I’m a big city breaker and what better time to go abroad than at Christmas. In fact, for the past five years I have taken a cosy Christmas market trip with my family. What began as a birthday treat for my mother’s 50th became an annual tradition.
We’ve visited Belfast, Dublin, Paris and hit a double whammy with quick trains between Brussels and Bruge and Cologne and Dusseldorf.
I recently attended Jet2‘s get together to celebrate their Christmas market destinations. We made wintery cocktails, cooked beautiful food and crafted festive wreaths. All whilst swaying along to swanky xmas tunes. It totally got me into the spirit of the season and highlighted that Jet2 have a fabulous choice of Christmas markets to visit. Here’s my top 5:
I’ve just returned from Cologne but only saw the little wooden huts being built. Instead, we popped to Dusseldorf for the evening and I can confirm, Germany know how to do markets right. The quality, thoughtfulness and cuteness is second to none. But the real benefit of Cologne is just how gorgeous and historic the city is with lots to do from taking a boat down the river Rhine to scaling the 533 Cathedral steps.
I visited Copenhagen a few years ago just before the markets opened. I fell in love with this city. Everything was pristine, the houses were colourful and the citizens were kind. I felt comfortable and calm. We enjoyed an evening in Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park turned winter wonderland. Lights twinkled in the trees and lanterns lit up the river. I’d happily return to this hygge paradise.
Austria’s Capital has long been on my list of places to visit. It looks like an incredibly cultured, elegant and decorative city that would only be enhanced at Christmas. More than 20 markets are spread across pretty palaces, grand squares and city halls so you can shop and drink til you drop. I think it’d make for a truly special trip.
The coolest city around right now is Budapest with its rich culture and popular spas. Just imagine basking in the warmth of the outdoor thermal bath whilst taking in the frosty views. Steam rising from the water with a glass of something tasty in hand. Bliss. Vörösmarty Square is actually one of the largest Christmas markets in Europe too. And this could be one of your best shots for snowball fights and sledging.
Last but certainly not least is the big apple with the big lights. I always picture winter when I dream of New York. I suspect that’s mainly down to my obsession with Home Alone 2. The perfect family Christmas movie. I’m sure the markets aren’t as impressive as in Europe, but it’d be a fairytale to ice skate in Central Park, admire Rockerfeller’s Christmas tree and watch the Christmas Spectacular starring the City Hall Rockettes.
So there you have it, 5 amazing Christmas markets to visit with Jet2 this winter or next. They are certain to get you in the festive mood and give you that warm christmassy glow. I hope you have a holly jolly Christmas and Happy New Year!
Photo credits: Visit Copenhagen, Wien.info, Daily News Hungary, Loving New York