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Must-do city breaks from only 179pp

Email sent: Oct 2, 2021 9:10am
View in browser Dig out your tote bags and order your euros because those spice-scented Christmas markets are calling! Whether you’re on the hunt for quirky gifts or mulled wine and hot snacks, there’s a European city break with your name on it. Struggling to choose where to go? Here’s our pick of

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City breaks from £179pp

Dig out your tote bags and order your euros because those spice-scented Christmas markets are calling! Whether you’re on the hunt for quirky gifts or mulled wine and hot snacks, there’s a European city break with your name on it. Struggling to choose where to go? Here’s our pick of the best destinations for twinkling lights, ice rinks and of course, plenty of Christmas shopping. 


But, which city to choose? Here are our top picks


Rome, for treasure hunting without all the winter woolies

Winter in Rome may be mild, but the city loves a Christmas market! For the most famous, head to the huge Piazza Navona, home of elaborate fountains, street entertainers and the Museo di Roma. With traditional fair rides and an array of stalls, the market stays open until 1am (2am on weekends) and runs from 8th December to 6th January.

Must see: The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City • The Trevi Fountain on the romantic Piazza di Spagna • The Colosseum, the world’s largest amphitheatre

Must do: Order bucatini all'amatriciana (think, spaghetti bolognese made with pork) at a trattoria in the Trastevere neighbourhood • Follow the footsteps of the ancients at the Roman Forum • Admire the views from amongst the ruins on Palatine Hill

Where to stay: 4* Hotel Diana Garden, B&B, 3 nights & flights, from £179pp.


Paris, the City of Lights

Paris is awash with Christmas markets from mid-November onwards. And with markets below the Eiffel Tower, outside Notre-Dame Cathedral and in the Jardin des Tuileries, you’ll be in gingerbread heaven! All the markets are near plenty more must-see sights too, making it easy to hop between top Parisian attractions and Christmassy delights.

Must see: The twinkling cityscape from the top of the Eiffel Tower • The river-side views from a Seine dinner cruise • A high-kicking cabaret show at Moulin Rouge or Paradis Latin

Must do: Sip absinthe (slowly!) in the eccentric Montmartre district • Book a slot at the Louvre Museum for the Mona Lisa • Shop haute couture in the Triangle d’Or

Where to stay: 3* Kyriad Bercy Village, Room Only, 3 nights & flights, from £199pp.


Dublin, for the craic

Wrapped up in snuggly woollies; sipping warming drinks by an open fire... Dublin is a pretty romantic place to visit in winter. Festive markets aren’t yet confirmed for this year but you can still look forward to Grafton Street’s dazzling Christmas lights, wintry walks in the sprawling Phoenix Park, and traditional folk music in the famous Cobblestone pub.

Must see: Dublin Castle on a guided tour • The striking exhibits at IMMA, the Irish Museum of Modern Art • The astonishing Book of Kells at Trinity College

Must do: Check out Dublin’s lively cultural quarter, Temple Bar • Enjoy a pint with a view in the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse • Discover the Irish Rock N Roll Museum

Where to stay: 3* Cassidys Hotel, B&B, 3 nights & flights, from £179pp.


Reykjavik, home of the Yule Lads

During the month of December when nights are much longer than the days, Reykjavik sparkles with its own brand of festive cheer. There are two main Christmas markets: a traditional one on Ingolfstorg Square and a chilled-out one in Heidmork Woods, a nature reserve just outside the city. At Hafnarfjordur Christmas Village you’ll catch the Yule Lads, Iceland’s answer to Father Christmas. But instead of one, there’s 13 of them!

Must see: The breathtaking views of sea and city from Old Harbour • The waterfalls and geothermal phenomena of the Golden Circle • The real ice cave at Perlan Museum

Must do: Go clubbing on Laugavegur Street • Head out of the city to search for the Northern Lights • Feast on tender grilled humar (langoustines), freshly caught from the icy seas

Where to stay: 4* Apotek Hotel by Keahotels, Room Only, 3 nights & flights, from £299pp.


Berlin, where culture reigns

Berlin’s Christmas scene is so extravagant, there’s even a special hop-on-hop-off bus to help you hit all the Christmas markets! With everything from typical Scandi markets (like Nordic Fairy Tale at Britz Palace) to the German Christmas market by Berlin Town Hall, you’re in for a true winter treat - and plenty of Gluwhein.

Must see: The evocative Berlin Wall Memorial • Beautiful Tiergarten park and its winter light festival • The impressive (and aptly named) Museum Island

Must do: Explore the bunkers and tunnels at Unterwelten Museum • Go with the flow on multicultural Bergmannstrasse • Head to the nearest Currywurst takeaway and tuck in

Where to stay: 4* Hotel Riu Plaza Berlin, B&B, 3 nights including flights, from £209pp.


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