Europe transforms into a winter wonderland at Christmas, full of epic ski and snowboarding parties, cosy log fires and glühwein stalls at every turn. With so much on the go, it’s hard to know which events to add to your travel plans.
To get travellers started this year, here are a few of our favourite suggestions featured in Busabout’s best-selling winter tours:
Spend Christmas and New Years in Prague
Visit the famous Christmas markets at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square in Prague, a five-minute walk apart. You’ll find street stalls stocked with all kinds of local delights, such as Prague ham, thick hot chocolate and cinnamon pastries known as trdelník.
Budapest Christmas Fair
Like Prague, Budapest has become one of Europe's most popular cities at Christmas, and the Vörösmarty Square transforms for the Budapest Christmas Fair. Shop for Christmas-themed gifts and traditional Hungarian fare, with activities including live music and folk dancing.
The Christmas Market at St. Stephen's Basilica or ‘Advent by the Basilica’, features an ice rink and impressive light shows. Don't miss the chimney cake (kürtőskalács), which is a dough that's wrapped around a pole and baked, and served coated in sugar and cinnamon.
Rise Ski Festival in France
This unique winter festival brings together live music on mountain slope stages, snow sports and exquisite mountain views. Held at Les Deux Alpes, the French resort lies between Lyon and Chamonix. Take some time to recover and replenish at Rise with the outdoor yoga sessions at the top of the mountain or relax at the alpine spas.
Germany’s Christmas markets
Experience the festive season spirit and Gemütlichkeit with Germany's locals at the Christmas Markets in Berlin, Munich and Dresden. The Striezelmarkt in Dresden has been a fixture since 1434. German comfort foods include straight-out-the-oven bread, lebkuchen (spiced gingerbread) bratwurst and, of course, glühwein.