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Planning ahead - European Christmas markets

23rd July 2009 Print

For one of Germany’s best Christmas markets, head to Berlin where – during December - the Christmas markets spring up at many locations throughout the city, with the most popular one located next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.

Enjoy mulled wine, gingerbread, baked cinnamon stars and roasted almonds and chestnuts, explore the many handicraft stalls which offer traditional handcrafted toys, jewellery, decorations and ornaments and take in the wide range of entertainments and amusements.

HF Holidays – the walking and leisure activity breaks specialist – has a four-night break starting 10 December which costs £555 per person, twin-share, inclusive of return flights, transfers, accommodation with breakfast at the three-star Grand City Hotel, a full sightseeing programme and the services of an HF Holidays’ leader. For more information visit

A selection of four and five-day Christmas market breaks by rail – with departures between late November and mid December – to Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium are available with Great Rail Journeys.

Visit the Christmas market stalls in the Grand Place in Brussels and in two of Bruges’ squares – selling hand-made festive decorations, gifts, lace, chocolates, specialist beers and glühwein – on the four-day Markets of Bruges & Brussels break. Also included is a guided walking tour of Bruges and its Brewery Museum, plus a visit to an artisan chocolate-maker.

Available with selected departures between 29 November and 15 December, the cost is £435 per person, twin-share inclusive of return First Class rail travel from St Pancras International, three nights at the four-star Hotel Aragon in Bruges, some meals, excursions as above and the services of a Tour Manager throughout. For more information, visit

City break specialist, Cities Direct features a programme of Christmas market breaks to a range of European destinations including a choice of seven German cities as well as Budapest, Copenhagen, Prague, Riga, Tallinn and Vienna.

In Prague, for example, the Christmas markets run daily throughout December with the main ones being held in the Old Town Square – with its massive Christmas tree – and Wenceslas Square and the brightly decorated wooden stalls sell traditional Czech handicrafts – such as wooden toys, scented candles, hand-made jewellery and Christmas tree ornaments - svarene (hot wine) and hot food.

Cities Direct has a ‘three-nights-for-the-price-of-two’ offer at the centrally located three-star Hotel St George which means the cost is from just £199. Or, a three-night break at the four-star Maximilian Hotel – situated in the heart of the Old Town – costs from £249. Prices are per person, twin-share, inclusive of return Luton flights on 1 December and accommodation with breakfast. For more information, visit