Top 14 Christmas Destinations

Top 14 Christmas Destinations
Top 14 Christmas Destinations

Christmas is a the most magical time of year, and while there’s truth to the concept that there’s no place like home for the holidays, if you’re dreaming of spending it in a picture-perfect postcard-worthy place these festive top 14 Christmas destinations offer the chance for an unforgettable holiday experience.

New York City, USA
Countless movies set in the Big Apple have given us a picture-perfect representation of Christmas in this lively city. Visit the world’s tallest Christmas tree at the Rockefeller, go skating on the renowned ice rink, and peruse the window displays in New York’s largest department stores.  A trip to New York isn’t complete without tickets for the New York Ballet performance of “The Nutcracker”.

Nuremberg, Germany
The atmosphere of the Old Town is magical, and the Nuremberg Christmas market that boasts incredible vendor displays, makes Christmas in Nuremberg unforgettable. Wander through the market and take in the aromas of mulled wine, gingerbread, sweet roasted almonds, and traditional sausage. Children – and kids at heart, will love the two-tiered carousel and the Toy Museum.

Bruges, Belgium
Bruges’ stunning medieval beauty truly comes alive in winter, with its center transformed into a Christmas parade, ice rink and all. Visitors can enjoy the unforgettable Snow and Ice Sculpture show.

Rovaniemi, Finland
“Europe’s Christmas capital”, and Santa Park are situated at the base of the Arctic Circle. Nothing embodies Christmas more than a bitter cold place surrounded by winter snow and reindeer-filled forests. Tour the two different Santa themed parks, which boast real reindeer, a tour of Santa’s workshop, and a meet n’ greet with the big guy himself.

Vatican City, Italy
There is no doubt that the spiritual heart of Catholicism knows how to celebrate Christmas. The Eternal City is magical at any time of year, but December is an even more magical time to visit. Tourists line the adorned streets, roasted chestnuts are sold on every corner, and the city is full of displayed presepi (nativity scenes). Midnight Mass in St Peter’s Basilica is the religious experience of a lifetime.

Vienna, Austria
Vienna boasts an authentic, old-fashioned Christmas, snow and all, where visitors can admire the Imperial architecture as they stroll through the three outdoor Christkindlmarkts. This magical city’s claim to fame is the Vienna Boys Choir and is a must-see on any Christmas traveler’s wish list.


Lucerne, Switzerland
This picturesque city becomes even more stunning during the holidays. The main square, Franziskanerplatz is transformed into a town in miniature and the decorated stalls along the Old Town offer a host of unique items. The Christmas carousel, located in the town center runs to seasonal music of choirs and brass ensembles.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
The Spanish colonial gem and culturally popular city is spectacular at Christmas, with theatrical processions around town, posadas reenactments, live music, fireworks, and dancing in the main square. Authentic Mexican fare, such as ponche, a warm fruit punch containing a spicy blend of seasonal fruits, cinnamon, and a shot of brandy or rum, and if you’re really adventurous, menudo, a traditional tripe and hominy soup.

Bondi Beach, Australia
Instead of hitting the slopes over the Christmas holidays, hit the beach in the antithesis of all things traditionally Christmas. There are no cliches here – snow, decorative lights, and hot chocolate, are replaced with the blistering sun, sand, and surf. Despite the lack of turkey and traditional fare, the festive atmosphere still prevails.

Santa Claus, Indiana
A city named after Santa Claus has a lot to live up to during the holidays, and this magical town definitely delivers. Christmas is a year-round experience in this town but during the season there are all sorts of Santa-themed shops, attractions, and events, including a group of volunteers called Santa’s Elves, who answer thousands of letters written to St. Nicholas.

Old Quebec, Quebec City
At Christmas the 400-year-old walled city turns into a village straight out of a Charles Dickens’ story. Visitors can peruse the festive shops along the lit-up cobblestone streets lined with quaint shops, and the more religiously inclined can wander through an exposition of nativity scenes from around the world.

San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico serves up a traditional Christmas under the sun. Festivities begin in early December and continue until Three Kings Day on January 6th. Lively carollers fill the streets, travelling from house to house. Enjoy a traditional feast of Puerto Rican food, including roast pig on Christmas Eve, followed by Midnight Mass.

Strasbourg, France
The oldest Christmas market in Europe, the Christkindelsmärik was first held in Strasbourg in 1570 and the authentic Alsatian tradition has been successfully conserved ever since. The spiritual traditions of Advent are prominent in Strasbourg, offering Advent concerts, a living nativity, as well as live music and cultural events.

Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik offers a beautiful Christmas, albeit with a few peculiarities. Among these, the 13 “Yuletide Lads” (scruffy Santas) who are said to bring gifts to nice children for the 13 nights leading to Christmas. Visit the rows of beautiful kiosks that make up the Yule Town Christmas market and be awestruck by the sight of the northern lights that add to Reykjavik’s festive feel.

Have you been to any of these top 14 Christmas destinations? Which ones would be on your travel bucket list?



10 thoughts on “Top 14 Christmas Destinations”

  • We will be staying home this Christmas, as we do most Christmases. One year we did travel to Arizona to visit family. Do you think I could talk my husband into traveling the next 14 Christmases to visit these wonderful places? Believe me when I say I am going to try!

  • My husband and I have talked about jetting away for our Christmas celebration one year. I think it would be so memorable to spend the holiday Ina different location. Switzerland looks like the definition of Christmas, and Santa Claus, Indiana would be fun just because!

    • I agree! I’ve spent the holidays in New York, Quebec, Nice France, London England, and Sardinia…but I could add more to my list!! Indiana would definitely be surreal!

  • Wow! All of these places look simply amazing. I think I would add Reykjavik, Iceland to the top of my list. I really hope to visit Iceland one day. During the holidays it would be stunning. Thanks for sharing

  • New York City at Christmas is one of my bucket list destinations. I know it would be REALLY busy but oh so beautiful. Since I live in Florida, we are excited about warm weather this year to spend Christmas in the sand. Heading to the beach!

    • As much as I hate the snow, and love the beach, I can’t imagine spending Christmas in the heat, lol! Maybe the week after Christmas 😉

  • NYC is amazing during the Christmas season. It’s just so much to take in and look at. I would love to go to San Juan myself although the beach in Australia is definitely calling my name on this chilly day!

    • I’ve been to NYC three times, once during the holidays and it is always magical! I also spent the holidays in Quebec city last year – it was FREEZING, but it was an amazing experience! I’ve been to Lucerne but not during the holidays. I’m a sucker for European destinations so my first choices would be Finland and Iceland!

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