christmas market

Beat the Christmas market crowds

There’s no use hiding from it, Christmas can be an expensive season. You have lots of presents to buy and lots of friends and family to see, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about treating yourself a little too.

A quick Christmas market getaway is the perfect way to treat yourself this festive season. And if you head away before peak season hits, not only will you beat the crowds, but you’ll also make your money go further.

Here’s 5 Christmas market destinations that you can head to from the end of November so that you beat the crowds and the airfare hikes.


1. Berlin

Berlin is pretty much Christmas market central from the last week of November, right through to New Year’s Day. In fact, there are over 50 Christmas markets across Berlin every year.

So even if the first market you pick is a little over-crowded, you can just take a stroll down the street to find one that’s a little quieter.

The market at Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche is the biggest and most popular Berlin Christmas market, receiving around 2 million visitors each year. It hosts all of the traditional treats and handmade gifts including bratwurst, sweet waffles, candied fruit, mulled wine, jewellery, decorations and artwork.


2. Prague

The historical capital of Bohemia is a fairy tale Christmas market location. Indulge with a cup of honey liquor in one hand and a trdelník (a rolled dough, grilled and topped with sugar and walnuts) in the other.

Prague has 2 main Christmas markets, one at Old Town Square (home of the world famous astronomical clock) and one at Wenceslas Square.

Once you feel the need to burn off some calories, walk across the UNESCO listed Charles Bridge and up the hill to Prague Castle (a complex that has watched over Prague since the 9th century).

The Prague Christmas markets kick-off on November 26th and run until January 6th.


3. Stockholm

Skansen’s very traditional Christmas market has been held annually since 1903. Look out for Swedish craft products, traditional Christmas ornaments made of straw, hand-dipped candles and Christmas fare such as smoked sausage, eel, salmon, pepparkakor (gingersnaps), glögg (mulled wine) and saffron buns.

The Skansen market is only open on weekends during November and December but that’s the perfect excuse for a seasonal weekend getaway. What’s more you can use your FairFX Prepaid Mastercard® to access exclusive experiences with Mastercard Priceless Cities.

Experience a weekend getaway at the Hotel Diplomat and you can receive a complimentary upgrade and free breakfast. Find out more at

hotel diplomat seaview


4. Budapest

In Budapest, Christmas markets set up their stalls from mid-November. Budapest’s oldest and largest market is situated in Vörösmarty Square. The buzzing wooden market stalls stock thousands of handmade gifts, cinnamon pastries, sausages, mulled wine, grilled vegetables and street snacks such as dodolle (potato dumplings).

The square also hosts live music and the Cafe Gerbeaud on the north side usually hosts a large advent calendar or light display on its façade.


5. The best UK markets

In case you’re worried that your money still won’t stretch far enough for a Christmas market trip abroad, you could always check out one of the UK’s top Christmas markets.

With our US Dollar and Euro Cards you can even spend your leftover travel money from your previous trip back home, with no conversion fee. With the Everywhere Card the 1.4% conversion fee still applies. ATM withdrawals fees also apply.

Mariette Ferreira

Mariette Ferreira

Mariette heads up marketing at FairFX. She loves travelling, scuba diving and South Africa, but she's yet to combine all three in one.


  1. Avatar

    Too late already book Koln but thanks

  2. Avatar

    You’ve missed out Bratislava too, capital of Slovakia, and dead easy to get to, flying direct with Ryanair from Stanstead or Luton, or going in to Vienna, then a cheap 1hr hop across the border, direct into Bratislava. A hell of a lot easier and cheaper than Stockholm, and I suspect Berlin too.

    1. Avatar

      Thanks for the tip Paul. Will you be heading to Bratislava this Christmas?

Leave a Reply