10 Christmas in Europe Breaks For Every Budget (Charming Xmas Markets Included!)
Among the top modern Christmas traditions is travelling — immersing oneself in a new culture, gaining new experiences, meeting different people, eating exotic foods, drinking unique wine blends, and flying away from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind. And, there’s no better place to spend the most wonderful time of the year than in Europe. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year to travel to a colder destination and you will find Christmas markets and light decorations all over the main European cities.
We’ve collated budget-friendly to exquisite options for your next best Winter Europe break. Where would you go?
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Best European Christmas Destinations for Every Budget
Note: Travel budgets are calculated based on average spend on food, accommodation, transportation, activities/shopping/goods for a period of 3 to 5 days for 1 person. Flights are not included.
1. Budapest, Hungary
You can see rich history from the architecture of buildings in Budapest throughout the year, but everything gets dressed in festivity come winter. Even if you’re travelling on a budget, you can still experience European Yuletide here. It’s one of the continent’s cheapest capitals! You can enjoy local coffee, beer brews, mulled wine, freshly baked gingerbread, and the Szechenyi Spa (yes, the city’s biggest outdoor spa!).
Travel Budget: S$ 320, or S$ 1,000 if you’re feeling really festive
2. Tallinn, Estonia
If you feel like taking a step back and travelling back in time, Old Town in Tallinn is where you should go. You can amaze yourself with early medieval era architecture for free, or you can visit well-preserved Hanseatic markets. The whole place will take away all your worries through its old school, laid-back ambience.
Travel Budget: S$ 430 to 900
3. Stockholm, Sweden
Are you dreaming of Christmas that’s like what you see in classic Western movies? Then, head to Sweden! While visiting their best European Christmas markets in Stockholm, you can experience white Christmas, relish on Swedish winter delicacies, shop for handicrafts, and meet Santa! And, forget not the julborg (traditional Christmas buffet) and the local meatballs come dinner.
But wait, there’s more.
Only in Stockholm will you witness the Living Advent Calendar, wherein a storyteller, an actor, or a singer provides Christmas entertainment at a window in Gamla Stan at 6:15 in the evening, and the Lucia, in which young girls in white robes and candles on their heads sing in chorus.
Travel Budget: from S$ 1,300
4. Zagreb, Croatia
A Croatian holiday can get a little pricey, but staying at its esteemed capital, Zagreb, can be otherwise. Zagreb even has recently revealed to the world its long-time kept treasure — Christmas markets voted to be among the best in the world.
During the season of Advent, Zagreb gets exceptionally lit, literally and figuratively. There are choirs, food, drinks, bright and colourful decors, and solo singing performances everywhere. Visit the Ban Josip Jelačić Square for a scenic Christmas background of a fountain, Christmas tree, and light display for your photos.
Travel Budget: from S$ 380
5. Munich, Germany
If you’re looking for more Christmas markets, fly to Munich in Germany. You can savour the taste of their local beer and mulled wine (glühwein) at the famous beer hall, Hofbräuhaus, during your stay. But head there prior to the 24th of December so you can still local festivities. Most shops tend to close by the afternoon of then and won’t be reopening till the 27th. In between those days, though (25th and 26th), you can visit museums or the Münchener Eiszauber, the ice skating rink near the Justice Palace, and reimagine Serendipity in Munich!
Travel Budget: S$ 470 to 1,040
6. Vienna, Austria
Scenic train rides? Yes, please! You can take a 2-hour train ride from Vienna to Salzburg, witness the picturesque background, and you’ll be singing happily like Maria in the Sound of Music in no time.
Don’t worry. You can still sing happily even if you opt to stay in Vienna. The city sites are just as rich and monumental, especially at night. There’s an almost endless lineup of Christmas markets and decorated streets (coz Europe is big on Christmas markets, obviously):
- Museums Quarter (MQ)
- Old Viennese Christmas Market
- Vienna Magic of Advent
- Christmas Market at Spittelberg
- Christmas Village Maria-Theresien Platz
- Viennese Dream Christmas Market
- Christmas and New Year’s Market at Schönbrunn Palace
- Christmas Village Belvedere Palace
- The Former General Hospital (or Christmas Village Altes AKH)
- By the way, don’t forget to try the local Vienna sausages! They’re just something you can’t miss having a bite of during winter in Austria.
Travel Budget: from S$ 1,280
7. Prague, Czech Republic
Add romance to your Christmas in Europe itinerary by visiting Prague. Feast your eyes on live nativity scenes, cobblestone streets, castles, old elegant houses, palaces, gas lamps on baroque squares, and The John Lennon Wall while walking hand in hand with your dear one. It’ll be like strolling the park but in the crazily beautiful winter streets of Prague!
Travel Budget: S$ 340 to 1,000
8. Interlaken, Switzerland
Interlaken is unofficially Europe’s sports capital. It’s a place which offers a lot of adventure for backpackers, particularly mountain and water adventures. And, in winter, its land is packed with action. Tourists and locals alike slope glide, snowboard, ski, kayak, bungee jump (no kidding), hike, and paraglide (again, no kidding).
Travel Budget: from S$ 400, depending on what activities you do, where you choose to sleep, and how you go around (on foot, by bike, etc.)
Here’s another one for the adventurous backpackers reading this.
You might not have heard of Andorra yet but it’s slowly making a name. It’s a small principality between France and Spain, among the southern peaks of the Pyrenees Mountains. If you’re looking for some seriously intense winter, this is where you go. Snow is everywhere during the cold season, so winter sports are guaranteed. And if you’re looking for Christmas bargains, Andorra’s tax-free shopping can get you super hyped.
Travel Budget: from S$ 306
10. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen is a good Christmas European break destination for families. The spirit of Christmas can be felt in every corner from delicious local delicacies, restaurant menus, too, of course, Danish Christmas markets.
Freetown Christiania markets are like annual Yuletide traditions. Stalls offer handmade crafts and jewellery, candle holders, and mirrors. The Nyhavn Christmas market offers local entertainment, food, and brews along an old harbour. But, the Tivoli Gardens has the most famous Scandinavian Christmas market. It’s like a theme park but with Santa Claus, true Nordic Christmas atmosphere, historic gardens, and logwood houses.
Travel Budget: S$ 1,250
There’s something about Christmas in Europe that makes it part of people’s holiday bucket lists. Take a break before you end 2018 and start the year that’s coming. No matter what budget you have, there’s something for you in Europe at Christmas.
And, here at ShopBack, there’s no travelling without good deals. So, here you have the top travel deals that will help you save when you book flights and accommodation for your next getaway.
- Hotels.com: 12% upsized Cashback from 15 Dec to 23 Dec 8am with code SFDEC12
- AccorHotels: Up to 6% upsized Cashback (was 4%) ends 31 Dec
- Trip.com: Up to 8% Cashback (was 6%) and 1.5% upsize cash back on International flights (was 1%) from 10 to 17 Dec 10am
- Airbnb is a good option to look for places to stay that are well located and feel more ‘local’.
Feature Image credit: Jamie Davies | Unsplash
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