Ahh, Christmas, it is a time for singing carols (preferably Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas’), spending time with friends and family and devouring mince pies and Christmas puddings. Different parts of the world celebrates Christmas differently but it is safe to say that some countries get a little more ‘over-the-top’ than others!
You may be so used to your Christmas traditions year in and year out. Have you thought of spicing it up a little this year and spend the holidays somewhere completely different? Whether you are looking for a last minute Christmas getaway or are already planning next year’s, we have rounded up 7 of the world’s most magical places to spend the festive season.
#1 Nuremberg, Germany
Fact: Nobody does Christmas like Germany. While the snow and majestic buildings covered in pretty lights definitely help, it is the superb Christmas markets that make it such a spectacular place to spend the festive season. While these markets are all over the country, arguably the most famous is the Christkindlesmarkt in the medieval city of Nuremberg. Dating back to 1628, this market boasts some serious history. From the illuminated Christmas angel and intricate handcrafted goods to the mulled wine and warm gingerbread, there’s so much to see, buy, eat and drink.
#2 New York City, USA
From the famous Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Centre to the beautifully decorated shopfront windows, the festive spirit in New York City is unparalleled. This is why the Big Apple is featured in so many Christmas movies! While it doesn’t always snow, the chilly weather coupled with the illuminated city creates an incredible atmosphere. Whether you visit Bryant Park’s Winter Village, go ice-skating at Central Park or head to Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights to check out the decked-out houses, you’re in for a truly extraordinary Christmas.
Christmas in Australia is definitely a very different experience for those from the Northern hemisphere. For starters, it is the beginning of summer! Instead of a white Christmas, you are likely to spend long days lounging on the white sandy beaches. Instead of roast lunches by the fireplace, Aussies can be found enjoying a BBQ and seafood lunch outdoors. Christmas celebrations have an extremely relaxed feel, which can be a nice change from the usual hustle and bustle of the holidays. Sydney is the place to be for Christmas in Australia, as you are near plenty of gorgeous beaches but still get to enjoy the festive buzz of the city.
#4 Rovaniemi, Finland
The official hometown of Santa Claus in Lapland, Finland, this place is a real-life winter wonderland. While the Santa Claus Village is open all-year-round, there is no more enchanting time to visit than Christmas. From the illuminated Christmas trees that twinkle in the snow to the reindeers that roam the village, it truly needs to be seen to be believed. It is also right next to the Arctic Circle, so it’s one of the best places in the world to witness the Northern Lights.
#5 Toronto, Canada
Canada is easily one of the best places in the world to spend a white Christmas. From watching fireworks to ice-skating and taking sleigh rides, there are so many special things to do during the festive season. While the whole country gets into the holiday spirit, Toronto is home to its most famous Christmas market. It also has a seriously impressive, 100-foot Christmas tree that goes up annually at the Eaton Centre.
#6 Vienna, Austria
If you truly want to feel like you have just stepped out of a fairytale, head to Vienna for the holiday season. The gothic city provides the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable Christmas. Their Viennese Christmas Market could easily give the ones in Germany a run for their money — especially because they take place in front of the majestic town hall!
Much like New York City, London is another urban hub that transforms into a Christmas wonderland during the holidays. At this time of year it comes alive with festive spirit, from the sparkling lights to the carolers and friendly Santas that roam the city. From Christmas markets and fairs to ice-skating in some of the city’s most iconic spots, there’s no shortage of incredible ways to spend the holiday season in London.
Get cosy in a villa.