It’s that time of year again, the bright lights are on and the streets are filled with eager shoppers out to get their Christmas presents sorted early. Yes, Christmas is the biggest time for shopping in the year but it also happens to be one of the busiest travel times of the year as many individuals seek a short break during their Christmas holidays. Europe is a popular destination for many travellers, and with cheap flights available to and from most cities in Europe, the world really is your oyster during the festive season. Below we take a look at 5 cities that are well worth exploring at this time of year.
(Image – Wikipedia)
5 European Christmas getaways
Can you think of anywhere better to spend the festive season than the home of Santa Claus himself, Rovaniemi in Lapland. Lapland is located at the very north of Finland and can be extremely cold at Christmas time but there is a real sense of magic in the air. This is a perfect destination for families who are willing to brave the cold conditions as you will be rewarded by the stunning scenes of this area and off course, the famous Santa Park and Village, home to the great man himself. You will also get some of the finest views of the Northern Lights here and this is sure to be a once in a lifetime holiday you will never forget.
A good bit further south than Rovaniemi and Lapland but every bit as magical is Paris, the capital city of France. Famous throughout the world as the city of love, this is the perfect place to escape for a romantic break for 2 over the festive season. With outdoor ice rinks dotted throughout the city and the famous shops of the Champs Elysees looking truly spectacular, Paris really does scream celebration over Christmas. The Eiffel Tower looks as impressive as ever lit up over Christmas and if you want to visit the city after Christmas, New Years Eve in Paris is something that everyone should experience at least once in their life.
One of the fastest growing European cities in many aspects, the popularity of Dublin and indeed Ireland as a travel destination is simply soaring. The city looks magical at Christmas with many Christmas markets and craft markets set up around the city. If you’re planning on visiting Dublin over the festive season, be sure to visit the Christmas Market at St. Stephen’s Green and also the fantastic Dublin Docklands Christmas Market. No trip to Dublin would be complete without a pint of the city’s famous Guinness Stout, and there is no better place to enjoy this than at the home of Guinness itself, The Guinness Storehouse at St. James’s Gate Brewery.
Next on our list is London, one of the most popular cities to visit no matter what the time of year. London simply has it all at Christmas – a selection of shops to fit all budgets, hotels to suit all tastes and more importantly, events, festivals and markets all over the city in the days and months leading up to Christmas itself. Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is one of the most popular areas of the city during Christmas but truth be told, you’ll never be short of things to do. With ice rinks spread across many locations including the popular London Eye and Canary Wharf and a Christmas grotto at London Zoo, there’s something to suit all ages in London at Christmas.
Last on our list is a city that has both an old and new area both of which are popular with locals and tourists. The old town square and Wenceslas Square (new town) are 5 minutes from each other and equally as impressive during the Christmas period. These squares are home to the two main markets for the city during Christmas and you can enjoy some local and international produce here. The Christmas lights really bring this ancient city to life over the Christmas period and you’re sure to have a magical and memorable trip in the capital city of Czech Republic.