GLUG some mulled wine, explore some of Europe's most beautiful cities and pick up a sackful of bargains to boot at our pick of the Continent's Christmas markets. BRUSSELS
TAKE a cruise to the markets in Brussels and start the festivities before you arrive.
Sail from Newcastle with DFDS Seaways and enjoy the onboard restaurant, sino and evening entertainment.
The break includes two nights in a city centre hotel, so you have two full days before the overnight cruise home. There are more than 240 festive stalls to explore plus restaurants and cafés in the stunning Place St Catherine.
Departing on December 2 and 11, the break costs from £222 including two nights on board the ship in an en-suite cabin, coach transfers to and from Brussels and two nights in the three-star Novotel Brussels Centre Tour Noire with breakfast.
or call 0871 882 0885. Click here now for amazing offers to Brussels...EINDHOVEN
CHRISTMAS markets aren't just about mittens and gluhwein. In Eindhoven, in the south of Holland, you can find quirky cool presents and enjoy music and entertainment until 11pm on week nights and until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.
There is an ice skating rink in the market square, a winter palace with entertainment for the kids, colourful lights and festive decorations.
And at the medieval Christmas market, opening on December 19, you can sip traditional mulled wine, scoff large ginger cookies and buy tiny German ornaments. Stay at Sunparks Limburgse Peel, just a 35km drive from the market, from around £300 for three nights in a four-person villa.
or call 0845 351 0109. ROME
THE Piazza Navona Christmas Market, which runs from November 26 to January 6, has nativity scenes and stalls selling festive treats including traditional biscotti, toronne (nougat) and panettone.
Jet2.com flights to Rome start at £19.99 one way including taxes from Manchester and Leeds Bradford.
Jet2holiday.com packages start at £278 for three nights' B&B in the three-star Republicca Hotel, with flights from Leeds Bradford.
See jet2.com for flights, jet2holiday.com
for packages, or call 0871 226 1737.
THE Spanish Christmas markets sparkle with lights and decorations, so even Scrooges will be unable to resist the festive spirit.
Whether you want to pick up your festive ornaments or best seasonal produce, Barcelona is home to a iety of different markets throughout December. They include Fira de Santa Llucia outside the cathedral, selling decorations and mistletoe. Mercat Gotic is a small antique market just off Plaza de atalunya and the artisan Food producers Collective sells honey, chocolates, cheeses, wines and cakes in a small square overlooked by the Church Santa Maria del Pi.
A double room at the four-star Hotel Barcelona Princess costs from £53 per night. See hotels.com or call 0203 027 8146 to book. Want incredible deals to Barcelona? Click here now...PRAGUE
THE Czech capital is stunning in winter. At the Christmas market you can shop till you drop while watching traditional crafts and foods being made.
Enjoy a cup of hot wine, known to locals as Svarak, and stroll between brightly-decorated wooden halets set against a dark gothic skyline.
The huge tree in the centre of the market is shipped all the way from the Sumava Mountains. It lights up at 5pm every day throughout the festive period.
Look out for Bohemian crystal, wooden toys and puppets.
EasyJet flies to Prague from Bristol, Gatwick and Stansted, from £28.99 one-way including taxes.
A standard apartment at three-star U Zlate Podkovy Aparthouse starts at £40, while a double at five-star President Hotel Prague starts at £107 - both with breakfast. See easyjet.com
to book. COLOGNE
THIS cathedral city hosts seven Christmas markets.
Outside the cathedral the largest Christmas tree in Rhineland towers above more than 160 ooden pavilions selling treats and gifts.
The young enjoy the Alter Markt with its children's roundabout, puppet theatre, Santa's grotto and toy stands.
EasyJet fles to Cologne from Edinburgh and Gatwick. Prices start at £28.99 one way including taxes.
A double at three-star Hotel Windsor starts at £57.42, while an executive room at the fourstar Grand City Koln Zentrum, sleeping two adults and one child, costs from £97.49.
Book at easyjet.com