cheap christmas market weekends that are STILL available from all over the UK

How is it the end of November already?

And HOW do I not have a European Christmas Market trip not booked in yet?

Madness.

Let’s see what we can rustle up for some last minute cheap weekend trips away this December.

Either scroll on through or click on the trips that interest you:

All prices are based on flights and two people sharing a room.


TOULOUSE

from £59.50pp for 2 nights

Set in their impressive Place du Capitole, expect the traditional style huts bearing the customary toys, candles and local woodcrafts.

FLIGHTS

London – Toulouse
Fri 6th Dec – Sun 8th Dec – from £24 return

You can also fly from Bristol for £64 return

Psst – There’s also flights from London between 13th – 15th for only £44 return

ACCOMMODATION

At just £67.50 a night for a well rated 4 star hotel, Hôtel de Brienne is a great shout!

Want cheaper? The Aparthotel Adagio across the river is just £35.50 a night or this cute Airbnb works out at £50 a night.

Remember, if you haven’t used Airbnb before you can get money off your first stay here!


POZNAN

from £107.49pp for 3 nights

Listed as this year’s 6th best European Christmas market, Poznan ticks all the boxes for a magical festive experience but also if you’re there on the 7th and 8th December, you’ll also experience their amazing Ice Festival where sculptors come together to compete in the streets!

FLIGHTS

London to Poznan
Fri 6th Dec – Mon 9th Dec – from £66 return

Yes, the flights are EARLY (the evening flight with Ryanair costs A LOT more!) but think of how much festive cheer you can cram in? I’ve gone for the return on the Monday morning as it allows you more time to explore the city but you can return early on the Sunday for just £46 return.

ACCOMMODATION

This super central Airbnb works out at just £36.67 a night.

Travelling as mates? This twin bed studio will only cost you £35 a night and if you don’t mind the 40 min walk central, this modern studio is only £27.66 a night!

Remember, if you haven’t used Airbnb before you can get money off your first stay here!


BRUSSELS

from £106.50pp for 2 nights

Another from the top ten Christmas Markets is Brussels! Their ‘Winter Wonders’ gets 2.5 million visitors a year and has markets, an ice rink and a huge Christmas tree in the square.

FLIGHTS

Edinburgh to Brussels
Fri 13th Dec – Sun 15th Dec – from £62 return.

Though you can fly into and out of the main airport for just £67 return.

You can also fly direct from London from £127 and from Manchester from £176 return.

ACCOMMODATION

Currently under offer thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this 4 star hotel – The President Brussels Hotel – has rooms from just £72.86 a night.

Plus, it’s just a 20 min walk from the Christmas markets!

Top Tip: Be sure to click on ‘rooms’ rather than ‘packages’ to get this deal.

Want to stay somewhere cheaper? A private room woth ensuite in Hostel Galia is £56 a night and this simple £44.50 a night Airbnb is a 40 min walk or a 15 min public transport journey away from the markets.

Remember, if you haven’t used Airbnb before you can get money off your first stay here!


BASEL

from £158pp for 2 nights

Okay, it may not be the cheapest once you’re there but if you’re gagging to see some snow, you’re not too far from the Alps here! Placing #15 on the best Christmas Markets, Basel is known as the Switzerland’s biggest and most beautiful Christmas city.

FLIGHTS

Manchester to Basel
Fri 6th Dec – Sun 8th Dec – £78 return

What great timed flights!

There’s also some great times from London for £97 return.

ACCOMMODATION

Top tip: You get a free Baselcard when you check in to a hotel in Basel which offers discounts on local attractions. More importantly it also gives you unlimited public transport in the city and to the airport as well. If your hotel reservation is marked ‘mobility ticket’, you can use this to travel from the airport to your hotel. More information is here.

Hotel Stücki is a really well rated 3 star hotel that’s a mile from the historic old town where the Christmas festivities take place! For Switzerland it really isn’t bad for £80.90 a night.


SEVILLE

from £78.50pp for 3 nights

With average temperatures in December coming in at 17 degrees, you may think Seville is a bizarre choice yet it was voted amongst the Best Sunny Christmas Markets in Europe and was visitors top market in Spain last year. Expect traditional style markets, an ice rink and delicious food, of course!

FLIGHTS

You can fly Fri – sun from London from £83 return and from Manchester for £122 return but I wanted to shine a light on this amazing deal instead.

