cheap christmas market weekend getaways from london

Christmas may only be 6 weeks away but if you’re hoping to amp up your excitement with a festive weekend break, there’s still time to bag a bargain.

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All deals listed are:

  • 2 night weekend breaks – Fri to Sun or Sat to Mon
  • Decent flight times that allow at least 1.5 days in your chosen city
  • Based on 2 people travelling
  • Less than £150pp for flights and accommodation

First up, we’re taking a look at deals from London. Make sure you check back throughout the week to also find deals from other areas on the UK!

(Prices last updated on Monday 12th November at 7:30am)

30th Nov – 2nd Dec

Warsaw, Poland 

  • Christmas markets start: 24th November 2018
  • Poland is great value – the average cost of a pint is £2
  • As Poland’s capital, there’s lots to see and do around the city!

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Flight – £73pp

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Airbnb – £48pp

  • City centre studio apartment
  • Great reviews
  • Not booked with Airbnb before? Sign up here to get £25 off your first booking

Total cost – £121 per person 


Sat 1st Dec – Mon 3rd Dec

Toulouse, France

  • Christmas markets start: 23rd November 2018
  • Held in the heart of Toulouse, at the famous Place du Capitole
  • Airport is just a 18 minute drive from the city centre

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 21.24.01.pngFlight – £21pp

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Hotel – £81pp

  • Le Grand Balcon Toulouse
  • 4 star city centre top rated boutique hotel
  • You could find even cheaper hotels or Airbnbs but this is a great deal!

Total cost – £102 per person


Fri 7th Dec – Sun 9th Dec

Bucharest, Romania

  • Christmas markets start: 1st December 2018
  • Yes, you’ll pay more for your flights but you’ll spend a lot less when you’re there – we’re talking £1.50 a pint!
  • As the capital, you’ll have plenty to see and do

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Flight – £94pp

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Airbnb – £41pp

  • Just a 10 min walk to the Old Town (and 23 mins from the market)
  • Brilliant reviews
  • Not booked with Airbnb before? Sign up here to get £25 off your first booking

Total cost – £135 per person


Sat 8th Dec – Mon 10th Dec

Bremen, Germany

  • Christmas markets start: 26th November 2018
  • No one does German markets like the Germans, right?!
  • Bremen airport is super close to the city centre – only 10 mins away!

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Flight – £34pp

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Hotel – £95pp

  • Maritim Hotel and Congress Centrum Bremen
  • 4 star city centre and well rated
  • I do prefer a more modern hotel but for the location and the fact that most places (even Airbnb) is super booked up, it’s a good deal!

Total cost – £129 per person


Fri 14th Dec – Sun 16th Dec

Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Christmas market starts: all will be open from 17th November 2018
  • Often featured in top 10 lists of the best markets in Europe
  • Make sure to visit the city centre amusement park Tivoli which looks incredible at Christmas – park entrance will cost you 110DK (around £12) and then you pay extra for rides

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Flight – £67pp

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Hotel – £97pp

Total cost – £164 per person

FINE I WENT OVER BUDGET ON THIS ONE – but it does have free breakfast so… Can you let it slide??!

If you want something fancier than a 2 star, you could also try this lush 4 star hotel for the same price but it is a little further out. However, Copenhagen public transport is very good.

FINAL OPTION: you could also fly to the Danish city of Aarhus on the same dates for a mere £35! The flight times are mint too and, having visited twice before, I can imagine Christmas on its cute, cobbled streets being proper magical.


Sat 15th Dec – Mon 17th Dec

Gothenburg, Sweden

  • The second largest city in Sweden has plenty to offer – including the fact that it’s a hell of a lot easier to get to from the airport than its capital (if you’re flying cheap, that is!). The centre is just a 30 minute bus shuttle away.
  • Another Scandi country with a festival amusement park! Visit Liseberg for artificial snow and over five million fairy lights (110 SEK – around £9.50)

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Flight – £46pp

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Hotel – £91pp

  • Scandic No 25
  • The room may be on the cosy side but this hotel is well rated and in a great location
  • Free breakfast – this will definitely help in pricey Sweden!

Total cost – £137 per person


If you do end up booking any of these deals – or finding an even better one of your own – then please, let me know!

As well as commenting below, you can also find me on Twitter and on Instagram.

London done – Manchester deals are next!


watch related videos:

James and I visited the Christmas markets in Timisoara, Romania last year and for a two night break for two adults with B&B accommodation, flights, airport transfers, a three-course meal, coffee, mulled wine and cake spent the grand total of… £92.10 each.

