Best European Destinations during Twixmas

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Have you ever heard of Twixmas ? That’s the period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, or to be exact from December 26 to December 31st. While some return to work after Chrismas Day, many of us – especially here in Europe – take these few days off to indulge ourselves, since usually nothing much is going on during this period.

 

You could stay home in your PJs, finish up your leftovers from Christmas Day and binge watch on Netflix. Or… you could pack your suitcase and spend these precious days visiting a European city. We prefer the latter. And therefore, with the contribution of our fellow travel bloggers, we’ve decided to inspire you with a list of the best European destinations to be explored during Twixmas.

 

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

By Mei at Travel with Mei and Kerstin

 

 

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When we landed in Copenhagen on December 26, it was still very early in the morning. Under a cerulean sky, the city was covered in snow. And the only sound we heard was the crackling ice under our feet.

 

On the second day of Christmas, many restaurants and shops are closed in Copenhagen. Locals spend time with their family and relatives, or stay home to rest. So, there was not a soul in the city but the two of us. But this didn’t matter, because the main reason why we decided to start our visit in Copenhagen on December 26 was to spend the whole day in the legendary Tivoli Gardens. Opened in 1843, this second-oldest amusement park in the world still looks like a 19th century Nordic fairytale land. In December, the park is opened only for 4 days : from December 24 to December 26, and on New Year’s Eve. During these days, the whole park is lit up in Christmas lights, making it the most romantic and enchanting place to experience a perfect winter wonderland!

 

Mesmerized by our first magical day in the Tivoli Gardens, we spent the next several days of Twixmas by strolling through the white cobblestone streets of Copenhagen. We visited several museums, wandered around the idyllic King’s Garden and Rosenborg Castle, and took in the golden sunlight along colorful houses in the shimmering canal in Nyhavn.

 

Due to the freezing temperatures, we often took shelter in a coffeeshop where we snuggled up in front of a fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa or Glogg (Scandinavia’s version of mulled wine), while watching the snowflakes fall gently outside… Unlike in the coffeshops of other European cities, Danish coffeeshops are absolutely cozy – or what the Danes call hygge. You’ll see that as soon as you enter one of these places, you’ll want to sit down amidst fluffy pillows, warm blankets, and breathe in the smell of sweet candles and pastries like cinnamon rolls or gingerbread. So, what are you waiting for ? Book your trip now, and go spend Twixmax in Copenhagen !

 

ABISKO, SWEDEN

By Laura from Adrift Aesthetic

 

 

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When looking for places in Europe to explore during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, there is no better option than Lapland. This northern area of Scandinavia encompasses much of the Arctic Circle and regions that will have a perfectly white blanket of snow during the holidays.

 

Abisko is a small, remote town located in the Lapland region of Sweden. And is one of the most popular places in the world to see the Northen Lights. With its steady weather and lack of cloud cover, enjoy your trip with views of the Aurora Borealis magically dancing overhead. The beautiful green glow of the Northern Lights is the perfect alternative to traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks. After seeing the lights at night, spend your days hiking Abisko National Park or ice climbing when the sun is out.

 

For even more festive fun, book a day trip to the Sami Camp in nearby Jukkasjärvi. There, you can learn about how the indigenous Sami people live. Often working as reindeer herders, you can meet and feed reindeer in person or go on a reindeer-led sleigh ride!

 

Down the street from the Sami Camp is the world-famous IceHotel Sweden. This architectural marvel fully built and carved from ice feels like you’re walking into a magical winter fairytale. Tours of the uniquely carved rooms occur multiple times per day to give you the best experience. During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, the hotel activity schedule is packed with festive events. These include visits from Santa, the lighting of their Christmas tree, and holiday-themed games. When it comes to holiday plans, the Arctic Circle and the town of Abisko, Sweden should be on your travel bucket list. Whether you want to explore an outdoor winter wonderland or cuddle up inside by a warm fire, Abisko is the perfect option.

 

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

By Hannah & Adam from GettingStamped

 

 

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One of our favorite places to spend the winter holiday in is Prague, hands down. With the Prague Christmas markets, snow in the air, and sparkling lights, you truly feel like you’re in a fairytale! The Czech are known for their Christmas markets and it is the best way to experience the culture. They open usually from late November to just after New Years. And don’t worry, there are plenty of markets to choose from!

