Europes Christmas Markets

Soldato
Joined
20 Feb 2004
Posts
18,573
Location
Higher Walton
Howdy

Looking to go away for 3 nights in December for our 1st Anniversary between the 20th and 23rd December. We went to Bruges for our honeymoon and loved it so looking for a city break weekend.

I initially had thought about either of the following

Sofia
Tallinn
Cologne
Vienna
Budapest
Copenhagen
Stockholm
Nuremburg
Riga
Helsinki
Berlin
Geneva
Prague

Budget is big enough to cover most places in Europe and stay in a pretty decent hotel, although I’ll look into hotels more when I’ve found a place.


My thoughts so far:-

Riga, Sofia and Tallinn are ruled out because of pretty silly travel times due to no direct flights from the North West. Nuremburg and Vienna also don’t have direct flights which puts me off a little for such a short time away, especially with the time of year and I’m cautious about delays making us miss connections etc.

Helsinki looks great but the longest trip out of the lot and likely to be cold as balls compared to other places I think.

Budapest – My mum and sister are going there's this December also so I feel that makes it feel a little less special for us, which is probably silly because it looks great and gives me most things I want.

Prague – Slightly put off as the wife went with her Ex. I want this to be about us and as above it's probably a silly mental reason to rule it out. Maybe for something non anniversary related!

I’m guessing that a lot of you will have been to some of the above places and have lots of suggestions and pro’s and cons to each as well as other places I’ve not considered.
 
Associate
Joined
24 Aug 2011
Posts
1,994
Location
Manchester UK
Has to be Vienna - even with the flight hassles

Austria + Christmas = 100% Romance!

Other than that, I would say Geneva? Have you considered Hamburg? A-Mazing city, beautiful :)
 
Soldato
Joined
20 Feb 2004
Posts
18,573
Location
Higher Walton
Cheers, Seems we could get to Salzburg direct which would be good. Although 4 and a half hours to Vienna doesn't seem too bad.

Sure it was similar to when we went to Bruges.
 
Soldato
Joined
7 Nov 2009
Posts
18,926
Location
Glasgow
I researched a December break the other month but ruled it out due to cashflow issues.
Anyway, I pretty much decided on Berlin. It's an awesome city (been before a few summers ago), and they put on some fantastic Christmas markets and other activities. It's not the prettiest city in the World, but I imagine with the lights up and stuff like that it'll look terrific.

I was in Prague for Christmas in 2010, flew over on the 22nd or so and stayed until the 28th I think. I went because my father lived there at the time. It was alright, but I wasn't particularly impressed with their market. It wasn't particularly nice and the surrounding area is just tourist trap central. Plus, a lot of the city was quite dirty. I wouldn't have gone if it wasn't for a free flight & accommodation & to see my father.
 
Associate
Joined
24 Aug 2008
Posts
1,312
Location
London
Have you considered Hamburg? A-Mazing city, beautiful :)

Agree! I lived in Hamburg for 5 years and it really is a beautiful city. The Xmas market outside the town hall (Rathaus) is great complete with yummy Glühwein. There's something quite magical about being surrounded by water - canals & the Alster lake. Hamburg has more canals than Amsterdam and Venice put together :)
 
Soldato
Joined
1 Dec 2003
Posts
5,127
Location
West Lothian, Scotland
I was in Berlin near christmas a few years ago, the Christmas markets are quite samey unfortunately. Not much different to the ones you find at the German Christmas market in Edinburgh :/
 
Soldato
Joined
20 Feb 2004
Posts
18,573
Location
Higher Walton
Cheers guys i think i want small feeling pretty towns to walk around in which is putting me off Berlin and Munich. Part of the reason we loved Bruges.

Will look at Hamburg though and Salszberg are both looking very good at the moment for what i want.

Morgoth - I think the Xmas markets are a very small part of it. Only reason i mentioned it is that they usually go hand in hand with fairy lights which tends to make everything look lovely in winter time. I think in Bruges we spend very little time at the actual markets prefering local bars/cafes to eat and drink.
 
Soldato
Joined
4 Feb 2007
Posts
9,686
Location
Nuneaton, UK
Just go to Birmingham lol.

Cologne is very nice, I was there 2 years ago. I really want to go to Budapest, I can ask some of my colleagues over there what the Christmas markets are like if you want.
 
Soldato
Joined
1 Dec 2003
Posts
5,127
Location
West Lothian, Scotland
Morgoth - I think the Xmas markets are a very small part of it. Only reason i mentioned it is that they usually go hand in hand with fairy lights which tends to make everything look lovely in winter time.

They do decorate Berlin really nicely in winter, if that's something you are looking for then it's well worth considering.
 
Soldato
Joined
12 Jun 2012
Posts
3,918
Location
West Yorkshire
After this thread, im thinking about Hamburg now.

Question from me is. If i book anywhere in hamburg will i be able to get to the market. I mean is the town small enough to walk everywhere. Im thinking of booking Le Royal Meridien Hamburg.

Im wanting to take the GF to some xmas markets without staying in England. We always do the same thing.
 
Last edited:
Soldato
Joined
25 Sep 2009
Posts
8,131
Location
Billericay, UK
Has to be Vienna - even with the flight hassles

Austria + Christmas = 100% Romance!

Other than that, I would say Geneva? Have you considered Hamburg? A-Mazing city, beautiful :)

I'm takeing my g/f to Vienna early next year I can't wait.

My work has organsied a tril to a Christmas market in Belgiun for 10 quid but I'm having semi major surgery at the end of November and can't make it. Shame.
 
Soldato
Joined
5 Mar 2010
Posts
10,192
For anyone looking for a budget trip, P&O are doing buy-one-get-one-free on ferry trips to Bruges and Amsterdam. I've booked to go in December with the girlfriend, It works out about £90 for the both of us including transfers into Bruges, but excluding meals (Quite expensive). The trips only over a weekend, leaving Saturday from Hull and arriving into Belgium on Sunday morning, spend the day in Bruges and then back on the ferry Sunday evening to get back into the UK on Monday morning.
 
Top