Where to Go In December
As the festive season approaches, one of the best ways to enjoy a short break away is to visit one of Europe’s charming Christmas markets. Many historic cities in Central and Northern Europe have held markets in the festive period for hundreds of years, where visitors can pick up some traditional crafts and local delicacies. The atmospheric town squares are infused with the aroma of spiced biscuits, glühwein and gingerbread, and buildings are festooned with colourful lights. Not only a great way to get into the festive spirit, Christmas markets often offer excellent shopping opportunities, and you may come home with some unique gifts – from unusual decorations for the tree to handmade wooden toys. Here are some of our favourites:
Top Christmas Market Destinations
Vienna, which offers three distinct Christmas markets from mid-November. The Christkindlmarkt which takes place in the town hall square is a spectacular array of stalls, lights, decorations and Christmas trees. And why not take in a concert or opera performance while you are there – the Kirker Concierge can secure tickets at the famous Vienna State Opera or the elegant Musikverein.
Bruges makes an excellent short break by Eurostar, perfect for those seeking to avoid airports, and its mediaeval cityscape is a delightful setting for several charming markets where stalls sell Belgian chocolates and waffles, and traditional hand-spun lace.
Winter Sun in December
Alternatively – escape the festive ambience completely and spend a few days in North Africa, for example the Moroccan city of Marrakech, where temperatures in the daytime are still warm, and the spices and souks of the ancient medina offer a completely different shopping experience. We can recommend a number of friendly traditional riads, where guests enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of a secluded private home. Many also have with a roof terrace overlooking the rooftops of the city below, a hammam for a restorative treatment, or a restaurant serving delicious Moroccan cuisine – the perfect antidote to turkey overload...