 

Make sure to check out the most famous market, Old Town Square, located right in the middle of the historic city center. If you’re looking for something a little more quaint, the Republic Square Christmas Market is just off of the city center in front of the Palladium shopping center. This is the smallest market in Prague, but is the coziness! And for something a little more unique, climb to the top of Prague Castle for the Prague Castle Christmas market. An incredible view of the snow-covered city awaits you at the top, along with stalls full of one-of-a-kind gifts.

 

All in all, we love visiting Prague in winter over any other time of the year, because of the magical Christmas traditions and the fact that there are fewer tourists and cooler temperatures. Consider exploring the enchanting town the next holiday season!

 

VIENNA, AUSTRIA

By Bridget from The Flashpacker

 

 

 

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Although Vienna is a superb year-round destination, at Christmas and New Year it is utterly enchanting. Let’s start with Vienna’s famous Christmas markets. Although some of these close for business on the 26th December, others continue to welcome visitors until New Year’s Eve and beyond, including those at Maria-Theresien Platz and at the Schloss Schönbrunn. Take a stroll around one of these winter wonderlands, a mug of Glühwein warming your hands against the chill December air. Stop to sample some smoky roasted chestnuts or feast on sausages and Bratkartoffeln, a delicious pan-fried potato dish. If sweet goodies are more your thing, try the gingerbread or pancakes.

 

At this time of the year, all of Vienna’s world-class museums are open, including the Kunsthistoriches Museum, Schloss Schönbrunn and The Belvedere. Wonder at the city’s glorious imperial architecture, perhaps made more Instagrammable by a dusting of snow. Take advantage of Vienna’s rich musical heritage and its vibrant arts programmes over the festive period, by attending a classical music concerts in one of the city’s magnificent Baroque churches.

 

Finally, if this isn’t enough to tempt you to visit Vienna between Christmas and New Year, let’s talk about cafes. Vienna has a seductive café culture, where the act of sipping a simple cup of coffee has almost been elevated to an art form. Navigate the extensive coffee menu, select a slice of Sachertorte and linger in the café’s opulent interior, soaking about the ambience that is unique to Vienna.

 

Sheltered from the cold, with the city’s Christmas lights twinkling through the café’s misted windows, this is a special experience. There are many coffee houses to choose from. The ‘classic’ is the grandeur of Café Central, which boasts marble arches, high ceilings and polished floors. However, my favourite was Café Goldegg, an Art Nouveau heaven with green velvet booths and billiards tables. But why not make your own mind up and try both?

 

NUREMBERG, GERMANY

By Jenny from TraveLynn Family

 

 

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Often associated with its dark history and the war trials, Nuremberg is a city steeped in elegance and charm. It boasts medieval architecture, numerous museums, and characterful beer cellars, which are a perfect escape from the cold in the winter months.

 

We visited Nuremberg with kids last Twixmas as we had found very cheap flights from Manchester with Ryanair. And although the Christmas markets were being dismantled, there were still general markets to be found and LOTS to do. In fact, many of the main things to do in Nuremberg are indoor activities. So you really don’t have to worry too much about the weather.

 

Its compact old town makes it easy to walk between sights. And the public transport is efficient and affordable if venturing further afield. Start your visit with a stroll around the old town. And make your way to the impressive Imperial Castle, which boasts stunning rooftop views over the city. There are also some great museums including the DB Railway Museum and Toy Museum. And a visit to the Nazi Party Rally Grounds is certainly thought-provoking.

 

If you get peckish, make sure you try a Nuremberg Bratwurst. Apparently the way to ask is “Drei im Weggla” (“Three in a bun”). It’s a bit different to your standard one-sausage in a finger bun, and arguably tastier. If you’re visiting Nuremberg with kids, an absolute must is the Zoo and Playmobil Park. It has a large indoor play area open in the winter months. But get there early as it gets very busy.

 

TORRASIEPI, FINLAND

By Dave from Jones Around The World

 

 

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While most people flock to major European cities for Christmas markets, firework displays, and holiday decorations, I think this is the best time to enjoy a Northern Lights winter adventure in the arctic circle. I recently visited this small region called Torrasiepi in Finland. And it completely blew my mind! From going on a sunrise husky sleigh ride, snowmobiling every day, and photographing the Northern Lights each night. It was certainly a trip I’ll never forget, and have been recommending people to visit ever since.

