Christmas in Europe

We’re heading on a European adventure this Christmas…Starting in Bruges!

We have lots of amazing places planned with a great mix of cities, lakes and mountains.

We have tried to find places close to the centre with either cheap or free parking as it gets quite expensive with the car. If you are thinking of driving over to Europe and you’re looking for an itinerary, this is a great start!

Head to my Instagram highlights for more details on each destination as I’m keeping this blog mainly to the accommodation details to help people driving over to Europe and looking for good spots with parking, near the centre etc. Ive added LOADS of tips and pictures to my Instagram.

In total our trip was 18 days.

Folkestone > Calais > Bruges

113 miles/2h 38 mins

I’m so pleased we booked the Holiday Village Knokke. The location is perfect! It only took 1.5 hours to reach from Calais. It’s 22 minutes by train to Bruges and has all of the comforts of home! We booked a 1 bedroom cottage for 2 nights €150 total. It has parking directly outside the cottage and everything you need within walking distance. Knokke is a lovely little town too, complete with a HUGE Maisons Du Monde on the way to the train station….WINNER!

Brugge > Frankfurt

311 miles/5h 50 mins

The main reason for our visit to Frankfurt is to see the Christmas Markets, they certainly didn’t disappoint! We spent the ENTIRE afternoon eating, drinking and shopping…It’s not our usual style but it’s been a great city stop and given us a little taste of Germany!

We booked the Scandic Frankfurt Museumsufer, it’s in such a beautiful location with cosy spots to relax in after exploring the city all day. We walked along the river into the city which took about 15 minutes, everything you need is easily within walking distance which is exactly what we like! The parking was easy too, they’re lots of options but we parked just around the corner for €20 / 24 hours, pretty reasonable for a city centre hotel!

Our room was on the 18th floor of the hotel, the views are AMAZING! Such a beautiful way to wake up in the morning.

Frankfurt > Prague

316 miles/4h 40 mins

We stayed in the K&K Fenix Hotel. We only booked one night, I didn’t realise there is so much to see in Prague, we could have done with two nights really! The hotel is a great base and has underground parking for 25 euros per night, it was really easy to park and reach.

The hotel was really good value at £57 a night but prices are generally quite cheap in Prague.

It’s about a 30 minute walk to Charles Bridge, I wish we were a little closer as that was where I wanted to see. It was an OK hotel, but I think you could probably get a closer hotel for a similar price! Also, it was on a bit of a dodgy street….with a ‘sauna club’ right opposite 😂🤦🏼‍♀️

Prague is super pretty though and I’d love to go back, it was all a little too rushed with just one night!

Prague > Krakow

332 miles/5h 

We booked an Air BnB in Kraków as four days in we knew we would need a washing machine. It worked out such good value! It was only £25 a night, right in the centre and just ten minutes walk away from the main square. It has secure parking just around the corner for 40PLN per day (approx £9 a day) with everything you need within walking distance.

We booked a tour to Auschwitz & Birkenau through Get Your Guide (They are amazing, I’ve added all of the details on my instagram highlights) The pick up is only a twenty minute walk away too!

Krakow > Slovenia, Lake Bled

520 miles / 8 hours

OH WOW! Slovenia has been on our list for a while now, I’m so pleased we finally made it! We stayed at the Triglav Lake Bled. It’s in such an amazing location, it’s just a couple of minutes walk to the lake, the views are insane! We had a lake view room and it’s honestly one of the nicest views we’ve ever had from a hotel room. (I’ve added a video to my Instagram highlights)

After spending six days exploring the cities coming to the lakes is exactly what we needed. The Triglav have a swimming pool and sauna, which we made the most of straight away!

They also have a beautiful restaurant with views over the lake. We had the 6-course tasting menu for dinner which I’d 100% recommend. We don’t usually like to eat in hotels but after reading the reviews of the restaurant online, we knew it would be good!

Parking is free at the hotel too.

Slovenia > Hallstatt, Austria

139 Miles / 2 hr 30 mins

We took a day trip to Hallstatt, it’s so beautiful but it’s the busiest place we’ve been so far! We stayed at the COOEE Alpin Hotel. It’s about twenty minutes away from Hallstatt, but it worked out much better to stay outside of the town as it gets so busy and a little hard to park. COOEE was a great choice. It has easy parking and great dinner and breakfast options! It’s en-route to our next stop too, Achensee.