Bristol to Seville
Fri 13th Dec – Mon 16th Dec – £20 return

What a bargain!

ACCOMMODATION

Okay stop.

WHY IS SEVILLE SO DAMN CHEAP FOR GORGEOUS HOTELS?

LET’S ALL GO TO SEVILLE.

A room at the 4 star One Shot Palacio Conde de Torrejón 09 (mouthfull or what?) comes in at just £64.66 a night.

Lush.

This cute Airbnb is just £57 a night and if you want to keep it really cheap, this one bedroom Airbnb is only £39 a night (the reviews are amazing, I just think they need better photos!!).


If I’ve helped you out, why not pay back the love by sponsoring me over on Patreon? It costs less than the price of a coffee a month (especially if you like fancy ones!) and means that I get to do more of this.

You can also help me out by following me on Instagram, Twitter and subscribing on YouTube.

And as always – remember to tell me where you end up going so I can holiday vicariously through you all!


I have used some affiliate links throughout this article. They don’t charge you more, but if you book through them you’ll be helping me to continue my cheap travel booking hobbies.

21 cheap iceland tips that WILL save you money

“Iceland is so expensive”

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all before, but how does that explain how I was able to do 6 nights around the ring road of Iceland for £600? All in?!

I captured all of this on my budget Iceland series but I realised that whilst there were lots of tips, tricks and travel hacks across six videos, there wasn’t one place where they could all hang out.

So here we have it!

And, just to make it even easier, here’s all the tips written in one place for you. Before you scroll down, why not follow me over on Instagram for daily top tips?!

Right, let’s start with things you should do before you get to Iceland.

1. Use Google Flights to find the cheapest flights
Go to Google Flights, pop in your departure and destination and then click on your the date box. This brings up a calendar view which clearly shows you the best days to travel. You can also toggle between how long you want your trip to me at the bottom, and the costs will updated instantly!

2. Search for weekend dates to use less annual leave
Google Flights also has you covered for this, but this time in your search you need to leave the destination blank, click on the dates and find the ‘flexible dates’ option and then select ‘weekend’. You can also select the month you want to travel in too if that’s helpful. Then zoom in on Iceland on the map and voila.

IMPORTANT: Before you go ahead and pay, always put the dates you find into Skyscanner.

9 times out of 10, it will find you a cheaper price.

3. Check local car hire companies
I tend to use Skyscanner to find hire cars yet when looking for Iceland, I realised it wasn’t pulling in any local results. So, after a quick google I found Northbound, an Icelandic broker who were consistently cheaper.

We found a 4×4 for 6 days for just £26 a day.

4. Get a card that lets you spend abroad for free
If your regular bank card charges you for spending abroad, take a look at online banks or top up cards that have no fees and are free and easy to sign up to. We use Monzo but Starling Bank and WeSwap are other good choices.

Iceland is a pretty card friendly place and we only took money out once.

5. Make a meal plan and a shopping list
Do this before you arrive in Iceland and then stick to it when you get to the supermarkets. Be clever with your choices and think about how you could reuse leftovers for future meals.

Here’s what my meal plan looked like beforehand:

Of course, some items changed but having this and then making a shopping list from it really helped keep me on track and meant no food waste!

6. Buy a check in bag
It’s an initial hit of money but you can use that extra space to pack things, like food items and towels that you would have to pay for further down the line. If you’re going with someone, why not share a big case between you?

7. Pack some basics
With that extra space, go around your kitchen before you leave and pack a tupperware box with some basics. I packed some rice, sachets, cutlery, plastic bags, smaller tupperware boxes, loads – it saved me a fortune.

8. Use travel mini pots
Use mini cosmetic pots for things like salt, pepper, sugar, washing up liquid – those items that you only need a little bit of but would really add up if you bought them in full

I bought our from MUJI.

9. Bring a thermos flask
If it’s cold out you will want hot drinks and you could easily spend £4 every single time you fancy a tea or a coffee

Next, let’s chat booking accommodation.

10. Choose the guesthouse over the hotel!
When deciding on hotel versus guesthouse, choose the guesthouse. Icelandic design is pretty minimalistic and so you’re not going to miss out loads by going for the cheaper option. A lot of them are really clean and highly rated – they’re really good value for money.

We stayed at Apotek Guesthouse in Höfn for £63 a night.

