It’s the most wonderful time of the year… if you like freezing cold city trips, that is! You’re going to need to pack your scarf, boots and 1000 jumpers if you’re planning on a Christmas market getaway this winter, but one thing you won’t need to do is spend your whole student loan to get there.
We’ve picked out the top Christmas markets in Europe that are cheap to reach, so you can have a full festive experience without skinting yourself. Even more to spend on street food and baubles, yay!
Take a look at our top picks and start planning your winter adventure now.
Did you know you can fly all the way to Prague for less than a train journey in the UK? Yep, flights to the Czech Republic’s capital come in at around £50 and under during Christmas market season depending on where you’re travelling from.
You can check (or should that be Czech?) out both its Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square markets, which are within easy walking distance of each other. Expect Christmas on steroids as they don’t hold back when it comes to festivities! It all kicks off on 1st December and remains open until 6th January.
The Austrian capital isn’t quite as cheap to get to from all airports, but you can still snag a plane ticket for under £50 if you’re travelling direct from London. If you can get there, it’s so worth it for its historic Christmas market, which has been running since 1298!
Taking place in front of City Hall, the setup has over 150 stalls with lots of events going on throughout the festive season. The icing on the cake though has to be its huge ice rink, where you can get your skates on or try your hand at curling. It opens earlier in the season too, from November 17th, so you can beat the pre-December rush if you so desire.
Polish city Krakow really does become a winter wonderland in December. It’s usually covered in snow, making it feel even more festive when the Christmas market sets up. You’ll find an array of stalls in the city’s main square Rynek Główny, and it’s not just filled with tourist tat – there are antiques as well as other unusual gems waiting to be discovered.
Flights range from £40-£100 depending on where in the UK you’re travelling from, but considering how good value food and accommodation is, you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank.
Don’t fancy leaving the UK? Then hop in your car or on a train to Birmingham for all the festivities you need. The midlands city is home to Frankfurt Christmas Market – the biggest German market outside of Germany – offering the country’s traditional festive food, drink and merchandise all within touching distance of your favourite high street shops.
We’d recommend looking at coach options such as Megabus or National Express too, which can get you there and back for under a tenner. Bargain or what?!
Croatia has been on the rise as a sun holiday destination over the past few years, but definitely shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to winter. The country’s capital is home to one of the most impressive Christmas markets, being voted the best in Europe by European Best Destinations for three years in a row!
You’ll find mega ice rinks, local crafts and great food on offer at Advent in Zagreb, as well as live concerts, choirs and all-round Christmassy goodness. Book in advance and you can bag flights for around £100, with accommodation and cost of living still coming in pretty cheap.
This Christmas market is a little more low key, but no less exciting. The Stockholm event takes place every weekend in Skansen, an open-air museum on the island of Djurgarden, delivering traditional goods and street food in amazing surroundings. The island is also home to a small zoo, so you can shop and see some adorable animals as you go.
Flights from Manchester come in under £100, so it’s definitely an affordable weekend getaway for the festive season. It takes place throughout December, so book now for a magical pre-Christmas break.