There’s no place like home for the holidays.
A lovely bit of lyrics in a beloved Christmas song, but is it literally true. While being around family and loved ones during the holidays certainly makes the experience better, can’t you still enjoy the season while exploring it in a new part of the world. I’m sure you do Christmas right back home, but there are cities across the world that really know how to get into the holiday spirit. From events, to parades, to just the general cheery feeling of the place, these cities around the world are worth taking a holiday trip, leaving the house this time of year and experiencing Christmas in a whole new way!
It seems like those European cities that have kept much of historic ascetics are perfectly made for a unique Christmas destination. Regardless of the time of year, Bruges is a beautiful city that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. But around the holidays, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. The medieval architecture is put to amazing use as the city is lit up to show the unusual and breathtaking scenery in a holiday hue and demands to be experienced through a canal tour. Aside from the visual sensation that is on its own worth the trip, there’s also plenty Christmas fun to be had, from the markets to the ice sculpture festivals, it all comes to life in a cheery, holiday way.
Few places in the world embrace the spirit of Santa Claus more than this wintery wonderland, and some suggest the reason for this is that it’s likely the actual hometown of ol’ Saint Nick. Covered in a blanket of beautiful white snow and populated by gorgeous pine trees, this place looks like Christmas in the most natural way. Families can get in on the fun by heading to Santa’s Village where they can meet Santa himself, bake Christmas treats with Mrs. Claus and learn to be a real Christmas elf. And there are plenty of other activities like tobogganing and dog-sled rides to make this a Christmas you’ll never forget.
If frequenting Christmas markets are how you celebrate the season, then a trip to Strasbourg who be right up your ally. The city comes alive with a series of markets that transform it all into the perfect holiday atmosphere. Lined with wooden chalets selling all kinds of holiday goodies, the charming aspects of the markets are almost as impressive as the amazing light shows. Everything is lit up with the colours of the season and it all crescendos with a glorious Christmas tree.
If you’re looking for a bitt of an old-fashioned Christmas celebration, Vienne certainly knows how to enjoy the season. Visit one of three massive Christmas markets all packed with patrons shopping for presents, enjoying the beautiful decorations and indulging in some of the season treats. Don’t skimp on the gluhwein, a warm and spiced wine drink of the season, as well as some delicious sausages. Lights hang above the streets giving you a festive feel wherever you go and the Vienne Boys Choir offers the chance to enjoy some of the most beautiful Christmas music around.
This might be a surprising inclusion for some, but likely no one who has ever visited this quaint little town for the holidays. If you’re looking for a white Christmas, Woodstock is more than likely to accommodate and the whole town gets into the celebration in the most charming way. You can book your stay at the historic Woodstock Inn which looks like a Christmas paradise this time of year. Then enjoy as the whole town celebrates the annual Christmastime Wassail, a pagan-themed festival of the season that will delight spectators of all ages.