Sure, there are incredible Christmas markets all over, probably one in your local hometown, but, why not go the extra mile this Christmas and take a trip to (in my humble opinion) some of the best Christmas markets in the whole world – Germany.
Now, these markets aren’t just a train or bus journey away, a plane is most likely your best bet – and with planes come costs. Then you’ll need a hotel for at least one night – which again comes at a cost. Not forgetting the money you’ll have to spend at the markets if you want to enjoy it to its full. So, no fear, the whole reason I’m writing this post is to help save you as much money as possible for a trip to the breathtaking Hamburg… you could think of it as a Christmas present to yourself.
I took my trip to Hamburg at the start of December with my boyfriend. We are both students and so evidently aren’t made of money. We’d (or maybe I should just say I’d) been wanting to visit the German Christmas markets for a while. Our first choice was the capital Berlin, but after hearing about a one-off flash sale of flights to Hamburg through a budget holiday site I was subscribed too we jumped at the opportunity – bagging return flights from Manchester Airport to Hamburg Airport for £30 each! So this is my first tip, subscribe to sites like HolidayPirates and myholidayguru which constantly send you updates on cheap holidays, hotels and flights.
Second tip – although similar to the first – is to subscribe to discount sites like Groupon and LivingSocial which are constantly updated with holiday deals, in particular, hotels. This is where we found our hotel for the stay – a 4* modern hotel, 25mins from the airport and 10mins from Hamburg town centre (where the Christmas markets are located) for only £60 each for two nights.
Food is an expense whilst on holiday – and as we only had a Room Only basis Hotel Room for our stay, eating out was our only option. However, this is where travelling at Christmas time comes in handy, especially when it comes to the Christmas markets. Third tip – buy food at the markets, as they are known for having a wide array of food and drinks – and from my point of view, could save you a lot of money for dinner time, with the opportunity to get traditional Bratwurst sausages, baked potatoes, sweets, crepes, doughnuts and mulled wine – pretty much anything your heart desires!
Once arriving at the airport, the first thing we did was got to grips with the train systems in Hamburg, with the regular trains running across the whole city, and the underground running through the city centre. Fourth tip – try to avoid taxi’s if possible. The number one method for saving money whilst abroad is using the public transport – and the underground in Hamburg allowed us to get to and from our hotel to anywhere in the city centre in less than 10 minutes and for less than €5.
The other beauty of travelling to a magical city like Hamburg at Christmas is not only the beauty of the city centre, with everywhere lit up, making the whole city sparkle, creating the most magical winter wonderland you’ll possibly ever see – it’s the stalls. They not only sell festive food and drinks but also gifts and mementos, at cheerfully cheap prices – and the most wonderful thing about the items on the stall is that the majority of them are hand-crafted, making for a one-off, unique gift for your loved ones.
All-in-all, Hamburg at Christmas is truly enchanting, and the Christmas markets are an unforgettable experience. So, if one Christmas you’re looking for a change, Hamburg is definitely one to visit.