50 Of The Best Christmas Destinations We’d Love To Visit
While the period leading up to the winter holidays is usually pretty hectic, leaving us with literally zero time for anything else except work and holiday preparations (also, a mandatory office party or two), once Christmas comes, life usually hits a break and finally lets you relax. It’s also the perfect time to reward yourself with a vacation and visit some of the best Christmas destinations all over the world!
So, what makes a nice travel destination into the best Christmas vacation destination? Well, for starters, the place has to ooze that festive feel! Think along the lines of Lapland, where the original Santa Claus allegedly lives. Now that’s what we’d call oozing with a festive mood! Other places to travel for Christmas would be those that are known for their awesome winter holiday markets, like Amsterdam, Zurich, or even Vilnius. You know, you could even do a little Christmas market-hopping through the European capitals if your budget would allow for it! And if your idea of the best places to travel for Christmas is something more along the lines of snowy wilderness and pristine nature, you’re sure to find picks fitting into this category, too!
Our picks of the best travel destinations during Christmas are a bit further down, be sure to check them out before planning your trip! Once you get to the submissions, upvote your favorite ones so other readers will see them on top of this. And lastly, share these ideas with anyone with whom you’d like to try them out!
The Arctic Circle of Finland is the place to go if you enjoy seeing Santa everywhere on this delightful holiday. The most admired citizen of this city is the happy man wearing red and white. You may accompany him through forests filled with reindeer and see his elves make the presents. The city creates a magnificent wonderland, making it the ideal destination for anyone who enjoys a snowy Christmas. Lapland, one of the most popular Christmas vacation spots, has an incredible "Santa Park" that might be your happy place.
Christmas in London is simply enjoyable with opportunities to see glittering lights, go ice skating, and enjoy traditional markets and holiday performances. Discover the beautiful Oxford Street Christmas lights that glitter in the sky above the renowned shopping area or Christmas performances taking place throughout London. The tastiest Christmas goodies, cool fashion boutiques, and beautiful bookshops can all be found in London when you go Christmas shopping. Visit the ZSL London Zoo, the WWT London Wetland Centre, the Rainforest Café, and the Royal Albert Hall to meet Santa.
December in Vilnius transforms the city into a veritable winter wonderland, complete with a Christmas train that winds through Old Town, 3D nativity stories projected onto buildings, and Christmas markets in the public spaces.
New York City, USA
We can't think of a city that is more romantic and enchanting around Christmas than New York (thanks to Hollywood and the countless films about winter holidays). The metropolis of New York is transformed into a destination for one of the best Christmas in the world with the addition of Christmas lights, tasteless muzak, and a light dusting of snow. At the Wollman rink in Central Park, you may enjoy ice skating while admiring the New York City skyline, just like the Serendipity movie's characters. It is just as incredible as it appears in the film. During the months of November and December, the Empire State Building's top is illuminated with red and green lights. You can even talk with the enormous Christmas tree in front of Rockefeller Center like Kevin did in Home Alone 2!
The mountains, snow, cobbled streets, and chocolates of Zurich are very well-known. On Christmas, the location is transformed into a beautiful tourist destination. The city's marketplaces are bustling, and visitors can take advantage of the singing Christmas trees and guided Christmas walks there. The city welcomes guests to experience the most memorable Christmas Eve of their lives with the utmost passion for celebrating Christmas.
Bruges is without a doubt one of Europe's fairytale towns, and as Christmas is also a time for fairytales, you can't hope to find a better vacation spot during that time of year than Bruges.
You can see horse-drawn carriages traveling down picturesque cobblestone alleys, ancient buildings in immaculate condition, and bicycles, rather than automobiles, are the main source of traffic noise as you stroll around Bruges' UNESCO World Heritage-listed medieval old town.
You may warm yourself in candle-lit bars with world-famous Belgian chocolate or, if you prefer, with a pint of some of the most well-known beer on our planet when you get tired of strolling in the often chilly weather around Christmas.
Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is one of the world's top Christmas vacation locations because it has a long history of being cosmopolitan and culturally rich. It has a gorgeously spectacular backdrop, with a number of extinct volcanoes and granite crags rising from the Lothians' typically flat plain. Christmas is a really enjoyable holiday in Edinburgh, where it is celebrated in style.
Love the thought of a trip to Bavaria but detest the thought of flying across the Atlantic? Travel to Leavenworth. This hidden town in the Cascade Mountains, complete with half-timbered homes and grand food halls, was designed to resemble an alpine village in Germany. As you might expect, the city comes to life during Christmas with extravagant holiday decorations and a variety of winter activities.
December in Reykjavk is bright, both on the ground and in the sky. On the clearest nights, the Northern Lights can be seen from the darker streets and parks of the city, which are illuminated by strings of glistening Christmas lights.
