It’s that time of year when the Christmas markets are looming and with so many to chose from it can seem confusing. With the onset of the silly season it’s easy to let this magical time slip by and miss opportunities to get away for a winter break. But this travel Tuesday I’ve sourced some city breaks that won’t need you to break open the piggy bank.
One of my favourite cities in Germany is Cologne and it also boasts one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe. The Carnival held every February is also worth a visit if you can’t make the trip this winter.
The history of German Christmas markets goes back to the Late Middle Ages. Today the magic of traditional German Christmas Markets is growing stronger every year. Mostly located in delightful historical settings the Christmas Markets are a place where visitors can buy quality and hand-made Christmas gifts; they offer typical culinary delights such as gingerbread, Christstollen, roasted nuts, Bratwurst and mulled wine and entertainment where children and adults can enjoy ice-skating, nativity plays or Christmas concerts.
if you are planing a trip to Germany then check out the German Tourist Office site here Germany Travel
Christmas market – opening times:
21 Nov – 23 Dec.2016
Daily 11am – 9pm
Christmas markets – opening times
Kane Travel in Longford have great deals to Germany
Cologne, 23-26 November:
– Return flights from Dublin to Cologne including 10kg hand luggage per person
– 3 nights bed and breakfast accommodation in the 4* Tryp Hotel by Wyndham, Cologne
€275 per person
Frankfurt, 30 November – 03 December:
– Return flights from Dublin to Frankfurt including 10kg hand luggage per person
– 3 nights bed and breaksfast accommodation in the 4* Miramar Hotel, Frankfurt
€285 per person
Travelu in Navan have good prices too
Spend 3 nights in Cologne this December strolling around their world famous Christmas Markets.
Departing from Dublin on 3rd December, staying 3 nights in 3* Flandrischer Hof Hotel on a B&B Basis. We’ve also included a Cologne Christmas Cruise in the price!!
All this for just €257 per person
See the Cologne skyline from the River Rhine aboard a two hour festive panoramic cruise and don’t miss out on the best views over the city! Contact us on 1890 289 255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for more information.
Frankfurt is a special place to visit because it has so many specialised markets. It has Germany’s completely accessible market for those with disabilities and a fun and vibrant LBGT Christmas Market. To find Germany’s accessible cities click here for more details accessible Germany
For Christmas gifts that are typically Frankfurt, simply stop by the cosy log cabin situated beneath the market’s massive Christmas tree.
There, you’ll find articles including unique, Frankfurt-style Christmas tree ornaments, apple wine, soap, Frankfurt slippers and this year’s version of our popular glühwein mug.
Expedia have this offer at the end of November to Frankfurt
Make up your own itinerary or destination and remember you can save when you book your flights and hotel together on the Expedia site.
Return flights for two adults and a four night stay in the 5-star Jumeirah Frankfurt hotel for only €275 per person, including taxes and fees, saving €290 altogether when you book this flight and hotel together through Expedia.ie. For this deal, fly directly from Dublin to Frankfurt with Ryanair on Thursday, 24th November 2016, returning on Sunday, 27th November 2016.
What about the most romantic city in the world for a Christmas Market break. Many people don’t realise that the entire thoroughfare from Concord to the Champs Elysee is transformed in the run up to Christmas. I visited with the family two years ago and had the most magical time. Click and go have a great offer for a two night break.
For atmosphere try a night at Montmartre beside Sacre Coeur and perhaps pick up a couple of paintings for Christmas presents.
4* Paris Christmas Markets from €199pp – Aer Lingus flights and 2 nights’ accommodation
4* Prague Christmas Markets from €169pp with Click and Go – Return flights and 3 nights’ accomm.Prague offer
A short 10 minute stroll from each other, the two main Christmas markets in Prague are set in the city’s grandest squares. Feast on smoky barbecued sausages (Klobása), sugar coated pastry (Trdelník) or dripping hunks of roasted ham. The traditional wooden stalls hold an array of trinkets to take home, such as Czech crystal figurines, wooden toys and brightly painted puppets.
Pick your city from this list
If you can’t make up your mind where you want to go and which markets tempt you the most then there is a great offer for several city destinations from Travel Escapes
DEPARTS: 5th or 12th December 2016
Call Travel Escapes on: (353) 1 294 1000
3 night city break including city tour and Christmas Markets
From only €349 pps (see below for details of cities and prices)
- Flight from Dublin to chosen city
- Airport transfer to your hotel
- 3 nights hotel stay in 4* or 5* hotels, based on
- Buffet breakfast each morning
- Christmas Markets
- Insiders tour of chosen city
- Return transfer from your hotel to airport
- Return flight to Dublin
- Services of our representative for coach transfers and tour
- Includes check-in of 1 bag of 15kgs per room booked
- Taxes and charges
Available Destinations and Prices:
• Budapest 5th & 12th Dec €349
• Prague 12th Dec €369
• Vienna 5th & 12th Dec €419
• Lisbon 12th Dec €429
• Berlin 5th & 12th Dec €429
• Madrid 5th & 12th Dec €429
• Bruges 12th Dec €439
• Krakow 5th Dec €449
This city is on my to do list and now it’s even cheaper to get there.
