Whether you fancy a break before the party season gets into full swing or are looking for a festive getaway, don’t book anything before reading our round up of the top five European destinations for the perfect winter weekend. Think Christmas markets, cosy cafes and snow-topped cities….
Steeped in history, culture and nature, Edinburgh is a UK winter hotspot that shouldn’t be missed. Explore the city’s Christmas market for mulled wine and festive treats, and discover more treasures among the fairy-lit streets, from the dramatic fortress of Edinburgh Castle to vintage shops and the must-see Camera Obscura.
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Berlin has earned its place as a capital of cool, thanks to its independent boutiques, quirky restaurants and coffee shops and the vibrant music and art culture. In winter, however, you get all this and more. On top of the cosmopolitan vibe you get sixty Christmas markets to choose from, streets lined with lights and decorations, and – with any luck – Instagram-worthy snowfall.
With its picturesque architecture and snow-topped roofs, Prague looks like a living Christmas card in winter – perfect for who longs for that elusive white festive season. Aside from plenty of Instagram opportunities, its bohemian culture means you’ll find a thriving art scene and tonnes of cosy cafes. And don’t forget to visit the markets – they’re open from 26th November.
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When it comes to Christmas decorations, Amsterdam thinks outside of the festive box. Instead of fairy lights, expect amazing sculptures and installations at their annual Light Festival. Once you’ve taken in the sights, head to one of their many museums or pull up a chair at a snug, side street bar. It gets seriously cold here because the city is so flat so plan your getaway wardrobe accordingly.
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Parisians know how to do winter right. The streets are lined with towering fir trees and illuminated with fairy lights, whilst the wooden chalet-style market stalls offer even more shopping opportunities (we didn’t think that was possible in the fashion capital). Try not to tumble on the ice rinks and when the skates come off, fuel up with roasted chestnuts or go upmarket with some traditional French cuisine.
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