Wondering where to go for Christmas? It’s a tough decision. Perhaps you’ve not spent Christmas abroad before. Christmas city breaks can be magical, and are definitely something you need to experience.
You can really embrace international Christmas traditions and experience something different on Christmas weekends away. From mesmerising city centres full of bright lights to snowy capped rooftops and market stalls selling everything from mulled wine to mince pies.
If you just can’t decide where to go on holiday at Christmas, don’t worry – we’ve got some fabulous places to get you in the Christmas spirit. Here are our top places to go for Christmas in Europe.
Where to go on holiday at Christmas time
Grab your warm winter coat and jet off to a city that’s totally mesmerising in wintertime. Salzburg, on the Salzach river, boasts Christmas markets, high end shopping and beautiful architecture. Wander through the streets and watch horses and carts pass by, make your way up to the top of Hohensalzburg Castle for incredible views of the city.
Tuck into waffles with the most delicious toppings at one of the market stalls and buy some gifts to take home for loved ones. Salzburg is a charming city, but it’s especially showstopping when dusted in a layer of white snow. Go in December and there’s a good chance you’ll get to enjoy a white Christmas, just make sure you bring a warm jacket to protect you from the elements.
If there’s one place you need to go for some winter romance, it’s beautiful Bruges. It certainly is a beautiful city with its pretty canals and stunning buildings. Plus, this Medieval city’s square gets wonderfully festive at Christmas. It’s the largest city in the province of West Flanders and boasts epic Christmas markets where you can buy arts, crafts and yummy Belgian treats. And if you’re after a spot of culture, head to the city’s museums or treat your inner chocoholic in the amazing chocolate shops.
Amsterdam is an underrated Christmas destination and actually one of the most popular places to visit during Christmas. You get everything you could wish for from a festive break, plus the unique charms of a very quirky city. The Christmas markets here can compete with some of the best in the world and they’ve got a fantastic ice rink right in front of the famous Amsterdam sign. Pop into one of the many churches where you can join in Christmas carol singing. Oh, and don’t miss the Amsterdam light festival which begins at the end of November and runs through Christmas.
It’s safe to say Germany does Christmas markets exceedingly well. Head to any German city and you’ll find a wonderful Christmas market. The markets in Nuremberg are a cut above the rest. Step into what feels like a real life Winter Wonderland. There are numerous Christmas markets dotted around the city, each with a slightly different vibe. Some sell jewellery and gifts, others are more food based and some focus on crafts. The main market in the square sits in front of the towering Frauenkirche, a church which has authentic gothic architecture. Drink mulled wine in a traditional German mug and listen to the live Christmas music as you soak up the festive atmosphere.
Another less obvious choice, but still a good one. Rome is actually very wintery in December, a far cry from the roasting heat it experiences in the summer months. And what could be better than combining Christmas cheer with drool-worthy Italian food and sightseeing? Rome has plenty of things to keep you occupied over the Christmas break.
The city is lit up with festive lights and decorations, the shops have extended opening hours for extra long shopping sprees and there are plenty of Christmas markets to enjoy. The city’s churches have nativity scenes set up, the Pope gives a speech on Christmas day and there’s an enormous Christmas tree in Saint Peter’s square.
Let’s not forget our capital, which is one of the best Christmas places to visit. There’s just so much to see and do. So, if you fancy a staycation, why not spend Christmas in London? There’s the legendary Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, as well as a range of festive markets all around the capital. And the Christmas lights in Oxford Street will no doubt have you embracing the festive holidays. If you want to get your skates on, then there are numerous ice rinks that pop up in December, including the Natural History Museum Ice Rink.
Hopefully one of these destinations will give you an idea of where to go on holiday over Christmas. It really does depend on what your priorities are for Christmas weekends away. All of these Christmas city breaks above will no doubt be amazing, but the question is, which one will you pick? Wherever you decide to go, make sure to wrap up warm with the right warm jacket and accessories with you to get the most out of your Christmas weekends away.