Looking for a Christmas market trip that won’t break the bank? Here are the five cheapest European destinations in 2013.
1.Budapest, Hungary: £529.55 per couple for a two-night break
Budapest (pictured above) is the bargain choice for holidaymakers looking for a cheap winter getaway.
According to new research by the Post Office, a two-night trip to Hungary’s capital for two in early December will set you back £529.55.
This cost is based on two nights’ B&B accommodation with return flights (£450) and airport to city centre transfers (£8.55).
Also included are two evening meals with wine (£51.45), two daily cups of coffee each (£4.89), and festive drinks and snacks, such as mulled wine and gingerbread (£14.66).
The Christmas market is open between 27 November and 31 December.
2.Riga, Latvia: £530.02 per couple for a two-night break
Latvia’s capital Riga is a close runner-up to Budapest.
Accommodation and flight costs come to £378 for two in Riga, compared with £450 for Budapest.
However, visitors can expect to pay more for other expenses, with meals, drinks and transfer costs 91 per cent higher - £152 compared with just under £80.
The market is open between 1 December and 12 January.
3.Lille, France: £704.04 per couple for a two-night break
Lille – located in northern France - is the cheapest Christmas market destination in the Eurozone.
Stalls are open between 20 November and 30 December and the city can be reached easily from the UK by Eurostar.
4.Brussels, Belgium: £749.47 per couple for a two-night break
Brussels is the second cheapest Eurozone Christmas market destination.
For two nights’ B&B accommodation and return flights from the UK visitors can expect to pay an average of £558 per couple.
Once other weekend costs are taken into account, such as food, snacks and evening meals, a break for two people will set you back £749.47 on average.
The Christmas market is open between 29 November and 5 January.
5.Prague, Czech Republic: £763.17 per couple for a two-night break
Prague has the cheapest living costs of all the destinations surveyed by the Post Office.
A three-course dinner will set you back only £23.90 on average per couple.
However, accommodation and flights add £694 to the overall cost of £763.17.
The market is open between 30 November and 12 January.
Get covered before you go
If you’re looking to book a festive break, Mhairi Edwards, head of travel insurance at Confused.com, has a few words of advice.
"If you’re tempted by any of these last-minute Christmas market breaks then make sure you take the time to get adequate travel insurance," she says.
"With policies starting from just £3 for the weekend it’s probably less than you’ll pay for one glass of mulled wine.
"It’s worth choosing a policy that has adequate cancellation cover as well as cover for travel delays and disruptions.
"That way you should be protected if the winter weather means your journey doesn’t go quite as planned."
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