11. Choose a place with cooking facilities
Most guesthouses have them (and many hotels do not!) and you’ll save a fortune by making sure to check this out

12. Check Airbnb
Don’t forget Airbnb. We used it to stay in a cute little cabin in the middle of nowhere for £75 a night – and there’s also a lot of guesthouses on there too. However, always google to see if you can book direct as that will usually be cheaper than booking through a third party.

You can get money off your first Airbnb booking if you haven’t used it before!

13. Try House Swapping
We stayed in a ridiculous house on our first two nights thanks to a website called Love Home Swap. We didn’t actually have to swap our house with anyone (you can read the details here with a 25% link off membership) but basically, this place was only £27 a night each.

14. Flip your road trip on its head!
Struggling to find availability? Try turning your road trip on its head. Most people go anti-clockwise but there’s nothing stopping you from doing it the other way around which may free up some rooms for you.

Before we get to the holiday itself, there’s one more thing you should do before you board the plane.

15. Buy alcohol from duty free
Iceland isn’t part of the EU so you should get the cheapest price at the airport, which will be so much cheaper than buying it in Iceland. You don’t need to buy mixers too, you can easily get them at the supermarket.

Arriving in Iceland.

16. Ask for petrol station loyalty cards
When you collect your car hire, ask if they any petrol station membership cards. Northbound found us a car with Lava Rentals and they provided us with a sticker on our keys which got us money off every fill up at that particular petrol station, and a free coffee!

17. Fill up at the cheapest stations in Iceland
If you are a Costco member, bring your card as there’s one 15 mins outside of Reykjavik and it is easily the cheapest place on the entire island. If you’re not a member, there’s a nearby petrol station that does it’s very best to match without the need of a discount card.

It’s called Atlantsolía – Flatahraun.

By the way, when filling up, don’t choose the ‘Fill-Up’ option as the station usually makes a hold of about 200 euros on your card. This hold should be released immediately but it can be delayed so it’s don’t choose it, just in case.

18. Share your parking ticket
If you’re parking at a tourist attraction, look around for people leaving whose ticket may still be valid. Also, why not pass yours on when you’re done too – then you’ll have the gods of karma on your side too!

19. Shop at Bonus, Kronan or Netto
When shopping, the cheapest supermarket is Bonus but Kronan and Netto are well priced too. If your flight arrives later on in the day, Bonus will probably be closed. Don’t worry, just shop at one of the others. You’ll save more money getting it done straightaway versus going out for dinner and waiting for Bonus the next day.

I extensively cover the prices in Netto here:

You can also find a list of our costs written up here.

And some of the costs in Bonus here:

20. Don’t go to the Blue Lagooon
This is a controversial one… I know it looks beautiful but it’s so expensive and there are plenty of other geothermal pools that are either cheaper, or completely free. Here are some! And remember to take your packed towel to get the cheapest rate.

And lastly…

21. Make the most of happy hours
It is possible to go out drinking if you use the happy hours. Your best bets are in Reykjavik or even cheaper, Iceland’s second city Akureyri where it’s possible to find happy hours ranging from 4pm to 10pm where beers are less than a fiver each.

Here’s a great guide on where to go in Akureyri.


If you have any more tips that you want to share – leave a comment below and help your fellow human.

And remember to share this with someone who’d love to go to Iceland but is worried it’s too expensive!


Have I helped you save money on your trip to Iceland? Amazing!

There’s some really easy ways you can say ‘cheers pal’ that don’t even have to cost you a penny.

  • Subscribe to me on YouTube
  • Follow me on Instagram
  • Share this post with a mate or on social media
  • Support me on Patreon (okay FINE, this one may cost you something but there are perks!!)

Cheers pals and see you in the next holiday challenge!

vlog 4 | what to see and do on Iceland’s east coast

There was one thing that really stood out as we ventured across Iceland’s East Coast.

The lack of tourists.

Given that many do one or two day trips from Reykjavik that tend to end at Diamond Beach, this shouldn’t really have been a surprise – but we took in the miles and miles of road with nobody else about with wide eyed glee.

Were we finally able to enjoy Iceland without the crowds of tourists and their tripods?

Or were we about to realise why so few travel up the East Coast, especially in winter?!

In this video:

An hour’s drive from Diamond Beach, we stayed in the fishing town of Höfn in a place called Apotek Guesthouse.

As lush as the luxury cabin was that we stayed in our first two nights (for just £27 I might add!), we knew we’d have to turn to Guesthouses sooner or later.