 

It’s great to visit around this time because the Christmas decorations will still be all up. And also won’t be AS cold as it is later on during the winter months. There’s a solid chance you’ll get to witness the Northern Lights (but there is never a guarantee). And there are plenty of other activities to keep you busy. It’s also a fantastic time to visit the Lapland region in Finland during this time. Because you can book day trips or explore the popular “SantaPark and Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi”, although it is about a 2.5-hour drive (but well worth it).

 

You can find direct flights from a lot of major airports. But you can always have a quick layover in Helsinki (or even stay there for a few days to visit the capital during Christmas time as well). It is a bit more expensive than a lot of other destinations. But I think it’s worth every penny!” You’ll fall in love with the beautiful golden light shining through the snowcapped trees, all the wildlife experiences, and will be a perfect way to end the year!

 

RIGA, LATVIA

By Danik the Explorer

 

 

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Riga has been my second home for a very long time. And despite the city being an all-year round destination, there is no better time to explore the Latvian capital than around the Christmas & New Year period. Did you know there is evidence that the world’s first ever Christmas tree was put up in Riga way back in 1510, so Latvia has as much right to the title of “the home of Christmas” as the North Pole! Like many European cities, Riga also has an excellent Christmas market, selling gifts like hand-knitted mittens, candles and other handicrafts whilst the scent of gingerbread can be smelled in the air whilst walking around. Then once all shopped out, try a local traditional delicacy, hmmmm, like a dish of grey peas with sausage and bacon mixed in, simply perfect on a crisp winter’s day.

 

For the children, Santa Claus visits the markets every day. Whilst for the adults, Karstvīns (mulled wine) or hot Black Balsams cocktails are really popular to drink and should be drank before checking out the excellent Latvian beers. The markets are located on Doma laukums and Līvu laukums squares, as well as in Esplenāde Park (which has the added attraction of a cute “village” populated by real rabbits, I tell you, they are real cute!). The great thing is that Christmas markets are open until 6th January to co-inside Russian Orthodox Christmas also. Plus New Year celebrations can be found at 11. Novembra krastmala by the river Daugava for an amazing firework display and live bands from 10pm to 2am.

 

Away from the festivities, hopefully visitors will see Riga as a winter wonderland. During this most festive period, there is a lot of snow which makes the photos of the main sights looking like wintry postcards. The top places to check out are the House of Blackheads, Riga Doms (cathedral) and getting lost in the many cobbled streets of the Vecriga (Old Town) with many amazing restaurants and bars. Riga for me, is a perfect destination to explore, eat, drink and get very merry. I invite you all to sample the Latvian way of celebrating this magical time of the year.

 

MADEIRA, PORTUGAL

By Ann from Anngelic

 

 

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If you are going to Funchal on the island of Madeira in Portugal, I would recommend you to plan your visit during the winter. Most other cities in Europe are snowcovered and cold during Christmas, but not Funchal, the capital of the island. It’s located on the African Coast, but it still counts as Europe. So it has a subtropical temperature all year around. It is one of the few places in Europe where you can wear a bikini on New Year’s Eve!

 

The holiday spirit on the island is amazing. They really go all in when it comes to the decorations and the festive spirits. I have never been to a place that is more proud of their Christmas lights. A lot of people go hiking on Madeira, or use the cable cars to get to the higher altitudes for a stunning view overlooking the Atlantic ocean. If you are not into heights, I do recomend that you use the hop-on-hop-of busses that will take you around most of the island, for some sightseeing. But my absolute favorite thing to do is to watch the sunsets and sunrises on the island : they are pure magic. And don’t forget to try the Madeira wine.

 

SIBIU, ROMANIA

By Mirela from The Travel Bunny

 

 

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After Sibiu in Romania was designated the European Cultural Capital of 2007, the city changed a lot for the better. It turned into a lively travel destination, with attractive festivals and events throughout the year, both in the center and in the surrounding region.

 

One of these events is the Christmas Market in the Big Square (Piața Mare). Although it was already one of the most popular Christmas Markets in Romania, the number of travelers increased after 2007 once the historic center was redone. Due to its grown popularity, the Christmas Market no longer closes on Christmas Eve and is now available from mid-November to 3 January next year. Among this year’s 110 booths, travelers can find an ice-skating rink in front of the old Clock Tower, a carousel, and a small train.