One of the nicest places in the world to spend the holidays is Vienna. It enables you to experience a delightfully traditional Christmas with three outdoor Christmas markets, the scent of mulled wine in the air, and shimmering holiday decorations on imperial buildings. A variety of artisan goods and ornaments are available for tourists to browse and buy. Along with the fantastic spiced mulled wine, they can have some delectable finger appetizers. It will be great to spend Christmas in Vienna.
Christmas in Tokyo is a fairy-lit, nonreligious spectacle. Tradition dictates that New Year celebrations take precedence over Christmas in Japan, but when non-Christians embrace the holiday wholeheartedly, the result is magnificently extravagant lighting and decorations. Even while the lead-up is spectacular, Christmas Day itself is a letdown because it's not a holiday. Christmas Eve is a big occasion, with activities similar to that of Valentine's Day and a night for romance between couples. Fried chicken and sponge cake with cream and strawberries are the staples of Japanese cuisine.
Nothing captures the spirit of the holidays like a traditional Christmas market, and no one does it better than the Germans, who annually pull four million people to Cologne's celebrations.
Is there anywhere more enchanted to celebrate Christmas than Paris? From the light installations on the Champs-Elysées to the numerous pop-up markets and ice skating rinks, the city offers festive entertainment at every turn. Warming up with a cup of hot chocolate at Angelina will put you in the holiday spirit even if you don't feel like shivering outside in the cold.
The Vatican, Italy
Despite the fact that the stunning Vatican City is still alluring throughout the year, December is particularly enchanting. It experiences additional beats with roasted clichés served on every corner and the city is inundated with beautiful scenes. The Midnight Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Christmas Eve draws a sizable crowd of tourists to Vatican City, making it a memorable day for everyone. Visit one of the top Christmas places in the world on Christmas Eve to make it even more memorable.
The capital of Scandinavia with the most life and the lowest cost is Copenhagen, which is a wonderful place to spend the holidays. It is a small yet warm location where visitors determine the pace and make navigating its pre-Christmas action very simple. With 500,000 lights and many Christmas trees, the city's Tivoli Garden takes on a unique appearance each year. A beautiful centerpiece is produced for the holiday season.
Christmas Market in Riga is located in the beautiful Town Hall Square and offers visitors a luxurious architectural environment. A carousel of wooden figures, pony rides, and horse-drawn carriages are just a few of the kid-friendly events that the city conducts. Riga becomes one of the world's top Christmas vacation spots as a result of all these activities. Everyone can indulge in mouthwatering treats and discover locally manufactured products like ornamental mittens, honey from Latvia, wooden candlesticks, and handcrafted woolen socks. You may experience Latvian traditions like log dragging, stitching crafts, and traditional cooking while on vacation in Riga over Christmas.
Quebec City, Canada
One of the oldest cities in North America is Quebec City, which has a distinctly European atmosphere because to its colonial French architecture. The Old Town's cobblestone alleys are crammed with adorable boutiques and delectable bistros that are all festively decked out for the holidays.
A wonderful place to celebrate Christmas throughout the world is Amsterdam. The legend of Santa Claus, or Sinterklaas as he is known locally, is strongly spread in the Dutch capital, where each house dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries is adorned out in shimmering lights in the first few days of December. Stay here until New Year's Eve to celebrate with champagne and fireworks in Dam Square or the Nieuwmarkt, making Christmas even more special for you. Don't forget to celebrate with the locals as well.
The capital of Estonia is known for having a wonderful holiday vibe. Snowflakes cover the city, and when it gets dark, lamps shine in the distance to highlight the cobblestone streets. Here, in Town Hall Square in the city, the first Christmas tree ever built was placed in 1441, and it continues to hold a significant place today. There are little huts all around the tree that sell a variety of handicrafts, snow sculptures, Estonian cuisine and drink, and a miniature zoo. It will be a lot of fun to spend Christmas in Tallinn.
Strasbourg is home to a number of themed Christmas villages that transform the city into a magical fairytale setting for festive sights and culinary delights. Visitors can encounter and take pleasure in a variety of things in various villages. Numerous concerts and other cultural activities are included in the city's Christmas program, which attracts tourists looking to spend the holiday season with their families.
Prague, Czech Republic
During the Christmas season, Prague, a beautiful city in the Czech Republic, looks absolutely stunning. It is among the world's most beautiful holiday travel locations. You can take a stroll down Mala Strana's famed Nerudova Street to admire the Baroque and Gothic buildings of the area. The State Opera or National Theater are excellent places to see an opera and a ballet. A visit to Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square's festive markets is also recommended. In this place, Christmas is a blast.
