Escape to a Winter Wonderland at one of Europe’s Magical Christmas Markets
Strolling through the stalls, hot chocolate in hand, listening to Christmas hits, twinkling lights everywhere – what’s not to love? Did you know you could be experiencing some of Europe’s best Christmas markets in less than 2 hours, direct from Birmingham Airport!
Europe has some of the most beautiful, charming, historic cities in the world, renowned for their quaint and charismatic atmosphere, there is really no better way to spend Christmas time than exploring some of their best festive markets!
Between the grand imperial palaces and cosy wine taverns, Christmas Villages can be found popping up all over the city, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Vienna!
From the middle of November until Christmas, the streets of Vienna are transformed into a Christmas wonderland with glittering lights, decorated trees and festive treats. The Viennese Dream Christmas Market, located in the central square, is the largest, with the magnificent backdrop of the City Hall giving a magical display of warm lights and archways.
The market takes over the whole square with over 150 traditional cabin stalls selling everything from Christmas décor to delicious baked treats and vintage gifts. If you fancy a drink, there are several snug bars selling mulled wine and beer, or embrace the Kaffeehaus Kultur and stop off at a Christmas café for a coffee or hot chocolate. The seasonal joy continues inside the City Hall with live music and craft workshops taking over the ground floor.
The festive fun continues as visitors can skate over the 3000m2 ice rink in City Hall park as well as visit the romantic Tree of Hearts and vibrant carousels – Vienna is a must-see on the list of magical Christmas Cities.
Approximate flight time from Birmingham Airport: 2h15m
Fly direct with: Lauda Air, Eurowings and Austrian Airlines
The atmosphere is truly magical in this picturesque city, with glowing Christmas lights dressing the beautiful artisan buildings and the smell of mulled wine and Belgian chocolate in the air, you couldn’t feel more Christmassy!
Visit Winter Wonders, the annual Christmas celebration at the Grand-Place in the heart of Brussels for the perfect Christmas experience! The square is spectacular, complete with 200 cosy chalets, a gleaming ice rink, the dazzling Ferris Wheel and a huge Christmas tree which features in the square. This year, there will also be a new high-tech dome in pedestrian zone which offers a brand new, immersive experience with 360-degree audio-visual performances, concerts and light shows for visitors.
The festive fun doesn’t stop there, with various Christmas markets hidden all over the city, offering something for everyone – shopping, partying, enjoying delicious Belgian delicacies, or simply embracing the festive culture, Brussels has it all this Christmas!
Approximate flight time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Fly direct with: Brussels Airlines
Prague, Czech Republic
Seeking a real-life fairy tale experience? Being one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the scenes in Prague are breath-taking, with the red rooftops and cobblestone streets, this stunning bohemian city is a must-see in Europe. The festive season in Prague is just as magical, with quaint markets, lantern-lit stalls, sparkling trees, roasted chestnuts and warm, glowy cafes and bars throughout the city.
Prague is famous for its stunning views, some of the best spots include those from the Charles Bridge, the Old Town Tower, and the top of Prague Castle, which displays the beautiful bohemian quarter.
Hit up Old Town Square to stroll through the festive stalls and gorgeous buildings, shop for traditional souvenirs and unique Czech artwork, or treat yourself to a traditional goulash and Svařák (mulled wine). There are also an annual Christmas concerts with live music and shows in both Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Prague is a magical city for the festive season.
Approximate flight time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Fly direct with: Jet2.com
Winter in Krakow is almost guaranteed to include a white Christmas, as its historic buildings and streets are covered in glistening snow!
Krakow’s main Christmas Market is located in the heart of Old Town, under the magnificent Cloth Hall. Bustling with life, the square is complete with festive trees, glittering lights, traditional horses and carriages and an array of cosy restaurants and bars along the perimeters of the square. Live music can always be heard as the talented locals perform daily in the city, adding to the wonderful atmosphere. Stalls of gifts and delicious treats line the square, whilst gorgeous basilicas and must-see landmarks are hidden along the surrounding streets.
Not only is Krakow a fantastic place to enjoy good food, drinks and culture, it is also incredibly affordable! Making it an ideal destination for a quick Christmas get away.
Approximate flight time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Fly direct with: Ryanair, Jet2.com and Wizz Air
You’ll never be stuck for a Christmas party in Amsterdam, with countless events occurring all over the city from the start of November right through the festive season.
One of the highlights of the festive season is the Amsterdam Light Festival, with a stunning array of light sculptures and glowing artwork from Dutch and international artists illuminating over the Canal Ring and River Amstel. To get an even better view, Water Colors canal cruises are available to enjoy a guided boat tour of the festival.
There are also countless Christmas markets all over the city, some of the most notable include: the Amsterdam Winter Paradise, a winter wonderland featuring indoor and outdoor ice rinks, a sparkling Ferris wheel, snow sports and activities, shopping stalls and seasonal parties; the Ice Village Amsterdam, where the Museumplein transforms into a Christmas village with live entertainment, shows, ice skating, music and plenty of festive food and drink. If you fancy travelling a little further, the Floating Market which occurs in Leiden, about 30 minutes from Amsterdam, offers a unique experience of a Christmas market which takes place on the water! Enjoy a hot chocolademelk canal cruise, Christmas shopping and live music at this exclusive event!
With so much going on in this buzzing city, you are guaranteed to have a exciting and memorable Christmas holiday.