‘Tis nearly the season to be jolly and nothing heralds the start of the Christmas period more than visiting a festive market. Since its first appearance in Germany in 1434, this charming tradition has been embraced by nearly every European city! With more choice and visitors than ever, the decision of which Christmas fair to visit can be overwhelming. To help you decide, Park Plaza Hotels® & Resorts shares its all-time favourite Christmas markets, giving you one less thing to organise yourself this festive season.
Steeped in over 500 years of tradition, Nuremberg’s famous ‘Christkindlesmarkt’ is one of Germany’s oldest Christmas fairs, dating all the way back to the mid-16th Century. Set in the heart of the Old Town in the main market square, ‘the little town of wood and cloth’ tempts visitors with the wintertime smells of mulled wine and Nürnberger Bratwurst. 180 market stalls, aglow with twinkling lights, sell locally-made ornaments and toys. Kids will love the Nuremberg Children’s Christmas, just a short stroll around the corner. What’s more, traditional craft stalls invite children to get creative with workshops and activities, including festive baking and candle making - the perfect souvenir to take home.
Visit: Friday 30th November 2018 – 24th December 2018.
Stay: Ideal for guests who want to explore Old Town, Park Plaza Nuremberg boasts a prime location across from Nuremberg Central Railway Station. The hotel is also just minutes away from Nuremberg Airport and the A3, A6 and A9 highways, making getting to your winter mini-break super simple! PRICE: From €164 per person for two nights’ accommodation. Valid for arrival on 20th December 2018. Prices are based on double occupancy and subject to change. To book, visit www.parkplaza.com/nuremberg.
For something a little different this year, why not visit Amsterdam? Every year, a 20-metre Christmas tree takes pride of place on the Dam Square in front of the Royal Palace, and together with the luminated luxury department store Bijenkorf, they symbolise the start of festivities in the city. Families will love the Museumplein Ice*Village; a fabulous place to enjoy ice-skating with a view of the beautiful Rijksmuseum. To follow, there are plenty of stalls serving local winter warmers, which you can enjoy with live festive music.
The Amsterdam Light Festival is also not to be missed. Returning this year on 29th November until 20th January, the streets and canals alike are adorned with twinkling lights creating a magical display throughout the city.
Visit: Late November – early January. The Christmas tree is put in place on 8th December and the Amsterdam Light Festival runs from 29th November 2018 until 20th January 2019.
Stay: Located in the centre of the city’s buzzing shopping district and a two-minute walk from Centraal Station, Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam makes a fantastic destination for short breaks. PRICE: From €189 per person for two nights’ accommodation in a Superior Room with Iconic View. Valid for arrival on 10th December 2018. Prices are based on double occupancy and subject to change. To book, visit www.parkplaza.com/amsterdam.
Berlin is another fantastic German city-break for the festive season. Boasting around 80 Christmas markets dotted around the city, you certainly won’t be short of choices! One of the oldest, most delightful Christmas markets in all of Berlin is Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Rotes Rathaus. Located close to Alexanderplatz, this market offers unique stalls with a design dating back to the early 1900s, creating a traditional feel. You can spot this market from some distance away thanks to its impressively high Ferris wheel providing magnificent views of the city. Other festive gems include is its 600 square metre ice-rink - the largest in the city. It’s only a small fee to rent ice-skates otherwise you can enter the ice for free.
Visit: Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Roten Rathaus is open from 26th November – 30th December 2018.
Stay: Park Plaza Wallstreet Berlin Mitte is a quirky hotel in the heart of Berlin. Just a short stroll from top attractions including Alexanderplatz, the hotel is also close to Märkisches Museum underground station for easy access to the city’s Christmassy sites. PRICE: From €99 per person for two nights’ accommodation in a Double Room. Valid for arrival on 16th December 2018. Prices are based on double occupancy and subject to change. To book, visit www.parkplaza.com/berlin.
Last but not least, London offers a joyful experience for everyone with its magnificent Christmas markets and local handicraft fairs. For unique Christmas gifts and stocking fillers, head to Winter Wonderland for an overwhelming choice of 200 stalls brimming with wonderful handmade gifts. The wonderous lightshow at Kew never fails to put a smile on its visitors’ faces. This magnificent trail through the beautiful gardens will lead you past singing Christmas trees, fairy-lit tunnels and a show-stopping grand finale in front of the stunning Palm House. Don’t forget to get your skates on at Somerset House for the prettiest ice-rink in London, before popping to one of the cosy cafes to warm up with chocolate and marshmallows.
Visit: Winter Wonderland is open from 22nd November 2018 – 6th January 2018. The South Bank Winter Market runs from 9th November – 27th December 2018.
Stay: Conveniently situated on the South Bank of the Thames, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London provides the perfect base from which to visit London’s festive attractions. PRICE: From £279 per person for two nights’ accommodation in a Studio Room, including breakfast and tax. Valid for arrival on 21st December 2018. Prices are based on double occupancy and subject to change. Room can sleep 2 adults and 2 children with additional sofabed. To book, visit www.parkplaza.com/london