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Who could deny the brilliance of a Christmas break? Whether you favour flying off to have a Christmas break in the sun or want to meander around Christmas markets with a warming hot chocolate, you can rest assured that you will definitely be getting into the spirit of Christmas. 

When it comes to taking that all-important Christmas break, there’s no doubt that dining in cosy restaurants, Christmas markets, live music events and perhaps a smattering of snow all go a long way to make a Christmas break that you’ll never forget.

From captivating capitals like Vienna, Prague and Edinburgh to slightly under-the-radar destinations like d Strasbourg and Seville which make for a fantastic (if not surprising) Christmas break.

It’s time to plan the most perfect Christmas break for the forthcoming festive season, so let’s explore ten of the best places in Europe to enjoy a much-needed Christmas break.

Edinburgh

It’s a hoot all year round, but for those seeking out either a Christmas break or are already thinking about your New Years plans, the Scottish capital is even more enchanting.

The Scots start their festivities in November and you can fully expect to enjoy an excellent selection of fun events such as festive light trails, carol performances and theatrical shows. 

The streets of Edinburgh are adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations that illuminate the picturesque city and along with the illuminated Edinburgh Castle provides a breathtaking and resplendent backdrop to the city.

Edinburgh’s culinary scene is always impressive at the best of times, but at Christmas, you can enjoy some seriously delicious delicacies which includes some traditional food and mulled wine.

You might argue that Edinburgh sets the tone for Hogmany with its Christmas celebrations, and certainly if you can extend your Christmas break to enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebrations, you will experience a New Year’s Eve that you will never forget.

Edinburgh is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!
Prague is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!

Prague

The postcard-perfect city of Prague is dazzling all year round, but we can’t help but think that a Christmas break is one of the best times to enjoy the Czech capital.

Always culturally rich, Prague’s beauty is further elevated at Christmas time thanks to its twinkling lights, snow flurries and its impressive collection of Christmas markets. 

Prague is a fairly compact city and this makes it really easy to navigate between the top tourist attractions and landmarks.

Head on over to the Old Town Square where the stunning Old Town Square with its Astronomical Clock and pretty baroque buildings are surrounded by a plethora of colourful Christmas markets selling beautiful hand-crafted gifts with the intoxicating smell of mulled wine, chocolate and cinnamon filling the air. 

Of course, Prague is also a fantastic place for foodies and you can enjoy eating out at a myriad of incredible restaurants throughout the city.

Take a stroll over to the delightful Wenceslas Square to visit its magnificent Christmas market then head on over to the renowned Charles Bridge to enjoy an atmospheric walk under its pretty lights.

You may be lucky to enjoy a carol service at Prague Castle – the largest ancient castle in the world – which hosts its own market complete with carol singers.

Vienna

Oh Vienna! Elegant and magnificent in equal measure, Vienna is one of Europe’s most elegant cities and is a fantastic option for a Christmas break.

It is one of the most stunning cities in Europe and its fantastic architecture is a sight to behold thanks to its twinkling lights and colourful markets which start in mid November, so even if you are in Vienna for an early pre-Christmas break, you can take advantage of shopping for those all-important Christmas gifts.

There’s a real buzz in Vienna during the festive season and the magic of Christmas helps elevate this, making it a superb choice for a Christmas break.

From sipping glüwein in front of the majestic Belvedere Palace to enjoying the traditional snack of bratwurst at one of the many Christmas markets, the beautiful Baroque buildings make for a magical backdrop. From carol services to the much-celebrated New Year’s Day Concert, there’s endless things to do in Vienna over the holiday period whether you are a foodie, culture lover or simply loving exploring a new city.

Vienna is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!
Bruges is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!

Bruges

Bruges is one of the best cities to enjoy a Christmas break.

It is charming and almost feels like you are stepping back in time thanks to its picturesque canals, cobblestone streets and Flemish style architecture. 

Stunning at the best of times, Bruges has world-class shopping, incredible gastronomy, vibrant culture as well as a captivating heritage.

Of course, you can indulge in the age-old crafts and the artisanal chocolates at any time, but Bruges at Christmas adds that little certain something.

Head on over to the market square – the Grote Markt which is located in the heart of Bruges‘ old town which is where you’ll find Bruges’ Christmas markets alongside endless restaurants and  cosy cafés.

