You may not be able to move around easily this Christmas, but make sure to add these 10 places to your bucket list for 2021!
1. Vienna, Austria
Vienna is one of the best places in the world to spend your winter holidays. During Christmas time, nearly every corner of the Austrian capital is covered with glittering lights and sparkling decorations. The city is worldwide famous for its Christmas markets and the amazing Christmas tree set up in the Rathausplatz (the City Hall Square). When exploring the markets, you will for sure be tempted to buy some sweet treats, a glass of hot mulled wine, or artisan handmade Christmas ornaments. Don’t forget to stop at the Hotel Sacher to get a slice of the famous chocolate cake Sacher Torte!
2. Rovaniemi, Finland
Rovaniemi is located in Lapland, just north of the Arctic Circle. Being the official home of Santa Claus, it is just the perfect place for Christmas enthusiasts. Its snowy forests and numerous reindeers recreate a true winter wonderland that leaves speechless both kids and adults. There are plenty of fun activities to do in Rovaniemi. You can visit the Arktikum museum, stare at polar bears in the Ranua Wildlife Park, marvel at the Northern Lights, take pictures with Santa Claus in his village, and – if you don’t mind the cold – you can even sleep in an ice hotel!
3. New York, USA
During the festive period, NY’s attractions are transformed into sparkling winter jewels. The city offers plenty of Christmas-related activities, such as ice skating at Rockefeller Center, looking for the last Christmas gifts on Fifth Avenue, shopping for Christmas ornaments in Little Italy, or enjoying the holiday displays in the Dyker Heights neighborhood.
4. Brussels, Belgium
There’s no better place to dive into Belgium’s Christmas spirit than at the Winterwonders in Brussels. This huge Christmas market includes more than 200 chalets attracting around 2.5 million visitors per year. During the holiday season, the Belgian capital gets heavily decorated and atmospheric Christmas activities take place at many locations throughout the city. The light show with music at the Grand Place is a moving experience that you should definitely consider watching.
5. London, UK
From Christmas markets, to Christmas shopping, to ice-skating, there are plenty of fun activities to do in London during the holidays. All these while marveling at glittering buildings and decorated Christmas trees in every corner. You can find the best Christmas lights in Oxford Street, in Marylebone, in Bond Street and in Regent Street. Go to Trafalgar Square to admire the huge Christmas tree which is donated every year by Norwegian people to the City of London.
6. Sydney, Australia
Not everywhere Christmas is synonym of snow and cold weather! In December, temperatures in Sydney range between 18° C and 25° C. Go to Bondi Beach, a popular seaside destination among backpackers, billionaires, and board riders, to experience a different Christmas atmosphere. If you decide to stay closer to the city center, you’ll be amazed by Sydney’s Christmas lights (the best ones are at the Pitt Street Mall Canopy of Light!) and the Christmas Tree at Martin Place.
7. Cologne, Germany
If you love Christmas markets, you have to go to Cologne. The city boasts various Christmas markets (eight in total) located on both sides of the Rhine River. The combination of Christmas music, toys, handmade Christmas decorations and the scent of the Christmas bakeries create a wonderful atmosphere. You can move around the city center with the Christmas-market-Express drive: a little train that will take you through the streets of the old city of Cologne and to the most beautiful Christmas markets.
8. New Orleans, USA
December is one of the best months to visit New Orleans, thanks to its unique traditions, special events, and decorations all around the city. Some fun Christmas activities include bonfires on the levee, Candlelight Caroling in Jackson Square, experiencing the 25 acres of holiday displays in the City Park, visiting the historic French Quarter and Garden District mansions, seeing the Nutcracker, and experiencing holiday gospel in St. Louis Cathedral. And there’s even more!
9. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
San Miguel de Allende is a colorful location which is considered one of the most beautiful cities in all of Mexico and is situated in the central Mexico highlands. Christmas in San Miguel de Allende is celebrated drinking the so-called ponche Navideño (a fruity Mexican Christmas punch), organizing posadas and piñatas. Some days before December 24th, many locals act out the pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph, moving from home to home. San Miguel de Allende has also plenty of beautiful churches and amazing architecture, which led to the town’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
10. Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy
Cortina d’Ampezzo, the “Queen of the Dolomites,” is a very popular and fancy ski destination nestled among the mountains. After your day of skiing or hiking, you can relax in one of the numerous hotel spas, or shop in the luxury stores located in the small city center, or taste some fine Italian food in one of the numerous gourmet restaurants… At Christmas time, you’ll find gorgeous Christmas markets and lights that make the atmosphere in this little town even more magical.