If you’re stuck for ideas on where to go this year, then we have a few suggestions for you. Europe can be a magical place during the yuletide season and these particular locations come with some serious recommendations.
So if you plan to spend your Christmas vacation alone or wish to spend more time with the family, here are the top five cities you should consider visiting.
1) Vienna, Austria
Capital of Austria, this city can be enjoyed from mid-November all the way up until Christmas itself. Bustling Christmas markets and beautiful decorations make the city glow, and the smell of baking cinnamon only adds to the cosy atmosphere.
- “Vienna Magic of Advent” which takes place in the City Hall
- Visit Belvedere Palace in early evening
- Taste all the local culinary delights
- Try the Christmas punch, also known as Weihnachtspunsch
- Join the hop on hop off bus tour
- Watch the nativity play at St. Peter’s Church
Average Temperature In December: Around 3°C
How To Reach: 23km from Vienna International Airport, from which you can venture into Vienna Main Station which is fairly central.
2) Zagreb, Croatia
One of the hidden gems on this list, Zagreb is now one of Croatia’s worst kept secrets. Much like Vienna, it serves as an excellent Christmas market town during the month of December while adding a local touch to all it presents.
- Ban Josip Jelačić Square – this is where all the magic happens
- European Square is also worth a visit
- A gastronomic event takes place every advent
- You must also visit Zrinjevac Park
Average Temperature In December: Around 5°C
How To Reach: There are numerous buses from Zagreb’s main airport which you can use to easily reach the centre of town. The journey takes roughly an hour.
3) Vilnius, Lithuania
Probably one of the most underrated cities in Europe, Vilnius is decked all Yuletide round and there are few more beautiful places to celebrate the Christmas season. No matter how dank or wet the weather gets, you can always cheer yourself by walking around the endless markets and get sense of a great atmosphere.
- Explore the International Christmas Charity Bazaar at Rotuse
- Gaze upon the Cathedral Square Christmas tree
- Visit the Church of St Anne
- Buy yourself some woollens at the Wool House
Average Temperature In December: Around -3°C
How To Reach: Vilnius Airport is the nearest airport, which is about 6km from the city centre. You can read the city via the railhead of Vilnius Central Station.
4) Geneva, Switzerland
One of the most well-known cities in Europe, Geneva truly is a sight to behold at Christmas time. It perhaps has the best display of Christmas lights known on the continent and there are plenty of ice rinks to skate on as well as Christmas Markets to explore.
- Keep an eye out for the Genève Marché International de Noel at Place de la Fusterie
- Explore all of the Christmas market at Lake Geneva
- Shop at Rue du Marché and Rue de Rive
Average Temperature In December: About 3°C
How To Reach: Geneva Airport is just 4km away from Geneva’s centre. Gare de Cornavin is the best station to travel to in order to reach all the sights with ease.
5) Cologne, Germany
Finally, we go to Cologne, a city full of gothic architecture and steeped in history. So many Christmas markets appear around the Yuletide season that it’s hard to know where to begin. Just about all of them have something of value and you can explore the city on a relaxing stroll.
- All the Christmas markets
- Visit Cologne Cathedral
- Stroll through the Melatan-Friedhof
- Go to the top of the KolnTriangle
Average Temperature In December: Around 6°C
How To Reach: You can travel direct from Cologne Bonn airport, using the train which can take a mere twenty minutes to reach the centre.
Make sure to go online and book your next Europe trip this Christmas!