In the midst of the stress of the holidays, from choosing the perfect gifts to baking endless cookies and hosting family events, it can be difficult to find time for yourself. As magical as this time of year is, the bustling energy can feel overwhelming. Why not consider spending Christmas abroad instead?
We love the idea of embracing new traditions, so we’ve gathered together a list of our favorite luxury European vacation spots to celebrate the holidays. Your dream getaway is only a click away, and when it comes time to choose between overcrowded shopping centers and strolls along cobblestone streets, we’ve got a feeling you’ll opt for the latter.
Cities with traditional German Christmas markets are as quintessentially European as it gets, and Rothenburg is one of the most iconic locales, hands down. A beautiful medieval city located in the southern half of the country, it is a must see – especially since it boasts the original Käthe Wolfhart shop filled with stunning Christmas ornaments and gifts galore. Stay at the 15th century Hotel Eisenhut for a historic experience, and rest assured that you’ll be residing right in the heart of the city – perfect for those evening strolls with a mug of Glühwein in hand.
Nestled in northeastern France, Strasbourg is a stunning Christmas destination. Not only does it have the oldest Christmas market in the country, but it also is home to a gorgeous lighting display that immediately brings out that feeling of warm holiday cheer. We recommend staying at Du Côte de Chez Anne, an old mansion that has been transformed into a luxury and intimate hotel. With only five rooms available, you’ll want to book this in advance, but the mix of contemporary and historic elements is unbeatable and worth every penny.
Copenhagen is an excellent choice for a last-minute getaway. It’s filled with holiday spirit on every corner, with bright lights and the famous Tivoli Gardens’ Christmas market beckoning visitors to embrace all things warm and delicious. For lodging, there’s nothing quite like the Hotel d’Angleterre. Its balcony views are incredible, and its elegant rooms will make you feel more relaxed on your holiday than you have in years – we guarantee.
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
One of the most beloved cities in all of Europe, Prague is a wonderful Christmas destination. Its incredible history means you’ll have endless spots to explore each day, and its Christmas market is a festive treasure. Sample classic Prague dishes like Pražská Šunka (ham) and Langoš (flatbread), and wash it all down with some Medovina (honey wine mead) and you’ve got the buffet of a lifetime. We recommend staying at the Four Seasons for its decadent décor and perfect location.
Whatever your last-minute destination, Europe is home to some of the most well-loved Christmas markets in the world. Beyond that, with the array of luxurious hotels to warm up in at the end of each day, you’re sure to find that getting away for the holidays is sometimes the best way to recapture that holiday cheer (and that’s the kind of magic that makes Christmas come to life).
By Megan Johansson, Contributor to Vela Creative