It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year! December is the best time to travel and see the most festive and magical Christmas places in the world. Whether you are planning to escape the brutal winter season or experience a white Christmas, this article will take you to the Top 10 Best Places to Visit at Christmas Time.
Prague, Czech Republic
The charming city of Prague in the Czech Republic is beaming for the whole month of December. Eat your way through the local Christmas markets and try Prague’s chestnut and mulled wine for the best experience. One of the most popular Christmas markets is found at the Old Town Square and the Wenceslas Square. Proceed to the National Theater to see The Nutcracker performance to get you in the holiday spirit.
Vienna is hands-down one of the most beautiful places in Europe, especially at Christmas time. The Christmas markets, lights, and the snow will give you a storybook vibe. Make sure you pack the warmest outfits and bundle up as the city is best explored on foot. Enjoy the city from a bird’s eye point of view by hopping on the Riesenrad Ferris Wheel, built in 1897 and one of the oldest ferris wheels in the world today. You can also do some serious Christmas shopping in Vienna’s biggest Christmas market, the Christkindlmarkt or enjoy the food and drinks at the Altes Akh, a popular destination among locals.
If you are a fan of classical music then Vienna is the perfect Christmas destination for you! See the Mozart and Strauss musical concert at the Golden Hall or witness the Classic Ensemble Vienna concert at the St. Peter’s Church.
Reykjavik is a feast for the eyes at Christmas time. Imagine string of lights, long nights, snow, and the northern lights. Christmas couldn’t get any better than that! Visit the charming Christmas markets and ice skating rinks around the city. Make sure you make your restaurant reservations ahead of time as most restaurants will be closed during the Christmas season and the ones which are open can get fully booked fast. You may view the establishment’s opening hours for the holidays through this link. Drop by the Reykjavik Art Museum to see Iceland’s Christmas creatures and proceed to the Reykjavik Botanical Garden for some holiday photos.
San Fernando, Philippines
The festive Christmas season starts as soon as the calendar hits September 1st in the Philippines. Christmas songs are blasted all over malls, stores, and restaurants. San Fernando is home to the country’s most beautiful “parols” or Christmas lanterns. The lanterns tower up to 20 feet high and feature thousands of lights. The Filipino Christmas table spread is like no other; mouth-watering desserts and local cuisines are served for the whole month of December and Christmas decors stay up until the end of January.
New York, USA
Look no further as Christmas is just around the corner! New York City is one of the top Christmas destinations in the country. The Big Apple offers endless options of activities and events during the holidays. See and take photos at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in the West 48th and 51st streets and marvel at the window displays along Fifth Avenue. If you are visiting with children, ice skating in Central Park, touring the Dyker Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, and witnessing the Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show are the top recommended Christmas activities in NYC.
If you want some pretty urban Christmas experience, then Toronto is a must-visit during the Christmas season. Head out to the historic Distillery District and visit the Toronto Christmas Market to enjoy all the good eats this city has to offer. Hit the city’s shopping malls adorned with the most beautiful Christmas decors for some retail therapy or just explore downtown on foot for some winter wonderland experience.
This enchanting city in Germany will leave you awestruck at Christmas time. The whole city of Cologne is decked out with festive Christmas decor and the locals are in high Christmas spirits. Visit Cologne’s several Christmas markets such as the Cathedral Christmas Market, Harbour Christmas Market, and the Old Town Christmas Market. For the best panoramic view of the city, head to the KölnTriangle just across the cathedral and climb up to the observation deck at the top of the tower.
Rome is one of the best Christmas destinations in the world. Italians celebrate Christmas from December through January. The Colosseum is all adorned with Christmas lights and decor and features a beautiful Christmas tree. Roman churches around the city feature the most intricate Nativity scenes including life-size figures and a full choir. Religious or not, I highly recommend attending a mass in one of the Roman churches to witness Rome’s religious traditions and holiday rituals.
Rovaniemi is the capital of the Finnish Lapland. This gorgeous city is known to be the official hometown of Santa Claus and is home to picturesque wooden log cabins perfect for the best holiday experience. This hidden gem is one of the most peaceful and magical places in Finland during the holiday season. Rovaniemi is the perfect place to see the elusive northern lights, skiing, ice swimming, and sledding. Bundle up and put on your snow boots as this place is best explored on foot.
This small town in Pitkin County, Colorado is favorite Christmas destination among skiers but this beautiful town is more than just the snowy slopes. Plan your trip around the Winterskol Parade, an annual celebration featuring festivities all around town including fireworks shows, ice sculptures, and ski parties. You can also go for a moonlight stroll or visit the Aspen Animal Shelter and rent a dog for the day. The shelter’s Rent-A-Pet program aims to treat the dogs with a day spent outside, exercising and socializing with people and other animals. You can also go in and volunteer for a day to take a dog for a walk or a long hike. The shelter’s Dog Walking Program is recognized by the American Humane Association as one of the best animal shelter programs.