World’s 20 Best Places to Spend Christmasjessie tan
There are certain destinations which spare no expense on Christmas. The following cities each deliver a magical experience unlike any other. Some immerse you in traditional Christmas cheer, snow-covered trees, and holiday food. Others, bring summer fun and a totally new spin on old themes. Here’s the world’s 20 best places to spend Christmas.
West Bank, Bethlehem – Palestine
Out of the many beautiful Palestinian territories, the West Bank of Bethlehem is utterly breathtaking. Between the festivities roaring in the streets and the allure of Arabic music, you find many notable landmarks. The Church of the Nativity is visited by millions of pilgrims each year. Get yourself a guide for the Christmas celebrations. There are lots to see.
Midnight Mass, The Vatican City – Italy
Spend Christmas at the heart of Catholicism. Celebrations transform the Eternal City into a magic wonderland. Streets are lined with vendors selling all sorts of traditional holiday treats. Roasted chestnuts are a local favorite. Nativity scenes termed ‘presepi’ are found across the city as you make your way to Midnight Mass at St Peter’s Basilica.
Santa Claus Village – Finland
For the most authentic Christmas experience, spend Christmas in the Arctic Circle. Head to Rovaniemi termed the “Official Hometown of Santa Claus”. You’ll be astounded as you see your imagination come to life. Kids can pet reindeer, play with elves, and will even get to eat cookies with Mrs. Claus herself. Parents can look forward to husky-drawn toboggans, snowmobile safaris and the Northern Lights.
San Juan – Puerto Rico
Locals like to believe that San Juan has the longest Christmas in the world. However, they may well be right. Partying starts with a fervent holiday cheer starting straight after Thanksgiving, and you’ll find celebrations roaring at full pace well into the first week of February. Local traditions include celebrating Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian and mid-night visits. These late night visitots are made by musical locals who love surprising new friends. The prank wake-up calls are called called Parrandas. Songs and celebrations set the mood for a festive day.
Zurich – Switzerland
If your idea of the perfect way to spend Christmas involves an endless shopping spree then Zurich is the prime destination. Every holiday season, Christmas markets open. Every is available from local produce to vintage goods. Everyone from luxury boutiques to indie producers showcase their best works. Be sure to catch the yearly lighting extravaganza Lichterschwimmen on December 21st. The sight of countless lanterns floating down the cascading Limmat River is unforgettable. However, the entire experience in memorable thanks to the effort put in by the locals.
New York City – United States of America
Eternally memorialized in the hearts and memories of people across the world, the NYC Christmas Tree is a sight to behold. Set aside the Rockefeller Center marking the core of the City that Never Sleeps, the adornment of the city’s Christmas tree is a tradition since 1931. Radio City blasts vibes and the streets fill with the happiest New Yorker’s you’ll ever find.
Honolulu – Hawaii
Even Santa Claus himself would consider moving to the warmer weather of Hawaii. With free-flowing peace and goodwill, this is a great place to be. There is nothing but good vibes throughout the year, Honolulu steps things up a notch each December. From the opening parade and massive Christmas tree, to the 20-foot statue of Shaka Santa in his red shorts, you’ll never forget a Hawaiian Christmas.
Hong Kong – China
There is no better time of the year to see the awe-inspiring Hong Kong skyline at night. The technological splendor makes Hong Kong one of the most amazing places to spend Christmas. Since 2004, Hong Kong illuminates even brighter with the start of the Symphony of Lights. The Hong Kong Philharmonic backs the entire light show with a unique soundtrack. It is a true testimony to Christmas creativity and the passionate talent of locals.
Sydney – Australia
As every Aussie will tell you, you don’t need snow for Christmas. Let the Aussies show you how to spend Christmas in the sun. The annual Sydney Christmas festival delivers holiday cheer and tons of tourists. All the festivities are in full swing. Even the amazing window-displays are claimed to be the most Instagramable in the world.
