With the prospect of seeking out that perfect Christmas gift on the horizon, Britons can use up their remaining holiday allowance and combine shopping and sojourning with a festive break to Europe and their traditional Christmas markets. From a traditional Scandinavian fairy-tale to a sparkling Swiss market, here are our top picks.
What: Traditional Scandinavian Christmas fairy-tale
Where: Ett Hem, Stockholm
Why go: Experience a true Nordic winter fairy-tale surrounded by the stunning views of sparkling lakes and snow-capped rooftops as the local Christmas markets’ aromas fill the streets with the smell of sweets and warm glögg. Striking boutique hotel Ett Hem is the perfect festive address to access the century old Christmas markets. Selling traditional smoked sausages, reindeer and intricate high-quality handicrafts, these markets truly bring out the authentic spirit of a Swedish Christmas.
Rate: Rooms from £314 including breakfast and 12% VAT
What: Amsterdam’s own Christmas Village
Where: The Dylan, Amsterdam
Why go: This time of year Amsterdam starts to sparkle under the Christmas lights that line all the streets. The atmosphere changes to a magical winter wonderland with music drifting down the lanes and mulled wine smells to warm anyone up. This is felt all the way to Amsterdam’s Christmas Village which is set against the iconic backdrop of the Rijksmuseum. Guests will find live entertainment and an abundance of delicious festive food. Guests can then head back with a frosty nose to the warmth of The Dylan and enjoy a Festive High Wine, a six-course tasting meal featuring a selection of four different wines and matching amuse bouche-style bites.
Rate: Six-course High Wine at £39 per person available from 26th December until 3rd January 2016. Guests can stay at The Dylan Amsterdam from £260 per night per room including tax.
What: A sparkling Christmas holiday in Switzerland
Where: Baur Au Lac, Zurich
Why go: Europe’s largest indoor Christmas market located in Zurich’s old train station will soon open to spread its Christmas magic. Visitors will immediately be drawn to the irresistible scent of mulled wine and delicious cinnamon filling the entire station from all of its 150 stalls. The absolute gem of the market is the 50-ft-tall Christmas tree entirely decorated with precious Swarovski crystals guaranteed to leave eyes sparkling. Guests can get an equally sparkling experience with Baur Au Lac’s festive afternoon tea composed of sweet Christmas treats and effervescent champagne when returning to the hotel.
Rate: Stay at the Baur au Lac over the festive period with its special rates, which start from CHF 680 / £443 for a Deluxe Double Room per room per night. Rates include a complimentary mini bar (re-filled daily), VAT, Wifi and fitness