Halstatt > Achensee

128 Miles / 2hr 30 mins

Oh wow. Achensee is stunning. It really reminded me of Norway! We wanted to hike to the top of Barenkopf but there were avalanches so we couldn’t in the end. I’d love to return in the summer to explore all of the hikes, there are so many!

We’re heading to Brand in the morning, so we booked a hotel en-route for the night. It worked out well as it’s just off the motorway with parking underground for €5. HWest Hotel Hall.

Achensee > Brand, Austria

We stayed in the super cosy & unique Walliserhof, Brand. It’s just what we needed after a busy week of hiking and adventuring!

We headed straight to the spa to wind down and relax, the views from the spa are unreal!

There’s so much to do in the hotel, you’ll never be bored! You can play tennis, go for a swim, sauna, gym, yoga classes…You can even do wine tasting, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

It’s in a great location too, just twenty minutes away from Lünersee with plenty of hiking trails and ski slopes within walking distance.

Austria > Interlaken Switzerland

We based ourselves in Sigriswil, which is just on Lake Thun in Interlaken, it’s such a beautiful spot! We’ve stayed in Interlaken before so we know it’s a good base to explore the Jungfrau region which is an absolute winter wonderland!

Switzerland is expensive as I’m sure you know, we found the Baren Sigriswil to be great value at £130 per night. It has a lovely restaurant and amazing views overlooking the mountains!

Schilthorn, Switzerland

I’ve added lots of pictures over on my Instagram highlights in more detail. We spent our first day in Switzerland heading to the top of the Schilthorn. It’s expensive to get to the top (105 CHF each) but it’s really worth it if you make a day of it. Get to the ticket office as early as you can, we didn’t arrive until 11am and it took over two hours to get the cable car. The first one is around 8am so I really think that’s the best way to try and avoid the queues. It’s UNREAL at the top, It’s so magical it reminded me of Narnia! You can use a sleigh on most of the paths and just wander at your own pace, or of course ski on the black runs if you are a thrill seeker! There are hotels at the top too, we wished we would have known that before! I’ve added loads of the day to my Instagram highlights under ‘Interlaken’

Grindelwald, Switzerland

Oh Grindelwald is just so magical! We spent the day hiking up in the mountains. We caught the gondola from Grindelwald to First. (Marked “First parking in Grindelwald) costing 30 CHF each. It’s a 25 minute cable car to the top. We then hiked to Bachalpsee (which was snowed over, totally invisible…DOH!) and then hiked back to Grindelwald. In total it was around a 6 hour hike. I’ve added loads of the day to my Instagram highlights under ‘Grindelwald’

Switzerland > Luxembourg

We just made a quick stop in Luxembourg to grab a bite to eat en-route to Ghent!

Luxembourg > Ghent

We stayed in the Europahotel Ghent. It’s a twenty minute walk to the centre or there’s a tram stop at the end of the road. We had free parking too. It’s such a great value hotel at £60 a night! Ghent turned out to be one of our favourite cities, it’s been the perfect end to the perfect trip!

If you have any questions about travelling Europe, pop me a message I’m always happy to help. Whether it’s for restaurants, hotels, tolls, vignettes etc…I’ll do my best to find the answers for you.

Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year!

Hannah & Quinn. xo

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32 Comments

  1. December 17, 2018 / 10:55 am

    This sounds amazing! I hope you have a fabulous time!

  2. robin rue
    December 17, 2018 / 11:33 am

    I hope you have a fun time on your trip. Christmas is all different over there, so I would love to experience it someday.

  3. December 17, 2018 / 11:44 am

    What a great Christmas adventure! Looks like the perfect trip and I look forward to reading all about it. Merry Christmas!

  4. December 17, 2018 / 12:12 pm

    This sounds like such an amazing trip! I can’t think of a better way for a travel lover to spend the holidays.

  5. December 17, 2018 / 12:43 pm

    I beat you will have the best time ever. Just one sugestion, next time, trie to visit Portugal, and spetialy Lisbon, it’s so pety in Christmas Time.

  6. December 17, 2018 / 12:50 pm

    I cannot wait to experience Christmas in Europe! Will make sure to take note of this.

