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Best places to travel in December on a budget

The summer holidays may be over, but that doesn’t mean your passport needs to be tucked back in the drawer. Whether you are after some festive cheer or a bit of winter sun, here are our top picks for places to travel in December that won’t break the bank.

Best for festive cheer: Berlin

If for you December is all about the build up to Christmas, then you can’t go far wrong with a trip to a Christmas market. While you can find these in France, Croatia and Austria, nothing really beats a German Christmas market – or Weihnachtsmarkt.

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The German capital, Berlin, has over 70 Christmas markets that start from the end of November. And once you have had enough glühwein and bratwurst, you have the beautiful city of Berlin to explore. Lots of the city’s top areas of interest can be experienced for free, including the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall. Tourists can even visit the Reichstag building for free, provided they register in advance.

Many airlines fly to Berlin from the UK, with prices starting as low as £67 return for dates in December. The city offers accommodation options to fit all budgets, ranging from cheap and cheerful hostels to sophisticated hotels.

Best for a romantic break: Prague

Prague has gained popularity as a budget European destination over recent years. If you are looking to avoid some of the crowds, then winter is a great time to visit the city – if you can stand the cold!

The city offers romantic views from Prague Castle and views across the river from Charles Bridge. It also has Christmas markets that run right through to January, giving you the chance to warm up with a cup of mulled wine after you’ve wandered the picturesque streets of this medieval city. And if you fancy heading inside, there are lots of bars to provide you with plenty of affordable Czech beer and a cosy corner to sit in.

Prices for flights from the UK to Prague start as low as £43 return for dates in December. Much like Berlin, the city has a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets.

Best for winter sun: Canary Islands

Only a four-and-a-half-hour flight from the UK, and in the same time zone, the Canary Islands offer you some winter sun without having to journey to the other side of the world. With temperatures of around 21°c in December and around six hours of sunshine per day, the islands offer the chance to escape from the grey skies of the UK. Most resorts on the islands are open year round, and the beaches are significantly quieter than in the summer months.

Flights to Lanzarote start from £67 return for dates in December, with other islands such as Tenerife coming in slightly higher, starting at £84 return. As mentioned above, most of the resorts on the island stay open during the off season, meaning there are plenty of accommodation options for all budgets.

Best for a staycation: Winchester

If you want that festive feeling but don’t fancy hopping on a plane or on the Eurostar, then a visit to Winchester could be just what you are looking for. Located in rural Hampshire, the city has its own Christmas market in the shadow of its impressive medieval cathedral. If you are feeling adventurous, you can take a spin on the open air ice rink located in the middle of the market. With lots of independent cafés and restaurants, as well as historical sites and the starting point of the South Downs Way, the city has lots to offer.

Winchester is conveniently located just off the M3 motorway and has good rail links. The city has budget accommodation options from brands such as Travelodge and Days Inn, as well as traditional bed & breakfasts, Airbnbs and more luxurious hotels.

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