Tis very nearly the season for mulled wine, mince pies and present purchasing, just how simpler to go into the fun character than with a European winter-break to start your shopping? Whether you are venturing abroad or staying closer to residence, listed here are our top destinations which are much more majestic in the cooler months.
If you don’t want to travel too far afield for a Christmas shopping experience, try Bath’s traditional market, as over 170 wooden chalets selling artisan goods line the city’s pretty Georgian streets.
Don’t Miss: The stalls just outside the impressive Bath Abbey, which is bathed in light for the festive period.
The Christmas market in the centre of Birmingham – a combination of a German and a craft market – is the largest outside Germany and Austria and draws crowds to the city for a spot of shopping (and a lot of mulled wine) during the festive period.
Don’t Miss: It’s all about the food – enjoy a glass of glühwein, a German Bratwurst and a chocolate-covered crêpe.
Famed for chocolate and beer – and accessible by the Eurostar – it’s unsurprising that the Belgium capital is a heavenly haven for winter weekends and is perfect for perusing Christmas markets.
Don’t Miss: The opulent Grote Markt, Brussels’s central square, is a must-see, as is the annual Christmas parade.
The Swedish city of Stockholm is perfect for either a traditional or contemporary festive visit and the markets are the best places to do your festive shopping beneath the sparkling seasonal adornments.
Don’t Miss: Drinking glögg (it might be the same as mulled wine but it’s much more fun to say) and eating the homemade gingerbread.
In London, there are two main destinations to choose from when it comes to Christmas markets – the Southbank and Winter Wonderland both boast a wide selection of traditional chalets to shop from.
Don’t Miss: A skate around the rink at Hyde Park, or Somerset House, or the National History Museum – there are just too many to choose from.
Home to the oldest Christmas market in Europe (dating back to 1540), the 300-plus stalls will keep you occupied for hours.
Don’t Miss: The Great Christmas Tree – located in the central square of place Kléber – makes for a showstopping centrepiece.
The medieval architecture of Nuremberg makes it an ideal Yuletide destination – particularly as it is less than a two-hour plane trip from London.
Don’t Miss: The world-famous Christkindlesmarkt and the beautiful Old Town are the most festive hot spots.
They say that nowhere is lovelier than Paris in spring, but the City of Light is unsurprisingly majestic in the colder months too, with the centre’s many monuments illuminated, shop windows glittering and Christmas markets galore.
Don’t Miss: The lights across the city, and the 27-metre-high tree at The Galeries Lafayette.
The season of Advent brings festive concerts and shows, as well as classic Christmas markets, to the pretty squares in the romantic Austrian capital.
Don’t Miss: The Alt Wiener Weihnachtsmarkt at Freyung for traditional shopping, the local delicacy of mulled wine and orange juice and the annual Christmas Eve celebration at Weikersdorf Castle.
Forget Christmas, it’s all about Hogmanay in Edinburgh. From spectacular firework displays to Shetland Vikings bearing firelit torches, the Scottish capital is the best place to ring in the new year.
Don’t Miss: A rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne as the clock strikes twelve.