8 tips for visiting a Christmas market
Bob Atkinson, travel expert at TravelSupermarket shares his advice on how to save money and make the most of your festive mini-break
1. We’ve all heard of the German Christmas markets, but they pop up in many other European cities too, including Vienna, Lille, Bruges, Copenhagen, Salzburg and Prague. Choose somewhere you haven’t been before and take time to explore the city as well as the market.
2. Use a comparison website such as travelsupermarket.com to find the best flight or ferry options. Or consider package deals, to take the hassle out of booking accommodation and flights separately. Book as early as possible to get the best price.
3. Avoid disappointment by checking opening times and dates before you book. The information will be easy to find on local websites or by contacting the tourist board.
4. Consider visiting midweek to save money. Christmas markets are becoming increasingly popular and weekend breaks tend to be much pricier.
5. The markets are a great place to shop for charming Christmas presents, including gifts for the home, bottles of glühwein and handmade toys. But browse the stalls before buying to make sure you get the best price and try haggling for discounts – it’s all part of the festive fun!
6. With so much food on offer, use your visit to treat your taste buds to something you haven’t tried before. Standard festive fodder includes Bratwurst, goulash and stollen cake, but you’re also likely to find unusual meats such as ostrich, wild boar and kangaroo burgers. Wash down with a mug of mulled cider or pint of German beer, before you continue searching for stocking fillers.
7. Don’t forget to keep yourself covered. You should still take out travel insurance, even if you’re only going away for a long weekend – better to be safe than sorry. Compare prices at travelsupermarket.com
8. For a cheaper experience, opt for a Christmas market staycation. Traders from the continent now set up residence in many UK cities throughout December, including Manchester, Birmingham, London and Edinburgh. Many travel operators offer coach trips, or why not book a hotel and enjoy a festive mini-break? It’s also worth checking to see if travelling by train may work out cheaper than driving and paying for parking.