If you are looking for impressive views of Bruges, climb up the 366 spiralling stairs to the top of the medieval Belfort Belfry tower where you will be afforded with the best views of the city.

Or why not get seriously cosy under a warm blanket and take a horse and carriage ride around the city visiting its historic squares that are decorated with fir trees and twinkling lights for Christmas. 

There are some great museums for every discerning interest in Bruges, but if you are a foodie, you will definitely want to pay a visit to two museums that specialise in chips and chocolate – the Frites Museum and the Choco-Story Museum both of which are guaranteed to spark up your appetite.

Barcelona

Bon nadal, as they say in Catalonia! If you are thinking of taking a Christmas break in Barcelona you will not be disappointed, the festive season in the Spanish city is truly remarkable.

It might not serve up the snow-dappled buildings that other European cities offer, but the Catalan capital will conjure up more Christmas romance than you might possibly think.

From the dazzling and colourful Christmas lights to the fantastic Christmas markets, Barcelona is full of an intoxicating festive spirit that can be found throughout the city.

Barcelona is beautiful throughout the year, but especially so at Christmas time. 

This spectacular city is festooned with a plethora of Christmas lights of many colours and you will even see many hotels, restaurants (where you can enjoy a myriad of delicious seasonal dishes) and shops going all out with their festive decorations.

Fans of classical music can enjoy a live performance of Händel’s Messiah at the magnificent Basilica Santa Maria del Mar that takes place just a few days before Christmas Eve.

There’s a variety of Christmas markets to enjoy including Fira de Santa Llúcia which has been celebrated in Barcelona since 1786.

Barcelona is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!
Florence is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!

Florence

Italy at Christmas is truly a wonderful thing! For those seeking a Christmas break in Italy, Florence ticks so many boxes and more.

The Christmas celebrations start in early December and you will see shops and restaurants starting to decorate their shop windows for the festive season and decorative displays adorning the streets.

One of the significant holiday celebrations in Italy takes place on December 8th which celebrates the Immaculate Conception.

This national holiday unofficially starts the countdown to Christmas as many families still enjoy this holiday tradition of using this day to enjoy family time and decorate their Christmas tree in their homes.

Head over to Piazza del Duomo where you will find the city’s nativity scene and Christmas tree and the lights are turned on on December 7th. One of the most memorable things about spending a Christmas break in Florence is the Festival of Lights.

The light festival commences with the lighting of the Christmas trees that are placed in front of the Duomo, inside Palazzo Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo, Palazzo Medici Riccardi and Piazza San Firenze. 

The biggest Christmas market in Florence is located in Piazza Santa Croce, and typically takes place from late November to just before Christmas.

It draws on the tradition of German Christmas markets, with the traditional small wooden houses serving everything from crafts to Christmas decorations. 

Lisbon

For those who are hoping to undertake some festive shopping during a Christmas break you can certainly consider Lisbon for some prime Christmas shopping

Lisbon is one of the best destinations for winter sun in Europe and is also one of the best places to go for some serious shopping too.

Make sure you pay a visit to Wonderland Lisboa which is one of the largest Christmas events in Lisbon.

It’s fun for all ages, but especially for little ones thanks to attractions like a ferris wheel and there’s even an ice rink, a giant Christmas tree and you might even find Santa Claus there too.

Lisbon makes for a fantastic Christmas break, but it is also a stellar location to visit throughout the year too thanks to its sumptuous palaces, beautiful architecture, colourful trams and amazing wine and food.

Colourful and charming, undulating and eclectic, Lisbon’s bairros are spread across seven cinematic hillsides and all go a long way to make you fall in love with Portugal’s enchanting capital.

One of the must-see attractions has to be Lisbon Cathedral or Sé de Lisboa as it is more commonly known.  As one of the oldest churches in Lisbon, it was built in 1147 and boasts a mixture of architectural styles to include gothic, baroque and romanesque.

Lisbon is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!
Strasbourg is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!

Strasbourg

Infinitely pretty, the city of Strasbourg is always a delight, but even more so when it comes to enjoying a Christmas break!

The allure of its rich architectural heritage which embraces styles from a myriad of architectural styles which includes renaissance, romantic and art nouveau.

The old town is a maze of charming narrow alleys and winding streets that you will love wandering down and admiring this jewel of a city.

