The run up to Christmas can be a hectic time - all that shopping! So why not combine it with a short break visiting Europe's famous Christmas markets? We at The Co-operative Travel have some great deals this December, allowing you to shop at some of the most scenic Christmas markets in the world.
Vienna, Prague, Tallinn, Copenhagen, Budapest ; the list of cities is endless, but all are renowned for their traditional Christmas markets. Most start in the last week of November and continue up to Christmas Eve, but some - for example Prague - continue into the New Year. Why not extend your visit for a few days and buy next year's Christmas presents as well? Most people associate Christmas Markets with Eastern European cities like Budapest. Their annual Christmas Fair sees the city come alive with Hungarian folk music and dancing, especially in the beautiful Vorosmarty Square, where over 100 stalls sell everything from spun glassware to spicy goulash. The highlight is the Gerbeaud Advent Calendar; this legendary café reveals a new scene in its windows every evening at 5pm accompanied by music and a light show.
At The Co-operative Travel, there are lots of ways to visit the Christmas markets. How about a short cruise, visiting the cities of Bruges and Amsterdam? In Cologne, there's even a Christmas market on board a cruise vessel. The Christmas markets of this beautiful medieval city include one with an enchanting fairy tale theme. Germany, of course, is renowned for its Christmas markets, with 50 taking place in Berlin alone! Spend time to visit the myriad decorated stalls, rich with the scents of mulled wine and cinnamon, before visiting the exclusive designer malls.
Famous for Hans Christian Anderson, Copenhagen is a truly magical place at Christmas. Each year, the historic Tivoli amusement park is transformed with thousands of lights. Vienna is another city which is at its best at Christmas, when it becomes known as the City of Lights. Another city famous for its Christmas Markets is Prague, which is renowned for its beautiful architecture and has a market in Wenceslas Square.