6 Magical European Winter Destinations

On the continent, they do Christmas right. Snow-tipped squares, crystal lit lane-ways, red tinted winter markets and mulled wine. Oh, the mulled wine.

Christmas breaks aren’t as common as your standard summer getaway but they can often offer a far more memorable experience.

Be it the city of five million Christmas lights of Gothenburg or the fairytale city of Bruges, here are six festive wonderlands you will simply never forget.

Don't forget to book your trip with top travel brands through SuperValu eShops to collect hundreds of Real Rewards points on your purchase. 

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1. Strasbourg

They don't call Strasbourg 'Le Capital de Noël' for nothing.

Once you visit this picture postcard French city, you'll very quickly realise that the inhabitants have taken the festive season to a new level with Christmas decorations on an unimaginable scale with, not one, but seven yuletide markets.

The highlight of the trip surely must be the town square with its massive Christmas tree. Think the gigantic tree from the Polar Express movie and you'll begin to get the picture.

Visiting the Christmas markets is essential but if you only have time for one, make it Christkindelsmärik at Place Broglie. You'll know why when you get there.

Return flights from Dublin to Strasbourg

Approximately €192.16 per person

Accommodation (Three-night stay for two in December)

Total cost for two: approximately €748.32 to €1217.32

Book your flights and hotel in Strasbourg with Expedia through SuperValu eShops and you could get up to €28 worth of Real Rewards points back.

 Strasbourg

2. Gothenburg

One thing you can be guaranteed in Gothenburg is the wintry Christmas of your childhood dreams.

One other thing you can be guaranteed in the Swedish city is lights – almost five million of them. The twinkling bulbs are located in the famous Liseberg Amusement Park, which is home to Gothenburg's largest Christmas market as well as a host of thrilling rides.

If you do make it, be sure and take the opportunity during your visit to stroll down to the old artillery Kronhuset, the streets in the atmospheric Haga district or find unique design items at the Röda Sten Art Centre.

Return flights from Dublin to Gothenburg

Approximately €137.13 per person

Accommodation (Three-night stay for two in December)

Total cost for two: approximately €641.26 to €978.26

Book your flights and hotel in Gothenburg with Expedia through SuperValu eShops and you could get up to €23 worth of Real Rewards points back.

 Gothenburg

3. Gdansk

Gdansk's fabulous Targ Węglowy Christmas village takes place on the site of an old coal market, giving it a real sense of the port city's storied past.

You'll find decorations, treats, woollen scarves and socks, handmade jewellery, children's toys, mulled wine, hot cider and steaming portions of Polish food. And they still sell coal as well – or at least that's what you can tell the kids if they're not behaving themselves.

And don't miss the Golden Gate, the medieval harbour crane or the stunning festive illuminations in Oliwa Park.

Return flights from Dublin to Gdansk

Approximately €90.18 per person

Accommodation (Three-night stay for two in December)

Total cost for two: approximately €335.36 to €403.36

Book your flights and hotel in Gdansk with Expedia through SuperValu eShops and you could get up to €8 worth of Real Rewards points back.

Gdansk

4. Vienna

Visiting Vienna at Christmas is like attending a gala ball or concert in a stately home. Take a walk on the city's main streets, Graben and Kartner Strasse. When you look up, you don't see mere Christmas lights but thousands of sparkling crystals and giant chandeliers.

As the city which lays claim to Strauss and Mozart, Vienna is definitely a city for the music lover and at Christmas you can enjoy special advent concerts at the Kursalon (where Strauss was concertmaster).

It's also the home of roast chestnut stands and Weihnacht Punsch which (you've guessed it) is a Christmas punch to ward off the winter chills. The drink comes in beautiful pottery mugs which can be bought and taken home as souvenirs.

Return flights from Dublin to Vienna

Approximately €110.62 per person

Accommodation (Three-night stay for two in December)

Total cost for two: approximately €613.24 to €1037.24

Book your flights and hotel in Vienna with Expedia through SuperValu eShops and you could get up to €26 worth of Real Rewards points back.

Vienna

5. Budapest

If it's a romantic Christmas you're after, it's hard to beat a night-time cruise on the Danube through the city of Budapest – surrounded by twinkly lights on the river's famed banks.

But up on dry land, the markets set a standard that's hard to match – be it the Christmas Fair at Vorosmarty Square or the one at the Basilica where you can taste the local delicacy: chimney cake.

Another unique attraction of Budapest at Christmas is the city's thermal baths at Szechenyi where all winter chills, aches and pains will be well and truly banished.

Return flights from Dublin to Budapest

Approximately €178.60 per person

Accommodation (Three-night stay for two in December)

Total cost for two: approximately €627.20 to €689.20

Book your flights and hotel in Budapest with Expedia through SuperValu eShops and you could get up to €13 worth of Real Rewards points back.

Budapest

6. Bruges

Bruges boasts gothic castles, scenic canals and stunning architecture to give it a sense of wonder all year round – but at Christmas, the magic rises to a whole other level.

To walk around the city's markets, you'd be forgiven for thinking stalls themselves were made of chocolate, such are the aromas that waft through the city's winter air.

You can ice skate in front of the famous bell tower immortalised in Martin McDonagh's 'In Bruges' while a a spot of ornament shopping in the Christmas market awaits nearby.

Oh, and hot tip... try the mulled wine!

Return flights from Dublin to Bruges

Approximately €48.36 per person

Accommodation (Three-night stay for two in December)

Total cost for two: approximately €301.72 to €872.72

Book your flights and hotel in Bruges with Expedia through SuperValu eShops and you could get up to €24 worth of Real Rewards points back.

Bruges

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