 

Those who love winter sports can head to nearby Păltiniș and take the chairlift up the mountain. The scenery is truly amazing when both the slope and the tall pine trees are covered in snow. On your way up, you can have a bit of fun checking the signs on the chairlift’s poles: they misspelled Păltiniș on all of them! Once you reach the Oncești summit, you can either ski back down or go for a hike. Though over 3 hours long, a hike to the Cânaia Refuge is truly worth it in winter. If you want to stay there for the night, make sure you book in advance, though.

 

Returning back to Sibiu, between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, you’ll have better luck eating out. On Christmas, many restaurants are closed and very few of the open ones take reservations, so you have to wait in line for a table. Three of my favorite spots are Crama Sibiului (for their traditional food), Pardon Cafe (for their wonderful atmosphere), and Arhiva de Cafea și Ceai (for their amazing coffee). But Sibiu has many other spots to discover. As for what you should eat… well, Sibiu is one of the European Gastronomy Regions of 2019, so there’s plenty to choose from. Make sure you don’t leave without trying their famous cheese, telemeaua de Sibiu, which became an EU trademark earlier this week.

 

KRAKOW, POLAND

By Diana from  Travels in Poland

 

 

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Krakow is an amazing destination any time of the year. However, the time between Christmas and New Year is one of the most special one. Because it portrays the Polish people in one of their most important times of the year. Poland is a highly religious country with the majority of Poles identifying as Roman Catholic. Christmas is celebrated over several days of spending times with family, attending church and taking time off. The period between Christmas and New Year sees the culture embrace a very important time in their lives and switch to welcoming the New Year with excitement and incredible celebrations.

 

New Year’s Eve or Sylwester, is one of the most anticipated days of the year. And many people make plans for it months beforehand. Major cities such as Warsaw and Krakow have celebrations happening all over the city. And the Polish zloty is easy on most currencies, thus making the country a lot more affordable as a New Year’s Eve destination.

 

Krakow has an enormous central square, the largest in Europe. And the square is filled with plenty of things for tourists to explore including the popular Sukiennice, a formerly cloth hall which is now filed with vendors selling a variety of products. There is also an underground tour of the square which includes a history of the city.

 

There are amazing day trips to explore from Krakow, including Zakopane, a snow filled destination in Poland’s Tatry mountains. It is a popular place for a getaway. Especially during the time between Christmas and New Year since many people, including schools, are off during this time.

 

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

By Chrysoula from Historic European Castles

 

 

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Winter is a fantastic season for exploring the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. Because its crisp, clear days and elaborate decorations make it feel especially festive. But if Christmas markets aren’t your thing, you might want to hold off visiting until later in the year. Thankfully, you’re in luck as Edinburgh still boasts plenty of things to see and do between Christmas and the New Year and the whole city is in high spirits.

 

Travelers to Edinburgh during the festive period can witness the city’s illuminating light displays. But also watch pantos, concerts and cabarets in theatres around the city. Join Glitterfest at the Murrayfield Stadium. Or if you want to get out in nature, you can visit castles near Edinburgh or take hikes in the surrounding countryside.

 

Drinking and dining are other great options to keep you entertained in Edinburgh during winter. Since there are plenty of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants serving up everything from Scottish classics and fresh seafood to Michelin-starred fare and craft cocktails. This time of year is also when Edinburgh gears up for Hogmanay, the Scottish version of New Year’s Eve. Locals and tourists alike flock to the city to ring in the New Year with a bang!

 

Whether you want to bring the kids out for the Bairns Afore family evening, enjoy a Ceilidh Under the Castle, experience a Candlelit Concert at St. Giles’ Cathedral or join one of the many Edinburgh Hogmanay Street Parties, there is certainly something for you. If you visit Edinburgh between Christmas and New Year, you’re sure to have a trip to remember!

 

SAPAREVA BANYA, BULGARIA

By Bistra from The Magic of Traveling

 

 

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It’s become our tradition to visit the small town of Sapareva Banya in Bulgaria almost every year. And precisely just between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We find it the perfect spot to relax, reconnect with our inner-selves and get ready for the New Year’s celebrations.

 

Sapareva Banya is famous for its hot mineral water springs and geysers. It’s one of the best places for SPA vacation in Bulgaria. We love staying at small family hotels or guest houses. Chilling for hours in the jacuzzi, the sauna, and the steam bath. It’s a great way to rejuvenate yourself. December usually comes with some snowfall so you can hit the slopes of the nearby ski resorts and finish with a SPA session and a tasty home-made dinner.

