Christmas Market Deals for the Budget (and not-so-budget) Traveller

Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la la la la la…

And what better way to enjoy the season than by taking a break and visiting some of the best Christmas markets around Europe?

Cologne

London – Cologne from £46 per person per night
Manchester – Cologne from £35 per person per night

Prague

London – Prague from £35 per person per night

Berlin

London – Berlin from £21 per person per night

Cologne

Flights

London Stansted – Cologne £73 (15th – 17th December)

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 17.11.40.png

Manchester – Cologne £84 (15th – 19th December)

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 17.14.38.png

Accommodation

Save

  • A&O Köln Neumarkt  (Mauritiuswall 64-66, 50676 Cologne) – £19.41 for a bed in a dorm (15th – 17th) or £55.58 (15th – 19th)
  • Weltempfänger Backpacker Hostel (Venloer Str. 196, 50823 Cologne) – £27.94 for a bed in a dorm (15th – 17th) or £64.08 (15th – 19th)
    • The fully equipped kitchen in the first floor is open for common use
    • For a small extra fee one can enjoy a delicious breakfast in the Weltempfänger Café

Spend

  • Europäischer Hof am Dom ** (Appellhof Platz 31, Altstadt-Nord, 50667 Cologne) – £62 for a double room or £46 for a single room for two nights or £143 for a double or £111 for a single for four nights
    • Located beside Appellhofplatz Underground Station, a 6-minute walk from Cologne Cathedral and the main station
    • All rooms at the Europäischer Hof am Dom include a private bathroom
  • Novum Hotel Leonet Köln Altstadt *** (Rubensstraße 33, Altstadt-Sued, 50676 Cologne) – £68 for a double room or £46 for a single room for two nights or £122 for a single (double sold out) for four nights
    • Just over a quarter mile from the Schildergasse Shopping Street with many restaurants, cafes and bars less than a 10-minute walk away
    • Rooms all include cable TV and a private bathroom with hairdryer
    • A full breakfast buffet is provided every day

Splurge

  • Dorint Hotel am Heumarkt Köln ***** (Pipinstr. 1, Altstadt-Nord, 50667 Cologne) – £289 for a double room for two nights or £621 for four nights
    • Spacious rooms, a restaurant and access to a health club with large indoor swimming pool
    • Full buffet breakfast included
  • Villahotel Rheinblick **** (Uferstrasse 20, Rodenkirchen, 50996 Cologne) – £186 for a double room or £142 for a single room for two nights or £408 for a double or £306 for a single for four nights
    • Stylish villa located on the River Rhine, 6 km from Cologne Cathedral
    • Free WiFi, breakfast included and an à la carte restaurant

The Market

Cologne Weihnachtsmarkt was the first (non UK) Christmas market that I’d ever been to and I was amazed. I haven’t had the chance to go back since but I plan to soon! I definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn’t yet been to an authentic Christmas market.

Dates: until 23rd December

Times: depends on the market – check here for opening times

Goodies: Christmas music, arts and crafts, toys, Christmas decorations and delicacies, mulled wine, hot chestnuts and gingerbread! Woodcarvings, glass balls, ceramics, accessories, children’s toys, soaps… and much, much more!

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 02.50.24.png

“Christmas Avenue” is Cologne’s gay and lesbian Christmas market (started 2012). Its pink and purple chalets will be set up in the gay and lesbian “Bermuda Triangle” between Schaafenstraße und Pilgrimstraße – small, sophisticated and totally different from any other Christmas market you’ve ever seen before. Purple potterywares, a pink nutcracker or chocolate penis lolly pops – here you’ll find a whole world of things to see and experience. And everyone is welcome! (source: cologne.de)

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 02.51.31.png

(Photographs from tourismontheedge.com and koeln.de)

Total (flying from London 15th – 17th)

Flights from £73
Accommodation from £9.71 per night (hostel) or £15.50 per night (hotel)

From £92.41 for 2 nights in a hostel

Spend from £104 for 2 nights in a 2-star hotel, based on two people sharing

Splurge from £217.50 for 2 nights in a 5-star hotel, based on two people sharing

Total (flying from Manchester 15th – 19th)

Flights from £84
Accommodation from £13.90 per night (hostel) or £35.75 per night (hotel)

From £139.58 for 4 nights in a hostel

Spend from £227 for 2 nights in a 2-star hotel, based on two people sharing

Splurge from £373 for 2 nights in a 5-star hotel, based on two people sharing

Prague

Flights

London Stansted – Prague £94 (15th – 18th December)

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 00.34.34.png

Accommodation

Save

  • PLUS Prague (Přívozní 1, 17000 Praha 7) – £12.30 for a bed in an 8-bed mixed dorm
    • I stayed in Plus Prague two years ago when interrailing and really liked it – I don’t usually like hostel chains but I really enjoyed my time there! The staff were great, the restaurant/bar was excellent and the rooms were cosy and clean
    • Free indoor swimming pool and sauna and really close to the city centre
  • Sophie’s Hostel (Melounova 2, 12000 Prague) – £21.50 for a bed in a 10-bed mixed dorm
    • Just minutes from Prague’s historical sights
    • Big comfy pillows, rainhead showers, pancakes for breakfast, free wifi and local friendly staff

Spend

  • Pension Europa *** (K Vetrolamu 668/22, Prague, 18100)  – £48 for a double room
    • Rooms have private bathrooms, satellite TV, a safety deposit box, a minibar and a refrigerator
    • The Letňany Shopping Centre can be found 5 km from the Pension Europa and the Prague Zoo is 3 km away
  • Hotel Aida **** (Kubisova 23, Prague, 18000) – £50 for a double room
    • In a quiet location, a 15-minute metro ride from Wenceslas Square
    • All rooms in the Aida Hotel come with a tea/coffee maker, private bathroom, flat-screen TV and a minibar
    • Breakfast included

