It’s the most wonderful time of year, particularly when its set in some of Central Europe’s prettiest and most historic cities. Get in the Christmas spirit exploring festive markets in cities decorated in full Christmas splendour, browsing local handicrafts from traditional wooden stalls, sampling delicious regional specialties and taking in endless winter scenes along the way. Indulge your senses in intoxicating Budapest, browse Austrian handicrafts hopping between Graz’s 14 charming markets, and be immersed in spectacular winter scenery in Ljubljana and fairy-tale like Lake Bled. Finish up in Zagreb, which transforms into a magical illuminated wonderland for its month-long Advent festival.

Highlights

This trip takes you to a variety of Christmas markets across central Europe. Contrast the various traditions, cuisines and of course, mulled wine, in several amazing cities.

Hungary’s intoxicating capital becomes even more magical when draped in fairy-lights and dusted with snow at Christmastime. Try delicious local specialties like chimney cakes and potato dumplings at its main market at Vorosmarty Square.

Why settle for one Christmas market when you could have 14? Visit Graz’s main market at Hauptplatz Square, then make your way through as many as you wish.

Bled’s fairy tale-like scenery – which includes an 11th-century cliff-top castle, a stunning lake and a picturesque island topped with a church – is a dream to explore. See it for yourself.

Zagreb transforms into a glorious illuminated winter wonderland during its month-long Advent Festival. Spend two days savouring the sights, taking in acres of fairy-lights, huge Christmas trees, nativity scenes, ice-rinks, mulled wine stalls and igloo-shaped rakija (a potent local drop) bars.