With the summer months a thing of the past, many tourists turn to the idea of escaping for some end-of-year travels. For those who have exhausted their annual leave capacity or are seeking out easily accessible breaks that don’t eat into the Christmas budget too heavily, a city break is the ideal getaway.
Winter city breaks offer a wonderful opportunity to submerse travellers in festive culture, whilst offering excellent shopping possibilities. Some of the most wonderful Christmas city breaks are noted below. These destinations have been chosen based on their ease of accessibility, their warm welcome, fascinating culture and ability to immerse visitors into festivity.
This beautiful city hosts a number of Christmas markets in the run up to and throughout December. The surrounding gothic architecture, traditional German restaurants and range of exhibitions and museums makes Cologne (pictured above) a wonderful city to visit at any time of year.
In the winter months, however, Cologne is exceptionally festive.The German icy air, the smell of wurst, beer, mushrooms and sweets fills the air and the joviality of those visiting is infectious. Cologne is an ideal place to pick up handmade gifts, unique decorations, traditional German souvenirs and festive snacks and treats.
2. New York
Although slightly further afield, flights to New York are available several times daily throughout the UK and this is a city designed for a winter break. The weather is fierce but this is part of the appeal and the city continues to run beautifully despite the cold. With world famous stores, friendly welcomes and countless culinary delights, New York guarantees to please any guest.
The city is home to an abundance of things to do and see, with TV and film scenes at every turn. Hotels are available to suit all budgets and no trip is complete without a cosy horse-drawn journey through the streets at night.
Furthermore, what could be more festive that an outdoor ice rink below the famous Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Centre?
This Spanish destination is a true treasure for a winter break. Although heaving to the brim through the summer months, Barcelona is a peaceful and slower-paced city in the Winter, making it an ideal place for absorbing culture and cuisine leisurely.
Barcelona offers warmer temperatures, stunning architecture and fantastic exhibitions towards the end of the year. This safe city encourages tourists to wander through quiet streets and discover hidden gems of art, shops, eateries and bars. It’s the perfect destination to see a bustling city without the chaos.
It could be argued that Paris is a perfect city break destination at any time of year, but the French capital offers exquisite festivity in the winter months. Dusted with fairy lights, decorations and arty displays, Paris adopts Christmas and winter beautifully.
As always, the food of this fine place is delightful and lazy lunches and elongated dinners are made all the more tempting by the warmth of a variety of traditional restaurants. The romance of the city is unwavering even at the coldest times and with links from London so regular, there really is no excuse to not visit!
There’s no need to escape the shores of Britain to find a sublime setting to welcome in the coldest months. Bath is home to one of the country’s most impressive and versatile Christmas markets, welcoming international traders and locals. The city is glorious at all times, but the aesthetics of this historical place in winter are unforgettable.
Like stepping back centuries ago, visitors are guaranteed to marvel at street-entertainment, retails offerings and local traditional pubs that will warm even the coldest of bodies. Easily accessible from the rest of the UK, Bath is a city break not to be overlooked.