No kids? No problems! Sometimes the best trips are adult-only getaways: fun weekend trips spent with friends exploring a new city. Adult weekends are a great option for groups interested in seeing something new while still being budget-conscious. |
A truly European experience, Christmas Markets are a perfect way to enjoy the festive holiday season, eat some sweet treats and shop for gifts for everyone on your list. Make room in your schedule to visit a few, since each city puts its own unique twist on the classic tradition.
Adult weekends in Austria start with our tour of European Christmas Markets, and Vienna sets a high standard for others to follow. With over 20 different holiday villages spread amongst the city’s beautiful Baroque architecture, Vienna really pulls out all the stops with its festivities.
Handmade arts and crafts take centre stage at Art Advent on Karlplatz, where you can nibble on organic food and watch unique live entertainment involving fireworks and stilts. For the king of all Christmas markets, check out the Vienna Christmas Dream on Rathausplatz for over 150 stalls in front of the City Hall.
Amsterdam may not have a specific holiday market, but the city makes up for it with its over-the-top festivities and décor. Regular markets throughout the city bring out the tinsel and holly for the holiday season, and there are plenty of opportunities for live entertainment and fun holiday-themed activities.
Some highlights include the ice rink for skating outside of the famous Rijksmuseum, the World Christmas Circus at the Koninklijk Theater Carré and the Amsterdam Light Festival, where enchanting installations light up the city’s canals and streets.
For adult weekends that are extra sweet, try the oliebollen, traditional doughnuts meant to keep away bad spirits. We’ll take two.
The EU’s capital city sure knows how to celebrate the holidays with Belgium’s largest Christmas market. Here, the imposing Bourse stock exchange building gets some festive flair and travellers from all over flock to the 200-plus chalets filled with souvenirs, trinkets and gifts.
There’s no shortage of food options at Brussels, where visitors can purchase cheesy tartiflette or local specialties like Belgian chocolates and pretzels. The steampunk carousel and giant Ferris wheel at the city’s fairground provide some festive fun, and the evening show at the Grand Place (with choreographed light display set to music on the city’s UNESCO World Heritage buildings) is not to be missed.
The birthplace of the first Christkindlmarkt, Germany still has some of the best Christmas markets around. Adult weekends away should include Rüdesheim am Rhein’s market, a truly international celebration, with 12 countries presenting their holiday customs and traditional food in 120 different stalls.
Local readings throughout the day teach visitors about Germany’s rich history of folklore, fairy tales and Christmas traditions, and Europe’s largest Nativity scene can be found on the main square.
Something unique to the area is Rüdesheim Coffee, a delicious concoction of whipped cream and locally distilled Asbach Uralt brandy. If coffee isn’t your thing, try some of the other popular Asbach Uralt products, including brandy-filled chocolates – which would make a great gift for someone at home, if you don’t eat them all first.
Get Ready to Go
Many companies specialise in booking adult weekends, so why not find one offering Christmas Market trips? Leave the hassle of arranging travel plans to the experts, so you can sit back and enjoy your holiday-themed weekend getaway.
Adult weekends are a great option for short getaways, either with friends or alone. With the holiday season coming up, be sure to take advantage of all the wonders Europe has to offer with its delightful variety of Christmas Markets.
Perry Mahoney is the Director of GN Holidays, a holiday company specialising in adult weekend breaks, cruises and other excursions for the over 40s. If you're looking to enjoy adult weekends sailing along the Rhine, a getaway with non-stop 60s and 70s sounds or a just an opportunity to bond with some like-minded travellers, GN Holidays will be sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience.
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