained, free of charge! There are more than 300 wooden chalets dotted around the city with vendors selling traditional crafts and international street food on every corner. If you have never visited Manchester this may be the season to go and see what this city has to offer.
Flights to Manchester
London to Manchester: From £100 return
Belfast to Manchester: From £65 return
For the tenth year in a row the popular Galway Christmas Market will explode onto Eyre Square in Galway from 15th November to 23rd December. There is a 32m observation wheel along with the return of an incredibly popular Après Ski Bar. Ireland may not immediately spring to mind, but this is a winner with log cabins, Santa, crafted gifts and all the seasonal treats you would expect to find at an event of this kind.
Flights to Shannon
London to Shannon: From £20 return
Manchester to Shannon: From £40 return
They refer to this Christmas market as ‘Poznan Bethlehem’ and it takes place from 16th November to 22nd December. You will get a real sense of a traditional market here, with a nativity scene at its centre. The Poznan Christmas Market has all the usual gifts to choose from and Polish food to delight your taste buds. Join in some carol singing as you sip a warm cup of mulled wine. A special feature in Poznan is an International Ice Sculpture Festival with participants from all over the world transforming blocks of ice into something spectacular. This event takes place from Sunday 7th to Monday 9th December so bear this in mind when you book your flights.
Flights to Poznan
London to Poznan: From £43 return
There are many squares throughout Amsterdam soaking up the Christmas spirit with several Christmas Markets to choose from. A special treat here is the light festival running from 28th November to 19th January. This is a spectacle of decorated canals adorned with beacons of lights and selected artwork, making this a very special place to visit at this time of year. There are numerous lit trees, an ice rink, stalls, and Dutch speciality donuts, washed down with those all-important warm refreshments; hot chocolate or mulled wine. A world-famous Christmas circus is in town for two weeks over Christmas and New Year. Find out more about Christmas Markets in and around Amsterdam.
Flights to Amsterdam
London to Amsterdam: From £79 return
Manchester to Amsterdam: From £145 return
All flight prices are based on weekend travel in December, either Friday to Sunday or Saturday to Monday. Prices fluctuate of course, and as we are coming close to this season, the sooner you book the better. The same goes for your airport parking. Once you have booked your flights, secure a space at your chosen car park to get the best deal available.