Christmas Items

Alternative Christmas markets

Top five alternative Christmas markets

Forget the likes of Germany and Eastern European favourites, Budapest, Krakow and Prague this year and why not head to some alternative Christmas market destinations for something a little different this festive season?

Budapest, Hungary

A perfect day in Budapest

The Hungarian paprika-fuelled capital makes for a perfect short winter city break as Esme Fox discovers.

world's largest christmas tree in italy

World’s biggest Christmas tree to light up in Italy

The small medieval town of Gubbio in Italy is set to take on a very big task- all in the name of Christmas.

Lyon's night lights

Celebrate Christmas at Lyon's Festival of Lights

Londoners have been enjoying the Oxford Street Christmas lights for the past 53 years, but that’s nothing compared to residents of Lyon in the East of France where the city’s illuminations date back to the mid-1600s.

Christmas lights, London

London’s Christmas light switch-ons

The Christmas season is now officially upon us, so we might as well all embrace the Yuletide glow by attending one of London’s many Christmas light switching on ceremonies. From famous celebrity switch-ons, to carol singers, reindeer, Santa’s grottos and time-honoured traditions here are some of London’s best Christmas light events.

Gothenburg

Top things to do in Gothenburg this Christmas

Gothenburg is Sweden’s second most important city and a great place to get into the festive spirit. From Scandinavia’s biggest Christmas market, to a Lane of Lights and the festival of St Lucia, here are the top things to do in the city this Christmas.

Discover Christmas in Greece

Feature: Discover Christmas in Greece

Christmas is nearly here, less than two weeks to go! If you’re headed off on a short winter break this Christmas, then you may be interested to know how this important holiday is celebrated throughout Europe. Over the last few weeks we’ve discovered how Christmas is celebrated in Spain, Portugal and Latvia, and this week we’re looking at Greece.

Christmas tree in Old Riga, Latvia

Feature: Discover Christmas in Latvia

It’s almost Christmas now and over the past few weeks idealshortbreaks.co.uk have been discovering how the holiday is celebrated all over Europe. So far we’ve looked at Christmas in Spain and Portugal and this week we’re focusing on the small Baltic State of Latvia.

Portuguese Christmas Cake - Bolo Rei

Feature: Discover Christmas in Portugal

Christmas is now only one month away and we’re looking forward to all our festive traditions. This got us to wondering how Christmas traditions differ around the world. So, each week we’ve been discovering how Christmas is celebrated in different countries in Europe. Last week we looked at the tradition of Christmas in Spain and this week we’re focusing on Portugal.

Stockholm in winter

Best winter city breaks

Some cities just do winter better than others. They know how to wrap up warm, have fun in the cold and make the most of the snow. They’re prepared; don’t come to a standstill with the smallest scattering of snowflakes and know how to do winter in style. Here is our pick of the best winter city breaks.

UK's top Christmas markets

The UK’s top Christmas markets

Christmas Markets are usually associated with Germany or Eastern European cities such as Prague, Budapest and Krakow, however you don’t have to go far on a city break to find one. Christmas markets have been popping up all over the UK in recent years and there are many which even rival the ones in Europe. Here’s a list of our top five.

Happy Christmas in Spanish

Feature: Discover Christmas in Spain

Christmas seems to have taken us by surprise this year and is creeping up on us fast. If you’re planning a winter city break then you’ll probably be wondering how the festival is celebrated around Europe. Each week we’ll be looking into how Christmas is celebrated abroad, focusing on a different country each week. This week we’re looking at Spain.

One of Berlin's Christmas markets

Europe’s top ten Christmas markets

The Christmas season is officially upon us and it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit. What better way to get into that festive feeling, than organising a short break to one of Europe’s best Christmas markets? Here’s a list of our top ten favourites to get you started.

London Christmas tours by Mini

Discover London’s Christmas lights by Mini

OK so we all know that big red buses and black taxi cabs are iconic symbols of London transport, but what of the quintessentially British car – the Mini? Fancy zipping around London’s twinkly streets on a unique Mini tour city break?

Active festive breaks on the Isle of Wight

Active family breaks to beat the Christmas bulge

There is still time to plan an active escape for the holidays - and walk off that Christmas turkey. For those looking for an opportunity to get away from loud presents and sit-down dinners, the Isle of Wight has some festive active breaks in store.

Head to Rome for a gourmet Christmas break

Get the festive feeling with a gourmet escape to Rome

Escape from the snow and enjoy a luxurious Christmas break to the Italian capital of Rome this year. The five-star Rome Cavalieri is a gourmand's paradise, as it boasts Rome's only triple Michelin starred restaurant, La Pergola.

Enjoy festive glamour in Belfast this year

Christmas luxury on a Northern Irish break

Families looking to enjoy a carefree Christmas this year can head to Culloden Estate & Spa and relax in front of a roaring fire with a mince pie, whilst listening to carol singers for a truly laid-back festive break in Northern Ireland.

Ski off your Christmas calories in Morzine

Make the most of your time off with a ski break

The days between Christmas and New Year can be easily wasted, with seasonal calories weighing heavy on your waist, but skiweekends.com is urging Brits to get on the pistes and make the most of Twixmas.

Enjoy lake-side serenity this Christmas

Four nights in four-star Lake District for under £400

Enjoy a peaceful Christmas break in the Lake District village of Grasmere, with the last few rooms at the four-star Wordsworth Hotel and Spa on offer with four nights for the price of three.

Visit Copenhagen and enjoy the festivities

Copenhagen hit by festive spirit

Everyone has their own Christmas traditions and Denmark is no different. The city of Copenhagen is currently buzzing with all things festive, including the famous Christmas Tables.

Enjoy peaceful seclusion on the Isles of Scilly

Choose an island getaway this Christmas

Head south this winter and discover the secluded island getaway of the Isles of Scilly. Off the coast of Cornwall, these Atlantic islands make for a peaceful escape and a four-night Christmas break is now available a saving of £120 per person.

Bath is great for a festive break

Bath Christmas market battles on through snow

The snow has only improved the festive atmosphere at Bath Christmas market, which will stay open this weekend despite the wintery conditions. Take a weekend's shopping trip to the historic spa town and pick up some unique presents.

Vintage car hire is just one of the vouchers on offer

Problem Christmas presents sorted with hotel gift vouchers

If you're struggling to think of a Christmas present for a picky relative or a friend who seems to have everything, then choose a hotel gift voucher and give them a weekend away in Scotland.

Cruise the Thames for sights and shopping

Cruise the Thames for top Christmas shopping

Visit the best of London's Christmas markets on a River Thames tour this December, as City Cruises is offering a great way to see the seasonal hotspots of Greenwich and the Southbank, as well as the sightseeing highlights of Westminster and Tower Bridge.

Stay in Snowdonia this Christmas with Warner Hotels

Not too late for a Warner Christmas break

Go for a more sophisticated Christmas this year with an adults-only break at Bodelwyddan Castle, near the coast of North Wales. Festive revellers will have to move fast, however as this is the last hotel in the Warner range to still have Christmas availability.

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Coffee with a local in Amsterdam

Amsterdam

This week IdealShortBreaks.co.uk is in Amsterdam drinking strong black coffee with local Machteld Ligtvoet, who gives us tips on some of his favourite local haunts – including where you can go to find one of the best views of the city.

Top five alternative Christmas markets

Alternative Christmas markets

Forget the likes of Germany and Eastern European favourites, Budapest, Krakow and Prague this year and why not head to some alternative Christmas market destinations for something a little different this festive season?