15 Of The World’s Perfect Christmas Places
Bethlehem, West Bank – Holiest Christmas celebrations in the most traditional way
The real meaning of Christmas is celebrating it at Christ’s very own birthplace which can be a truly unique and an unforgettable experience. Manger Square in Bethlehem is one of the most iconic settings in the world for Christmas celebrations.
Thousands of Christian’s pilgrims belonging to various denominations like the Catholic, Protestant, and the Greek Orthodox all gather at the Basilica of the Nativity church which is considered as a birthplace of Jesus Christ.
Services are held through December and January and there is an atmosphere of heavenly dynamism all around.
The celebrations at the St. Catherine’s Church midnight mass is truly iconic. Also, a must-see is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Jerusalem’s Old City.
Try out the perfect shopping experience at the amazing Old City Bazaar. And if it gets too hot then spend a day out at the beach unwinding. Get entwined in the sweet smell of deep fried donuts everywhere and try out some authentic and delicious Israeli food. All these things make Bethlehem a world’s Perfect Christmas Place.
Lapland, Finland – Nothing better than visiting Santa’s own village this Christmas
The North Pole in Finland is the official home of Santa but there is more to this traditional Finish Christmas. This is a world’s Perfect Christmas Place. Preparations began a month in advance to make sure everything is right. White mountains lit only by the stars in the sky and Ice lanterns or lanterns made out of small snowballs, glass igloos bathing in the northern lights of Aurora Borealis magnificently add to the warm glow.
There are 2 Christmas parks – Santa Claus Village and Santa Park in Lapland with plenty of raindeers.
Reindeer rides, taking a Sauna bath, a visit to Ranua Zoo to watch baby polar bears and wolverines and attending Santa workshop are the favorite activities of visitors.
Get the perfect experience staying at the arctic snow hotel made entirely of snow and ice, equip with sauna and hot tubs to keep you warm. Sink in your teeth into the pork roast and to enjoy the traditional Christmas dinner of the Finns.
The Vatican, Italy – The World’s Perfect Christmas Place
Vatican City remains fascinating all through the year but come Christmas and the Eternal City is a magical place in December. The city is inundated with wonderful scenes at every corner, roasted chestnuts sold at every corner with pilgrims visiting the city in high numbers to attend the Midnight Mass at St Peter’s Basilica.
Christmas is a big deal here at the Vatican because it is the center of the Roman Catholic church.
There is a magical atmosphere during the Nativity scenes at various locations like Piazza Navona, St. Peter’s Square and Santa Maria church.
Catch the Pope’s traditional Christmas day message from the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica overlooking the square at noon on December 25th.
Bondi Beach, Australia – Backpackers “orphan’s party” paradise
Bondi beach is a complete antithesis of the Northern hemisphere Christmas marked by sun, sand and lots of surfing that replaces a clichéd snow and fairy light Christmas. Bag packers and Bondi beach have long been synonymous with an incredible Christmas where the beach acts as a magnet for a large number of backpackers coming here from far and wide places. Often it is called an “orphan’s party” referring to backpackers who come here without their parents.
Hit the beach and engage in some turkey talks with fellow travelers or attend one of the several bands or DJs that rock the pavilion during the festive season. Swimsuit, sunscreen, sunhat form a part of an unofficial uniform; items you may not normally take to a Christmas dinner but here it’s a different story. Holidays here offer much respite from the cold, wet and days spent at home for a normal northern hemisphere.
Montréal, Canada – Montreal Christmas aka Noël
Montreal is geologically located close to the European coast as it is to Vancouver, it thereby combines the perfect of the two continents and turns in to be a magical Christmas place as the city provides for a European-style Christmas with a combination of the outgoing hospitality of the Canadians.
There are a crazy amount of outdoor activities and Free Christmas concerts happening in the city. You can enjoy the night-time parade at the Noël Sur L’Avenue which becomes quite festive with Christmas themed events, candlelit walks, fireworks, and free shows.
The annual Santa Claus Parade here is not to be missed as over a million people line up the streets to watch Santa and dozens of floats and thousands of costumed volunteers. The Plaza St. Hubert Christmas Parade and the fireworks displays at the fire and ice show that is wonderfully choreographed to sound is must watch.
Hog on scrumptious holiday pastries and candied chestnuts washed down with plenty of hot chocolate cups to keep the cold away.
For adrenaline junkies, Mont Royal Park is a popular destination for cross-country skiing, you can also engage in some snow tubing or Dog sledding as well.