  7. December 17, 2018 / 1:13 pm

    How fun! I would love to go to Europe over the holidays. I am sure you will have a wonderful time.

  8. December 17, 2018 / 1:31 pm

    I have friends who live in Europe and I’ve always thought of going there for Christmas. Have a fantastic time!

  9. candy
    December 17, 2018 / 1:39 pm

    Oh how I love to travel and see and experience new places. Enjoy all these different places you have planned and of course we expect to hear all about them.

  10. December 17, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    That looks absolutely amazing! I would totally travel just for this reason. I have never been to your Christmas but I heard it is amazing place to be.

  11. December 17, 2018 / 2:50 pm

    These locations are perfect. It sounds like the a wonderful experience as well. Happy Holidays!

  12. December 17, 2018 / 3:09 pm

    That trip and the surrounding areas seem like a great way to explore Europe. i have been but would love to go again and maybe to this part.

  13. December 17, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    Oh wow, what an amazing time you seem to have in front of you! Enjoy your time exploring Europe I hope it all goes so well for you.

  14. December 17, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    I love spending Christmas in Europe. All the snow and Christmas markets make it such a magical place to be in the winter.

  15. December 17, 2018 / 11:45 pm

    What an amazing Christmas experience! I hope that you have an absolutely fantastic time!!

  16. December 18, 2018 / 12:10 am

    These locations sound amazing. Wouldnt mind spending the holidays over there

  17. December 18, 2018 / 1:30 am

    Wow! What an itinerary! This is going to be a fabulous trip. The lodging shown is so hip!

  18. December 18, 2018 / 2:37 pm

    Beautiful! My dad is from a small town near Lake Bled! We used to go quite often when I was a child.
    Say hello to all of my relatives! 😉

  19. Candy
    January 1, 2019 / 6:36 pm

    Enjoy your tip. We have traveled around Europe several times. Seen most of those places. Enjoy!

  20. January 1, 2019 / 7:19 pm

    Wow, what an amazing Christmas adventure! I would like to visit all of the countries on your trip!

  21. January 1, 2019 / 8:29 pm

    It really looks like you had an amazing trip. The pictures were so beautiful and the traveling from place to place was so outstanding. I wouuld have been happy with one or two of these great destinations.

  22. January 1, 2019 / 10:30 pm

    Your photos are stunning! This looks like a pretty amazing Christmas. Wishing you an amazing year ahead.

  23. January 2, 2019 / 2:06 am

    I adore Christmas travel! I love seeing the world, and you saw a lot on this trip. We hope to have grandkids one day, and that will limit the travel, so I am loving it while I can!

  24. Kathy
    January 2, 2019 / 2:25 am

    Wow, those photos are amazing. What a beautiful place to be. I would love to go to Europe some day. It’s one my list of places I’d love to visit.

  25. January 2, 2019 / 5:26 am

    This would be such a dream trip. I hope you have the best ever Christmas in Europe. I’m headed to your Instagram to see your adventures.

  26. Tina Gorman
    January 4, 2019 / 10:28 pm

    What an amazing trip. How long did it take? 2 weeks?
    I am due to Krakow in a few weeks. How many hours was the trip to Auschwitz? My friend and I would like to spend as long as we can there on the day so is it worth booking the trip or going on our own?
    Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you

    • HannahSwancott
      Author
      January 5, 2019 / 7:19 am

      Hey Tina! We were picked up from Krakow at 8:05am and dropped back off at around 3pm ish. It takes around 75 minutes to get there via coach from Krakow. I’d 100% do a tour, they talk you through all of the history from start to finish and they go into such detail, you wouldn’t get that on your own. You get ear pieces so you can hear everything as you wander around and you can go at your own pace. I’ve added highlights to my Instagram too with more detail if that helps. xx

    • HannahSwancott
      Author
      January 5, 2019 / 7:20 am

      Ps 18 days in total for our trip

  27. February 21, 2019 / 1:25 pm

    What an amazing experience! Looks like you had a wonderful time. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  28. February 21, 2019 / 8:00 pm

    18 days well spent. I think this itinerary is a great mixture of landscape and city!

  29. February 21, 2019 / 8:23 pm

    That looks like such a great way to spend the holidays! Those pictures you took are gorgeous by the way. Makes me want to spend Christmas there:)

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