The great news is that whilst they’re pretty basic, they’re clean, comfy and have great amenities. For example, this place had its own private bathroom, great wifi, a communal kitchen for cooking in, a decent COFFEE MACHINE (praise the lord) and also came with continental breakfast.

Not bad for a total of £63 a night.

That night, we had promised ourselves a pint out and about, and after several failed attempts, found the downstairs bar at Otto Matur & Drykkur open with pints costing £7.02.

We started the next day with a breakfast FEAST made up of items we’d bought on the first night and the basic items the guesthouse provided.

Then, we headed off and filled the car for the first time and I was horrified to see it total up to £59.61 total.

We were only got a third of the way around!

My initial budget of £50 each for the entire ring road was starting to look a little ropey…

Aside from stopping off on the side of the road to admire the scenery, our first proper stop of the day was the fishing town of Djúpivogur for a spot of lunch (pasta and soup prepared at the guesthouse).

We then walked down to Eggin í Gleðivík which is an artwork by Sigurður Guðmundsson of 34 huge, granite eggs, each representing a bird that nests in the area.

I enjoyed the walk down the the harbour whilst James remained fairly unimpressed 🤣

Next, we failed epically trying to find the waterfalls of Nykurhylsfoss and Folaldafoss (they were either frozen or closed off from the road), but we did get to sneak a peek at Petra’s Stone Collection in Stöðvarfjörður.

Realising we would miss the supermarkets in our next destination, we stopped off in Eskifjörður to pick up a few food bits, and then proceeded to Egilsstaðir where we were staying that evening.

After a quick pint at Feiti Fíllinn, we finally made our way over to the tiny cabin we’d be staying in that evening.

Given its size, we were really impressed with how much the owners had fit in – there was even a full sized oven! And it was nice to have the place to ourselves for the price of £75 a night.

You can get money off your first Airbnb booking if you haven’t used it before!

When settled, we sat down, ate some food and tried our best to find the Northern Lights for free.

Lots of driving on our fourth full day on the road but the sights from the car are more than enough to keep you entertained!

So, how’s our 6 nights for £600 budget looking?

Total spends in this video = £120.31 each
Amount left = £212.07 each

With three days left to go, do you think we can still bring it all in under budget?!


Catch up on the rest of the road trip:

Day 1Arriving in Iceland, supermarket prices and the 6 nights for £600 challenge
Day 2The Golden Circle and staying in a luxury, designer home for £27 a night
Day 3Waterfalls, glaciers and black sand beaches on Iceland’s stunning south coast

vlog 3 | iceland south coast road trip itinerary

When we set out on our 6 nights for £600 trip around the ring road of Iceland, I didn’t expect that there would be one day where we’d only spend £3.54!

Who said Iceland had to be pricey, eh?

The great thing about Iceland is the fact that the nature is free.

In this video:

First things first, if you’re not sure what this challenge is all about, catch up on all the details and day one here, and days two and three here!

First of all, we visited the incredibly impressive Seljalandsfoss Waterfall where we tried our best to get a shot a little different to the queuing tourists.

Whilst you normally have to pay for parking (700 kroner – around £4.40), some kind soul passed us their ticket. Thanks pal. However, James obviously saw this as a free pass to get a coffee for £3.54.

DOES HE NOT KNOW WE’RE ON A BUDGET?!

On the way to our next stop, we passed the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, famous due to the ash cloud that halted flights all around the world back in 2010.

As we pulled into the car park at Skógafoss Waterfall, we enjoyed the cold pizza I’d cooked up that morning. Knowing that we wouldn’t have a freezer at our next accommodation, I refused to let any of our food shop go to waste – and who doesn’t like cold pizza, eh?!

After getting battered by the winds at the top of Skógafoss, we drove 10 minutes down the road to the Sólheimasandur plane wreck. Or the car park at least.

With the weather being incredibly fickle, we decided to leave the 1 hour 15 minute trek each way – and boy were we glad when we saw the black clouds roll in twenty minutes later!

Instead, we carried on to Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach where we had a lot of fun watching tourists get engulfed by the waves. However, do be careful on this beach! There are deadly sneaker waves that have even been known to claim lives so be careful and stay away from the water.

More than any other place we stopped, this beach was a tourist haven. Whilst looking out to sea you may have a clear view, the sands were littered with people lining up to get a photo. It was one of those moments that made me feel a tad uncomfortable and question why we were all really there.

