Strasbourg, France: Known as the “Capital of Christmas,” Strasbourg hosts one of the oldest and most famous Christmas markets in Europe. The city’s historic architecture and charming streets create a magical atmosphere that is enhanced by the festive decorations and joyful music. With over 300 chalets selling everything from handmade ornaments to delicious Alsatian treats, Strasbourg is a must-visit destination during the Christmas season. Flights start at £73 to embrace a winter getaway.
Vienna, Austria: Vienna’s Christmas markets are a true winter wonderland. The city boasts several markets, each with its own unique charm. Great for feeling like you’ve embraced a variety of markets within the one trip. The grandest one at Rathausplatz is a sight to behold, with its towering Christmas tree and beautifully decorated stalls.
Visitors can enjoy ice skating, traditional music, and a wide variety of culinary delights, from roasted chestnuts to warm apple strudel. The markets offer unique gifts, such as handcrafted toys and intricate glass ornaments, making it the perfect place to find something special for your loved ones. Flights start at £52 across November.
Prague, Czech Republic: Prague’s Christmas markets are set against the backdrop of the city’s historic architecture, creating a magical atmosphere that transports you back in time. The Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square are transformed into festive wonderlands, with brightly lit stalls selling a variety of goods. Indulge in Czech delicacies like trdelník, a sweet pastry, and hot honey wine, while enjoying the live music and entertainment. Don’t forget to take a stroll through the beautifully decorated streets and admire the stunning Christmas tree in the center of the market. Flights start at £38
Cologne, Germany: Cologne’s Christmas markets are among the largest in Germany, attracting millions of visitors each year. The city’s iconic Cathedral provides a stunning backdrop to the markets, which offer a wide range of crafts, decorations, and delicious treats. From gingerbread to mulled wine, the aromas wafting through the air will instantly put you in the holiday spirit. Don’t miss the medieval-themed market at the Chocolate Museum, where you can indulge in chocolatey delights and experience a truly unique Christmas market experience. Flights start at £38
Don’t forget that The UK has a lot to offer for festive market trips across November and December too. Personally I love Bath Christmas Market: Bath is known for its stunning Georgian architecture, and during the Christmas season, the city comes alive with its famous Christmas market. With over 150 chalets selling a variety of gifts, unique trinkets, and delicious food and drink, Bath Christmas Market is a must-visit for the UK. The market is a plethora of Instagrammable moments – the city’s historic buildings, create such a magical atmosphere. Don’t miss the opportunity to soak in the festive spirit while enjoying a cup of mulled wine and browsing the unique stalls. Then recharge in the Roman Baths at the end of a long day for a glimpse into the city’s past.
As a Manchester girl, I must say that I love our markets –
They are among the largest and most popular in the UK. Spread across multiple locations in the city centre, the markets offer a wide range of festive treats, crafts, and entertainment. From traditional German bratwurst to handmade gifts, there is something for everyone. The markets also feature a variety of live music performances from local home grown talent and create an attraction to see the whole day go by, making it a great destination for the whole family. It can be extremely busy on a weekend and is lovely earlier in the day to visit with children. Don’t forget to visit Manchester’s festive light trail in Mayfield park for an additional treat from 6pm.
Rebecca Conlon – Ratcliff.