Monday 12 September 2022

The best budget Christmas market breaks in Europe 2022

We all love a Christmas market, right? I've put together the details for the cheapest Christmas markets in Europe you can get to from five of the big UK airports, with advice about where to stay & what to do while you're there. You're welcome!

Flying from: Manchester

The cheapest flight to somewhere with a banging Christmas market is Dublin, at roughly £21 return if you travel at the beginning of December. It gets more expensive towards the end of the month, but flights won't be more than £50 whenever you go. Official dates aren't out yet for when the Christmas markets start, but there tends to be a few across the city: one at the Guinness Storehouse, another at Dublin Castle and a few more across the city. This blog post from last year has some really helpful info!

For budget accommodation, Staycity Apartments in Christchurch are a great option from what I can see; bright, clean, not particularly expensive AND have enough space for a gang of you if you're planning a pals Christmas market trip to Dublin.

Other things to do in Dublin

Of course, the Christmas markets aren't the only thing to do in Dublin. You'll likely already know all the famous touristy things to do, so I've shared some lesser-known gems below...

  • Iveagh Gardens
  • Johnnie Fox's Pub 
  • Samuel Beckett Bridge
  • Winding Stair Bookshop
  • The Leprechaun Museum 

Where to eat & drink in Dublin

I actually published a post earlier this year with some restaurants in Dublin I'd love to eat at but I've listed some more budget-friendly choices below.

  • The Stage Door Cafe
  • The Rolling Donut
  • Mary's Bar & Hardware Shop
  • Peruke & Periwig
  • Bunsen

Flying from: Liverpool

The most budget-friendly December flight from Liverpool to somewhere with Christmas markets is actually Paris, with one return flight coming in at just £17. Paris isn't actually somewhere I thought of having a Christmas market for some reason, but it does - and they are set to start in November. You'll find them at Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Place de la Nation on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées and in Place du Trocadéro if recent years are anything to go by. You can read some more really helpful info here.

Budget accommdation in Paris isn't easy to come by, but the hotelF1 Paris Porte de Châtillon comes in at under £125 for 3 nights at the beginning of December, which is actually pretty decent. Liverpool - Paris actually works out as top spot for the cheapest Christmas markets in Europe!

Don't want to DIY it? Jet2 Holidays offer Paris Christmas market packages 

Other things to do in Paris

The Eiffel Tower, the catacombs, the River Seine... but what about Paris' other exciting offerings?

  • Nicolas Flamel's house
  • I Love You Wall
  • Montmartre funicular
  • Maison de Victor Hugo
  • PSG stadium tour

Where to eat & drink in Paris

There are so many fine dining options in Paris, a city well-known for it's food and drink, but if you want somewhere a little less expensive to eat or drink then here are some options which come highly recommended...

  • Bouillon Julien
  • Café du Coin
  • Da Giuseppe
  • Rozell Cafe
  • Midi 12

Flying from: Leeds Bradford

The cheapest flight from Leeds Bradford is *also* to Dublin, coming in at around £24 return. However, I'm obviously not going to repeat everything I just said above so you can read that if Dublin tickles your fancy AND you can read all about the second cheapest Christmas market flight from Leeds Bradford: Bratislava in Slovakia. Flights come in at around £28 return for the cheapest dates.

The major Christmas markets here are located in the Main Square and Hviezdoslavovo Square, with another at the castle. The city also has a FREE tram called the Christmas Express which is all decorated with Christmas lights and decor. Gorgeous! The main markets start on November 24th. I loved this blog post from Travelling Dany last year about the Bratislava Christmas markets if you need more info.

I found quite a few hotel options which come in at under £150 for 3 nights in December, including 'Downtown Bratislava B&B' and 'Pension Petit' - both very central and available on Booking dot com.

Other things to do in Bratislava

I've never been to Bratislava and it's definitely not one of the major tourist cities, but I've had a little read and found some fab things to do other than exploring the old town/buying homemade fudge and tree decorations...

  • Schloss Hof
  • Bratislava Transport Museum
  • Devinska Kobyla
  • Ancient Gerulata (a UNESCO site)
  • Rusovce Mansion

Where to eat & drink in Bratislava

Bratislava, like many cities in this part of Europe, has a lot of budget friendly options when it comes to food and drink. I've scouted out some well-recommended bars and eateries below...

  • SPIN Me Around
  • Drak & Finch
  • U Sedliaka
  • Meanto
  • Koun

Flying from: Birmingham

We're back in France with the cheapest December flight from Birmingham to somewhere with a good Christmas market: let's go to Bordeaux! This is somewhere else I've never been but rest assured a lot of research has gone into this post. You can get return flights from Birmingham to Bordeaux in December for around £25. The main Christmas market in the city is at Allées de Tourney and starts on November 26th; you can find plenty of helpful info in this blog post. This particular market has 150 stalls!

Bordeaux is another place which doesn't tend to have the cheapest accommodation available, but Hôtel Life Bordeaux Gare currently has double rooms for under £200 for 3 nights in December, as does Hotel de L'Opéra. I found these prices on booking dot com, aka my go to...

Other things to do in Bordeaux

This is a really lovely looking city with a whole host of things to do - I've listed some of the things *I* would definitely do if I was there below...

  • Bordeaux Statue of Liberty
  • Miroir d'eau
  • Pey Berland Tower
  • Le Ciudad del Vino
  • Grosse Cloche

Where to eat & drink in Bordeaux

As you can probably guess, there are plenty of classy restaurants and bars to choose from here. But what about the budget eateries? I've found some great options for you!

  • La Douce Parenthese
  • La Toque Cuivree
  • Bistro Poulette
  • KURO Espresso Bar
  • The Houses of Parliament

Flying from: Gatwick

The cheapest flights from Gatwick in December are to Milan; Italy is pretty big on Christmas because they're such a Catholic country, and Milan's Christmas markets are set to run from the 25th November right through to the 6th January. Samantha's post from last year has a lot of information about the city's Christmas experiences! You'll find markets at the Duomo, at Castello Sforzesco, and at a couple of other locations too.

I'm actually going to Milan in October, and staying at the Mo.Om Hotel; you can get 3 nights here over the weekend in December for £166, which is a really decent price especially as it's a 4* spa hotel. Residenza Cenisio and Hotel Mayorca also come in under £200 and look like fairly decent options!

Other things to do in Milan

There are plenty of things to do in Milan outside of the Christmas markets; many you'll have heard of, but I've included some others below. I'll update this section after my own trip, too...

  • Bosco Verticale
  • Albergo Diurno Venezia
  • The Wall of Dolls
  • The Armani, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana-owned bars
  • Brera District

Where to eat & drink in Milan

Again, you'll find fine dining galore across Milan - but what about the cheap eats for all us budget travellers? I've found some you'll love!

  • Cesarino
  • Premiata Cremeria Rossi
  • Pizza AM
  • Monkey Cocktail Bar
  • Pasta Fresca da Giovanni  

This was a mammoth post to write but if you're looking for a budget Christmas market break in Europe then I hope it's been helpful. As ever, reminding you to check cashback sites (I use TopCashback and Quidco) for offers when booking!

1 comment:

  1. Some amazing Christmas market breaks here! I'd love to visit some of these Christmas markets! x

    Lucy Mary