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Christmas Markets Report 2023

Kickstarting your festive prep with a short getaway this year? The Post Office Christmas Markets Report reveals where your seasonal spend will go furthest.

Riga and Stockholm offer the best value of the 12 European cities we surveyed this year. And prices have fallen in half of them.

a christmas tree with lights and boats in front of a city

Gamla Stan Christmas Market, Stockholm, courtesy of Visit Stockholm AB

Which Christmas market destinations offer best value?

Post Office Travel Money is pleased to share our latest Christmas Markets Report. Now updated with 2023 pricing, it compares the cost of short Christmas market breaks in popular European cities to see were you’ll get best value.

We’ve surveyed 12 destinations in all. And we’ve contrasted prices for a two-night break in Christmas market season, including flights or Eurostar journeys, transfers, meals plus festive essentials like mulled wine and cakes.

You’ll find the top findings and grand totals for each destination here. And you can download the full Christmas Markets Barometer for all the price details behind these totals.

Key findings include:

  • Riga in Latvia offers the best value Christmas Market break for our fifth report running. Its win is due to low-cost flights and competitively priced accommodation
  • Stockholm, Sweden is the surprise runner-up, thanks to good hotel availability and a fall in flight costs. Its overall costs are down 25% compared with last year
  • Third-placed Zagreb’s costs are only 10p higher than Stockholm. Prices in the Croatian capital seem unaffected by the country’s change in currency from the kuna to the euro
  • Krakow in Poland is comparatively far cheaper than Riga on the ground. But scarce pre-Christmas flights has made the cost of travel far more expensive this year
  • Vienna, Austria remains the most expensive city for a Christmas market break, with costs 46% higher than Riga. Copenhagen in Denmark is the second most expensive
  • Prices have fallen in half the cities surveyed. The biggest falls were in Stockholm and Prague

Discover the cities where Christmas market money goes further

Best value holiday destinations in 2023

Here are the total costs for a two-night stay in the 12 destinations we surveyed during the Christmas markets season. Costs include B&B accommodation and direct flights or Eurostar for two. You’ll find breakdowns of all costs in the full barometer.

Destination Travel cost +/- vs 2022
1. Riga, Latvia £505.73 -1%
2. Stockholm, Sweden

£559.50

-25.2%

3. Zagreb, Croatia

£559.60

+2.8%

4. Prague, Czech Republic

£640.23

-13.1%

5. Tallinn, Estonia

£663.38

-3.5%

6. Budapest, Hungary

£713.25

-4.9%

7. Lille, France

£739.82

+1.6%

8. Krakow, Poland

£755.83

+15.8%

9. Berlin, Germany

£768.01

-4.1%

10. Salzburg, Austria

£846.02

+8.5%

11. Copenhagen, Denmark

£901.62

+1.6%

12. Vienna, Austria

£932.61

+0.8%

 

Exchange rates used relate to purchases of £500-£999 online on 6 November 2023.

Travel money: buy before you fly

Wherever you're travelling to, you’re likely to get a better rate on travel money if you buy it before you get to the airport. Check the exchange rate for your destination to get the best value from your foreign currency.  

With Post Office, you can order travel money online to collect from any branch or get it delivered to your door. You can also buy selected currencies in 7,000 branches. And you can load holiday funds onto a handy, secure, prepaid travel money card.

Travel insurance: safeguarding your trip 

If you’re visiting EU countries, a Ghic or Ehic will provide some medical cover there but they don’t cover everything. Remember to get travel insurance that provides protection for your trip too, whether it’s to Europe or the wider world.

Always check the latest travel advice

The requirements of UK travellers travelling to and returning from different destinations can change at short notice. Check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice for your destination regularly, as travelling against this advice may invalidate your travel insurance.

Read the full Post Office Travel Money Christmas Markets Barometer

How the barometer is compiled

Source: Post Office Travel Money. Exchange rates used relate to purchases of £500-£999 online on 6 November 2023.

The Post Office European Christmas Markets Barometer was compiled using prices sourced from the tourist offices of participating cities (except Lille and Salzburg, researched online), cross-checked with online research. Prices for B&B accommodation (two sharing) were sourced from Hotels.com and Booking.com and for flights/train travel from British Airways, easyJet, Eurostar, Norwegian, Ryanair and Wizz.

Other travel products

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