Christmas markets from Gatwick Airport 2014

Christmas is just weeks away, so no time to delay – get your bags packed, head to APH parking at Gatwick and take flight to one of Europe’s finest Xmas markets for Gluhwein-fuelled festive frolics. Here are our tips for the best Christmas markets from Gatwick Airport 2014.

VIENNA: Austria

Vienna Christmas market

Vienna Christmas market at the City Hall: image credit

When: November 15-December 23
How much: From £250pp (flights and two night-stay in hotel)
The Christmas Market season starts in Vienna from Saturday, November 15. With a delightfully intoxicating ambience of nostalgia and romance descending on the city, visitors can wander the fairytale streets and enjoy its traditional winter markets, nativity displays and Christmas-themed concerts. Markets include the annual gathering at the City Hall, where kids and adults, alike, will love the adjoining Rathausplatz for a festive wonderland of decorated trees and specially created fantasies. Alternatively, head to the traditional Viennese Christmas market on Freyung (a popular Square) or the event at Spittelberg that’s held on picture-postcard cobbled streets between Burggasse and Siebensterngasse in the 7th district. Shut your eyes, breathe in and you can already imagine the aromas of gluhwein and slowly roasting chestnuts.

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TALLINN, Estonia

Tallin Christmas market

Tallin Christmas market: image credit

When: 21 November – 10 January
How much: From £193pp (flights and two night-stay in hotel)
Enjoy the fairytale atmosphere of this traditional Christmas market held in the city’s Town Hall Square. At the heart stands Estonia’s most famous Christmas tree, surrounded by a village of festive stalls selling great-value gifts to Xmas lovers from all over Europe. Find arts and crafts, local culinary delights, snow sculptures and a small zoo to enchant the children. The market also offers a daily performance of dance and music provided by choirs and groups from around the world. The perfect destination for Christmas traditionalists who are travelling on a budget.

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HAMBURG, Germany

hamburg1

When: November 24–January 6
How much: From £239pp (flights and two night-stay in hotel)
Not an obvious destination for the UK’s Christmas-trippers, but ignore the delights of this historic German port at your peril. Head to the square in front of the city hall for traditional Xmas trappings of festively themed stalls selling everything from sweet treats to arts and crafts made from leather and silver. Time your trip to be there at 4pm, 6pm or 8pm and you’ll see the spectacle of Santa’s sleigh hovering above the market. Alternatively, children will be mesmerized by the Spielzeuggasse, the Toy Street, full of games and playthings from around the globe. Hopeless romantics should head for the Jungfernstieg market, where the focus is on fine food and sophisticated gifts. Other options include the more intimate Fleetinsel market on the waterside, or the over-18s-only Santa Pauli market in the city’s infamous Reeperbahn…

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STOCKHOLM, Sweden

Stockholm Old Town Christmas market: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christmas_market_in_Stockholm_Old_Town_%284206886224%29.jpg">image credit</a>

Stockholm Old Town Christmas market: image credit

When: November 22–December 23
How much: From £184pp (flights and two night-stay in hotel)
Located in the city’s old town, the market has been in the same location of the Stortorget for more than 100 years. Enjoy the brightly coloured stalls filled with locally sourced gifts such as glass, jewellery and pottery. Prices are surprisingly affordable for this part of the world, too. Make your way around the market as you sip glogg (mulled wine) and munch traditional pepparkakor (thin gingerbread biscuits). Just look out for some of the sausages… they might well be made of reindeer meat – don’t tell Santa. All this played out to a backdrop of stunning festive decorations and a dusting of snow to make Stockholm the perfect destination for an Xmas shopping-spree to remember.

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STRASBOURG, France

Strasbourg Christmas market: image credit

Strasbourg Christmas market: image credit

When: 29 November to 31 December
How much: From £140pp (flights and two night-stay in hotel)
Held since 1570, the ‘Christkindelsmärik’ in Strasbourg is France’s oldest Christmas market and a wonderful destination for those on a budget. Covering a number of streets and squares, the highlights fall in the Broglieplatz and Münsterplatz. Gifts of arts and crafts, decorations and traditional gourmet treats are all on hand to tempt visitors. The focal point is a towering Christmas tree decorated with a stunning display of sparkling lights. This can be found in the centre of Kleber-Platz. Book your tickets now and let Christmas commence.

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