While a sunny Christmas in Dubai is gorgeous, sometimes the heart longs for a white Christmas with all the trimmings – the snow, the cold, the hot cocoa! Sigh! If that’s making you nostalgic, why not plan a magical holiday to Europe and take in some of the best markets? Here are some tips from the members of the Christmas Madness Community Group on Facebook – join them here
The following comments are made by contributors on The Christmas Madness Group in their own words.
Carol Mathias Rebello
Options to consider would be Prague, Vienna, and Manchester.
We LOVED Budapest. Every night a different market, walking or easy train/tram/bus distance. Ice skating at City Park Ice ring during the day. Hot thermal bath another day. Really great.
Another vote for Budapest. We loved it too and it’s not too big to walk around. We flew with Wizz Air about 6 years ago, so not sure if they’re still operating, but they were cheap and cheerful.
Zagreb Christmas market was by far the best I have ever been to. Stayed in the esplanade hotel- stunning.
Vienna’s Christmas market was the best in our experience. Could be cheaper with advance bookings.
We have done ones in Nuremberg, Munich, Budapest, Innesbruk, Vienna, Prague, Frankfurt, Dresden and Berlin. My favourite overall is Innesbruk.
I loved Vienna but Vienna is expensive. Nuremberg is amazing especially if you have kids as they have a separate children’s market with activities also going on. Vienna also has children’s activities. Innesbruk has the venicilar and ski lifts from the town centre up to skip slopes where they have tobaganning for all the family and a nice place to warm up and have a hot chocolate and lunch. we stayed in the NH hotel when we just had 2 kids and it was nice, close to the main Christmas markets strip etc. Now with 4 we tend to try and Airbnb or we go to hostels as they are so so clean and we can book a whole room for 6 of us, but haven’t done this in Nuremberg yet.
We stayed in the IBIS also and it was awful. It’s pretty cold when you are outside has it was like the heating was minimal here so definitely avoid!!
Prague. We went last year and it was fabulous. There is also this awesome shop called Perfumed Prague which you do a two hour workshop and make your own perfume. It’s awesome! (Christmas present for yourself or someone you love).
Budapest and Prague are lovely – also worth considering Poland though. Food and drink is good value there. Kraków is gorgeous and besides the market they have a fascinating tradition of Christmas crib design and you can see all the entries displayed during December (check the dates online so you don’t miss – they are called szopki in Polish).
There is also a good market in Wrocław and a fun citywide gnome trail for kids.
Not as flash as Vienna in terms of market – but I think Vienna will struggle to be cheap and cheerful at that time if year.
You have so many in Tyrol, not just Kitzbühel. Check out St. Anton, Kühtai, Serfaus, Mayrhofen, Ischgl and many more. All of them will have small Christmas markets and you can pop to Innsbruck and see the big Christmas markets there. Last year all markets were closed, so let’s hope this year they’ll open again.
Been to Chamonix, Mageve, Wengen, Verbier, Gstaad, Wengen, Leysin, grindelwald, Lapland (Finland), and one in Georgia but I forgot what it’s called. Zermatt, Switzerland is my favourite and if you could drive to the Christmas market in Montreux… it’s a-ma-zing! Zermatt has its own Christmas market too.