Was it all just for the gram?

But one photo I didn’t see many people getting was this gorgeous, Wes Anderson like church just minutes from the beach. I fell in love with it!

Back on the road, we drove past Eldhraun Lava Fields (the snow had covered their beautiful, mossy covers) and on to Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon which we found closed!

After a quick google, we found out it was due to too many tourists (I wasn’t surprised) and so they were letting the vegetation grow back in.

Fair enough, lads. Fair enough.

With the sun dipping lower in the sky, we bypassed Vatnajökull National Park (a great spot for hiking if you’re in the mood) and got to Diamond Beach with 15 minutes to go before sunrise.

And wow, we were so glad.

It was genuinely one of the most incredible scenes I’ve ever witnessed – and with temperatures dipping below zero and the light disappearing into the night, we shared the beach with only around 10 other people.

A definite stop you have to do!


So, at the end of the day, how was our budget looking?

Total daily spends = £3.54 each
Money left over = £332.38 each

Not too shabby!


Catch up on the rest of the road trip:

Day 1Arriving in Iceland, supermarket prices and the 6 nights for £600 challenge
Day 2The Golden Circle and staying in a luxury, designer home for £27 a night
Day 3you’re reading this now!
Day 4 – Escaping the tourists on Iceland’s beautiful Eastern coastal roads

vlog 2 | how to stay in luxury accommodation in Iceland on a budget

Here’s how you can stay in this luxury home in Iceland for just £27 a night.

With Iceland not being known as a ‘budget destination’, we were quite ready to spend our week traversing the ring road in pretty basic accommodation.

So imagine James’ face when we turned up here:

It is genuinely one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed in.

But a place like this is likely to set you back hundreds of pounds a night, right?

Wrong.

Here slides in one of my favourite websites: Love Home Swap.

Love Home Swap is what it sounds like – a website that allows you to swap your home with other people across the globe.

Yet, if like me, you think ‘who in their right mind would swap their luxury pad for my gaff?’ then don’t be put off just yet, because they offer an alternative service that for me, has worked an absolute treat.

It’s called a points swap. Quite simply, instead of swapping our home, we swapped points to stay at this beautiful cabin in Iceland.

So how do I get points?

On joining the website, you’ll be allocated points. At the time of writing, these are the current rates:

Lite – 0 points
Standard – 200 points
Premium – 500 points

With my refer a friend link, you get 25% off your first year which brings the Premium membership to £9 a month. You do have to pay in full so this will set you back £108.

Whilst this can feel like a lot, let’s take the Icelandic home of DREAMS you’ve seen above as an example.

On Love Home Swap, it’s 220 points a night meaning that with the Premium membership, you can ‘afford’ to stay there for two nights.

Two nights = 440 points
Premium membership = £108

Therefore, the nightly price would equal £54 costing just £27 each if two of you were staying.

It’s worth saying that this place sleeps SIX (two doubles and two single beds), so if you were heading there with a group, it would be just £9 a night each.

Absolute madness.

Do I have to add my home when signing up?

Yes you do! The crux of this website is swapping your home with someone else, yet the points swap allows you to get started without having someone come and stay at your place.

Do I have to pay up before I’ve booked the place?

You do have to sign up before you can confirm a home but you will get a two week free trial when you sign up that allows you to message people and get something in place before you spend your money.

This is exactly what I did when I used Love Home Swap for the first time for a trip to New York. And look where we ended up!

How likely is it that we’ll find a place?

It depends on where you’re going. Big cities and popular tourist destinations will tend to have more options, but a lot of it does come down to whether the owner has availability, whether they’re wanting to do a points swap (some don’t offer this) and whether you have enough points!

I found it really difficult to find a place in New York and it took me four weeks (I had a month free trial) to bag my place. However with Iceland, I actually found four different places that would accept my points, so it all just depends!

Whatever you find, just make sure you put a reminder in to cancel your membership before your trial is up so that it doesn’t end up costing you a thing.

From my own experience, Love Home Swap’s customer service is brilliant and they were in constant contact with my during my free trial to see if they could help.

How easy is it to cancel?

You’re in touch with a real person by email and so cancelling would be very straightforward if that’s what you needed to do. You can also reach them by phone.

What tips would you give for finding a swap?

