They’re as much a part of Christmas as Santa Claus and mince pies – for many, there’s nothing quite as festive as heading to a Christmas market.
But they don’t often come cheap. Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland will cost you £7.50 – and that’s just to get in. It’s £11.50 to go on the Ferris wheel, and a Bratwurst and alcoholic drink meal deal comes in at a hefty £15.00.
But, if you look a little further afield, you can get a whole lot more bang for your Christmas buck.
A new survey looked into the 12 most popular Christmas market destinations, comparing the cost of short breaks to see were you’ll get best value.
The research, by the Post Office, factored in the cost of things like flights, transfers, meals and those all important Christmas market must-haves such as mulled wine and cakes.
So which destination claimed the top spot? The Latvian capital of Riga. It’s the fifth year in a row that the medieval city was ranked in first place.
Two people can head to Riga for two nights for just £506. A glass of mulled wine, punch or gluhwein there is a bargain at just £3.50 and a seasonal treat like a gingerbread or stollen is just £3.12.
Even a caffeine hit is great value – a cup of coffee is just £1.96.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and Crystal Ski Holidays have partnered up with Metro to give you the chance to win the Ultimate Family Day Out at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland this festive period so you can get that feeling you can’t forget.
You could win entry for six people to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland including tickets for the Real Ice Slide in partnership with Crystal Ski Holidays and Magical Ice Kingdom. You’ll also receive three Ride Tokens per person so you can continue the fun, plus 1 x food voucher and 2 x drink vouchers per person so you can tuck into the delicious alpine snacks and beverages available in the park.
As for how to get there? Brits can expect to pay around £307 for two people for B&B accommodation and flights.
Riga’s Christmas Market takes place in Dome Square, in the shadow of Riga Cathedral, and begins on the first Sunday of Advent.
As well as artisan stalls selling gifts like gingerbread and candles, there’s also street-food vendors selling fast-food as well as Latvian specialties.
This year, there’ll be a Santa’s Grotto for kids, and a DJ will play every Friday night. On Saturdays, guests will be treated to choirs and other performers, while folk artists take centre stage on the Sunday.
If you don’t quite fancy Riga, there are still some other cheap Christmas market hotspots to visit.
Stockholm, Sweden, was a perhaps surprising runner up, thanks to cheaper flight costs – overall, costs were down 25% compared to last year. Here, a glass of mulled win costs £3.88. Overall, a two day break for two will cost £559.50.
Rounding out the top three was the Croatian capital of Zagreb, where costs are just 10p higher than Stockholm. A festive mini break here will set you back just £559.60.
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