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A shot of Christmas market stalls, and warmly-dressed customers mingling around the stalls. Featuring pine decorations and sparking lights.

The Cheapest Christmas Breaks

Emma Langley

Christmas is such an exciting time of the year, but sometimes the stress of the holidays gets too much, creating the need to getaway and unwind in a winter wonderland break. However, Christmas time also brings financial stress, leaving spending money on holidays limited. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the cheapest Christmas breaks, so that you can enjoy a Christmas retreat without the worry of spending too much!

Because long-haul flights are typically more expensive than domestic, regional or short-haul flights, we’ve split the destinations by region so that you can plan your Christmas vacation around cheaper flights. Alternatively, if you really want to travel to a winter break halfway across the world, you can make it possible with one of our finance options, which make flight prices more manageable with monthly installments.

Cheap European Christmas Breaks

Riga, Latvia

Europe is well-known for its impressive Christmas markets, but it’s equally known for being expensive. Luckily, there are certain gems such as Riga, which offer an extremely cheap getaway, without missing out on any of the Christmas magic. This Latvian capital offers many Christmas delights, including the three impressive Christmas markets in the city centre, offering Latvia’s traditional take on a European market with huge Christmas trees, wooden stands offering Glühwein and hot chocolate and handmade tree ornaments or children’s toys. There are many great flight prices from destinations across Europe, and the value for money once there is also great, with an average weekend costing under £250 GBP including flights, accommodation and food and drinks.

A shot looking down at a Christmas market in Riga, with the grand buildings covered in snow and the twinkling lights of the market

 Photo Credit: gregoriacandles

Take me to Riga

Riga International Airport (RIX) is the main airport for the Latvian capital. The airport is only around a 25 minute journey out of the city by taxi or public transport. You can fly to this airport with many airlines such as Wizz AirScandinavian Airlines, Norwegian, airBaltic and LOT Polish Airlines.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a city that provides great value for money for what it offers, with cheap flights there and also cheap food and drink. Due to being home to one of the weirdest yet most wonderful Christmas Markets (thanks to its Christmas mascot) the prices often soar during the peak times of December making it hard to find a cheap deal. If you really want to visit Barcelona during Christmas, consider visiting during January when the prices drop for the shoulder and low seasons. On 6th January, this Spanish city celebrates Three Kings Day with a parade through the city which features magnificent floats of elephants, camels, giraffes and more, fireworks, cannons and of course, beautifully detailed costumes! This event means that you can still enjoy much of the Christmas magic in Barcelona, for a fraction of the price than visiting just weeks before in December. Be sure to try the traditional Three Kings Cake (Tortell de Reis) whilst visiting, to get a taste of Catalonian Christmas.

a view down a busy road in Barcelona, taken at night to show the Christmas lights twinkling above the road

 Photo Credit: pilarossi

Take me to Barcelona

Barcelona’s main airport is Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN). From the airport, it’s only a 20 minute drive to the city centre. Fly to El Prat Barcelona Airport with low-cost airlines such as easyJetLevelNorwegian and Ryanair, to help keep costs down.

Krakow, Poland

If a cheap yet traditional European Christmas market is what you’re looking for, head to Krakow for exactly that. Krakow is a cheap destination for a weekend break at any point in the year, but has so much more to offer in the lead up to Christmas. From wandering the picturesque streets in the magical snow, or enjoying some warming delicacies such as hot chocolate or mulled wine at the Christmas market square, Krakow provides everything you need for a Christmas vacation. With flights from many European cities and two nights accommodation in Krakow priced around £200 GBP, this is a bargain that you really can’t miss. In addition, there’s plenty of free things to do in this city, with the market providing plenty of live performances of plays and live music, meaning you can keep the costs down whilst here.

A Christmas market shot taken in Krakow, with a cone shaped tree covered in large red baul bauls in the foreground.

 Photo Credit: jerry_kerr

Take me to Krakow

Kraków John Paul II International Airport (KRK) is the main airport of Krakow, located about 40 minute drive out of the city. You can fly there with airlines such as Jet2.comWizz Air, easyJet, Ryanair and Scandinavian Airlines. Many of these airlines are budget-friendly, providing with you more affordable options.

Budapest, Hungary

Christmas in Budapest is a truly magical experience at a surprisingly affordable price. The city comes alive with festive lights, charming Christmas markets, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere that makes it a top destination during the holiday season. The main attraction is the Christmas market in Vorosmarty Square, which is one of Europe's greatest, where you can browse through a wide array of handmade gifts, traditional Hungarian crafts, and indulge in delicious local delicacies like chimney cake and mulled wine. The streets, including the iconic Andrássy Avenue and Heroes' Square, provide a picturesque setting for evening festive strolls. Visit the Christmas tree and ice-skating rink in front of the Hungarian Parliament Building, adding to the holiday spirit. Budapest's fascinating blend of history and culture, combined with its festive charm, makes it a top destination to celebrate Christmas. Return flights to the city are available at an affordable rate, typically falling between £120 and £180 for a round trip, with the pricier flights being those closest to Christmas. Hungary also boasts a variety of budget-friendly accommodation options, ensuring that your stay is both comfortable and cost-effective.

