27/10/2014 Experience the Magic of Christmas with Eurostar: A Guide to the Christmas Markets

27 Oct 2014

With less than 60 days to go until Christmas, it’s the perfect time to take a short Eurostar journey to Germany, Belgium or France to enjoy the traditional Christmas Markets. With an array of breathtaking markets in some of the most beautiful European cities, this charming experience is bound to create magical memories.

With warm apple cider and mulled wine, festive ice skating and carol singing around the tree, there’s no better way to get in the festive spirit. From the enchanting architecture in Cologne to the quaint and cobbled streets of Strasbourg, a Eurostar winter break offers something for everyone.

Travellers can book their trip to these Winter Wonderlands now on Eurostar.com to start the festive season early and gear up for a cracking Christmas.

 

Cologne

A simple connection in Brussels will see travellers soaking up the festive cheer in no time amidst the currywurst, glühwein and pretzels on offer. Seven Christmas markets in total are an offer in this enchanting city, with the largest of these set against the backdrop of Cologne’s magnificent gothic Cathedral and the tallest Christmas tree in the Rhineland.

Journey time: 4 hours 11 minutes (via Brussels)

Markets open: 24th November – 23rd December

Tickets from: £89 return

 

Strasbourg

Crowds have been flocking to this quaint and ancient city since 1570 to enjoy one of the oldest Christmas markets in France. A total of 12 markets now line the cobbled streets around the old cathedral offering a myriad of seasonal treats to festive shoppers.

Journey time: 5 hours 27 minutes (via Paris with a simple connection from Gare du Nord to        Gare de l’est)

Markets open: 28th November – 31st December

Tickets from: £99 return

 

Lille

A charming Christmas market and over 80 chalets are open from 19 November to 30 December. The main square is transformed into a Winter Wonderland with an 18-meter high Christmas tree and visitors can enjoy the seasonal sights of the city from a giant Ferris wheel.

Journey time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Markets open: 19 November - 30 December

Tickets from: £69 return

 

Brussels 

The Brussels Christmas market is hailed as one of the most inventive in Europe. Running from 28 November until 4 January, the Plaisirs d'Hiver or ‘winter pleasures’ market has more than 240 chalets and stalls. A 200ft ice skating rink and a nightly sound and light show in the Grand Place offer entertainment for all.

Journey time: 2 hours

Markets open: 28 November – 4 January

Tickets from: £69 return

 

Bruges                   

The beautiful market square of Bruges is transformed every winter with an abundance of colourful lights and illuminated festive stalls crammed full of Christmas goodies. Around 30 traditional stalls sell everything from gifts, speciality foods, chocolates and sweets to unusual hand-made Christmas decorations. An open-air ice rink and Christmas Hobby and Toy Fair offer plenty of additional family fun.

Journey time: 3 hours 20 minutes (via Brussels)

Markets open: 21 November - 2 January

Tickets from: £79 return

For more information, to book Eurostar tickets or to purchase Eurostar gift vouchers, visit www.eurostar.com or call 08432 186 186.

 

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About Eurostar

1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps. 

2. Eurostar was established in 1994 as a partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways).  On 1 September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR.

3. The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994 carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph.  Since then, the fleet of 28 trains has carried more than 130 million passengers between London and the Continent.  Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet. The new e320 will carry around 900 passengers at speeds of up to 320kph. 

4. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe’s leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.

5. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies.  Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel’s biggest customer.

 

For more information:

Eurostar Press Office 

020 7843 5500

press.office@eurostar.co.uk