With December looming, its about time we started thinking about Christmas shopping…although the really annoying organised people probably have it finished and wrapped already! Manchester is obviously a fabulous shopping destination, with its top department stores, boutiques and Christmas Markets which open on the 14th November, but just a short flight away and the shoppers paradise is multiplied! Take a look at our guide to the best Christmas shopping hotspots for a winter weekend away.
During the cold winter season, the streets of the city come alive – visitors can buy roasted chestnuts from street-sellers and discover bargains at the many shops and market stalls, or visit Istiklal Street and the Grand Bazaar for some of the best shops in Istanbul!
As part of the ‘Christmas Shopping’ experience offered by the Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah, guests can get a taste of the real Istanbul with exciting activities and excursions. The weekend will include a half-day shopping tour with a personal shopping guide to introduce guests to locations such as Beyoglu, Galata and the Grand Bazaar. You will then be treated to a true Ottoman Hammam retreat and full Turkish Bath Ritual at the Pera Spa to release the tension of Christmas shopping. Guests will also receive 10% discount coupons for Brandroom and Harvey Nichols department stores, where you can shop the latest trends from Michael Kors, Versace and Diane Von Furstenberg.
The Christmas Shopping experience is available at a daily rate of 305 € + VAT for two people. There is a minimum stay required of two nights, and the package is available between November 1st and December 27th 2014. Guests must book at least a week in advance. Price includes two nights’ stay in a Deluxe Pera view room including breakfast and welcome amenity in room on arrival.
Visit Amsterdam between the 27th November to 18th January to catch a glimpse of its annual Light Festival. The famous canals will be beautifully illuminated in a walking route for you to explore the city.
Don’t forget to visit the Bijenkorf store in Dam Square to check out their lights and Christmas window displays. Make sure you also visit the biggest outdoor ice skating rink at Museum Square which features a massive frozen pond. There are also Christmas stalls where you can indulge in typical Dutch delights including Gluwein, hot chocolate and pancakes.
Travellers can stay at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam which is situated in the heart of the grand Herengracht on the UNESCO World Heritage listed canal setting. It is also home to the gastronomic delights of the 3-Star Michelin restaurant De Librije. Prices in the King Premier Room with a view of the famous canal start at €513 for stays during November, including breakfast and an exclusive espresso machine in your room.
Antwerp is famous for its designer shopping and Grote Markt, which the square is transformed into a wonderful Christmas market where you can stock up on decorations, trinkets and local food. And during the first week in December, a Christmas village opens up to reveal an ice rink for a fun family experience.
For the fashionista’s looking for a bargain, the corner of Nationale and Drukkerijstraat is the epicentre of the fashion district. Housing the Flanders Fashion Institute (FFI), the Fashion Museum (MOMU) and the Fashion Academy, it’s a good place to start to get the unique vibe. For fashion aficionados, big designer names gravitate toward the welcome uniqueness of Antwerp. For Antwerp fashion at its most rocking, the area around Kammenstraat and Lombardenvest beckons. World fashion ramp names are familiar here – Dries van Noten and Martin Magiela. In Antwerp fashion, you can be assured is always new, always unique, always sought after and always on the cutting edge.
There’s so many places to stay but we love Hotel De Witte Lelie, a small boutique hotel which is a proud member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World!
The family run business has just 10 rooms and suites and is decorated beautifully and filled with Hermes beauty products! Prices for the gorgeous hotel start at €295 per night and it also boosts a Personal Shopper who can show you the hotspots of Antwerp in just a few hours, including showing you where the famous Antwerp designers buy their clothes!
With the scent of baked apples, chestnuts, gingerbread and mulled wine in the air, there’s no better way to embrace the Christmas season than in the historical old town of Frankfurt. The town is beautifully decorated in thousands of fairy lights, with the classic Christmas tree making the perfect centrepiece.
Frankfurt is also home to one of Germany’s most popular Christmas Markets with more than 200 decorated stalls which will be open from 26 November to 22 December. Visitors can expect to see time-honoured tradition and become acquainted with the market’s many culinary specialities and hand-crafted gifts.
Jumeirah Frankfurt will welcome guests for Christmas in the city with a new ‘Festive Season’ experience this winter, priced from €329 per night for two people in a double room. As part of the experience at Jumeirah Frankfurt, guests will also be treated to a daily breakfast, a cup of mulled wine upon arrival and a three-course dinner at the hotel’s signature restaurant Max on One.