The 12 Best Places To Celebrate Christmas This Year
Christmas is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the entire world. Whether you view this holiday as a time to gather with family, honor your faith, or simply indulge in the joyous season of giving and gifting, there is no denying the fact that this holiday brings out a special sense of nostalgia in us all. While celebrating at home might be more aligned with the traditions that some prefer to stick with, there are tons of amazing places all over the world that make this holiday all the more magical.
If you’re on the lookout for some holiday travel inspiration, keep reading for Next Luxury’s list of the 12 best places to celebrate Christmas.
1. Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland
Rovaniemi is the capital city of the region of Lapland, Finland. Being that Lapland is Finland’s northernmost region, snow and a cold Christmas is pretty much promised each year. However, in addition to the stunning setting that this area of the world provides during the holidays, Rovaniemi is most famous for its legendary Santa Claus Village amusement park. Since its opening in 1985, Santa Claus Village has been spreading Christmas cheer and putting smiles on faces with a wide array of holiday-themed activities.
From getting to meet Santa Claus himself to being able to interact with various animals such as sleigh dogs and reindeer, there is no shortage of fun and festivity in this one-of-a-kind town. Adventurers are even able to physically cross the Arctic Circle which runs through the village, creating a memory and experience that is unattainable anywhere else.
2. Zurich, Switzerland
Though it is known as the global center for banking and finance, Zurich, Switzerland is a picturesque city that boasts amazing food, nightlife, and of course, chocolate. Around the holidays, Zurich truly comes to life with festive lights and the smell of mulled wine being carried through the city streets by the chilly breeze. In addition to having various Christmas markets pop up, visitors of Zurich will also find street vendors selling roasted chestnuts and even fondue during the holiday season.
Lights fill the city with magic as the Swiss snow coats the town in a pristine blanket. There is even an annual ice-skating disco held in the middle of a forest near the city, ensuring a festive experience you won’t ever forget.
3. Vancouver, Canada
Though the temperatures drop pretty drastically in December, Vancouver, Canada is a beautiful and idyllic place to celebrate Christmas due to its snow-capped mountains and towering pine trees that can be seen surrounding the seaside city. The pure, unaltered beauty that can be found in Vancouver explains why this Canadian slice of heaven has been used as a filming location for so many different movies.
During the holidays, the famous Vancouver Christmas Market makes its return with German treats and traditions. From an abundance of unique holiday shopping to German beers and pretzels, there are several vendors that are worth exploring at this beloved market.
4. VOMO Island, Fiji
For those looking to ditch the cold weather and instead enjoy a Christmas in the tropics, head over to the private island of VOMO in Fiji for a relaxing and sunny celebration. Being that Fiji just reopened its borders to travelers, now is the perfect time to plan a trip to this tropical paradise. With lush and vibrant grounds, visitors of VOMO will have no choice but to fall totally in love with this secluded and hospitable island.
While you won’t be finding any snow, expect to enjoy some festive celebrations island-style both on Christmas and New Year’s. Best of all, with VOMO’s grade-A hospitality, you won’t have to lift a finger during the holiday, making your vacation as relaxing and restorative as possible.
5. Dublin, Ireland
Ireland’s capital of Dublin is truly unlike any other place on this planet. From the pubs to the countryside, Dublin should be at the top of your bucket list if you have never been. However, during the holidays, Dublin becomes even more magical. With amazing lights all up and down Grafton Street, you’ll feel the holiday cheer just about everywhere that you look.
If you’re looking for specific activities to fill your time with, visitors of Dublin can partake in everything from ice skating at Dundrum on Ice to catching some incredible caroling at the National Concert Hall.
6. Rome, Italy
With a spectacular Christmas season that lasts from early December to January 6th, visitors of Rome, Italy can expect to see the city in full swing during the holidays. Explore Rome’s various holiday-themed exhibitions or visit one of their Christmas markets to take home some gifts that you will seriously not be able to find anywhere else in the world.
Plus, there is nothing quite like seeing Rome’s ancient and historic streets lit up like a starry night sky with Christmas lights galore hanging from every light post and street sign. If you are willing to wait in line, you might even be able to receive a Christmas blessing from the Pope himself in the Vatican City.
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7. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Though Amsterdam is known for being an incredibly fun city with a pretty wild party scene, this city along the Rhine River also knows how to celebrate the holidays in style and grace. As if it truly were something straight out of a Hans Christian Andersen novel, Amsterdam turns into a fairytale-like city during Christmas, with twinkling street lights and dutch delicacies that fill the air with sweet and intoxicating scents.
Whether you want to take a self-guided tour of the city on a rented bike or you’re interested in taking a canal cruise to catch the annual Light Festival, there is no shortage of festive fun to be had in this Dutch wonderland.
8. New York City, USA
Being that several iconic Christmas movies have taken place in New York City, it is not surprising that this concrete jungle has made it onto our list. From ice skating around the Rockefeller Christmas tree to enjoying the Empire State Buildings annual Holiday Light show, New York City is seriously made for celebrating Christmas.
Even just taking a walk around a snow-covered Central Park with a nice cult of hot chocolate puts you in the holiday mood. Some other things to prioritize seeing while visiting NYC for Christmas include a trip to Bryant Park Winter Village and a visit to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn.
9. Saint Lucia, Caribbean
Another beachside getaway for those looking to soak up the sun during Christmas is none other than the Caribbean’s Saint Lucia. One of the best holiday activities to partake in while in Saint Lucia is the Festival of Lights which happens each year in mid-December.
Honoring Saint Lucy of Syracuse, also known as the Saint of Light, this stunning show ends with a breathtaking firework display that you won’t want to miss. There are also tons of other local Christmas traditions that you can take part in, such as a classic St. Lucian Christmas feast which features spiced drinks and the famous St. Lucian black cake.
10. Barcelona, Spain
Though you will not find tropical temperatures in Barcelona, visitors will find a much more temperate climate and far less precipitation than most of the other spots on our list. From exploring the various nativity scenes that get lined up along the streets of the city to the Three Wise Men Parade that occurs each year, Barcelona knows how to celebrate Christmas with fun and inviting traditions.
While it is customary for locals to indulge in the year’s most lavish and delicious meals on Christmas, tourists will find that some restaurants remain open for those who prefer to go out on the holiday.
11. Reykjavik, Iceland
In addition to being Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik is also the largest city in the scenic and idyllic country. From museums that share the intense history of the Vikings to taking a dip in Iceland’s popular Blue Lagoon, there are plenty of winter-friendly activities to take part in while visiting during December.
With the entire town of Reykjavik being decked out in holiday-themed decor, you’ll feel as though you’re walking in a winter wonderland while simply strolling down the street to grab a coffee. Some other options to consider while visiting include catching a Christmas concert at Harpa, experiencing a traditional Icelandic Christmas buffet, and go ice skating in the center of the city.
12. Strasbourg, France
Known as the “Capital of Christmas,” Strasbourg, France is home to the tallest decorated Christmas tree in Europe. Between visiting all of the amazing Christmas markets to climbing to the top of the Strasbourg cathedral for some of the most breathtaking views in the entire city, there is no shortage of things to do in Strasbourg during the holidays.
Being that the Strasbourg Christmas market made its first debut in 1570, it is one of the oldest and longest-running holiday markets in the world. Therefore, even if you don’t consider yourself to be a big shopper, checking a visit off of your bucket list is well worth the experience.
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