Blue Sea Holidays have incredible prices on their website with Budapest on offer for only €129
CHRISTMAS MARKET RIVER CRUISE
CLASSIC CHRISTMAS MARKETS
8 Day All Inclusive Cruise from Franksurt to Nuremburg on the 19th of December on the River Duchess with Uniworld
TRUE ALL-INCLUSIVE BOUTIQUE RIVER CRUISING
• All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
• 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners
• Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
• Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
• Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
• 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom
• All transfers on arrival and departure days
• 1 country; Germany
• 6 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
• Guided “Go Active,” “Do as the Locals Do,” “Village Day” and “Gentle Walking” programs
• 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites
• Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
• State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audioheadset system on all excursions
• Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks
♥♥ Travelnet.ie // Facebook ♥♥
*Price based on two adults sharing an interior cabin. Prices are subject to change and availability without notice. Prices include Flights all applicable taxes and fees. Pre-paid gratuities are additional costs unless otherwise stated. Full terms and conditions apply.
If you don’t want to travel far then pop up the road to Belfast. Check out the visit belfast website for more information Visit belfast
The Christmas Markets at City Hall are a delight and I visited with my daughter two years ago. We found great presents for grandad including a festive bird feeder.
City Hall looks magical and as it’s the year of Food and Drink in Northern Ireland, I’m sure that it will be a wonderful market this Christmas. It runs from 19th November 2016 to December 22nd. For more information see http://visitbelfast.com/
Finally I’ll let you into a little secret about where The Novel Traveller and my Novel Shopper (my daughter) will be going this year. With the drop in Sterling we will be going across the water this November to check out the bargains in Glasgow. Look out for my report back on Midday in December! In the meantime if you are tempted to try it yourself check out these websites http://www.countrylivingfair.com/glasgow/
GLASGOW WILL GET AN EARLY PRESENT TO LIGHT UP THE COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS
Glasgow will get an early Christmas present this year when new Christmas lights sparkle festive magic in George Square. With 100 days to go until the big day it’s been confirmed the new lights will be part of a revamped Glasgow Loves Christmas celebration that will include a huge festive market in George Square along with the traditional tree and nativity scene.
The Lord Provost of Glasgow Sadie Docherty will switch-on the new Christmas lights on Sunday 20 November with details of how to apply for tickets being made public in the coming weeks. Among the new light displays in George Square will be around a hundred Christmas Snowflakes, festive trees and new lights covering the base of the Scott Monument.
Glasgow Loves Christmas will also welcome the return of family festive favourites including the Style Mile Carnival, Santa Dash, Blessing of the Crib and Baby’s First Christmas.
The Christmas Market returns to St Enoch Square on 10th November with the market opening for the first time in George Square on 26th November in place of an Ice Rink. As well as great Christmas gastronomic treats, drinks such as the famous the hug-in-a-mug hot glühwein and unique gift ideas, live entertainment and fairground rides in George Square, visitors might even catch a glimpse of the big man in red!
Lord Provost of Glasgow, Sadie Docherty said: “Glasgow loves a celebration and Christmas is always a very special time of year when people spend quality time with family and friends sharing memorable moments. Glasgow promises the whole Christmas package from the Style Mile Christmas Carnival, to the hugely popular Santa Dash as well as pantomimes and great music. Our magical seasonal lights are also guaranteed to put a sparkle in your step and a smile on your face this festive season. Join us in Glasgow this Christmas – whether it’s a short hop on a bus or a holiday break – there’ll be a warm welcome for you and lots to do and see.”
The hugely popular Style Mile Christmas Carnival on Sunday 27 November will bring music, dance and spectacle to the heart of Glasgow. Beginning at St Enoch’s Centre at 2.30pm and finishing at George Square, participants include the Dance School of Scotland, the Citizens Theatre Community Company, Abinhaya Dance, Samba Ya Bamba Youth Group, Mount Florida Primary School and Monkey Puzzle Nursery.
The traditional Blessing of the Crib with the Lord Provost and a children’s choir will be on Wednesday 7th December in George Square.
The city will celebrate its newest citizens with the much loved Baby’s First Christmas on Saturday 3rd December.
Glasgow’s Santa Dash, which saw more than 6,000 runners take part last year, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with the last mass participation run in Glasgow for the year being held on Sunday 11 December.
Glasgow is fantastic for shopping– the Style Mile boasts over 1,500 shops, so it’s the ideal place to head for gifts and all the essential items to make this time of year special. Unrivalled choice and must-have products are on offer at the likes of St Enoch Centre, Buchanan Galleries, Princes Square, Argyll Arcade, House of Fraser and John Lewis.
Extended opening hours, as well as convenient click and collect options make it easy to get organised in the run up to the big day – and with lots of fantastic places to head for a coffee break, rejuvenating drink or well-earned post shopping meal, Christmas shopping in Glasgow is also a treat. Come evening, you can choose from a hilarious range of Pantomimes and Festive shows in theatres and venues city-wide. For more information see https://peoplemakeglasgow.com/
Wherever you decide to do your Christmas shopping it’s good to support those who make their living by selling goods at these markets. They create personal gifts than you wont find in big department stores – and with a glass of gluhwein in one hand and a bratwurst in the other the entire experience becomes magical.
The Novel Traveller