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STILL not done your Christmas shopping? Combine it with a European break by jumping on Eurostar to one of these festive destinations...

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: 24 November – 23 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: 28 November – 31 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 Placeoffer 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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Christmas markets by Eurostar
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