Struggling to get into the festive spirit? These 5 city breaks will change that

Written by Leah Sinclair

While Christmas is closer than we think, getting into the Christmas spirit may be a little tricky when dealing with day-to-day life – so why not get yourself in the mood with a visit to one of these festive cities?

I don’t know about you, but getting into the Christmas spirit can be tricky at times.

Despite the plethora of Christmas songs being played at every clothing store or coffee shop you walk into and the twinkling Christmas lights along busy city streets, that festive cheer can seem far, far away when you’re in the throes of working, life admin and getting on with your day to day.

But there are a few ways to get that festive spark into your life – and taking a trip away is one way to do it.

Whether it’s a day trip close to home or a last-minute weekend getaway, visiting a city that transforms itself during the Christmas period into the ultimate festive getaway can be the perfect way to get you feeling all warm and gooey inside.

Think Christmas markets, fondue, the creamiest hot chocolate and an opportunity to get some fresh perspective in a new city for a day or two.

If you’re looking for a quick trip ahead of Christmas to get you into that festive spirit, we’ve found a few destinations that are known for bringing the magic of Christmas to life each and every year – and we’ve shared them below.

  • Bath

    Festive breaks: Bath

    After a two-year hiatus, Bath Christmas Market is back – and it is definitely worth the wait.

    From Thursday 24 November – Sunday 11 December 2022, visitors can walk the picturesque streets of Bath as they transform into a magical, festive experience, which is sure to get you in the Christmas mood.

    From twinkling chalets to stalls filled with stylish homeware and handmade jewellery, you’ll be able to get some carefully curated gifts while exploring all that Bath has to offer.

    Where to stay? If you are planning an overnight stay, The Yard is a boutique hotel in the centre of the city that’s worth a visit. Each character-filled bedroom is lovingly designed and set around a historic courtyard. Guests can also enjoy the option of a delicious breakfast hamper delivered to their door or a self-serviced breakfast table at its cafe before heading out to explore more of what the city has to offer.


  • Berlin

    Festive breaks: Berlin

    Christmas and Berlin go hand and hand, thanks to the scattering of Christmas markets, including the city’s first Christmas market that dates back to 1530. 

    With over 80 to visit, you are sure to find the one that gets you in your festive feels, while enjoying a steaming cup of glühwein and seeing everything from Frankfurter Allee’s Christmas Carnival to Berlin Town Hall’s iconic ferris wheel. 

    Where to stay? If you’re looking to stay in one of Berlin’s very cool locations, Sir Savigny Hotel is located in Charlottenburg and is great for those looking to be inspired by the city’s culture and style.

    The hotel itself is a cosy oasis that will be the perfect spot to unwind after spending the day jumping from one bustling Christmas market to the other while resting in modern rooms.


  • Vienna

    Festive breaks: Vienna

    Vienna is truly a festive wonderland that you won’t want to miss out on this Christmas season. The city’s most famous Christmas market,Christkindlmarkt, is one that millions flock to every year, thanks to the bright lights, wintry treats and dozens of stalls selling arts and crafts, decorations and seasonal favourites such as roast chestnuts and Christmas punch. While there, you can also visit Karlsplatz for unique gifts and art and take in the Christmas lights on the Graben, one of Vienna’s main shopping streets.

    Where to stay? Located in Spittelberg, Hotel Altstadt is the perfect boutique hotel for relaxing with a creative twist.

    Each room is different from the next and all are largely inspired by contemporary art, with a renowned list of up-and-coming architects, designers and artists who’ve contributed to the hotel’s stunning decor.

    Oh, and breakfast is served until 11.30am on weekends, so there is no need to rush in the mornings.


  • Geneva

    Festive breaks: Geneva

    From 17 November and through December, Geneva’s beautiful Jardin Anglais will transform into the magical Noel au Jardin market. Set against the stunning backdrop of Lake Geneva, the market is framed by the iconic Jet d’Eau and the snow-capped Alps, creating a winter wonderland that will be sure to get you in the festive spirit.

    Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the rows of wooden chalets, where you will find a range of exciting gifts and trinkets from local artisans, and indulge in a classic Swiss fondue at the cosy Chalet à Fondue, which has a fantastic selection of local wines to accompany the traditional warming winter delicacy. 

    And football fans don’t need to worry about missing out on all the action of the first winter World Cup either, as they can settle in at the Christmas pub and come together with supporters from all over the world to watch the games on several screens while enjoying a tasty tipple or two in its cosy interior.

    Where to stay? Stay close to the Old Town and stunning Lake Geneva at Hôtel Longemalle. The elegant hotel is close to some of the main spots in Geneva and offers a selection of spacious rooms equipped with period furniture, TVs and concierge services to make your stay as specific as possible.


  • Edinburgh

    Festive breaks: Edinburgh

    The Christmas season is truly a wonderful time to visit Scotland. From Christmas craft fairs to Hogmanay, Scotland knows how to celebrate the festive season in style – and Edinburgh is the perfect place to start.

    Take a visit to the classic Edinburgh Christmas Market and see the traditional chalets lined up on the streets and delicious street food vendors bringing the finest selection of Bavarian produce to guests from craft beers and hot chocolates to everything in between.

    For theatre lovers, you can also see An Edinburgh Christmas Carol, written and directed by Tony Cownie, and even help the homeless and vulnerable at the free Festival of Kindness, which allows people to provide meals, gifts and essential items to those in need. Whatever you plan to do, the options in Edinburgh are truly endless.

    Where to stay? Situated in the heart of the Old Town, The Scotsman Hotel oozes class and sophistication while prioritising optimum comfort for all of its visitors.

    Guests can be treated to a complimentary newspaper every morning and relax in the chic rooms, which are beautifully designed with a beige colour scheme and oak-finished furnishings.


Images: Getty

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