5 Magical European Christmas Markets

It’s that time of year when you may plan to visit a Christmas market, but where have you opted for this Christmas? Are you staying in the UK or are you planning an overseas trip to a Christmas market in Europe?

#TeamCoco love this time of year, whether in the UK or in a new city that we haven’t visited before, the festive feels are just epic. We love the unique ambience of a Christmas market from the music and the food, to the local traditions and the mulled wine, what’s not to love!

We have put together a few options of Christmas markets this year including Gdansk, Strasbourg, Cardiff, Munich, and London. With a little help from IHG Hotels who have offered us an insight to some of their hotels in each of these cities.

GDANSK, POLAND

The main Christmas Market in Gdansk and the festive Arts & Crafts market will take place on the Main Town’s Coal Market this year – from the 1st until the 23rd of December. One of the most beautiful and magical in Poland, the Christmas Market in Gdansk will open on the first day of December. Visitors will be immersed in a Christmas fairy-tale. The market’s area will be divided into three lanes named Angel’s Lane (Anielska), Chocolate Lane (Czekoladowa) and Cinnamon Lane (Cynamonowa).

Where to stay: Having opened in August, Holiday Inn Gdansk®, the 240-room Holiday Inn Gdansk – City Centre is located on Granary Island. The seven-storey hotel has five conference rooms, a 24-hour gym, restaurant and a Sky Bar. It also features the new Holiday Inn ‘open lobby’ concept, which includes a bar and workspaces and is perfect to come back to after a day of festivities. In addition, kids under 12 eat and stay for free.

Room rates: From £103.59 or ‎zł 494.70
To book: Book direct via www.ihg.com/holidayinn or through the IHG Rewards Club app.

STRASBOURG, FRANCE

Opening at the end of November, this festive market remains a favourite for Christmas lovers with its four Advent concerts and its Living Nativity, along with authentic live music and cultural events. Having first launched back in 1570, travellers come from around the world to visit this magical place and experience what it has on offer, with its famous Christmas tree, scenic wooden chalets and mulled wine to add to the occasion.

Where to stay: Holiday Inn Express® Strasbourg – Centre is located in the city centre, only a short stroll away from the Christmas market. The hotel is the perfect place for travellers seeking a spot of Christmas magic in Europe within easy reach of the market. An Express Start™ Breakfast is included in the room rate with free Wi-Fi on offer. Being only 13km away from the airport, Strasbourg is a great place for on the move explorers, who are visiting the town during the busy festive period.

Room rates: From £110 or €120.84
To book: Book direct at www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/ or via the IHG Rewards Club app.

CARDIFF, WALES

The Cardiff Christmas Market will return to the pedestrian streets of Cardiff City Centre in St John Street, Working Street, Hills Street, Trinity Street and the Hayes on Thursday 14 November until Monday 23 December 2019 with yet another exciting and eclectic mix of both new and returning exhibitors as their original, hand made products are the essence of what makes this market so different and special every year.

Where to stay: voco™ St David’s Cardiff is set on Cardiff Bay’s waterfront, with glass-fronted façade, private balconies, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a coastal setting. Less than 10 minutes away from the city centre, this hotel is the most angelic setting for a magical Christmas break. After a day of festivities, return to the hotel’s restaurant and bar – The Admiral St David- which draws inspiration from the eclectic food culture and bold flavours of Australasia and Asia-Pacific or book yourself in at the award-winning Marine Spa to indulge an relax.

Room rates: From £190.44
To book: Book direct at www.vocohotels.com or via the IHG Rewards Club app.

MUNICH, GERMANY

This Christmas market is held in the heart of the city in Marienplatz square, with plenty of delicious foods, carol singers and a nativity display. The traditional German Christmas cuisine is a must and be sure to check out one of Germany’s most famous attractions, the Hofbräuhaus Brewery to get you in the festive jolly spirit.

Munich

Where to stay: Holiday Inn® Munich – City Centre Hotel is only a short walk away from the iconic Marienplatz, in the quiet and enchanting atmosphere of Haidhausen, a quarter close to the Isar river. Families can mingle in the hotel’s Open Lobby where kids can play games whilst parents can unwind and grab a drink. The property boasts 582 rooms, offering a beautiful view of Munich’s skyline. A pillow menu and blackout curtains are provided for every room with central heating for a restful night Kids aged under 12 eat and stay for free too so this is a great choice for those wishing to escape on a budget this Christmas.

Room rates: From £96.27 or €105.36
To book: Book direct at https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/ or via the IHG Rewards Club app.

LONDON, ENGLAND

Running for over a decade, London’s Winter Wonderland exudes Christmas spirit during the winter. The attraction hosts Christmas-themed activities, including an enormous ice-skatings rink, roller coaster rides, street food stalls, a Ferris wheel, Bavarian-themed beer halls with live music and a huge Christmas market. Winter Wonderland is the perfect place for families and friends to spend time with loved ones this Christmas.

London

Where to stay: Crowne Plaza® London – Kensington makes for a perfect base for travellers wishing to discover the city’s culture and heritage in a short amount of time, being only a twenty-minute walk away from Winter Wonderland. The hotel is only a five-minute taxi ride from the elegant shops and restaurants of Mayfair and Knightsbridge, allowing guests to quickly navigate around the city and experience everything London has to offer. This is a desirable destination for those who want space in an intimate setting and offers a stylish Umami restaurant and cocktail bar to dine at after exploring the festivities of the city.

Room rates: From £183 or €205
To book: Book direct via www.ihg.com/crowneplaza or through the IHG Rewards Club app.

So, what are you waiting for – getting booking your Christmas market visit.

Rachel McAlley

Rachel is currently a UK travel writer and beauty writer for House of Coco, she spends most of the week locked away in her country garden studio watching the world whizz by, and most of the weekend whizzing around the UK!

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