 

The town itself has a small shopping street and a few hikes to the nearest mountain to offer. We would either just browse the streets and see the decorations and absorb the Christmas mood. Or go for a walk to do some snow angels in the fields surrounding the town. Another thing to do in the festive season is to go to the cinema. There you can enjoy the newest movies with a box of tasty popcorn.

 

We would highly recommend Sapareva Banya for its tranquility and peacefulness (even during holidays). But also for its winter atmosphere and winter sports. As well as for the amazing mineral waters that heal. And for the tasty local cuisine that will keep your mood as festive as possible, but also very relaxed.

 

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND

By Allan from It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor

 

 

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In the past, Belfast has never had the best reputation when it comes to tourism, where it was foremost famous for alcoholics (e.g. George Best), “The Troubles” and a sinking ship (The Titanic). But these days, Belfast has become a rejuvenated city sharing diverse and interesting tourist attractions. And most importantly, it has lots of vibrant local charm. It is also a relatively small city. Which makes it perfect for short breaks, and it is ideal to squeeze a visit into the days of Twixmas.

 

Between Christmas and New Year, there will still be a lot of festive charm. And while the Christmas market in Belfast shuts up shop just before Christmas day (and it is seen as a bit gimmicky locally), the streets remain decorated and lit up with all sorts of seasonal lights and baubles. The shopping streets, leading to the central point of Belfast City Hall is also at its busiest. And this would be found best at the shiny open air mall at the Victoria Centre.

 

Belfast is otherwise contrasting at this time, when the riverside area is relaxed and somewhat romantic under festive lights. While the entertainment areas are full of Belfast banter with lively Irish bars as locals celebrate the long Christmas holidays. There would be two popular areas at this time. The traditional cobbled street bars of the Cathedral Quarter, as well as a more student vibe of the Botanic area which is the stomping ground for those of Belfast’s Queens University. However I would always recommend getting warm and cosy with some local whiskeys and ales in a private “snug”. These can be found in some of the older bars like the Crown Saloon (Great Victoria Street) and the Duke of York (Cathedral Quarter).

 

ROVANIEMI, FINLAND

By Katalin from Our Life, Our Travel

 

 

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Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland. And the most popular destination in the region during the snowy part of the year. The town is famous for Santa Claus who lives a couple of kilometers from the center.

 

Imagine the crowds visiting Santa Claus village during Christmas Eve and Day. If you like to save hours of standing in the line(s) to visit him, you better visit the town between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The holiday mood, the decorations, and the fluffy white snow are still guaranteed. And you’ll have a much more pleasant experience. Other perks of choosing Rovaniemi in winter are the variety of programs. Such as reindeer and husky sled rides, snowmobile tours, and winter hikes. But also the mesmerizing northern lights hunts that are not bound to Chrismas either. And the activities are available between the holidays as well.

 

In case you want to stay indoors, no worries. The Arktikum Museum has informative displays about arctic life, nature and the indigenous Saami people. While during the Marttini factory visit, you will learn how the famous Finnish knives are made. On New Year’s Eve, hit one of the local nightclubs to end your year with an unforgettable party.

 

LISBON, PORTUGAL

By Marco from Travel-Boo

 

 

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Lisbon, having won several World Travel Awards and recognised as a top European city destination may not exactly be on the top of our mind when planning a European Christmas or New Year’s city break. Instead, most prefer to visit during the warm sunny summers. But, having spent time here myself over the festive season, I can confidently recommend that you visit Lisbon at this time of the year.

 

There are several reasons why I think it’s the ideal destination. These include the weather : Lisbon remains fairly moderate in climate compared to other European destinations, with average day time temperatures hovering around 12 degrees Celsius. Affordability : During the November to February travel period and including over Christmas and New Year’s, you are able to bag incredible travel bargains with hotel prices costing a fraction of what they do over summer. Less crowded : leading on from the above point, since it isn’t regarded as peak period, Lisbon does tend to be far less crowded with tourists at this time of year. This makes visiting and sightseeing much easier.

 

Events & Festivities : Throughout the month of December, Lisbon has tons of events, markets and fairs pop up all over the city. From the Winter Wonderland festival, to the Christmas markets in Rossio Square. Lisbon offers a range of events and festivities that will no doubt keep you busy. Trading times : Most businesses also tend to re-open fairly quickly after Christmas, meaning that the period between Christmas and New Year’s is still viable to travel and explore throughout the city.