From the magnificent Cathedral to the city’s most beautiful squares, Strasbourg is also home to one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe. 

Since its origins over four centuries ago, the truly memorable Christkindelsmärik has been sprinkling its magic in Strasbourg.

With over 300 wooden chalets to check out, you can enjoy some festive shopping in a truly fairytale atmosphere!

As you would expect, Strasbourg gets decked out in all its finery with thousands of Christmas lights and decorations that sparkle and twinkle to create a bewitching atmosphere in the Alsatian capital.

Seville

Swap snowy for sunshine for a Christmas break this winter with a sun-dappled city getaway to a  vibrant city like Seville.

The Andalusian capital with its spectacular Christmas market, amazing shopping and sunny weather is not just ideal for a Christmas break, it is also one of the best destinations for winter sun in Europe. 

Famed for being the capital for one of the most beautiful regions in Spain – Andalusia, Seville is  an ideal place for a traditional Christmas break in the sun.

You could spend your days at one of the stunning beaches like Cadiz which is just one hour away from Seville and then spend the evening exploring the beautiful Christmas markets of the city.

There are also several Christmas markets around the city where you can pick up locally-crafted gifts and handicrafts from around Andalusia. 

If you’re visiting Seville for a Christmas break, you will be able to enjoy many of the festive local events until King’s Day which takes place on the 6th of January.

The city centre and main shopping streets are decorated with sparkling lights and there are Christmas concerts, street musicians and parades.

Of course, whilst you are in Seville you can’t not partake in some of the city’s top notch attractions such as watching a flamenco show and enjoying some delicious tapas.

Seville is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!

Helsinki

Fancy a smidge of a sauna with your Christmas market?

We don’t blame you! If enjoying some respite from the winter temperatures is high on your list for a Christmas break, then look no further than Helsinki.

Even the Christmas market has its own sauna, but if you prefer to stay fully-clothed, you can still enjoy all the treasures that Helsinki has to offer.

 No trip to the Finnish capital can be complete  without a visit to the fantastic Allas Sea Pool where you can enjoy a warming dip in the heated pool.

Along with Copenhagen, Helsinki is one of Europe’s top capital cities for design, so you can fully expect some fantastic options when it comes to perusing the Christmas market stalls that are dotted around Senate Square.

Foodies will adore the culinary treats that are just waiting to be savoured.

The food market at the Old Market Hall is a great place to pick up some of Finland’s traditional delicacies which includes seasonal berries and jams.

Edinburgh is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!

Edinburgh

It’s a hoot all year round, but for those seeking out either a Christmas break or are already thinking about your New Years plans, the Scottish capital is even more enchanting.

The Scots start their festivities in November and you can fully expect to enjoy an excellent selection of fun events such as festive light trails, carol performances and theatrical shows. 

The streets of Edinburgh are adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations that illuminate the picturesque city and along with the illuminated Edinburgh Castle provides a breathtaking and resplendent backdrop to the city.

Edinburgh’s culinary scene is always impressive at the best of times, but at Christmas, you can enjoy some seriously delicious delicacies which includes some traditional food and mulled wine.

You might argue that Edinburgh sets the tone for Hogmany with its Christmas celebrations, and certainly if you can extend your Christmas break to enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebrations, you will experience a New Year’s Eve that you will never forget.

Prague is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!

Prague

The postcard-perfect city of Prague is dazzling all year round, but we can’t help but think that a Christmas break is one of the best times to enjoy the Czech capital.

Always culturally rich, Prague’s beauty is further elevated at Christmas time thanks to its twinkling lights, snow flurries and its impressive collection of Christmas markets. 

Prague is a fairly compact city and this makes it really easy to navigate between the top tourist attractions and landmarks.

Head on over to the Old Town Square where the stunning Old Town Square with its Astronomical Clock and pretty baroque buildings are surrounded by a plethora of colourful Christmas markets selling beautiful hand-crafted gifts with the intoxicating smell of mulled wine, chocolate and cinnamon filling the air. 

Of course, Prague is also a fantastic place for foodies and you can enjoy eating out at a myriad of incredible restaurants throughout the city.

Take a stroll over to the delightful Wenceslas Square to visit its magnificent Christmas market then head on over to the renowned Charles Bridge to enjoy an atmospheric walk under its pretty lights.

You may be lucky to enjoy a carol service at Prague Castle – the largest ancient castle in the world – which hosts its own market complete with carol singers.

