Flight prices are already climbing steeply at peak Christmas Market times
As I write this blog it is still July, the schools have only just broken up and there are still many weeks of summer to enjoy. It’s extremely difficult to think further ahead than early September. However, as is usually the case when it comes to holidays, the further ahead you look, the more likely you are to find a really good deal.
It’s just over four months until the Christmas Market season starts, but the flights to the main market destination cities are already very expensive on the most popular dates – the first two weekends in December. Some great midweek deals can still be found however, even to the most popular destinations for Christmas Markets such as Berlin and Prague.
Most Christmas Markets start in the last week of November and run through to Christmas Eve or a day or two before. They are usually open every day from 10am to about 8 or 9 pm. Berlin is the capital city of the German Christmas Markets and has something to suit everyone.. There are usually more than 60 markets throughout the city, along the large boulevards and squares as well as on the small side streets and even in several museums.
An atmospheric backdrop makes the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market one of the most popular. Held in one of the most beautiful squares in the city, this market specialises in old handicrafts such as flax embroidery. Wood carvers and stonemasons also present their work and jugglers, acrobats, fire artists, dance groups and choirs keep the crowds entertained.
Prague’s Christmas Markets are also some of the most impressive to be found in any European city. The main Christmas markets are held in the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. There is also a smaller market at Republic Square and a permanent one at Havel’s Market. The markets consist of brightly decorated wooden huts selling traditional handicrafts: glassware, jewellery, embroidered lace, wooden toys, ceramics, scented candles, Christmas tree ornaments, hats, gloves and scarves, and puppets and dolls beautifully dressed in traditional costumes. Visitors can also see traditional foods being made, and sample all kinds of local produce. Large hams are roasted on spits and cakes and pastries are prepared in front of you – try ‘Trdelník’, a hot sugar coated pastry.
So, it might well be worth thinking ahead to December and planning a short break to a Christmas Market before getting on and enjoying the rest of the summer!