Dreaming of a spectacular Christmas?
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, there’s no denying the festive season is a period that delights and surprises. For most, the holidays are filled with family gatherings, presents and eating ourselves into a coma, while the rest of us choose to abandon family and tradition on the big day in exchange for sipping killer cocktails on an Instagram-worthy beach somewhere where we don’t have to listen to the sound of our in-laws arguing over who ruined Aunt Gladice’s wedding last year.
But if you’re a bit over your whole holiday routine and in search of something truly magical, we’ve scoured the globe to find the very best destinations to spend Christmas this year in all-out style. Whether you prefer a romantic trip where you soak up the atmosphere of a European village, or a big city, we’ve got you sorted…
1. New York, USA
The Big Apple comes alive during the festive season, with Rockefeller Centre and its infamous Christmas tree becoming its core. Take time to visit the tree with it’s 30,000 lights and skate around the ice rink.
2. Paris, France
There is nowhere in the world quite like Paris and during Christmas the city of lights stays true to its nickname with a light show like no other.
3. Sydney, Australia
Feel like avoiding a chilly Christmas Day? Then Sydney is for you. Spend the day having a barbecue at the beach followed by Boxing Day on the harbour watching hundreds of boats sail off for the Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race.
4. London, UK
No one does Christmas quite like London. Magical shop window displays at Harrods, Selfridges and Liberty are famous around the world and lights hang from every tree and lamp post throughout the city.
5. Val d’Isere, France
Located high up in the French Alps, Val d’Isere is a charming place to ski and celebrate the festive season. It is almost guaranteed to snow here too, so you can enjoy a white Christmas.
6. Prague, Czech Republic
Let the Disney-like architecture and beautiful Christmas lights take your breath away as you wander through the Christmas markets that are scattered throughout the old-world town of Prague. Make sure you don’t miss out on munching on a traditional Czech trdelník or donut as you explore this picturesque city.
7. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Over the Christmas period Amsterdam puts on a light festival that is scattered throughout the city. Visit all the sights via bicycle and make sure to pop into all the cute little stores with their decorations.
8. Salzburg, Austria
Spending a Christmas in Salzburg is like something out of a movie – the streets are filled with Christmas nativity sets, decorated trees and thick blankets of snow. If that wasn’t enough, the city is also the birthplace of Mozart so is alive with music and the sound of carols.
9. Lapland, Finland
Spending Christmas up near the Arctic Circle at Santa’s original stomping ground is one you’ll never forget. In Lapland, Finland’s largest park, reindeers pull visitors through decorated streets and the beautiful natural landscape.
10. Montreal, Canada
Montreal has activities galore at this time of year with fireworks in Old Port, ice-skating rinks throughout the city and snowshoeing through Jean-Drapeau Park. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, go see the Montreal Ballet perform The Nutcracker or enjoy the free concerts at the Museum of Fine Arts.
11. Rome, Italy
Where better to celebrate this Christian holiday than in Rome? Even if you are not one to acknowledge the religious aspects of Christmas, attending a church service in the city, or better yet in Vatican City, lead by the Pope himself, in Rome will be a life-changing experience.
12. Bruges, Belgium
This town is as magical as it is pretty. Enjoy the holiday drowning in Belgium chocolate and exploring the Christmas markets, cobbled streets and pretty lakes and canals.
13. Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn is a perfect mix of a city with a rich history and culture with modern world touches. Explore the old town’s ancient beauty and its Christmas markets as the snow gently falls around you.
14. Lyon, France
Over France’s Winter months, the city of Lyon illuminates with its Festival of Lights. Designers and artists from all around the world come to showcase their work and bringing brightness and cheer to all.
15. Tokyo, Japan
While the Japanese don’t see Christmas as a religious celebration, they do consider Christmas Eve to be a night of romance, and in the heart of Japan’s biggest city, there is a surprising amount of Christmas cheer with an extensive light display that’ll make you feel as though you’ve stumbled into a larger than life fairy cave.
16. Vienna, Austria
Vienna is not only home to Europe’s oldest Christmas markets, but it is also the world capital of music. Add in the amazing architecture and its old world charm and you’ve got a magic mix.
17. Chicago, USA
With a 50 per cent chance of snowfall, Christmas spent in the Windy City will be better than you may expect. Take a trip to Starbucks and check out their recent Christmas cup or enjoy your time ice-skating in the centre of the Metropolis.
18. Jena, Germany
This small college town has beautiful stores that pop up over the Winter months in the central square. Surrounded by Christmas trees and cute little terraces, you’re sure to feel the spirit of Christmas all around you.
Images via newyorksightseeingtours.files.wordpress.com, dailytelegraph.com.au, aeroflot-vn.com, skiscara.com, private-prague-guide.com, pinterest.com, leger.co.uk, eurotravelogue.com, mtlblog.com, romelyplanet.com, lostgeneration1914-19.com, balticholidays.com, tafrehmella.com, brandondarnell.wordpress.com, thenational.ae, stella.ie, cpplunkett.photos, en.wikipedia.org and arnatz.com.