Love Home Swap is a community. Whilst they do now have some places that allow you to book ‘instantly’, this isn’t like booking a place on Booking.com or Airbnb. These are largely people’s homes and therefore you may have to wait a little longer for a response and you can’t demand services in the same way that you could with a hotel.

Also, you book homes through messages so my top tip would be to be personable and warm. Tell your potential hostees about yourself. Why are you visiting the area? What are you excited about? What do you like about their home?

If they’ve got five different people offering the same deal, what would make them choose you over the others?

Also, especially if you sign up for the Premium service, you get access to the site’s dedicated ‘Swap Team’ who can find places that match your wants. Use this! It’s their job to help and it will make your search so much easier.

Do you offer a discount?

Why YES I DO cheers for asking pal 🤣 Love Home Swap have a refer a friend scheme that’s open to all their members which gives mates 25% off the prices online. This is genuinely the cheapest way for you to sign up:

2 weeks free trial and 25% off

What do I get in return? 3 months free membership! Cheers lads.

Are you getting paid to tell me all this?

No. I’ve been a full paying member of Love Home Swap for two years and will continue paying whether people use my link or not. In my second year I paid £180 for my standard membership and having already stayed four nights in Napa and two nights in Iceland, it’s more than paid for itself already.

I’ve used all my points up, what do I do now?

I would absolutely recommend getting involved with the Love Home Swap community and accepting points swaps of your own! We’ve had a few people stay at our place when we were away and the points we’ve earned have allowed us to continue our cheap travels.

I don’t fancy home swapping – can I still do an Icelandic road trip for a similar price?

Absolutely. I already had two guesthouses lined up if Love Home Swap didn’t work out.

The first was Centric Guesthouse in Reykjavik .

£33.50 a night each for a double room with private bathroom.

We would have then got on the road first thing in the morning and made our way over to do the Golden Circle.

The second night would have been staying properly nestled into the Golden Circle route in Flagbjarnarholt (catchy) at Elin Guesthouse.

£30 a night each with a shared bathroom, but this property had an outdoor hot tub!

Sure, they’re not as fancy as where we ended up but both are clean and highly rated. They also have access to a shared kitchen meaning that you can really keep costs down when you’re on the road.

Coming up, we’ll be staying in a similar guesthouse so check back for what we made of it!


Catch up on the rest of the road trip:

Day 1Arriving in Iceland, supermarket prices and the 6 nights for £600 challenge
Day 2you’re reading this now!
Day 3Waterfalls, glaciers and black sand beaches on Iceland’s stunning south coast
Day 4 – Escaping the tourists on Iceland’s beautiful Eastern coastal roads

the best places to drink beer in munich – with local recommendations

Before we crack on with the beer chat, if cocktails are more your thing, scroll down to the bottom for my list of recommendations that come straight from the locals!


Thanks in large part to the city’s larger than life annual beer festival, Oktoberfest, Munich is the go to destination if you’re looking to sink a few pints.

Oktoberfest serves beer from six breweries, coined ‘the big six’ which each brag lively beerhalls, alive with cantankerous singing and the oom-pah-pah of their raucous bands. Each welcome in rafts of tourists hoping to nail the true Bavarian experience.

And whilst we definitely wanted to do this as well, we were also really keen to find out:

  • Who serves the cheapest pint in the city?
  • Are there any microbreweries in the city?
  • Where can you drink beer whilst also enjoying Munich’s trendy bar scene?
  • And what historic pub features a ploy to make newbies buy the whole bar a round after one simple mistake?! (Niche? Never!)

So here we have it then. Our alternative beer tour of Munich:

Augustiner-Keller

Keeping things traditional, we started at Augustiner-Keller which pours the city’s oldest pint (well, not literally). The brew dates back to 1328 when the Augustinian Monks decided to craft a bevvie that was safer to drink that the polluted water at the time. Nice one lads!

Cost = €7,80 for 1 litre

It was a really nice beer – super delicious – and I tell ya, 1 litre at the start sure goes straight to your head!

The crowd was a nice mix of tourists and German families and friends, enjoying lunchtime together. Out of all of the beerhalls, this is thought of as a more ‘local’ experience.

The food was also excellent – proper traditional German fare – and I may or may not have accidentally ordered six sausages… (Back on the quorn when I’m home – honest).

Whilst we visited in Winter, this is a great place to come when the sun is shining as their beer garden has 5,000 seats!

Cafe Kosmos

Next, we headed to Cafe Kosmos which we heard was a great place to nab a bargain beer.

