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The clocks have gone back, evenings are darker and summer officially feels like a distant memory. You all know what that means, Christmas! Time to start planning the Christmas menu, party attire and for some- the dreaded Christmas shop. On the bright side though we now have an excuse to switch to our cheesy Christmas playlist, put up fun sparkly decorations and eat endless amounts of chocolates and mince pies.

We are getting in our last break of the year to explore some festive markets. They make a great weekend away for the family with lots to keep the kids entertained whilst the grownups sip mulled wine or- treat yourself to and early Christmas present with a few friends in some of Europe’s best shopping destinations.

There are so many under rated destinations to visit all just a short plane ride away or Eurostar from London Kings Cross. Festivities tend to run up until the New Year and early morning departures are advised leaving on Friday or Saturday and returning on Sunday or Monday.

Here are some of our favourites.

Paris                                       from £179pp                      

Head to the Avenue des Champs-Elysées which hosts Paris’s biggest market for traditional gifts and food.

Amsterdam                          from £169pp

Hire a bike, see the iconic canal lined with tree’s and light then head to one of the cities popular cafes/bars.

Brussels                                 from £219pp

The city of chocolate and beer. Soak up the culture, pack a woolly scarf and hit the shops of Rue Neuve.

Budapest                               from £209pp

Visit Vorosmarty squares winter wonderland for traditional food, ice skating and the best festive ambiance in the city.