You might think that travelling during Christmas is expensive and no student could possibly travel far, but you are mistaken. Whether it is by bus or by plane, you can have a cheap but memorable experience. If traditional Christmas markets are what you want then Germany is the place to go. With flights costing between £10 and £30, you can find your bargain travel route. My top tip is to fly to a smaller, less well-known airport and then travel within the country, using a train or bus. This can be much cheaper as flights are much cheaper and rail links in mainland Europe are more reliable and much cheaper than in the UK. For example, you could fly into Bremen, Northern Germany for just £12 then travel to Berlin at a cost of around £40 but to fly straight to Berlin it could cost you around £140. And as for accommodation, let’s be honest, hostels are the way to do it cheaply.

Berlin’s main market is held around the remarkable Gedächtniskirche which is a memorial church. This makes Berlin an unforgettable experience with the culture displayed amongst the festivities. As a whole, the cultural mix of historic and modern attractions offers something for everyone with over 60 markets dispersed around the whole city but mainly in the centre, you will find everything you are looking for. If you come away from this Christmas market without all your Christmas presents you are shopping for people who are too hard to please!

The longest markets run from the 26th November to the 31st of December but going just before Christmas will be the most festive time. The Gendarmenmarkt treasures heavenly food from the country’s top chefs along with ornate concert halls such as Konzerthaus. If bargain entertainment is what you are looking for, then this market is up your street. Boasting cheesy jugglers and polished choirs whilst you roam the streets looking for a present for that one family member who is too difficult to shop for. If you want to relive your childhood, a 20 minute walk will take you to Potsdamer Platz Market, which offers Europe’s largest toboggan run. At 12 metres high and 70 metres long you are likely to get rather cold but it is most definitely worth it.

After you have frozen your body on the toboggan, why not get a little bruised too on the 500-square metre open air ice-rink in Alte Potsdamer Straße in Winter World. Open throughout November and December, you could show off your skills or create an excuse to not sit your exams in January by presenting your broken bones!

There are still over 60 markets to explore, all with their own hidden charms and unique experiences, if you cannot find yourself having an amazing time, you are definitely the modern-day Scrooge!

Beth Collins

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