 

Overall, Lisbon is a great destination to visit between Christmastime and New Year’s. It may not offer a typical European white Christmas. But Lisbon still exudes a real festive flair by the bucket loads. It’s exactly for this reason that I would highly recommend a visit!

 

MOSCOW, RUSSIA

By Karen from Wanderlustingk

 

 

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An interesting place to visit between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is Moscow, Russia. Russia’s capital often scares off people due to the weather. However the cozy and warm holiday atmosphere is worth braving the cold for! Christmas is celebrated later in Russia than elsewhere in Europe as most Russians are Orthodox Christians. Moscow’s city center is exquisitely decorated with beautiful ornate lights. And many of Moscow’s most famous stores go all out with the Christmas spirit.

 

As a result, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is a busy time as families shop and prepare for the holiday season. This hectic atmosphere means that you won’t suffer any closures during the week. And many shops will be open later for all the locals shopping for the holidays. Similarly, if you’re visiting prior to NYE, you’ll hopefully be in Moscow for NYE. New Year’s Eve in Russia is an important holiday where many people have family dinners at home. Although you’ll also be able to enjoy fireworks throughout the city along with nice meals out if you plan well ahead!

 

There are several Christmas markets throughout Moscow in full swing, including the the famous Red Square Market. Here, you’ll find cute stalls decorated with typical Russian Christmas decorations with souvenirs, food, and drinks. You’ll also find ice skating and other winter attractions throughout the city. Once you’re done with the cold, experience the warmer side to Moscow within one of its communal banyas (saunas) along with the locals!

LONDON, UK

By Mei from Travel with Mei and Kerstin

 

 

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London is a major destination at any time of the year. We’ve visited UK’s capital several times at different seasons, and have concluded that the best time is actually during Twixmas.

 

Most Christmas and winter markets are open until the end of the year, or even to the first week of January. And the shops in Covent Garden and Soho already start their annual sales. If you like art and culture, you can visit the free museums. However, be there early because the queues might be long. In London’s West End, you can also find many restaurants, pubs, theaters and nightclubs. They’re all open during Twismas. After sunset these places are usually overflown with people catching up with friends. So, if you like to mingle with the crowd, visit the western districts of London during the last week of the year.

 

However, if you’re looking for a more laidback atmosphere, head to London’s East End. Located just north of the Tower Bridge, this hipster neighborhood bordering the financial district of The City is much quieter from December 26 to New Year’s Eve. For centuries, the East End of London is known as the poor neighborhood where Jack the Ripper went to look for his victims. But today, the East End is home to several covered markets filled with quirky boutiques, designer stores, and musical events. Here you can also find old traditional pubs, as well as small family restaurants serving Bangladeshi, Jewish, West African or Indian food.

 

So wherever it is London that you go to, you won’t get bored when you visit during Twixmas. Even if you just stroll along the Thames, you’ll find food stalls, igloo restaurants, or even street performances. The weather in London is never very great at whatever time of the year. But if you go in winter, at least you won’t have any bad surprise since you’ll expect it to be freezing. But unlike other North European destinations, we found that it wasn’t very cold in London during Twixmas. At nighttime, we even walked all the way from the Big Ben to the Tower Bridge, and enjoyed seeing the beautifully lit landmarks along the way.

Out of all these wonderful European destinations, where would you like to spend your next Twixmas? If you plan to travel around Europe later in winter, make sure to check out our suggestions on where to go in January, and the best European destinations in February.

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Twixmas: Where to go during Christmas and New Year's Eve © Travelwithmk.com

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Travelers at heart, Mei and Kerstin have been roaming the world together since 2002. Expats for over a decade, they used to live in Bordeaux, Paris, Athens, and San Francisco. They recently returned to their motherland to get married, and decided to stay to re-explore Luxembourg in depth. While they both have a full time job, they continue to feed their wanderlust by traveling the world whenever they can.

21 Responses

  1. Jing Calonge
    | Reply

    All the photos and descriptions on this list makes me want to fast forward to Christmas…and Twixmas. Now, I have a new word to “flex” this coming holidays. 🙂

  2. Delphine
    | Reply

    I love relaxing at home between Christmas and New Year, and I got used to the fact that it’s summer in Australia at that time. I also love to have a real Christmas experience with snow and everything… Places like Sweden and Finland would be awesome with the snow and all the lights, just like in the fairy tales. Thank you for inspiring me!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Glad that these destinations inspired you to come back to Europe for Christmas and New Year, Delphine! It’s hard for us to imagine spending that time of the year in a place where it’s summer. Haha… But it must be nice though!

