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Our Favourite 3 Winter City Breaks

Stockholm Christmas

Read on for our 3 alternative European winter city breaks!

We asked the trusty team to come up with three great options for a city break this Winter.  However, none of the options were allowed to cover the more obvious winter city break destinations like Paris, Prague or our very own London. We wanted our staff’s top recommendations for somewhere a bit different, but  equally as fantastic for a short break.

There were lots of great ideas but we have condensed it down to our three best suggestions.  We have also included the lowdown on where to stay and eat.   And the best thing about this article? We have included a beautiful video of Bern, which rocks out to an ‘interesting soundtrack’ – enjoy.

Malaga, Spain
Tips from Sara H
I went to Malaga last winter after reading a recommendation in the Guardian.  And I wasn’t dissapointed. I flew in on the Friday after work and stayed in the lovely Hotel Zenit Malaga, which was located in the city centre and looked after me very well. The city was made up beautifully for Christmas, with a real festive colours everywhere.  We also went to a free concert which I think they do every year.  Every restaurant I went to also had great food – my favourite was El Pimpi, which was a popular tapas restaurant that gives you a real feeling of going back in time.

Hotel I stayed in: Hotel Zenit Malaga
Favourite Restaurant: El Pimpi
Top Tip:  Go to the Tetería El Harén, which plays music and from Thursday to Saturday!

Malaga Christmas
Christmas in Malaga

Juanpol

Stockholm, Sweden
Tips from Marisa P
I have been to Stockholm a few times and it is a beautiful city, especially in winter. The last time I went it was covered by snow and, although it felt freezing, walking the streets gives you a real Christmas traditional atmosphere.   We walked for hours and also went on a lovely boat ride.  We didn’t catch this last year but on the morning of Lucia Day (December 13) a mythical figure called ‘Lucia and her maidens come early in the morning, before dawn, bringing light in the darkness’  – I have heard that is is a beautiful spectacle. Last time I went I stayed in the Berns Hotel, which is located in the Berzelii Park, and I thought it was great – very cool.  My favourite restaurant was definitely Gondolen, which served local food and it felt like a nice place to hang out.

Hotel I stayed in: Berns Hotel
Favourite Restaurant: Gondolen
Top Tip:  Just walk around the Christmas markets if it’s not too cold – so beautiful!

Stockholm Christmas
A Christmas market in Stockholm

Michael Cavén

Bern, Switzerland
Tips by Mathieu B
To be honest when I first invited to Bern I wasn’t that interested – I had never heard of it as a tourist destination and the few people I asked about it where of the same opinion.  So, after eventually being persuaded of it’s merits I headed out in December 2010 for a 3 day trip.  What a place – I loved it.  It’s everything you could want in a cosy Christmas trip – it has so much character (it’s actually a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site).  The most interesting area is the old town, which has lots of well-maintained  historic buildings in amongst charming cobbled streets.  We also went to see the Bear Pits, which although it was cold, was a nice walk and are a throwback to Bern’s past.

(November is also a good time to go as they have the The Onion Market, which takes place on the fourth Monday in November with visitors ‘pour in’ for their onion’.)

Hotel I stayed in: Novotel Bern Expo
Favourite Restaurant: Metzgerstuebli
Top Tip:  I think the centre is just great to walk around and I found everyone I spoke to very friendly and there is a really a nice atmosphere in the old town.

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