Vienna is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!

Vienna

Oh Vienna! Elegant and magnificent in equal measure, Vienna is one of Europe’s most elegant cities and is a fantastic option for a Christmas break.

It is one of the most stunning cities in Europe and its fantastic architecture is a sight to behold thanks to its twinkling lights and colourful markets which start in mid November, so even if you are in Vienna for an early pre-Christmas break, you can take advantage of shopping for those all-important Christmas gifts.

There’s a real buzz in Vienna during the festive season and the magic of Christmas helps elevate this, making it a superb choice for a Christmas break.

From sipping glüwein in front of the majestic Belvedere Palace to enjoying the traditional snack of bratwurst at one of the many Christmas markets, the beautiful Baroque buildings make for a magical backdrop.

From carol services to the much-celebrated New Year’s Day Concert, there’s endless things to do in Vienna over the holiday period whether you are a foodie, culture lover or simply loving exploring a new city.

Bruges is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!

Bruges

Bruges is one of the best cities to enjoy a Christmas break. It is charming and almost feels like you are stepping back in time thanks to its picturesque canals, cobblestone streets and Flemish style architecture. 

Stunning at the best of times, Bruges has world-class shopping, incredible gastronomy, vibrant culture as well as a captivating heritage.

Of course, you can indulge in the age-old crafts and the artisanal chocolates at any time, but Bruges at Christmas adds that little certain something.

Head on over to the market square – the Grote Markt which is located in the heart of Bruges‘ old town which is where you’ll find Bruges’ Christmas markets alongside endless restaurants and  cosy cafés.

If you are looking for impressive views of Bruges, climb up the 366 spiralling stairs to the top of the medieval Belfort Belfry tower where you will be afforded with the best views of the city.

Or why not get seriously cosy under a warm blanket and take a horse and carriage ride around the city visiting its historic squares that are decorated with fir trees and twinkling lights for Christmas. 

There are some great museums for every discerning interest in Bruges, but if you are a foodie, you will definitely want to pay a visit to two museums that specialise in chips and chocolate – the Frites Museum and the Choco-Story Museum both of which are guaranteed to spark up your appetite.

Barcelona is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!

Barcelona

Bon nadal, as they say in Catalonia! If you are thinking of taking a Christmas break in Barcelona you will not be disappointed, the festive season in the Spanish city is truly remarkable. It might not serve up the snow-dappled buildings that other European cities offer, but the Catalan capital will conjure up more Christmas romance than you might possibly think.

From the dazzling and colourful Christmas lights to the fantastic Christmas markets, Barcelona is full of an intoxicating festive spirit that can be found throughout the city. Barcelona is beautiful throughout the year, but especially so at Christmas time. 

This spectacular city is festooned with a plethora of Christmas lights of many colours and you will even see many hotels, restaurants (where you can enjoy a myriad of delicious seasonal dishes) and shops going all out with their festive decorations.

Fans of classical music can enjoy a live performance of Händel’s Messiah at the magnificent Basilica Santa Maria del Mar that takes place just a few days before Christmas Eve.

There’s a variety of Christmas markets to enjoy including Fira de Santa Llúcia which has been celebrated in Barcelona since 1786.

Florence is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!

Florence

Italy at Christmas is truly a wonderful thing! For those seeking a Christmas break in Italy, Florence ticks so many boxes and more.

The Christmas celebrations start in early December and you will see shops and restaurants starting to decorate their shop windows for the festive season and decorative displays adorning the streets.

One of the significant holiday celebrations in Italy takes place on December 8th which celebrates the Immaculate Conception.

This national holiday unofficially starts the countdown to Christmas as many families still enjoy this holiday tradition of using this day to enjoy family time and decorate their Christmas tree in their homes.

Head over to Piazza del Duomo where you will find the city’s nativity scene and Christmas tree and the lights are turned on on December 7th.

One of the most memorable things about spending a Christmas break in Florence is the Festival of Lights.

The light festival commences with the lighting of the Christmas trees that are placed in front of the Duomo, inside Palazzo Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo, Palazzo Medici Riccardi and Piazza San Firenze. 

The biggest Christmas market in Florence is located in Piazza Santa Croce, and typically takes place from late November to just before Christmas.