I AM NOT JOKING.

how to stay in a €1,000,000 holiday apartment | barcelona wedding vlog

What’s even better than going on holiday and living like a local? Going on holiday and living like a LUXURY LOCAL!

Our apartment in Barcelona was stunning – and here’s exactly how you could stay here yourself for a whole lot less money than your average hotel.

ENTER STAGE LEFT: Love Home Swap!

This is the second time we’ve used Love Home Swap (remember that insane New York apartment with the Emmy Award? Yeah, that one was one of them too) so to say we’re impressed is a total understatement. I really love how not only the quality of homes on the site are proper BANGIN’, but also that there’s nice ‘community vibes’ – because no one’s there to make money out of you. Everyone’s just after the same thing – somewhere nice to stay.

In this video, I’ll break down how we found this particular apartment and how we used Love Home Swap’s clever ‘points swap’ feature to stay. We also go to our friends’ incredible Barcelona wedding, get a chronic hangover (standard) and properly explore the neighbourhood of Eixample.

my 5* stay at the sofitel st james and how you can stay luxe for less

I often get asked what I prefer when I go away – a hotel stay or a short term rental.

And whilst I love having a a full size fridge to store my 2 euro wine (what, that’s not the first thing you buy when you’re on holiday?!!), I’ve really started to appreciate a night or two at a super lush hotel.

That’s why when Booking.com asked if I fancied staying a night at the Sofitel London St James I had to enforce the ’10 min text back rule’ as to not scare them off by going ‘OF COURSE I BLOODY DO I’M OUTSIDE ALREADY CAN YOU LET ME IN PLZ BBZ’.

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Being a mere 35 minutes from my usual place of residence, this was definitely more of a ‘staycation’ but a quick google summarised the hotel’s 5 star credentials (restaurant and bar – tick, spa – tick, Hermès toiletries – TICK) meaning that this mere jaunt across town warranted a full face of makeup, a coiffed bouffant and an IRONED TOP (huge feat).

On arrival, the doorman took our bags and I had around 3.7 seconds to come up with my new ‘I always frequent 5* hotels’ alias (Tamara, interior designer, wears jodhpurs on the weekend).

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We were given a Luxury Room (the hierarchy of rooms goes Classic – Superior – Luxury – Premium Luxury) and all you need to know is that the bed was HEAVEN ON EARTH. James had to do a bit of a high jump backwards spring to get on and I thought I’d nearly lost him in the marshmallow folds at one point.

The next morning, we swanned down to breakfast and I was made up over the Veggie Fry Up (£14 – not too bad for a central London hotel) which someone had actually given some thought to. The sweet potato hash brown and overloaded avocado on toast were veggie brekkie EXCLUSIVE. Other breakfastaries (real word) take note.

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Being INCREDIBLY CENTRAL (basically the Queen’s neighbours) and pretty plush, this hotel ain’t the cheapest. In fact, when I rang up reservations to ask what price their rooms start at, I unwittingly entered a volley of dead end questions and was told “unless you know the date, I can’t tell you a price”. Thanks love.

Booking.com, however, were a little more forthcoming and online it states that ‘prices for upcoming dates start at £331 per night’.

Sofitel St James Booking.com

For someone who loves a good deal, that’s a lot of money (hell, I think I did three holidays for that last year) but more and more I’ve found myself planning getaways where I’m happy to stay somewhere less flash if it means that I can go all out for the last night or two.

So, what are my tips for staying somewhere glam AF without breaking the bank?

  1. Stay on a Sunday – with the weekend tourists packing back off home and the business breaks yet to begin, Sundays can often be the cheapest night of the week.
  2. Off peak – stay in a quiet period. For example, my Ma and Pa, always go away on the 1st January (it’s their anniversary the day after) and they always bag a great deal. Talk about starting the new year right.
  3. Book cheap and blag an upgrade – heading to a nice hotel but got the cheapest room? Story of my life. If blagging an upgrade doesn’t work (I speak about how to do this here), then try asking at the desk if there’s anything available. I tried this on a recent work trip to Mexico and managed to get a suite with late checkout for just £30 extra.
  4. Get a discount – if you haven’t used it already, you can still get £25 off your next stay at booking.com by using my referral link – I don’t get anything by you using the link, it’s just an actual, real life legit way for you to save money. As long as it’s over £50 and you haven’t used a referral code before (mine or anyone else’s), it’s an easy way to make your next luxuuurrrioussss stay that bit more affordable.
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The suite life

As always, let me know where you end up booking (or if you score any amazing 5* hotel deals) as I shall always endeavour to holiday vicariously through you all!


