If you’re looking to go on a Christmas break this December, but have to watch your budget, then read on.
We've got nine cheap and cheerful destinations for you. From the wintry delights of Reykjavik to the sun-kissed oranges of Seville, there’s no time like Christmas for a budget holiday.
1) Seville, Spain
Image by ecks ecks (Flickr/Creative Commons)
Want a Christmas weekend in the sun? Swap the winter blues for the Andalusian sunshine this year. Seville is so warm you may wonder if they even have a winter.
With temperatures ranging from 16-20 degrees during the day, you can go Christmas shopping without a coat or ice skating with a t-shirt. All-year-around sunshine means there’s no better place to pick up some Vitamin D this Christmas.
2) Reykjavik, Iceland
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Even though the days are short and daylight is precious, you’ll discover every house is beautifully lit with festive lights. It’s going to be cold in Reykjavik, but you can always warm up in the Blue Lagoon.
Go on a jeep tour of Iceland’s snowy volcanoes and in the evening; the night sky will come alive with green light, courtesy of the Aurora Borealis.
3) Berlin, Germany
Image by Hans-Jürgen (Flickr/Creative Commons)
Wrap up warm when you go to Berlin this Christmas. You’ll be spoilt for choice when you get there. Discover the merry pleasures of Glühwein and explore the city’s incredible festive markets on foot.
The most famous market, Berliner Weinachtszeit, is located behind Alexanderplatz and is a fantastic place to have a currywurst.
4) Budapest, Hungary
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Thermal baths in Budapest are a blissful experience at Christmas time. Visit the Szechenyi Baths for hot spring pools, including two open-air thermal pools and 15 indoor pools.
Always a popular destination over Christmas, you can enjoy a spectacular cruise on the river Danube this December. The city's skyline is incredibly beautiful on night boat tours, and afterwards you can check out the city's food markets.
5) Zagreb, Croatia
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If you fancy a hipster Christmas break, then look no further than Croatia’s boutique capital. Increasingly popular for its fantastic Christmas market (voted ‘Best in Europe’ by Lonely Planet), Zagreb is a designer haven for travellers wanting an alternative destination for a winter holiday.
6) Krakow, Poland
Image by Jarod Carruthers (Flickr/Creative Commons)
Krakow is a joy to explore over Christmas. If you want to get into the holiday spirit, you’ll find it by exploring the city’s biggest market in Rynek central square. Surrounded by baroque and gothic architecture, it is one of the most picturesque settings for a cheap winter break.
7) Bologna, Italy
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Famous across the world for being the home of ragu, Bologna is one of Italy’s greatest cities. It is home to some of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe: The Fiera di Natale market and Antica Fiera di Santa Lucia.
At both, you can find out more about the Nativity crib tradition of making unique figures and sample the local delicacy torrone (festive nougat made with almonds and honey).
8) Valletta, Malta
Travel south to the Mediterranean for a sun-drenched Christmas break in Malta. With sunshine all-year-round, Malta puts on a beautiful festive display over December, combining the most elegant traditional celebrations with glittering light displays.
*Header image by Jose Antonio Moreno Cabezudo (Flickr/Creative Commons)