6 winter holiday destinations

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Out of ideas for this year’s Winter holiday destinations to visit? We are here to help! From Christmas markets to ice skating round enchanting cities, why not consider ending your year in one of the top seasonal destinations . As millions of Christmas lights light up every city, step inside a snow globe that comes to life this December.

Edinburgh

Think boughs of holly and winter wonderland. Edinburgh is bursting with that Christmas fever you’ve been harboring for the past eleven months. This enchanting city truly comes into it’s own in this magical month. Visit one of the festive markets as you sip some whiskey and enjoy local shortbread. Christmas spirit is bountiful in Edinburgh as you walk through the Harry Potter-esque streets. Edinburgh’s Christmas is an event, which runs through November till January featuring an ice rink in St.Andrews square,  a visit to Santa Claus and also experience the panoramic views of the city from the big wheel. The Christmas tree at the grand Jenners department store is a sight to check out as you browse through the merry Christmas displays. Edinburgh also offers the ultimate shopping experience that will ensure you cross off every item on your shopping list this Christmas.  If you’re planning a holiday spanning over the new year festivities make sure to check out Edinburgh’s Hogmanay a three-day festivity welcoming the new year. The scots pride themselves in lighting up every street and it’s for this reason that their New Year celebrations are renowned worldwide.

Berlin

If you’re looking to end your year in what’s considered the tycoon of Christmas markets, Berlin is the city for you. The Germans spare no tinsel during the festive period as hundreds of markets are set up across Berlin.  The Christmas markets begin at the end of November and are set up all throughout December. One of the more popular markets is the Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt  which attracts thousands of people each year in Berlin-Mitte form the 21st of  November till 31st of December 2016 (also open on 24,25,26 December). This central market is well known for its hand made products for sale and special delicacies. How does a mug of white chocolate-milk, a bite of a fried apple or vast selection cheeses from different parts of the world sound? Most of the stalls will offer you free samples, which allows you to walk around tasting as much you can!

A photo posted by Manuel W. (@allaboutmanuel) on

Amsterdam

The upbeat celebrations in this contemporary city make it a perfect getaway this December. Amsterdam ticks every box this yuletide season with Christmas markets taking place in the time honoured Dickensian markets that draw inspiration form the Victorian era, to the modern food festivals that take place in departed factory buildings. It’s safe to say that there is a Christmas market for any kind of shopper. Mainly  located within Amsterdam itself, although more markets can be found in Haarlem, Lelystad and Keukenhof for those who would wish to venture out of the city center. As the Christmas markets steal most of the spotlight, it’s important to mention the other merry attractions, such as the splendid ice rinks. Museumplein  is a cheerful ice rink surrounded by wooden chalets selling local food and drinks .Jaap Eden is another ice rink illuminated by fairy lanterns guiding you through as you skate round the 400m ice rink. Amsterdam accommodates for all this season from shopping to ice skating under fairy lights or simply feasting through the markets!

Budapest

Voted the most affordable Christmas Market vacation in Europe, the Hungarian capital boasts about its spectacular markets and genuine craft products accompanied by traditional cuisine and beverages. Vörösmarty Square in front of the Basilica, is the most popular festive fair where over 100 stalls are set up around the Christmas tree that is adorned with beautiful ornaments each year, voted amongst the ten most charming markets in Europe. Varoshaza Park is brimming with live music and Christmas spirit from the 17th of November till the 27th of December as a Winter Festival takes place offering a jam-packed program of events all ages. From a giant Advent Wreath to Budapest’s festive lighting and the tallest Christmas tree found in the city. Admissions to all the events around Budapest are free. Budapest is home to well decorated streets for the keen shoppers as well as several concerts and tours around this enchanting city. Budapest glimmers as the squares and streets are filled with merry displays across the city.

Munich

Although Munich is acclaimed to be home to the annual Ocktoberfest , as the seasonal months quickly are upon us, this Bavarian city quickly turns into a real life bauble. Munich pulls out all the spots and turns this city into a winter wonderland.  With over twenty markets spread around the city, Christmas cheer is never too far away. Instead of heading to a bar or restaurant fit in with the locals and pick a market each night experiencing Christmas like never before. Christkindlmarkt translated in English as ‘Christmas Market’ is the oldest and biggest market found in Munich. Its historic roots run deep as the Lord Mayor opens the market each year with over 150 wooden huts selling gingerbread, mulled wine, Christmas decorations and enough toys to fill anyone’s stocking this Christmas. With origins dating back to the 14th century it comes to no surprise why this city is considered as one of the top spots to spend Christmas this year.

A photo posted by Jen Brand (@jenb63) on

Krakow

Think of Krakow as a snow globe, which comes to life at the end of November, with its gingerbread houses and echoing Christmas carols throughout the decorated streets. Here in Poland December is the month where the locals can flaunt their exquisite landmarks and charming seasonal liveliness. Dress up well and walk through the polish streets admiring the handmade decorations that fill the city of Krakow. This city is often refereed to the as the world’s capital of white Christmas as the snow dazzles on the rich architecture all through the city. Krakow’s festive activity is centred around the great Rynek Glowny central square which commences in the last few days of the November and ends on 26th of December and might even stretch out till the first week of January. When visiting the market keep an eye out for Krakow’s Szopki which are intricate , authentic and brightly coloured Christmas Cribs which are on yearly display. On the first Thursday of the month a competition is held to determine the winner of the cribs displayed, it’s safe to say that the crib-tetion is on!

A photo posted by Hannah Razzak (@h_razzak) on

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