Splurge

  • Hotel Liberty **** (ul. 28. října 11/376, Prague, 11000) – £165 for a double room
    • Located on the famous Wenceslas Square
    • Facilities include a breakfast room, a coffee bar with an outdoor terrace, a relax center with a whirlpool and a sauna and a small gym
  • Hotel Hoffmeister ***** (Pod Bruskou 7, Prague, 11800) – £183 fo a double room
    • Located directly below Prague Castle, this 5-star boutique hotel is only a 10-minute walk from Charles Bridge
    • It features a restaurant recommended by Michelin
    • Some rooms have a hot tub
    • The spa facilities include a unique stone bath, a hot tub, and a sauna available in winter. Various massages and beauty treatments are provided.

The Market

Dates: until 6th January

Times: 10am – 10pm, ice rink until 31st January 10am-9:30pm

Where? The main markets are at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square (5 minutes walk from each other). There are also smaller markets dotted around the city, notably on Republic Square, at Havel’s Market, on Kampa Island in the Lesser Town, and by St. George’s Basilica at Prague Castle.

Goodies: Glassware, jewellery, embroidered lace, wooden toys, metalware, ceramics, scented candles, Christmas tree ornaments, hats, gloves and scarves, and puppets and dolls beautifully dressed in traditional costumes. Large hams are roasted on spits, there are terribly unhealthy but wonderfully tasty barbequed sausages (klobása), and cakes and pastries prepared in front of you – try ‘Trdelník’, a hot sugar coated pastry. (source: pragueexperience.com)

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 02.49.23.png

(Photograph from britishairways.com)

Total (flying from London 15th – 18th)

Flights from £94
Accommodation from £4.10 per night (hostel) or £8 per night (hotel)

From £106.30 for 3 nights in a hostel

Spend from £118 for 3 nights in a 3-star hotel, based on two people sharing

Splurge from £176.50 for 3 nights in a 5-star hotel, based on two people sharing

Berlin

Flights

London Stansted – Berlin Schönefeld £40 (15th – 18th)

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 23.00.26.png

Accommodation

Save

  • Baxpax Downtown Hostel (Ziegelstraße 28, Berlin 10117) – £24.67 for 3 nights for a bed in an 8-bed dorm
  • Smarthostel-Berlin (Genter Str. 53 a/b, Berlin 13353) – £21.72 for 3 nights for a bed in a 6-bed dorm

Spend

  • Hotel Pension Fasananhaus *** (Fasanenstraße 73, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, 10719 Berlin) – £122 for 3 nights in a double room
    • Less than 100m from the Kurfürstendamm shopping street in Berlin’s central Charlottenburg district
    • Free Wi-Fi and a daily breakfast buffet
  • Les Nations *** (Zinzendorfstr. 6, Mitte, 10555 Berlin) – £89 for 3 nights in a double room
    • Within walking distance of attractions such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, Charlottenburg Palace and the Spree River
    • £4 breakfast buffet and 24-hour front desk

Splurge

  • Hotel Sir F.K. Savigny **** (Kantstr. 144, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, 10623 Berlin) – £151 for 3 nights in a double room
    • All rooms feature a flat-screen TV, iPod/iPhone docking station, tea/coffee facilities, and soft drinks from the minibar are free until it is refilled
    • Breakfast available at £13 surcharge
  •  Sofitel Kurfürstendamm ***** (Augsburger Str. 41, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, 10789 Berlin) – £227 for 3 nights in a double room 
    • Just 100 m from the Kurfürstendamm boulevard, this 5-star designer hotel provides air-conditioned rooms, free Wi-Fi and a French restaurant
    • Guests have free use of the spa and gym
    • Lounge Bar Le Faubourg features over 30 different kinds of vodka
    • Breakfast available at £22 surcharge

The Market

Germany’s capital has about 60 Christmas markets to visit! One of the most famous markets is the Charlottenburg Castle Christmas Market – for 35 days the castle and its park are immersed in a special romantic light and a unique ensemble is created with approximately 150 vendors from all over Germany as well as abroad.

Dates: Varies by market – visit here to find out for each individual market

Goodies: Pretty much everything! From hot chestnuts, crêpes and mulled wine at Charlottenburg to jewellery, handmade candles and hats at the Gendarmenmarkt and to toys, textiles and delicacies at the eco-market on Kollwitzplatz!

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 02.49.11.png

(Photograph from berlin.citysegwaytours.com)

Total (flying from London 15th – 18th)

Flights from £40
Accommodation from £7.22 per night (hostel) or £14.83 per night (hotel)

From £61.66 for 3 nights in a hostel

Spend from £84.50 for 3 nights in a 3-star hotel, based on two people sharing

Splurge from £153.50 for 3 nights in a 5-star hotel, based on two people sharing

Don’t forget to subscribe!

The author is is no way affilliated with any of the businesses (hotels, hostels, airlines or markets) mentioned in this article.

 

 

You Might Also Like

4 Comments

  • Reply
    Hans-Christian
    December 10, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    There is a alternative tip for Berlin: A very special christmas market in Prenzlauer Berg called “Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt”. A scandinavian type of christmas market in the historical sorounding of the “Kulturbrauerei”. For me the best christmas market in Berlin.

  • Reply
    colinabs
    December 10, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    I remember Koln very well. Excellent Gluhwein. Four or was it five markets? And massive compared with many I’ve seen since.

    • Reply
      Penelope
      December 12, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      Yes! Great Kinder-Glühwein too, if I remember rightly!

    Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge