Cork or Belfast City to Salzburg, Austria with Aer Lingus
Starting December 24th, from €20* return
Salzburg is one of the best ‘ski’ cities to visit, whether you ski or not. Right now, you can land in the evening and head straight to the Christmas Markets around the Hohensalzburg Fortress – fill up on warm cups of gluhwein, nibble on a bag of roasted chestnuts and buy traditional decorations to take back home. This is also when ski season starts to pick up in Tirol, Salzburg’s closest ski resort. There are ramps here for beginners and black runners, but everyone can enjoy the apres ski in Kitzbuhel. If you’re not confident on your skis yet, check out our list of things to do on a skiing holiday for non-skiers. Salzburg is ideal for those who won’t want to take to the slopes too, as it’s easy to spend time in the Hellsbrunnen Palace, Mozartplatz and the Mirabel Gardens (our full guide has all the details!).
Dublin to Brussels Charleroi with Ryanair
Starting December 7th, from €20 return
Brussels is usually tipped as one of the best locations for a Christmas city break, with amazing shopping, cosy Christmas markets and potentially snow capped buildings come December. At only 161km², it’s easy to walk around in a weekend too. You’ll have to go to Planete Chocolat, this is one of the city’s best places to feast on and try your hand at making artesan chocolate – one of Brussels’ largest exports. If you find yourself craving more savoury than sweet, the snug little pubs are the place to try Brussels’ white beer: Al la Becasse is known for serving huge jugfuls of the white fluffy stuff. When you’re ready to walk it all off, join a free walking tour or trace the art galleries-come-shops (these are the places to go to find some rather pricey, but beautiful Christmas presents!).
Dublin to Grenoble, France with Ryanair
Starting December 17th, from €44 return
If you’re a serious vagabond, Grenoble is perfect for you: within 2 hours you can cross the borders of Switzerland and Italy, with Zermatt in the north, and the Italian Alps to the east. There are public transport routes to multiple ski resorts throughout the season, but for the ultimate flexibility between slopes you’ll need to rent a car. The ski resorts of Villard de Lans and Vaujauny are an hour away from the centre, however, experienced snow boarders might want to check out the powder fields of Massif de l’Oisans. It doesn’t have to be expensive either, we’ve got some great tips for skiing holidays on a budget.
Dublin to Bordeaux, France with Aer Lingus
Starting December 17th, from €209 return
Bordeaux has just been listed as one of the best cities to visit in 2017, so now is the time to visit this modern French city and Heritage Site rolled into one. It’s the mix of old and new: Grandiose architecture and palaces, versus the side street cafes and new co-ops like Projet Darwin: an indoor BMX and polo track, that make it such a unique city to visit. You can still enjoy the ski season from Bordeaux, but it would be a shame to miss out on the Basilica of St Michael, walking over Pont de Pierre and hunting the best of the city’s wine cellars.
Looking for more winter flight ideas?
Finland, Sweden and Iceland have some of the clearest skies at this time of the year, these are the best spots to hunt out for the aurora borealis.
These are 10 of our favourite cheap winter sun spots. No snow in sight.
*Published December 2016. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only, for flights in December, and are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.