Christmas celebrations are different for everyone. Some people like to gather with their family, and have quality time together. Some people like to go to the Churches, and offer their prayers. Some people take the Christmas holidays as an opportunity to pack their bags and head to distant destinations for a vacation and have some fun time. Christmas has evolved into a celebration that has leaped beyond religion and beliefs, as everyone likes to celebrate this cheerful day.
In this blog we have listed some of the best destinations around the world that host some of the best Christmas celebrations. There is nothing better than celebrating Christmas and holidaying all together.
There could be no place better than Lapland to celebrate Christmas, the home town of Santa Claus. Lapland is home to Santa Claus Village which is just outside the capital of Lapland, Rovaniemi. It is also home to the Santa Park. It is here you will find the man himself dressed in red and white, with its sledge, and all the gifts for children. During Christmas this place is majorly decorated. If you are traveling with kids, they are going to love the backdrop of Lapland.
During winters, or precisely during the time of Christmas this place is covered in a thick blanket of snow. You can also choose to live in the igloo accommodations for an off-beat experience. You can also indulge in feeding the reindeers, and can also try sledging.
The best part about traveling to Lapland during Christmas is that you can also have a sight of Aurora lightings or the Northern Lights. This is the time of year when they are most seen.
Salzburg is a perfect destination for Christmas celebrations with the backdrop of snow covered mountains. The old city of Salzburg which also is a UNESCO World Heritage site is decorated heavily for Christmas and is a soothing sight. The city is also the birth place of Mozart, so naturally everyone here likes music. You will get to hear Christmas Carols in every part of the city. The city was also the primary location of filming of the movie, ‘The Sound of Music’.
Hence you get to see the repeated shows of the movie in every holiday season. With traditions dating back to 15th century, the Christmas market of Salzburg is one of the oldest Christmas Markets, and you can indulge in buying some souvenirs from Austria for loved ones.
Mulled wines and medieval castles of Salzburg are the other highlights that you must experience. This city might be small, but is perfectly packed for Christmas Celebrations.
Bruges is probably the best destination that still has that Medieval Charm. The Christmas market of Bruges is one of the best in Europe. They last from End of November to Early of January. In fact the Medieval town center of Bruges was made for Christmas. On the day of Christmas and from much before, the city is all decorated, with shimmering lights. There is a different kind of joy about walking on those cobblestoned streets and enjoying this festival.
Listening to the bells of Bruges Belfry on a wintery night of Christmas is one of the perks of celebrating the Christmas here. Taking a ride along the canals of Bruges on the day of Christmas with decoration all around is an experience you are going to cherish forever. The winter glow light trail of the Bruges is another picturesque thing that you are going to like.
Do we need to mention that Belgian chocolates or a hot chocolate cup will surely make your day. The festivities in Bruges on Christmas are mainly centered around Markt square, and the Simon Stevinplein square. Both look fabulous in decoration on Christmas.
Edinburgh and all its landmarks get lit during the Christmas time, and the entire city becomes a soothing and cheerful sight. The city is also known for its winter festival that runs from November to January, and during the tenure it hosts many cultural events. The city also hosts roller coaster rides for this festive season for families to enjoy. The Christmas Light Trail at the Royal botanical garden is also a sight to capture. The Christmas markets of the city are another place you cannot miss to visit.
During Christmas, The Edinburgh Castle also hosts the annual ‘Castle of Light’ show that captivates the attention of the people with light displays on the walls of the castle. The best thing about this show is that the visuals get refreshed every year.
Indulging in Mulled Wine in Christmas Market and participating in ice skate games should also not be missed. Everything put together, Edinburgh is a place perfect for Christmas celebrations.
Strasbourg is known around the world for its Christmas markets, which is one of the oldest Christmas market of France. The tradition of these markets has been running since 1570. There are total 12 number of Christmas markets that Strasbourg hosts, and all of them are worth the visit, and will keep you indulged in Christmassy things. These Christmas markets last for about a month, before the day of the Christmas. It is estimated that around 2 Million people flock to Strasbourg every year on Christmas.
The Christmas tree that is installed on the Place Kléber Square is the most spectacular and often sits at the height of 30 meters, which is also the tallest Christmas tree in Europe. In the Christmas markets the joy of sipping the mulled wine is totally different in mid of scents of cinnamon.
You can also choose to indulge in some of the local Alsatian traditions like relishing the Foie Gras which is a local delicacy. For Instagram worthy pictures you can also head to Strasbourg Cathedral.
Germany is known across the world for its jovial and grand Christmas celebrations, and the quaint city of Nuremberg is the perfect spot to spend a Christmas holiday. The place is also popular for its Weihnachts Markts which translates into Traditional Christmas market, and they are one of the oldest ones. The Christmas Markets here consists of wooden booths where you will find traditional and hand made decorations for Christmas. You will also find handicraft items that you buy for your loved ones.
