While there are dozens of fantastic Christmas markets in the UK – two even made the world top 10 – there are also some fantastic options a short flight away. Brits who love to visit other countries and enjoy their traditions should seriously consider a winter trip to take in the lights, smells and sounds of foreign festive markets especially as you could spend as little as £90 on flights and hotels.
There’s nothing quite as magical as an evening spent drinking mulled wine, feasting on Bratwurst and perusing the many stalls and rides at the fun festive fairs. But, British markets are some of the most expensive in Europe with a beer and a hot dog costing a whopping £25 in Manchester.
Thankfully, across the channel you can bag some mega bargains combining a holiday with your Christmas market trip. One of the best value countries for Brits to head to is Romania and specifically the mystical region of Transylvania.
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Sibiu is Romania’s most popular Christmas market destination, beating the capital, Bucharest which is a pretty impressive feat. Romanians flock to visit this Transylvanian winter celebration, known as 'The Fair In Sibiu' or the Sibiu Christmas Fair thanks to its masses of stalls, rides, glittering lights and delicious snacks.
The Christmas market is in the centre of an ancient Transylvanian city and features a tall spruce tree, ice rinks and lots of attractions for kids that will get you in the festive spirit. Sibiu residents have a combined heritage of Hungarian, Romanian and German, which gives the town its rich, unique culture with plenty of traditional Christmas elements that will make you excited for the big day!
The team at eurochange rounded up some of the best alternative Christmas markets across Europe and found the average cost of hotels and flights to Sibiu – as well as the current exchange rate. It found that you can bag a return flight from London Luton for £62 while hotels are the major saver as the average room cost just £18pp per night.
Christmas market entry in the city is completely free meaning if you spend one night in the city you’ll only have to spend £80 plus whatever you shell out on food and drink. £1 is currently 5.27 leu and spending power is impressive – a cup of milled wine costs just £1.76 and other meals and beverages are equally cheap.
According to PintPrice, the cost of a beer in Sibiu is just 85p though you can expect a bit of extra change to be added on at the market. Delicious local speciality foods you can use to soak up the booze include Kürtőskalács – a funnel-like pasty cooked on a metal stick and covered in sugar – and cozonac – a sweet bread folded in layers of sponge and raisins.
Laura Evans-Fisk, head of Digital and Engagement at eurochange, comments: "Our research shows the Romanian city of Sibiu is one of the best European Christmas markets to visit, if you’re looking for value for money and a truly authentic experience. Average hotel costs come in at less than £20 per person, per night, and food and drinks are very affordable. For example, a mulled wine will cost you less than £2, which is pretty much unheard of in the UK!"
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