The festive season is upon us, and if the thought of going through the same routine as years past bores you then perhaps it’s time you did something different. Here follows the ultimate list of places to spend your Christmas holiday.
Photo credit: Timo Newton-Syms
These places are doing Christmas better than the rest of us:
Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland
The Finns take Christmas seriously, and if you want a Christmas holiday experience that involves enrolling in Elf School, seeing Santa Claus’s official hometown (at least according to them) and making gingerbread cookies with his jolly wife then Rovaniemi, the capital city of Finnish Lapland, is the place for you to be these holidays.
It’s a beautiful and cultural place, complete with a Santaland, husky safaris, snowmobiling, all-day reindeer adventures and even a Finnish sauna and ice swimming.
As for accommodation, Finnish Lapland offers some unique experiences such as a stay in the Arctic Snow Hotel, made entirely of snow and ice, and for something extra special there are glass igloos available (just 26 kms from Rovaniemi). What are you waiting for? Pack your travel fashion clothes and head to Lapland!
Provence is one of the most beautiful regions in France, and it looks like a winter wonderland at Christmas time. The beautiful little villages come to life and are the perfect place to get the romance flowing. Head to Avignon for the perfect Christmas holiday where you will find animated nativity scenes, beautifully lit-up streets, a wonderful Christmas market, parades, folk dances and plenty of festive carols.
This Christmas holiday you can enjoy market stalls, music from medieval churches, the ultimate foodie experience and discover the region’s historic significance, all on your Christmas holiday in Avignon.
There is so much to do in New York over the festive season that it’s hard to decide where to spend your time. Take your pick of holiday markets, or choose The Rockefeller Center, which is a worldwide symbol of the holidays in New York City.
Go ice-skating at The Rink and marvel at the Rockerfeller Centre Christmas Tree which will be lit on Wednesday, Dec. 3rd and is a more than 80 year old tradition. Take a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride, watch a holiday show and gaze at the impressive Christmas window displays of all the luxury department stores on Fifth Avenue. Definitely a place where your travel fashion clothes are going to come in handy!
Photo credit: Massimiliano Silipigni
Vienna is a great place to visit at Christmas time and the city is beautifully lit with Christmas lights and decorations, which give it a unique warmth.
There are so many things to do during the festive season, including three outdoor Christkindlmarkts, street markets, ice skating events and musical events that take place in churches, the majestic gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Malteserkirche, Minoritenkirche, Peterskirche.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
There are plenty of festivities happening in this cultural Mexican hot spot and you will not be short of things to do as you walk around this cobblestoned city.
Enjoy the theatrical productions in and around town, there are also fireworks, music and dancing in the main square. Marvel at the beautiful churches and the grand zocalos. In the days leading up to Christmas you may also come across Mary and Joseph in the streets as the locals make pilgrimages from home to home, singing to “ask for posada” or “beg for shelter” as they re-enact the journey to Bethlehem.
While exploring in your travel fashion clothes, try a ponche, a mixed fruit and brandy drink. And according to Travel and Leisure, if you’re looking for a place to stay you should definitely try Casa Sierra Nevada, which is spread among six renovated 16-18th century historic Spanish colonial mansions. Perfect stay for the perfect Christmas holiday.
Norway is an incredible place to spend your Christmas holiday. During the festive season they have many great Christmas markets on display, but the snowy haven of Trømso is your top picking if you are hoping to see the northern lights (look for them between 6 p.m. and midnight).
You can also experience everything you ever dreamt of doing when you were a kid: dog-sledding, snowboarding, eating delicious food and taking a cable car to the top of a mountain. Oh, and you can go to sleep when it’s dark out because here there are only a couple of hours of “day” time and it’s usually a twilight blue in color. Make sure you bring your travel jacket though, it’s going to be cold!
If shopping is your thing then you do not want to miss The Nuremberg Christmas market (Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt) which is held at the Hauptmarkt square in the old quarter.
Here you can walk the streets in your superb travel fashion clothes and marvel at the charming medieval architecture of the city and try German bratwurst and glühwein, mugs of mulled wine and gingerbread men. Some of the other highlights include a steam train, a giant Ferris wheel and an old-fashioned carousel. There is also something for the kids: they will love the Toy Museum.
There is a reason Nuremberg attracts more than 2 million visitors each year, and the aforementioned are just scratching the surface.
Photo credit: David Blackwell
Santa Claus, Indiana
And lastly, if there’s a place called Santa Claus, well then you have to visit it for your Christmas holiday.
According to CNN, there is a place in Indiana called Santa Claus, and Christmas is all year-round in this tiny town with less than 3,000 residents. To this day, the town still receives thousands of letters each year from children trying to reach the jolly bearded man in a red suit, and there are even a group of volunteers who take the time to write back to each kid.
Pack your travel fashion clothes and make this Christmas holiday one to remember.