The must have when in Nuremberg Christmas markets are the German ginger breads which are also known as Lebkuchen and were invented in the 13th century. The other must have is the almond cookies. You must relish the German bratwurst which is a German grilled sausage.
The best thing about this place is the Medieval buildings of the city, and the marvelous Gothic Architecture, which is surrounded by lush green forests, making it a perfect spot.
Denmark is one of the happiest countries of the world, which makes it perfect to spend a happy holiday on Christmas. Copenhagen the capital of Denmark is one of the most affordable cities of Scandinavian countries, which again makes it an easy spot to head for a Christmassy vacation. The city is also known for its many castles, which at the time of Christmas are decorated like that of fairy tales. Must visit castles in the city are Rosenborg Castle, Kronborg Castle, and Christiansborg Palace.
You can also choose to indulge in some ice skating at the harbor front Broens Ice Rink where you can try some local cuisines from food vendors. During winters many travelers in Copenhagen also try ice swimming. Yes it’s extreme and bone chilly at the same time but it’s a thrilling experience.
The best place to visit during Christmas in Copenhagen is Tivoli Gardens which attracts visitors for its amusement park rides and thousands of Christmas trees.
Austrian city of Vienna gets sparkled up during the Christmas time. The city is also known for its Christmas market, especially the one which is held at the Rathausplatz square, and houses more than 150 stalls where you will get all things Christmassy. The market is also known to be one of the most beautiful Christmas markets of the world. The joy of drinking mulled wine and treating on Viennese pastry will make your Christmas holiday worth it.
In addition to the Christmas market at Rathausplatz square the city also hosts 12 other Christmas markets, which are in close vicinity to the old town and easily accessible. The other must visit places on your Christmas Vienne vacation should be Tree of Hearts and Nativity Trail.
While in Vienna you should also, indulge in some music shows, in many of the city’s avenues. You must also enjoy a show by Vienna Boys Choir which has been around for more than 500 years.
If you expect your Christmas to be jovial with a few round of drinks with merry making people, then Dublin is the place you should be headed to. Like all the top destinations for Christmas holidays, Dublin also has some great Christmas markets, and these markets run for straight 12 days. The joy of having a black pudding along with few pints is unparallel. The city is also known for its installations of Christmas trees at popular spots with tones of decorations and lightings.
The city is also known for its few of the unique traditions that people indulge in. The most thrilling of them all is taking a morning dip in the chilly waters of Forty Foot Sea Water Pool. When in Dublin you must also visit the popular district of Temple Bar known for its entertainment avenues and pubs.
The other interesting tradition that Irish people follow is that of ‘12 Pubs of Christmas’. It is a celebration made by people amidst friends to visit 12 pubs before the end of the Christmas night.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague with its rich heritage and abundance of natural bounty is a perfect place to spend your Christmas holidays. If you are history and architecture lover then you are going to like the Baroque and Gothic structures of the city. Prague is one of those cities that have not lost their medieval charm. The Christmas markets of the city that are hosted at the Old Town and Wenceslas squares will sure cheer you up with plethora of Christmassy items to buy for loved ones. The best part about these markets is that they are only 10 minutes apart from each other hence easily accessible.
When in Prague you must also relish the Czech version of Mulled Wine which is known as Svarak. Now if you are in Prague then you must also indulge in beer drinking, the thing this place is popular for.
The popular touristy spot of Prague which is Charles Bridge, is also one of the spot that you must visitv which is intensely decorated with lights during Christmas.
Unarguably there could be no place better than Switzerland for a winter holiday. The blankets of snow all around and the natural beauty of Swiss Alpine towns can beat any Christmas destination on any given day. The most popular Christmas market of Zurich is held in front of the Opera House, while there are 10 more markets that are held at the different locations such as Old Town or the Main Station. When in the Christmas markets of Zurich, you must also relish the Raclette or Fondue.
The Christmas markets of Zurich are known to have something for everyone, like for Children there is a glass of punch, and for grown-ups the mulled wine. In alone the Lucy region of the Zurich, there are installations of over 10,000 lights and their turning on embarks the festive season.
The city of Zurich also hosts skating disco in a nearby forest which is must do if you are seeking unique experiences. You can also choose to indulge in Lake Dip with freezing water, that will thrill you.
Valkenburg is for those who enjoy Christmas shopping. The Valkenburg Christmas market is hosted between mid of November to early January. The festivity in Valkenburg lasts for 51 days. The best thing about the Christmas markets of Valkenburg is that they hosted in a network of natural underground caves. When in Valkenburg the must visit Christmas markets are in the Municipal Cave, and the Velvet Cave. The street theater that is fondly hosted in the city is a must see experience.
The fairytale forest which is in the vicinity of the city is a must visit especially if you are travelling with kids. The city is also home to many culinary walking tours, that you must experience to uncover the hidden foodie delights along with admiring the neighborhoods of the city.
The Santa’s Village Christmas market of the city is also a perfect place if you want to relish hot waffles or probably crepes or Churros. It is hosted in the heart of the city.
Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle all the vacation!