Cost = €1,30 for 0.3 litre.

It wasn’t a particularly special taste but if you’re on a budget, what a winner.

Its ‘rough around the edges’ feel lends to the laidback vibe and the array of Barbie dolls featured throughout were entertaining in the least…

A real local spot with a shit ton of character.

Stehausschank

This place was our favourite.

There used to be a load of standing bars across the city but this is the last remaining and it’s exactly what it sounds like. A bar. Where you stand.

This place doesn’t seem to have any place online but we simply searched this and headed to the place marked on Google Maps. Do not get it confused for one of the new standing bar additions, Giesinger Stehausschank.

Now there’s something VERY IMPORTANT you need to know about this particular bar and that’s on approaching the hatch where you order you beer, do NOT ring the bell next to it.

This is because whoever rings the bell is BOUND to buy every single person in the standing bar a beer. It’s written clearly to the side of the bell, but only in German, so I’d love to know the number of tourists who have got this wrong! Hahaha.

Fortunately, we were saved by a wonderful local who basically shouted ‘DO NOT TOUCH THE BELLLLLL’ as my hand wavered up towards it. What a hero.

They serve Giesinger beer which is NOT one of the big six – but we’ll explain a little more about them later.

Cost = €3,20 for 0.5 litres

We particularly liked this place because it was so tiny, you simply had to chat to the other people there! I’d found out about this place on a Time Out list yet one local said she was surprised to see us in there – so perhaps it’s not quite as popular as the other usual haunts?

Hofbräuhaus

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Ein Prosit

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Here we go then.

Known as the ‘world’s most famous tavern’, Hofbräuhaus is a beer institution and whilst we knew it was a top tourist destination, we still wanted to check what all the fuss was about.

I was particularly wowed by its gorgeously painted ceilings but in all honesty, it was JUST TOO BUSY. 

We did managed to find a table but it took a while to get someone’s attention to order and it was really missing the local feel for us.

Cost = €4,70 for 0.5 litre

It is worth saying that there’s normally a Bavarian band playing music which I’m sure would liven things up – but they seemed to be a on a break when we were there.

I’d still recommend going along, but try and head there at an off-peak time so you can experience it before it becomes overrun! 

Giesinger Bräustüberl

Remember I mentioned that beer that wasn’t part of the big six? Well this is where it comes from!

Giesinger is a smaller, more modern, brewery which makes a whole host of craft beers. Whilst it may not be an official beverage for the yearly Oktoberfest, it’s a brilliant alternative if you’re hoping to sample the city’s wares.

Cost = €3,50 for 0.5 litres 

Having read online that they sometimes turn tourists away over locals, I was a bit nervous on whether we’d get a spot (especially on a Saturday around 6pm) but we got lucky and got the last two seats at the bar. I think the fact that we wanted to eat too, definitely helped.

You can book ahead here, so I’d deffo recommend this as it’s not as central as the other spots (we uber-ed it there in 10 minutes for around 8 euros).

They’ve got a huge choice of craft beers – their own, and many more – so it’s definitely a great spot to check out.

Trisoux

Having necked around 5 pints already, James proclaimed that he was ‘full up’ of beer and so for our next spot, we wanted somewhere that not only served beer, but cocktails too.

Trisoux was recommended by a local via Instagram and it was a really cool bar that was filling up with friends meeting for an early evening beverage or twelve.

Cost = €4 for 0.5 litre

What was great was that the beer on tap was Löwenbräu which, you’ve guessed it, is another big six player so it was a great way to sample that without being squished into a beerhall. It felt quite sophisticated in fact!

James, instead, went for a sherry and soda.

Seriously. 

I’m disgusted.

And thus endeth our alternative beer tour!

Alternative local recommendations

Before you go!

As mentioned above, I did reach out to a few Munich based instagrammers to get their insider tips and the three who got back to me were so helpful.

In general, they all said they avoided the ‘beer’ drinking places but they gave me a raft of bars that they’d hang out in instead.

Here’s what they had to say:

Tobi

Daniel

Charlie

Thank you so much to all three of them for sharing their knowledge – go and follow them to if you’ve found their lists helpful!

the ultimate warsaw guide | practical tips you must know before visiting poland’s capital

This ultimate guide to Poland’s capital will clue you up on transport, accommodation, activities and so much more – so you can spend less time faffing, and more time enjoying your trip!