It draws on the tradition of German Christmas markets, with the traditional small wooden houses serving everything from crafts to Christmas decorations. 

Lisbon is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!

Lisbon

For those who are hoping to undertake some festive shopping during a Christmas break you can certainly consider Lisbon for some prime Christmas shopping

Lisbon is one of the best destinations for winter sun in Europe and is also one of the best places to go for some serious shopping too.

Make sure you pay a visit to Wonderland Lisboa which is one of the largest Christmas events in Lisbon. It’s fun for all ages, but especially for little ones thanks to attractions like a ferris wheel and there’s even an ice rink, a giant Christmas tree and you might even find Santa Claus there too.

Lisbon makes for a fantastic Christmas break, but it is also a stellar location to visit throughout the year too thanks to its sumptuous palaces, beautiful architecture, colourful trams and amazing wine and food.

Colourful and charming, undulating and eclectic, Lisbon’s bairros are spread across seven cinematic hillsides and all go a long way to make you fall in love with Portugal’s enchanting capital.

One of the must-see attractions has to be Lisbon Cathedral or Sé de Lisboa as it is more commonly known. One of the oldest churches in Lisbon, it was built in 1147 and boasts a mixture of architectural styles to include gothic, baroque and romanesque.

Strasbourg is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!

Strasbourg

Infinitely pretty, the city of Strasbourg is always a delight, but even more so when it comes to enjoying a Christmas break!

The allure of its rich architectural heritage which embraces styles from a myriad of architectural styles which includes renaissance, romantic and art nouveau.

The old town is a maze of charming narrow alleys and winding streets that you will love wandering down and admiring this jewel of a city.

From the magnificent Cathedral to the city’s most beautiful squares, Strasbourg is also home to one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe. 

Since its origins over four centuries ago, the truly memorable Christkindelsmärik has been sprinkling its magic in Strasbourg.

With over 300 wooden chalets to check out, you can enjoy some festive shopping in a truly fairytale atmosphere!

As you would expect, Strasbourg gets decked out in all its finery with thousands of Christmas lights and decorations that sparkle and twinkle to create a bewitching atmosphere in the Alsatian capital.

Seville is one of our favourite cities to take a Christmas break!

Seville

Swap snowy for sunshine for a Christmas break this winter with a sun-dappled city getaway to a  vibrant city like Seville.

The Andalusian capital with its spectacular Christmas market, amazing shopping and sunny weather is not just ideal for a Christmas break, it is also one of the best destinations for winter sun in Europe. 

Famed for being the capital for one of the most beautiful regions in Spain – Andalusia, Seville is  an ideal place for a traditional Christmas break in the sun.

You could spend your days at one of the stunning beaches like Cadiz which is just one hour away from Seville and then spend the evening exploring the beautiful Christmas markets of the city.

There are also several Christmas markets around the city where you can pick up locally-crafted gifts and handicrafts from around Andalusia. 

If you’re visiting Seville for a Christmas break, you will be able to enjoy many of the festive local events until King’s Day which takes place on the 6th of January.

The city centre and main shopping streets are decorated with sparkling lights and there are Christmas concerts, street musicians and parades.

Of course, whilst you are in Seville you can’t not partake in some of the city’s top notch attractions such as watching a flamenco show and enjoying some delicious tapas.

Helsinki

Fancy a smidge of a sauna with your Christmas market? We don’t blame you!

If enjoying some respite from the winter temperatures is high on your list for a Christmas break, then look no further than Helsinki.

Even the Christmas market has its own sauna, but if you prefer to stay fully-clothed, you can still enjoy all the treasures that Helsinki has to offer.  

No trip to the Finnish capital can be complete without a visit to the fantastic Allas Sea Pool where you can enjoy a warming dip in the heated pool.

Along with Copenhagen, Helsinki is one of Europe’s top capital cities for design, so you can fully expect some fantastic options when it comes to perusing the Christmas market stalls that are dotted around Senate Square.

Foodies will adore the culinary treats that are just waiting to be savoured. The food market at the Old Market Hall is a great place to pick up some of Finland’s traditional delicacies which includes seasonal berries and jams. 

Book today with Orbzii

It’s still not too late to start planning your Christmas breaks.
Whether you favour some winter sun or are hankering after a traditional festive getaway, if you haven’t already make sure you download the Orbzii app to Dream, Plan and Book your Christmas break today.