  3. Kevin | Caffeinated Excursions
    | Reply

    The last time I did a Twixmas trip was a family trip to Rome almost a decade ago, but I remember loving it! I’d definitely have a tough time deciding between snowy destinations up north and more moderate climates in the south. Maybe Austria? I’ve read many places that it’s super festive during the holidays, and especially if it’s a city with great cafes, I don’t know if I’d be able to turn that down! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yes, Vienna seems to be the perfect destination to spend Twixmas, and we’ve put it on our bucket list for next year! 🙂

  4. pinkcaddytraveloguegmailcom
    | Reply

    I’ve never heard it called “Twixmas” before but I’m definitely going to start using that term haha. Because it’s so true, there’s nothing going on that week so it might as well just be one week-long holiday haha. It would be amazing to spend that time in any of these cities! I’ve never been in Europe during Christmas time but it’s definitely on my list of things to do

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yep, it’s not an American word, but a British one. Despite the upcoming Brexit (IF this will ever happen haha…), we found this term quite interesting, and is definitely better than the longer version of “the week between Xmas and New Year’s Eve”! 😃 And yes, you should definitely spend that week here in Europe someday!

  5. Lara Dunning
    | Reply

    I’d be up for going to any of these destinations, and a trip during Trixmas is the best way to avoid the lull after the holidays. Since I have Prague on my mind, I’d have to go there.

  6. Candy
    | Reply

    So many great options for Twixmas. Out of curiosity, is this a word you made up? I’ve never heard of it 🙂 I would LOVE to visit Torrasiepi. It would be so awesome to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights, but what I rally want to do is go on a husky sleigh ride. I’ve always wanted to do this and I love Husikies!!! I had one growing up and they are just so beautiful.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Oh we wish we could say that we’ve created this word. Haha.. But no, it’s a British term for the period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It’s not a common word in the USA, probably because if we’re not mistaken you guys rarely take that week off? Here in Europe, most people (especially those who work in an office) are off from the 24th December until the 1st of January.

  7. diapersinparadise
    | Reply

    Oooh man this has my wanderlust going crazy!! I generally go for sunny destinations during the winter holidays (because we live somewhere so bleak and wet), but these pictures are seriously making me want to try something new this year. Especially now that my kids are old enough to enjoy the snow (that picture of Torrasiepe!!). Thanks for these great suggestions!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      We’re glad that this post has inspired you! You know.. when it’s cold, your kids will have to move and run around a lot to keep warm. So, they’ll definitely be tired in the afternoon. Which means that you guys can enjoy your time while the kids are napping! 🙂

  8. Sage Scott
    | Reply

    I’ve never heard the term Twixmas until now. I wonder if it’s more of an English/European term than an American term. But you know what? I’m totally stealing it and starting a trend on this side of the Atlantic!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yes, Twixmas is a British term. To be honest, we had never heard of this term before! Haha… We always talked about “the period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve” until we found this word while looking for a title for this article!

  9. Sam Sees World
    | Reply

    Loved seeing all these amazing winter destinations in Europe! They are all so stunning and I would love to visit them all, but I have ti say Finland has my heart.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Oh yes, Finland definitely seems to be a very interesting winter destination!

  10. Danik
    | Reply

    Its a pleasure to be part of this guide of where to spend Christmas and New Year in Europe (I am Riga). However, I always spend Christmas in cold countries so I looked at the other destinations on this list and the one what interests me is Maderia. Never really thought of doing the holiday season flung out in the Atlantic Ocean. That is one possible for the future (as long as it isn’t too windy). 😀

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Thanks for collaborating, Danik! We can’t wait to explore Riga someday. And you should definitely consider going to Madeira during the next Twixmas! 😉

  11. Ann
    | Reply

    I love the article, so many inspiring places to go for christmas 🙂
    For this years christmas we are spending it in Smaland Sweden, and the new years we’ll spend in Athens Greece!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      That’s great! Let us know how you’ll like Smaland and Athens! We lived in Athens for 6 months and had an amazing time there. Athens might be in southern Europe, but know that it can be quite cold and windy in December and January! So, make sure to pack your winter garments!

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