Well, it’s that time of year again. The air is turning chillier by the day. Halloween has been and gone, the days are growing shorter, the nights are growing longer, and more and more stores are now advertising festive products designed to entice Christmas shoppers in.
Yes, Christmas is coming and is only a matter of weeks away now, which means braving the cold weather and hitting the high streets in order to pick up some Christmas shopping gifts for those close to you.
If however, you’ve been especially well organized and have done all of your shopping already, or if you simply wish to do it in a slightly more tranquil, peaceful, and beauty surroundings, then you may want to consider heading away on a Christmas getaway somewhere in Europe perhaps?
Christmas getaways are incredibly popular and are enjoyed by people all over the world for a variety of different reasons. Europe is the number 1 Christmas holiday destination in the world and when you see the sights on offer you’ll immediately know why. This vast continent has something for everybody and for that reason, here’s a look at just five of the finest Christmas getaways in Europe for 2014.
Prague, Czech Republic
Located within the Czech Republic, Prague is without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most popular Christmas holiday destinations in the entire world, not just Europe. The city is home to some of the most stunning architecture on the face of the earth, and if you choose to visit this December, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported back in time.
The weather there is cold and decidedly Christmassy so ensure you wrap up warm. There are quaint Christmas markets, stunning decorations, huge Christmas trees, and brightly coloured Christmas lights that will make the entire location look like a winter wonderland or something out of a fairytale. If you do decide to visit, make sure you take a boat tour of the area to really appreciate the natural beauty.
Up next on our list we have Leipzig in Germany. If you happen to enjoy Christmas markets, and let’s face it, if you enjoy Christmas you will adore Christmas markets, then this is the destination for you. Leipzig is a city steeped in natural culture, history, and beauty, and it is also perfect for families with children.
The Christmas markets there are literally like nothing else on earth and have something for absolutely everybody. With Christmas trees and lights scattered around the area, there are close to 250 different market stalls, each one offer various Christmas related gifts and products. If you happen to be a food lover, the cuisine on offer here is divine. Sample local delicacies such as fresh salmon, reindeer sausages, freshly baked gingerbread and pretzels, and much more on top of that. To warm your bones, why not grab a warm mulled wine for a decidedly Christmassy taste and feel?
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam has kind of a bad reputation amongst some people, as people often associate it with slightly seedier after dark activities. The truth of the matter however, is that Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities on the face of the earth, and is a fantastic destination around Christmas time.
With museums and other tourist based attractions staying open, you will not be short of things to do to find out all about Dutch culture. There are several Christmas based activities you can enjoy this festive season, and these include: visiting the Amsterdam light festival, taking part in ice skating on several rinks set up throughout the city, or viewing several classical musical performances.
If you happen to enjoy winter sports in the snow, skiing or snowboarding perhaps? Then Austria is the place for you this Christmas time. Even if you’re not so keen on winter sports, Austria is still perfect as the entire place looks like a fairytale.
Salzburg is ideal for families as the locals are incredibly friendly and the city is steeped in tradition and culture. With large mountain villages, dominated by pine trees and snow capped mountain scapes, you will truly appreciate Christmas and what it’s all about.
If you’ll be staying here over Christmas and into the New Year, then you should do all that you can to ensure that you see how they celebrate the New Year via their ancient customs and traditions. One of which is an especially heathenish custom of the “Perchten” which is supposedly a demonic creature which sees in the New Year. Again, the Christmas markets here are legendary and are stocked to the gills full of Christmas gifts and seasonal food and drinks items.
Arguably the most Christmassy of all of our locations on our list we finally have Lapland, Finland, the original home of Santa himself. If you have children, Lapland is a must, but even for adults it is a truly spectacular destination that has to be seen to be believed. There are igloo hotels where you can gaze up at the stars or perhaps even view the Northern Lights.
There are reindeer everywhere, reindeer sleigh rides, husky dog safaris, ice fishing opportunities, fly fishing, Santa’s workshops, real life “winter wonderlands” winter sports, decorative Christmas trees and lights, and much more on top of that. Lapland provides great Christmas fun for families of all ages, and will provide you with memories that you will remember for the rest of your life.