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Great Escapes: Christmas markets, Airbnb takes flight, and a Ryanair ski sale...

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Aerial view of the Christmas Markets in the Marienplatz outside the New Town Hall

Aerial view of the Christmas Markets in the Marienplatz outside the New Town Hall

KLM Airplane

KLM Airplane

Graffiti in Shoreditch, London

Graffiti in Shoreditch, London

Christmas Market, Old Town Square, Prague

Christmas Market, Old Town Square, Prague

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Aerial view of the Christmas Markets in the Marienplatz outside the New Town Hall

Stay tuned in travel with Pól Ó Conghaile's weekly column.

Departures

The nights are drawing in. Fires are being lit all over the land; the weather is dour. But every cloud has a silver lining… and for holidaymakers, that comes in the shape of Europe's Christmas markets.

This week sees markets striking up throughout the continent (not to mention a brand new smattering of stalls in Dublin's St Stephen's Green), and the prices are pretty reasonable, too.

How does three nights in Prague from €208pp or Budapest from €289pp sound? You'll find those deals, and lots more, in next Friday's Mistletoe magazine, free with the Irish Independent. From mulled wine in Munich (pictured main) to glögg in Gothenburg, it's the perfect early stocking filler…

Room with a view

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Cabin on KLM flight

Cabin on KLM flight

Cabin on KLM flight


Many of us have trouble sleeping on planes, but a new Airbnb listing may help change that. The hospitality website has listed a redesigned KLM airplane for overnight stays.

The "pimped" plane comes with 366m² of deck space, a play area, private library, master bedroom, private cinema and eight bathrooms. It's listed for November 28-30 at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

This isn't the first time Airbnb has gone off-books for an unusual listing - recently, Australians were invited to sleep at several Ikea stores. The plane is listed free on airbnb.com… you just have to say in 100 words why you'd like to stay.

Deals & steals

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Christmas Market, Old Town Square, Prague

Christmas Market, Old Town Square, Prague

Christmas Market, Old Town Square, Prague


BARGAIN:
Fancy ringing in the New Year in London? ClickandGo.com has two nights at the four-star RE London Shoreditch (pictured, left) from €249pp. The price includes flights with Aer Lingus. clickandgo.com

SPLASH: Sunway is offering return flights plus a seven-night, all-inclusive cruise with MSC from €979pp, based on two sharing an interior cabin. Book by November 30. sunway.ie

STAYCATION: Christmas hotel breaks can be pricey affairs, but they don’t have to be. The four-star Hotel Westport has two nights’ B&B with dinner from €379pp. hotelwestport.ie

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SMART TRAVEL: Ryanair has a New Year ski sale, with flights from Dublin to Munich and Salzburg available from €31.99 if booked before December 10, for travel from January to March. ryanair.com

NB: All prices subject to availability/change.


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