Nuremberg – Germany’s Christmas city
The Nuremberg Christmas market is the epitome of the festive season that attracted 2.3 million visitors last year where visitors wander through the labyrinth of super decorated stalls to take in the magical Christmas atmosphere.
After dark, the market transforms into a fairy tale spectacle with stalls selling toys, trinkets, candles, gingerbread, and sweets to shoppers warmed by sizzling sausages and mulled wine. Only traditional handmade toys and holiday goods are sold at the Nuremberg’s Christmas Market and by the way, it’s a big No to the mass-produced plastic garlands here. Christmas shopping never looked this enchanting.
Amsterdam, Netherlands – It’s even better when it turns into a fairy tale destination
As per a popular adage, Santa was born here in Amsterdam. The city begins its celebrations a month in advance. The beautiful medieval city comes to life during Christmas and houses from 16th and 17th-century are brimming with light in early December. Christmas at Amsterdam is unforgettable with a modern theme infused in a medieval charm. In case you can squeeze in an extra week, there is nothing compared to the effulgence of the fireworks at Dam Square.
There are colorful parades, cool parties, fun markets and much merrymaking all around during the Christmas Days in Amsterdam.
The 20 foot high ginormous Christmas tree on Dam Square, Amsterdam is cladded with a staggering 40,000 lights which is a must watch apart from the Annual Light Festival which turns Amsterdam into a glowing masterpiece and the Canal Festival for its classical performances.
Dublin, Ireland – Traditional Christmas steeped in the Gaelic and Catholic heritage
There is ample opportunity on the streets of Dublin during the Christmas festival. Starting with a 12 Days of Christmas Market at the Docklands which is full of theatrical music, Christmas lights, and a high seasonal cheer amongst the visitors. These streets are superbly adorned with fluids of lights.
The RDS Ballsbridge just wouldn’t be the same without the Funderland experience that has iSkate-on-Ice, and a myriad of exhilarating rides here in Dublin.
Enjoy the romantic Christmas comedy in concert at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, featuring a full orchestra. Or try an unforgettable festive shopping experience, amidst ingeniously beautiful Christmas decorations and live Christmas music.
Edinburgh – Get the unfathomable festive feel this Christmas in Edinburgh
It’s Just a 50-minute flight from Dublin, and you could easily be in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. The picturesque city amidst an urban-rural setting is arguably one of the most visually impressive cities. The landscape was the inspirational axis of the famous series of Harry Porter.
Edinburgh erupts with Christmas spirit and there is a marvelous seasonal aroma scattered in every corner during the six week season of festive entertainment. Streets line up with markets and there are parties happening everywhere with spirits at its all time high during Christmas. The city is festooned with lights bouncing off the streets and illuminate the city markets making it look like Santa’s own disco in Scotland’s capital.
Get a bird’s eye view of the entire city from the Edinburgh Eye; a castle built on an extinct volcano that contrasts beautifully with the joyful outdoor ice rink.
While in Edinburgh, don’t miss the ghost tour of the mystic vaults located underground at South Bridge, not for the faint hearted though. Catch the fabulous view of the city while on a big wheel ride, enjoy the Santa train, double carousel, balloon ride and enter into a true wonderland this Christmas in Edinburgh.
Zurich, Switzerland – The Swiss Christmas tradition will make for a memorable Christmas eve of life
Zurich is a stunning destination to visit on the Christmas occasion. The guided Christmas walks and the singing Christmas trees amidst high enthusiasm of Christmas makes it for the most memorable Christmas eve of life.
Christkindlimarkt in the central railway station hosts the signature 16-meter-high Christmas tree, decorated with around 7,000 Swarovski crystals which is one of the main Christmas attractions.
Another spectacle is the “Singing Christmas Tree” in a fir tree cladding decorated with 7,0000 Swarovski crystals offers the reigns perfect Christmas repertoire.
Spectators also flock to see the “Lucy Lights” named after the famous Beatles song, that illuminates the world’s most famous shopping street.
The Old Cobble Street rivals the Nuremberg Christmas market of Germany with its sheer number of Christmas market.
And the most expensive of all is the Christmas market at Hauptbahnhof which happens to be Europe’s biggest indoor market selling all sorts of gifts and treats.
Spend an artsy day or go on a bar crawl at the hippest district in the city, The Old Town located in Zurich west which has everything from designer boutique to art spaces, chic restaurants, and clubs.