Booking.com gave me the room (THANX GUYZ!) and, having not written anything more than a YouTube bio in a while, I decided to blog about it. Therefore, here lie my honest thoughts, feelings and advice for you to enjoy your own luxury stay! 😄

the recap | most drunk, biggest fail & best accommodation

Do you remember at the end of each series of Friends where they did their ‘and here’s our best bits’ episode? Well, this is basically that.

Featuring most drunk, biggest fail and best accomm – oh, and James attempts to do the non-handed shot one last time…

WHY DOES THAT BOY NOT LEARN?!!

april short breaks for less than £150pp

My holiday withdrawals are too much.

So, to take the edge off, I’ve decided to do a monthly round up of some of the great getaways on offer in the coming months.

We’re talking weekend breaks (1 day off maximum) with decent flight times and well rated accommodation.

All prices will be based on two people sharing a room and I’ll tend to recommend hotels just so that you have a place to store your luggage before and after check in.

I’ll also be flinging in some NON-LONDON (😱) options every single month.

Right! Let’s kick things off with April.

FROM LONDON

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Where?

Copenhagen – the capital of Denmark

When?

Saturday 21st April – Monday 23rd April

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*Note that you’ll fly from Stansted and come back to Luton.

How much?

£36 with Go To Gate via Momondo, or you can buy directly with Ryanair for £44. Remember to use a private browser!

Where should I stay?

66 Guldsmeden

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  • 3 star
  • Close to the city centre
  • In Vesterbro, Copenhagen’s fashionable meat packing district
  • Great ratings
  • £113 a night via iloveecohotels

Total cost

£149 per person

Why Copenhagen?

Great food, great architecture and bloody lovely people. I recommend checking out Torvehallerne food market, Kanal Cafeen for smørrebrød and Tivoli for the world’s most aesthetically pleasing amusement park!

FROM LIVERPOOL

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Where?

Ibiza – Spain’s party island (before the party kicks off!)

When?

Sat 21st – Mon 23rd April (also available the weekend before for £2 more)

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How much?

£38 with Go To Gate via Momondo, or you can buy directly with Ryanair for £40.

Where should I stay?

OD Ocean Drive

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  • 4 star
  • Close to Ibiza Town
  • Great ratings
  • Roof terrace with sea views
  • Breakfast included
  • £99 a night via loveholidays

Total cost

£137 per person

Why Ibiza?

Ibiza’s clubs don’t open until May so if that’s what you’re after, hold off. However, spring is an amazing time to visit as the island is blooming into life. There’s plenty of restaurants still open if you base yourself near a main town and you’ll be blessed with near empty beaches when you go exploring. What’s more, with an average temperature of 18°C, it’s a great place to reacquaint yourself with a little bit of sunshine!

FROM GLASGOW

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Where?

Olhão – a small fishing town that’s just an 18 minute taxi journey from the airport

When?

Fri 20th April – Sun 22nd April

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How much?

£90 – I found the rate on Skyscanner, but you could also book direct with Ryanair

Where should I stay?

Hotel Cidade de Olhão

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Worth a mention also is Real Marina Hotel & Spa which would send you a whopping £7 over your budget – but it comes with breakfast and is a 5 star spa hotel 💅🏻

Total cost

£148 per person

Why Olhão?

Before going to Olhão for the first time, a Portuguese friend laughed and said ‘why on earth are you going there?’. Unlike its neighbouring Algarve towns, Olhão is not a tourist hotspot. Instead, you get a small fishing town that’s full of character and great, fresh food. Make sure you check out the local fruit and fish markets and take the ferry out to Culatra, a large sand bar island with a charming small village vibe. If you’re after loads to do, this isn’t the place for you, but if you’re after a chill in the sunshine (average temps are around 22°C by this point), then I’d definitely recommend it.


As well as booking holidays, I also LOVE hearing about them, so make sure to let me know where you end up heading this April!

we ran out of money | miami & key west | the final vlog

It’s here! The final one!

Featuring a road trip to Key West, lots and lots of beer (naturally) and what happens when you fly home on Christmas day…

Plus, did I actually manage to book 10 holidays for half the price the average Brit spends in a year?

WEL U CAN FIND OUT HERE:

gdańsk was the city i never planned to love

 

 

I really did just book this because it was cheap.

I mean, with £16 flights and £33 for 2 nights in a cute, polished apartment, there wasn’t much to argue with.

But I actually didn’t expect to properly fall in love with its amber peddling, quiet majesty and old town charm.

With an exceptional array of places to eat, drink and be merry, Gdańsk is now officially my go to recommendation to all in search of a short and cheap (emphasis on the latter) European break.

So what are you waiting for? Get on Skyscanner and find that flight!