Bondi Beach, Australia
Australia's Bondi Beach is well recognized for providing the opposite of the traditional snow and holiday lights found in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is celebrated here with sand, sun, and surf, making it one of the best locations to celebrate the holiday. Many travellers are drawn to the beach, where they participate in the most amazing Christmas celebrations. Here, bands and DJs provide the ideal party atmosphere. Visit this location, then, if you'd like to experience something new for Christmas this year than the usual trees and lights.
Chicago knows a thing or two about getting into the holiday mood, from its Christkindlmarket that takes inspiration from Europe to the numerous light displays (and the freezing temperatures). Visit the 55-foot Christmas tree in Millennium Park and relax in a heated igloo at The Godfrey Hotel are two must-do activities.
Visit the ski resort of Vail, Colorado, for the best winter holiday. You may wander through Vail Village's lovely winter paradise after spending the ideal snowy Christmas season skiing. You can go to the Kris Kringle Market there and see the grand tree lighting event.
North Pole, Alaska
The most thrilling Christmas town in the United States is, as you might expect, the North Pole. Christmas is always here in this 2,200-person village, The North Pole really comes to life in December thanks to the North Pole Christmas in Ice Contest, which draws ice carvers from all around the world. Live broadcasts of national newscasts are frequently made from the home of Santa Claus. Of course, this is also the location where you can send your postcards using Santa's official zip code, ensuring that your loved ones receive correspondence postmarked from the North Pole, Alaska.
The charming village of Grindelwald, which is the location for several movies, including "The Golden Compass," is located at the base of two striking Swiss Alps peaks. Due to its distinctively charming ambience during the holidays, this well-known winter resort area separates out from the competition and may even convince you that Santa Claus still exists.
One of the best locations to celebrate Christmas is Berlin, the capital of Germany, where one can take in Christmas concerts in the classical style as well as other events. A total of 50 Christmas markets are offered each year, spread out across different sites. All the markets provide top-notch handicrafts as well as retro amusements for kids and vintage enthusiasts, such swing carousels. There are several museums and cultural events to check out in the city on Christmas Eve in addition to the candles and consumerism.
It should come as no surprise that Salzburg's Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which served as the setting for The Sound of Music, is likewise alive with singing at its famous Christkindlmarkt. Sing-alongs and traditional wind music, with origins in the fifteenth century, are as much a part of the celebrations as mulled wine and market stalls. The fried pastries, called bauernkrapfen, don't bother us either.
Dresden is home to one of the oldest German Christmas markets, which are well-known across the world. Unlike many markets that have been overwhelmed by low-quality imported goods, the Striezelmarkt has been operating in the same square for more than 500 years.
The town of Colmar, which was founded in the thirteenth century and is located in the Alsace area of eastern France, looks like it is made of gingerbread even at the height of summer. Why not add a light sprinkling of snow, some elegant Christmas lights, and a festive market with character? You're in possession of one of the most idyllic Christmas vacation destination on earth.
Bethlehem, West Bank
You've lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas due to your hectic schedule. Visit Bethlehem if you are planning a Christmas family holiday since nowhere is the celebration of this festival more impressive than in the city where Jesus was born. One of the nicest spots to spend the holidays is there. The Old City and Manger Square's Christmas celebrations alone can give tourists a delightful thrill. When you celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem's midnight mass at St. Catheroine's Church, the holiday seems even more incredible.
One of the world's most beautiful Christmas destinations is Munich. Munich's winter is characterized by a 100-foot-tall Christmas tree and more than two dozen Christmas markets. Mulled wine and gingerbread served on a tram crossing the old city are another fantastic item to enjoy here. Don't forget to take in the live festive music on the town hall's balcony during your vacation to Munich. Being here is incredibly enjoyable.
It's possible to celebrate Christmas in a big way on Dublin's streets. There is a 12 Days of Christmas Market in the Docklands with a ton of pantomimes, holiday decorations, and festive cheer. The city's streets are exquisitely decorated with flowing displays of light. Children can go to the elves' workshops. Christmas here is a fun-filled event.
Visiting Valkenburg Christmas Market will be a great choice if you appreciate holiday shopping and exploring unusual things like traditional Polish handicrafts, Marlstone products, and more. One of the best places to spend Christmas in the entire world, it is known for having the biggest and oldest underground Christmas market in all of Europe. The market is located amid a maze of cave passageways that run beneath the town. Mid-November marks its start, and it runs until Christmas.
Montreal, Canada's second-largest city, is geologically comparable to Vancouver in terms of proximity to the European coast. It blends some of the best elements from the two continents and develops into a magnificent location for holiday travel. You can take in the nighttime procession here to experience the magic of the holiday lights. It provides an absurd number of outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy free Christmas concerts that are taking place in the city.
If buying presents makes you envision crowded department stores, you might want to visit Nuremberg's Hauptmarkt to experience the enchanted Christkindlesmarkt. 180 vendors sell toys, trinkets, candles, gingerbread, and candies to shoppers warmed by sizzling bratwurst and mulled wine at this market. A fairytale scene is created when you visit after dark when the colored lights are on. It has never been more wonderful to go Christmas shopping.