Vienna, Austria – One of the perfect places in the world for Christmas
Vienna is one of the perfect places in the world to enjoy Christmas vacations with its signature world charm, elegance, and grace. The imperial architecture in the wide avenues bathing in warm lights twinkling at every stall suffused with a wonderful aroma of mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, freshly baked pastries is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.
Visitors can explore the market for exquisite Christmas gifts, a selection of artisan wares and ornaments.
With snowflakes, many beautifully decorated Christmas trees, a large number of advent markets that come up all through the city and some of Europe’s perfect Christmas markets here are sure to give the perfect Christmas experience in Vienna.
Tallinn, Estonia – Epic Christmas parties, wonderful markets makes Tallinn a perfect value Christmas destination
In this Baltic nation, Christmas is a part of the winter solstice celebrated much before Christmas. The capital city of Estonia is well known for its fabulous Christmas spirit. It is here that the first Christmas tree of the world was erected in 1441 and this legendary tree still stands tall in the Town Hall Square retaining its important position. The tree is surrounded by little huts that sell a variety of handicrafts, snow sculptures, local food, and drinks.
The snow sprinkled rooftops and lanterns lit streets glorify the cobblestone streets of Tallinn. There are dozens of festive attractions; seasonal specials with strings of lights across shops and candlelit interiors invite visitors for a hot mulled wine. Christmas parties are epic here and there are wonderful markets and fairs everywhere in the district of Tallinn.
Tallinn has been rated as one of the perfect value Christmas destinations in the world to visit in 2018 by lonely planet.
This place has a rich Christian tradition with remnants of a Portuguese past. Every lane marked with a beautiful chapel and historic churches, some of the most colorful temples with a rich past forms an idyllic setting for celebrating Christmas. And, to match with the ambiance, Goa is known for coolest wild parties and a warm crowd. Enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches and greenery everywhere amidst warm temperature; sipping on a cocktail and having the most lingering Goan food experience. Spend some of the perfect solitary moments sipping cocktails on the beach eating crabs and lobsters and enjoy scintillating buffets of delicious dishes made with authentic special recipes.
The festive effervescence is at its peak with firecrackers, bells, and carols everywhere during Christmas time.
While in Goa don’t forget to attend the Asia’s biggest dance and electronic music party – The Sunburn festival. It’s perfect to hang around till the new year time when nightclubs offer perfect of the booze in town and throw some of the perfect parties.
Goa competes hard to attract tourists and foreigners with different taste and interest. Goa has some of the perfect and most beautiful beaches to enjoy the waves. There are other less crowded beaches which are reserved for foreigners for a solitary getaway in order to make them comfortable.
Reykjavik, Iceland – The land of the dancing lights
Reykjavík is the world’s most northerly capital, the place has enchanting silvery sea and shimmery clouds, clean crisp air, and photo ready mountainous scenery that presents itself as World’s Perfect Christmas Place.
Reykjavík is an untouched destination left on earth and presents stunning scenery at every step that includes waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes, cracked lava fields, dramatic fjords, gushing geysers and geothermal lagoons; there is a wide variation for a diverse experience.
This place is ever so refreshing for travelers who want to take a break from the bustling life of metros.
Reykjavík has a fully urban setting but the atmosphere is bound to take your breath away, highbrow museums and an active nightlife have earned a hedonistic reputation for itself.
It’s magnificent to watch the liquid-green aurora borealis illuminate the nighttime sky to watch the bright dancing lights from the glass igloos that get bathed in this northern light.
Statues of the 12 Yule Lads; an Icelandic version of Santa Claus peer out from the corner shop windows. Visitors can pick up colorful Christmas gifts, decorations and treats.
Besides this there are lots of other activities to engage in like Glacier hiking and ice climbing, snorkeling at Silfra, white water rafting, cave tours, quad biking in Reykjavík.
Prague, Czech Republic – One of the perfect Christmas markets of Europe
Prague’s Christmas markets are voted as the most beautiful events by the USA Today in an extensive poll. Prague’s Christmas market set amidst attractive backdrop with a truly scented atmosphere oozing with excellent mulled wine, Sweet smelling pastries- trdelnik available at the most popular and largest markets at the Old Square is like being transported to a fairyland visited by thousands of people each year.
Christmas is undoubtedly the perfect time to visit Prague as it becomes a winter wonderland of lights with bright and beautiful shop windows, mega castles, concerts, cafes, and nice people brings out an intensive spirit of Christmas to life.