If you’re looking for a little excitement to the upcoming holidays away from the leaping lords and perching partridges, then these twelve trips offer a few winter wonderlands that might just take your fancy – and on a Christmas budget too!
1. Lapland, Finland
As the quintessential Christmas destination, Lapland provides wooden cabins, ski slopes, and the one and only Mr Claus himself. If you’re not bothered by the freezing temperatures and ready to check into a few nights at the Ice Hotel then Lapland is the perfect winter wonderland for you. Be sure to check out at least one of the Christmas theme parks: Santa Claus Village and Santa Park, with staff fully dedicated in their elf attire. Then take a husky ride around the stunning scenery and feed some caribou and you’ll have all the Christmas festivity you could want and more.
2. Paris, France
Paris may be the city of love but during the festive season she embraces all the glamour and sparkle you would expect in an elf’s toy factory. Travel is cheap too; you can pick up cheap returns via the Eurostar just a few weeks prior to travel, so hopping over for a weekend or a longer stay can come in bang on a Christmas budget. Whilst over in Paris make sure to go to the Christmas Market, travel up a snowy Eiffel Tower and if you’re a Disney fan go to Walt Disney World for some childhood nostalgia and ice skating rinks.
3. London, England
The capital puts on its red suit and white beard during the festive season, embracing Christmas to the max. From the famous decorations donning Oxford Street to Harrod’s renowned Christmas displays, London buzzes with excitement during the Christmas build up. If you’re stopping by then pay a visit to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland for amusements and roller-coaster rides, go to one of the Christmas markets, and take a trip around the London Eye to behold a Christmas postcard scene.
4. Edinburgh, Scotland
A train ride can take you away to one of the UK’s most visually impressive and atmospheric cities, and during Christmas this is embraced with full cheer. Edinburgh dons itself with fairy lights and harbours many Christmas markets that make it a scenic city to visit during the festive season. Her famous castle further embraces the season with its lit-up architecture providing a stunning overlook of the ice rink situated just below.
5. Nuremberg, Germany
Nuremberg is the German equivalent of Lapland. Here, Christmas cannot be uttered with mention of her famous Christkindlesmarkt, which means one thing-holiday shopping. This huge market draws around two million visitors every year and occupies the central square for the entirety of December. You’ll find all the Christmas presents you need and more here then, and festive foods such as gingerbread men, fruitcake, Christmas pudding fill the air. Nuremberg is the city that takes Christmas spirit to the maximum.
6. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
In Amsterdam it is not only Santa Claus who pays visits with gifts, but Sinterklaas. Yes, pay a visit to Amsterdam during the Christmas season and you
will get gifts not only on the 25th but on the 5th of December, when Sinterklaas stops by in full-parade to mark the feast of St. Nicolas. This double-celebration then means that Amsterdam is hard to beat during the festive season, as there are two feasts, two Santas and two days of jolly parties. What better present could you ask for?
7. Warsaw, Poland
Christmas in Poland combines paganism with traditional religious beliefs. The baking of Piernik, gingerbread, and the making of decorations is in full swing during the festive season, and you’ll easily spot this in one of Warsaw’s Christmas markets. Warsaw may not be the first city that comes to mind for a Christmas break but with its carriage rides through the city and adorned churches it makes a picturesque sight. What’s even more tempting is that it is also one of the cheapest destinations to currently fly to from England with return flights costing as little as £16! Yes….£16. See you over there!
8. Centre Parcs, England
If there is a group of you wanting to celebrate the Christmas season together then any of the Centre Parcs offers a great break on a budget and a destination reachable just a few hours away at the max. There are wooden lodges to rest in, Christmas dinners with all the trimmings and carriage rides through the wintery scenes to enjoy. And at the end of all of that you can relax in one of their luxurious spas.
9. Zermatt, Switzerland
If Christmas for you is the time to embrace winter sports then Zermatt is the ideal destination for you. World-renowned for its peaks and ski-slopes, Zermatt offers winter adrenalin fun in the most picturesque of settings. You can stay in rustic chalets and warm up next to open-fires and if skiing isn’t your fancy then you can ice-skate on one of the many rinks available.
10. Prague, Czech Republic
As the home of Good King Wenceslas, Prague is a city that holds Christmas close to its heart. If you visit it during the festive season prepare yourself for its famous stalls and stages and its huge adorned Christmas tree in the central square. This magical scenery then is only topped off by a visit to the Prague Opera House where you can watch festive ballets and operas. Flights to Prague can also be cheap, especially during this off-peak season so be sure to check out comparison websites like www.skyscanner.co.uk frequently for the best deals!
11. Antwerp, Belguim
Antwerp’s Christmas market is a fantastic retreat during the Christmas period. With little wooden stalls that emerge around the central square and glistening bright lights, Antwerp provides the perfect romantic Christmas setting. Its vast ice rink and serenading classic music that surrounds the city leaves it further as a beautiful sight. It’s also not bad for chocolate.
12. York, England
Where better to embrace the festivity then our own York? With its Christmas market and exuberant decorations, York seems to step into a scene of a Dickens tale during the December month. Be sure to embrace in some carols at the Minster, pick up some Christmas goodies at the market, and take a stroll down the shambles or her famous roman walls and you’ll have all the Christmas joy you need and more. And if you feel up to it, the bucking reindeer in the central square always makes for festive fun.