Budapest – Hungary
Between the intricate architecture, and magnificent city skyline, Budapest delivers a memorable Christmas. During the holiday season, the already-busy nightlife kicks up a notch and stalls are found across the city. The Budapest Christmas Fair at Vörösmarty Square is heralded as the cheapest in Europe. However, be sure to visit Vörösmarty Square if you prefer a traditional way to spend Christmas shopping.
Nuremberg – Germany
Once you experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Nurnberger Christkindlesmarkt – or Nuremberg Christmas Market – you’ll understand why it draws over 2 million visitors each year. This popularity comes as no surprize. Everything sold at the market is handmade and of superior quality. Christmas cheer is high, with countless festive landmarks to be seen. Take a ride on a steam train, an antique carousel, or even a massive Ferris wheel carved from wood when you spend Christmas here. Mulled wine for mom, freshly brewed beer, and even a sprawling toy museum await.
London – England
Christmas tradition doesn’t get more definitive than the holidays in London. The cold-but-cozy atmosphere is ideal to warm the heart and set the scene for festivities. However if you want to beat the cold head indoors. You can look forward to some of the best shopping in the world, while cozy pubs, winter walks, and among the best lighting displays in the world await.
Quebec City – Canada
The historic district of Canada is totally transformed into a picturesque Christmas village each holiday season. Old-stone buildings are given Christmas spark. They are adorned with countless lights each year. Both tourists and locals can be seen tobogganing down the steep slopes of the Dufferin Terrace Slides.
Dublin – Ireland
Dublin is another shopper’s paradise. The Galway’s Christmas Market is the longest running in the country. Yet is also one of the largest. It spans the entire distance of Galway City from Eyre Square to Spanish Arch. A wonderful assortment of festive foods and drink waits for visitors to Dublin.
Tokyo – Japan
Tokyo lights up with illumination that’ll make even the most spectacular shows pale in comparison. Tokyo Station and the Marunouchi Area lead you to the largest Christmas tree in Japan. However, just down the road you’ll find the elaborately lit Michi-Terasu lighting display at the Palace. There are so many stunning light shows in this city that you’ll never run out of things to see and do.
Rome – Italy
A jaw-dropping Nativity scene of gigantic magnitude awaits visitors to Rome during Christmas. The intricately carved Neapolitan wood crib at the Church of SS Cosma and Damiano is a sight to behold, while you also need to see historic St. Peter’s Square. The festivities are high across the City of Seven Hills during Christmas.
Valletta – Malta
Head to downtown Valletta in Malta and find many carolers walking the streets singing songs of cheer. However, this is not all. Check out Baroque Street for nightly performances which will wow you. Then the entire city fills with Christmas cheer. Be sure to visit John’s Co-Cathedral and the light display Republic Street each Christmas.
Provence – France
France’s beauty spans endless lavender fields and pristine promenades. Yet, Christmas season in Southern France brings many honored traditions and high spirited celebrations to the city. One such tradition is the Feast of St. Barbara. It begins on December 4th kicking off the Christmas fun. Legend tells that any seeds that sprout are an omen that the harvest will be good. You can find fresh green sprouts on display throughout France, while Provence itself is home to the santons or little saints. These clay figurines are just one of the many quaint and local creations that you’ll find in Provence over Christmas. When you spend Christmas in Provence you experience something truly unique.
Bali – Indonesia
Indonesian Christians kick up a Christmas celebration in Bali unlike any other. Tourism hits full-gear during the holiday season in Bali. Don’t miss the Sukawati Art Market with its local handcrafted goods. From cocktail bars to live music, suave high-end dinners to beach parties, Bali is the place to be if you want to spend Christmas in a crowd.
Christchurch – New Zealand
Christmas in Christchurch comes in the middle of summer yet a more beautiful Christmas is hard to match. Witness wonderfully decorated festive floats, and caroling services throughout the city. While visiting the Garden City, don’t miss the Night Market, the great NZ Santa Run and the sprawling Christmas Day Buffet. Another highlight to be on the lookout for is the New Brighton Seaside Christmas Parade.