Budapest, Hungary Christmas Market

Take me to Budapest

Budapest's primary airport is Budapest Ferihegy International Airport. It's the largest airport serving Hungary and is conveniently located just a little over 8 miles from the city centre, which is roughly about a 35-minute drive. The airport is Wizz Air's hub airport, as well as a primary base for Ryanair. You can also fly with many other budget airlines to/from here, such as Jet2 and easyJet.

Cheap North American Christmas Breaks

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Salt Lake City in Utah provides a picture-perfect Christmas vacation setting, with the snowy Wasatch Mountains in the background, and the brightly lit and magical downtown being centre-stage for the Christmas activities in the city. Salt Lake City doesn’t do Christmas in half measures, with plenty of things to do and see for free — from traditional nativity scenes dotted around the city, to the annual carol service at The Cathedral of the Madeleine, or even the 50 year old musical held in Temple Square, there’s plenty here to entertain you and get you into the Christmas spirit.

A close up shot of a Cathedral alter, taken in Salt Lake City

 Photo Credit: saltcitysights

Take me to Salt Lake City

Get to this city by flying into Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) which is only a 10 minute drive from Downtown. You can get many budget flights to this airport, with airlines such as United ExpressDeltaFrontier and Southwest, making it a great option for American’s wanting a cheap Christmas vacation.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Although the thought of Mexico in December may not automatically scream out ‘Christmas’, this pretty city provides vacationers the best of both worlds for a Christmas break. With December averages of about 26°C, San Miguel is the perfect place to escape the December blues in search of some winter sun. However, that’s not to say you can’t enjoy Christmas festivities in this city. Beginning on 12th December for the Festival of Guadalupe, or Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, you’ll find celebrations which include fiestas, traditional music, parades, pinatas and ponche (a mulled fruit drink). Similar events continue throughout December, including Festival de San Miguel, Las Posadas and Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), meaning whatever time you go in the Christmas period, there’ll always be an event just around the corner to join in the celebrations. Don’t forget to take a break from celebrating, and check out the UNESCO World Heritage site, the spectacular grand churches, architecture and grand zocalos.

This city is cheap for accommodation, food and drink, with many cheap flights available from destinations in the USA or domestically within Mexico. What’s more, if you find yourself getting bored of Christmas dinners in December, you’ll be pleased to know that the city is famed for its delicious and exciting food, from salt cod to Cochinita Pibil (a Yucatan-style shredded pork marinated with orange juice) and other mexican delicacies.

Take me to San Miguel

The closest airport to San Miguel is Del Bajio Airport in Leon. This airport is just over an hours drive, and serves airlines such as VolarisVivaAerobusAmerican Eagle and Aeromexico.

Quebec City, Canada

Voted one of the best Christmas destinations in the World, Quebec City is an enchanting and magical city during the holidays. Quebec is transformed into a winter wonderland for Christmas, with the obvious German Christmas Market in the city centre but also the quaint Petit Champlain District, which is full of history, architecture and independent shops, all decorated with twinkling fairy lights. Make sure you take time to go skating at Place D’Youville, where you can go skating with one of the best views of the castle walls. Although Quebec is often considered expensive, you can keep costs down by keeping to free activities, of which there are many. In addition, where this city offers everything you could possibly want from a Christmas break, it means you can do it all in one go rather than going on multiple breaks with the cost of multiple flights and accommodation.

A shot of a stone cafe with a red door, covered in snow

Take me to Quebec City

The closest airport to the city is Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) which is only a 15 minute drive to the city centre. The airport mainly serves Canadian domestic flights, but also some to elsewhere in North America making it a cheap destination for many North Americans. Air InuitAir TransatSunwing AirlinesPorter Airlines and WestJet are just some of the airlines that operate flights from this airport.

Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff, Arizona, is the ultimate destination to visit during the Christmas season. The city transforms into a winter wonderland with its picturesque snowy landscapes, making it the ideal location for holiday activities. Choose from the Arizona Snowbowl, Flagstaff Snow Park and Arizona Nordic Village, for all your snow-related activities, including sledging, skiing and more. The enchanting North Pole Experience is a must; a large Santa's Workshop, where you can tour Santa's Toy Hall of Fame, build toys with the elves, and enjoy special one-on-one time with Santa. The Polar Express train ride is another cherished holiday tradition, offering a magical journey from Williams, AZ to the "North Pole," complete with hot cocoa and cookies while listening to a timeless story. In addition to these magical experiences, Flagstaff hosts various festive events and provides cozy and affordable accommodations, ensuring a warm and welcoming Christmas retreat. Being only a couple hours drive away from the Grand Canyon, it’s possible to do both in one trip, as the temperatures are cooler, less tourists visit the Grand Canyon over this period, making the accommodation cheaper.

Snowbowl in Arizona, Flagstaff

Take me to Flagstaff

The nearest major international airport to Flagstaff is the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which tends to be around a 2-3 hour car or train journey away from Flagstaff. The airport is a hub for American Airlines, and a base for low-cost carriers, Frontier and Southwest Airlines. There are many flights to Phoenix from International and domestic destinations, through airlines such as British Airways, Volaris and Air Canada.

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