Have you been looking for a place to spend your next Christmas holiday? Well, you should consider a European destination! There are festive Christmas markets in multiple countries which make for an extra special experience. You can visit London, Amsterdam, Munich, and Rome in under two weeks. Get your camera ready! Please Note: Arrival and Departure cities are different.

One word of warning: some sites and buildings may be closed on Christmas day so plan accordingly.

Days 1-3: London

Depending on the time you arrive into London, you may be able to fit in a decent amount of site seeing on day one. With such a short amount of time in this beautiful city, it is recommended to stay close to the city center. You do not want to lose out on site seeing and exploration time by having excess travel time to/from your lodging.

Sites in London to consider:

  • London Eye
  • Natural History Museum
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Big Ben
  • London Zoo
  • Hyde Park (Winter Wonderland is held here so make sure to go!)
  • James Park
  • Westminster Abby
  • Tower of London
  • Tower Bridge
  • London Dungeon
  • Piccadilly Circus

To maximize your travel time, use a late-night train and then take an overnight ferry called the Stena Line to get from England to the Hook of Holland.

Days 4-5: Amsterdam

The only downside to the overnight ferry is that there is a very early wakeup call at around 6 AM for an 8 AM arrival. Catch another train at the port to get to Amsterdam. The benefit of this overnight travel is that you now have a nearly full day to explore the city. Leave your luggage at your hotel/hostel and get out on the town. I highly recommend the Hop-on Hop-off tours as it is easier to get around to explore all the sites.

Sites in Amsterdam to consider:

  • Van Gough Museum
  • Ann Frank House
  • Rijksmuseum
  • Dam Square
  • Heineken Experience
  • Christmas Markets

The next evening, take the City Night Line overnight train (either in a group or private cabin) to Munich.

Days 7-9: Munich

An early 7 AM arrival leaves plenty of time for exploration! If you stay in Munich over the Christmas Eve and Christmas, make sure to plan what to do and see. The Christmas markets close at 2 PM on Christmas Eve so get there early if you want to check it out. Many places may be closed on Christmas day, but you can still walk around town and explore the lovely parks.

Also take a read through my friend Lorelii’s post about her favorite Christmas Markets in Germany.

Sites in Munch to consider:

  • Marienplatz (Christmas markets are here)
  • New Town Hall
  • Old Town Hall
  • Hofbrauhaus (especially if you travel with avid beer drinkers)
  • Schlosspark Nymphenburg
  • Nymphenburg Palace
  • Englischer Garten
  • Hofgarten
  • Numerous Churches
  • Castle tours

Don’t forget to get a giant German pretzel before you go! Take another overnight train to Rome.

Days 10-12: Rome

Last, but certainly not least, your last few days will be spent in Rome. Don’t waste any time! After an early AM arrival explore the city and see as many sites as you can. There is a lot to fit into a short amount of time so make sure to prioritize the sites you want to see. I highly suggest getting a bus pass to make transportation between sites easier.

Sites in Rome to consider:

  • Colosseum
  • Pantheon
  • Roman Forum
  • Spanish Steps
  • Trevi Fountain
  • St Peters Basilica
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Palatine Hill
  • Catacombs of Rome
  • Piazza del Popolo
  • Vatican
  • Arch of Constantine
  • Altare Della Patria (there are fantastic views)

Please don’t forget about the food! There are way too many excellent places to eat in and around Rome. Some of the best you can find are the ones you happen to stumble on.

At the end of your last day, take a late evening flight home. Hopefully, after quite the adventure, you will sleep well on the plane home.


Author Bio:  Rebecca traveled Europe over a Christmas holiday during her year in the UK getting her Master’s Degree in Wildlife Conservation. She has been to Africa five times in the past ten years volunteering with wildlife projects. Her goals are to travel the world and to help bring awareness to conservation issues. Learn more about her here.

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Planning a trip to Europe…?

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3 replies
  1. Dominique at Switching Hemispheres says:

    Great post Rebecca! The pop up ice skating rinks that come to life around London in December like the one in Hyde Park are such cool things to experience, glad this made the list!

  2. Stefanie says:

    Woow, this looks really amazing,
    This is really on my have to do list before i get into my 40’s

    Keep posting,
    Kind regards


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