Treat yourself this festive season to a winter getaway like no other. Wander through stunning stall-lined streets with some of finest regional commodities on display. Whether you’re gifting your loved ones or just yourself, you’ll find the perfect present, along with some heart-warming local cuisine and a wide range of festive activities. Here are some of our favourite Christmas Market destinations.
If your perfect Christmas market trip consists of a short flight, great shopping, great food and great craic, then Dublin is for you. Dublin's main Christmas market takes place on St Stephen's Green, but other interesting markets such as the Dublin Flea Christmas Market pop up all over the city.
Dublin is particularly proud of its Christmas lights; this Christmas the Winter Lights festival will glow so brightly that it may even be seen from planes landing at Dublin Airport - meaning you can start getting in the festive spirit before you've even set foot on Irish soil.
Plan your Christmas trip to Dublin >
Magical Budapest is gorgeous in every season, but it really comes into its own in the winter and especially at Christmas, when the two Christmas markets kick-start the festive atmosphere into the city centre and everywhere you look is decorated with fairy lights.
Traditional Hungarian chimney cakes are available all year round but they're particularly delicious at Christmas. Buy some freshly-baked cakes from one of the many stalls as you choose traditional hand-crafted gifts. If all that outdoor shopping is making you feel a little chilly, warm up in one of Budapest's famous thermal baths - the experience of relaxing in the steamy baths in the crisp Budapest winter air is unforgettable.
Feel the Christmas spirit in Budapest >
If you want to say you've been to the place where Christmas trees became a festive tradition, then head to Riga. The capital of Latvia claims to have been the first place in the world to put up a fir tree and decorate it while celebrating the festive season. The first Christmas-tree-decorators, who put their tree up in December 1510, then set fire to their creation, but happily that's one tradition that hasn't stuck.
The beautiful old town around Riga's cathedral makes a magical setting for the city's Christmas market, and the quality of the gifts on sale make Riga an option well-worth choosing for your Christmas market break.
Explore all the delights the Berlin has to offer this year and venture through Europe’s top Christmas destination.
The Charlottenburg Palace plays host to a truly romantic experience. The market is accompanied by the Christmas market orchestra, setting the scene for an immersive festive experience alongside some of Berlin’s finest cuisine.
If you’re looking for a more relaxing and sensory experience, try venturing through some Berlin’s beautiful outdoor winter wonderlands, including the Botanical Garden, which is transformed into an illuminated fairy-tale landscape and inspired by London’s Christmas at Kew.
Whatever your vibe is this Christmas, Berlin will certainly cater to it.
Don’t forget to book your airport parking
Beautiful Prague is at its most charming in winter. Enjoy getting lost in the picturesque lanes of the old town, see snow envelop the Old Town Square, then warm up in one of the many traditional bars.
Prague's Christmas market fills Wenceslas Square and the streets of the old town. Pick up decorations for your own tree at home or choose the perfect handmade gift while treating yourself to something delicious.