Rome is a superb holiday location because it is the capital of the Christendom. Whether you identify as Catholic or not, you will adore its joyful atmosphere.
The Yuletide spirit can be enjoyed beginning on December 8 when streets and stores are decked out with festive lights, ornaments, Christmas trees (the tallest of which is in St. Peter's Square), and Nativity scenes all around the city.
There are several activities and events planned around Christmas, including concerts, the opening of ice skating rinks, and themed exhibitions.
The greatest Christmas market in Sweden is hosted in Gothenburg, which is occasionally referred to as the nation's "Christmas city," in the city's well-known, nearly 100-year-old Liseberg Amusement Park. More than 1,000 Christmas trees are reportedly present on the property.
In Bergen, Norway—the world's largest gingerbread town and the place which acted as the inspiration for Arandelle, the enchanted kingdom from the animated film Frozen—you can visit a number of art institutions and aquariums and shop at surrounding markets while enjoying a particularly festive holiday ambiance.
An extraordinary array of Christmas markets, holiday performances, and dazzling trees can be found in Malmo, a Swedish town where old and new coexist. To warm up over a delicious mug of glogg, or Swedish mulled wine, you can swing by Sodertull to buy Modernist designs or handmade decorations.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
This charming island community of 500 people may be reached after a brief ferry voyage, and everyone still observes the holidays exactly as they did one hundred years ago. Since motorized vehicles have been forbidden here for the past century, most people commute by walking, biking, or riding in a horse-drawn carriage. Every child receives a real visit from Santa Claus at Christmas, and there is also an annual island Christmas bazaar with handmade goods and decorations.
Expect significant Christmas lighting around the city, including more than 50,000 blue and white lights that will illuminate the whole 260-foot trellis in Columbus Park and many trees scattered throughout, including those at the Boston Common. You might also be drawn in by ice rinks, Christmas markets, and even a variety of eateries that are open on December 25. The Citizens Bank Opera House hosts a famous performance of The Nutcracker by the Boston Ballet, which is probably the most joyous event of all.
Hong Kong, China
The most incredible city in East Asia doesn't let the Christmas season pass without a spectacular Christmas celebration. Hong Kong is one of the best places to go if you're seeking for nearby holiday vacation options. It is the ideal spot to travel for Christmas because of the beautifully decorated storefronts, lights strung from the skyscrapers, and Christmas music playing over the city's speakers.
Look no further if you're trying to figure out where to go for Christmas celebrations unlike any other. A tree built of lobster traps is one of the primary attractions of this small New England town's annual Christmas Prelude, an 11-day celebration that is as New England as they come. You'll completely forget about gingerbread and sugar plums after you have the lobster rolls at The Clam Shack, which are regarded as some of the greatest in all of Maine.
Spending Christmas in Vermont is a wonderful idea. It's extremely likely that a postcard you're looking at is of Vermont if it features a snowy Christmas village that's been decked out for the holiday. This snowy New England wonderland is just as adorable as you might think, complete with little villages, steepled churches, and snow, snow, and more snow! Snowshoeing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, ice skating, and other winter sports are all great ways to pass the time. Additionally, Vermont is known for its delicious local dishes.
The city is home to the Vancouver Christmas Market, which was inspired by the classic Christmas markets that can be found in Germany and other parts of Europe. The festive season in Vancouver is made more wonderful by the brisk air and snow in the mountains surrounding the city. Additionally, Vancouver provides quick access to some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world if you enjoy participating in winter sports as part of your Christmas experience.
San Miguel De Allende, Mexico
On December 12, San Miguel de Allende celebrates Christmas, and the rest of the month is equally somber and joyous. One day you might see nativity scenes and attend church, and the next you might see parades and fireworks. However, given that it all takes place in one of the most welcoming and stunning cities in the world, we anticipate you'll be able to easily enjoy every second.
Chamonix, French Alps
Why is Chamonix the ideal holiday destination? First off, there will almost always be snow in the town proper, but it will always be accessible via cable car. They have a tiny Christmas market where they sell items created locally, such as churros with chocolate dipping sauce and knife, chocolate, and wine.
Christmas in Singapore has a special New Year's Eve vibe because the city's main artery Orchard Road hosts a celebration on Christmas Eve with a countdown and fireworks. Singapore is known for its capacity to put on mesmerizing electrical displays, from the Christmas Wonderland in the Gardens by the Bay to the light shows at Vivocity.
Taipei doesn't have a public holiday on December 25, but it's still one of the best places to celebrate Christmas because the city puts on amazing light shows, festive attractions, and activities. Almost the entire Banqiao District changes into Christmasland in the weeks leading up to the New Year.