The Wowcher Guide to Christmas Markets

wocher guide to

Wowcher-Blogger-ID-Emily-Tye

To unashamedly steal the immortal words of Andy Williams, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. But it’s not just the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you be of good cheer that fills us with festive joy, it’s the opportunity to head to one of the many Christmas markets that the world has to offer. There’s no better way to spend the season than by shopping for loved ones at quaint market stalls, standing beneath sparkling lights while sipping on a warm mug of hot chocolate and listening to live festive music over an outside fire. The question is: should you head abroad for your annual dose of Christmas cheer, or stay in the UK? Wowcher’s here to help you decide…

Christmas-market-banners1

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

We’ll start with England and the fantastic Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. Open daily from 10am to 10pm, Winter Wonderland is filled with a large array of attractions such as the Giant Wheel which allows you to take in the stunning views of lit-up London. You can also pop into the Magical Ice Kingdom which takes you through a fantastical world of real ice sculptures and slides, Bar Ice where hand crafted tables, walls and sculptures glisten with ice as you sip on delicious cocktails and circus shows, such as Zippos Christmas Circus for the family and Cirque Berserk for the evening crowd.

Edinburgh’s Christmas 2015

Fotolia_62331793_Subscription_XXL-(1)

Taking place in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh’s Christmas market is a truly special place to spend the festive period. Picture the scene: you begin the day with an adrenaline rush on their Christmas tree slide and rollercoaster, before getting lost with your loved one in the Christmas tree maze and sitting on Santa’s lap at the grotto. Then you slip into some skates and whiz around the icy rink before grabbing some warm food and a nice hot chocolate from the market stalls.

Bath Christmas Market

Fotolia_71308134_Subscription_XXL-(1)

Bath Christmas market is all about the location. Within the market you’ll find over 170 traditional wooden chalets surrounding the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey, but venture beyond the market and you’ll find a plethora of Christmas treats for the whole family. Last year Bath on Ice returned with their fab ice rink, The Holburne Museum held its spectacular lantern procession, Santa popped by to say hello to the kids and there was even a pop-up Après Ski Bar serving up steamy mulled wine. Sound good? Then check out this deal!

Christmas-market-banners2AWAY

The Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Now let’s hop across the pond to New York for The Columbus Circle Holiday Market in Central Park. Lose yourself for hours as you wander through the market stalls that stock everything from handmade wooden puzzles to artisan chocolate, gingerbread houses and cider, before taking a carriage ride through the park with your significant other. End the day by sampling some food from the local vendors who cook right in front of you, and we think that makes for a pretty festive evening.

Vienna’s Christmas Markets

Fotolia_10860389_Subscription_L

Vienna transforms into a fairytale world of romantic nostalgia and festive cheer in the run-up to Christmas, so you won’t be short of market options if you decide to head here. Taking place in front of spectacular landmarks such as Belvedere Palace, the City Hall and Imperial Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna markets provide the perfect backdrop for your Christmas shopping. With each market filled with traditional chalets selling mulled wine, delicious treats and exquisite gifts, you might find it difficult to decide which one to go to, so why not go to more than one and make the most of your trip to Austria?

Dresden Christmas Market

Fotolia_28210009_Subscription_XL

Traditionally called Striezelmarkt, The Dresden Christmas market is Germany’s oldest, dating back to 1434. Located on the Altmarkt Square in the historical city centre, this market is filled with romantic and festive charm and is an utter treasure trove for unique and traditional handmade gifts. While you pick up some presents for your loved ones back home, you can watch the skilled carvers, glass-blowers and bakers in action, before heading towards the world’s tallest Christmas pyramid (standing at an impressive 14m!) for a photo op. Or, with this deal you can enjoy a Christmas market break in one of Germany’s other beautiful cities from just £89pp!

So there you have it. If you want attractions head to Hyde Park or Edinburgh, if it’s all about location head to Bath, if you want a choice of markets then hop on a plane to Vienna, if you’re all about tradition go to Dresden, or if you’re a fan of The Pogues and want to experience a ‘Fairytale of New York’ then head to The Columbus Circle Holiday Market in Central Park.

Of course, the choice doesn’t end there! With this deal you can head to your choice of European Christmas market from just £89pp. What will it be? Rome? Prague? Budapest? The choice is yours…

Please note: All deals featured may not be live. But with fab new deals added daily, make sure you keep checking Wowcher.co.uk.