With the sound of carols floating in the air and every corner of the city looking like a page from a fairy-tale book, the aura of Christmas wins hearts like no other occasion. Midnight masses to daytime entertainment, the cheerful festive vibes bring each passing year to a remarkable end.
If you’re looking to ring-in the new year in a land away from home, here are few of the best places you should find yourself in.
Quebec City, Canada
Being a largely French-speaking province, the Christmas season in Quebec brings out a new dimension to the city’s European architecture. With the streets brightly lit up and sidewalks covered in snow, the city undergoes a magical transformation, turning into a stupefying Christmas village. The festivities also bring along a colourful Christmas Market in the Old Port, with a variety of local produce for a perfect culinary indulgence.
New York, USA
One of the most fast-paced cities in the world takes an enchanting turn during Christmas time. Amidst all the hustle, lies the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, standing 80 feet tall, decorated with over 45,000 LED lights. With grand celebrations in the form of exhilarating performances at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and ice-skating at the iconic Central Park, New York is the ideal city for an upbeat Christmas.
The mystical city of Reykjavik will sweep you off your feet with its sheer splendour during Christmas time. As houses and streets light up during the holiday season, the Icelandic skies put forth a show of their own. Being the season of the breath-taking Northern Lights, the city’s landscape impeccably compliments the festivities. Opt for a picturesque holiday with a generous share of winter sports, alongside an experience of the Yule Lads – Iceland’s counterparts of Santa Claus!
The city of Rovaniemi located in the Lapland region of Finland, boasts of being home to the glorious Santa Claus Village, a famous Christmas-themed amusement park. Cutting through the Arctic Circle, which is said to be beloved Santa’s hometown, this park stretches beyond all extents of imagination. Unleashing your inner child, this larger than life celebration of Christmas involves a plethora of fun-filled activities and experiences. Other than the park, the city in itself is a frosty retreat for all winter-lovers and skiers.
Carols, carousels, candescence and craft beer – Berlin exemplifies Christmas like no other city! The quintessential German Christmas markets, especially the ones at the Charlottenburg Palace and Gendarmenmarkt, along with the enchanting illuminations, make the cityscape of Berlin a rather warm and romantic Christmas destination.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
When Christmas is around the corner, Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) comes over to invigorate lives of the Dutch. Amsterdam being the nucleus of terrific architecture, the holiday season further highlights the quaintness of the city. From the dazzling Amsterdam Light Festival to the World Christmas Circus, there is never a dull moment all throughout the merry month of December.
How can you go wrong with an English-style Christmas? The birth of Jesus is a grand affair in the city of Bath. The celebrations last for more than a month, with a list of cherry-picked things to do. Ranging from the traditional Festival of Lights at Longleat to the thrilling Bath on Ice, a rink in the Royal Victoria Park, there’s a lot to unravel. Adding a tinge of warmth to the chilly British winters is Thermae Bath Spa, the much-needed rooftop thermal spa experience to seal your holidays.
The grandeur of Christmas and New Year revelries in Paris will make your heart skip a beat. Rediscover love as you indulge in a fine-dining experience at the Eiffel Tower, gazing at the star-studded night and luminously glittering city. Christmas markets, exquisite window displays, open-air ice rinks and an unmatched array of exhibitions, concerts and live performances is what keeps the city abuzz.
Unlike the snow-laden winters that give Christmas its true appeal, Australians spend their holidays amid warm summers. But that doesn’t stop them from enjoying Jesus’ Nativity with opulence. In contrast to making snow-angels, vacationers choose to sunbathe and dive into the pristine waters of the Bondi coastline. On the other hand, the Sydney Harbour acts the perfect backdrop for a sumptuous feast in the city. Topping it all off, are the mesmerising light-paintings on iconic structures like the Sydney Town Hall and St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Though Christmas isn’t a Chinese holiday, Hong Kong leaves no stone unturned in making this festival period extra-ordinary. With the grandiose Chinese lights decorating the expanse of Hong Kong, Christmas and New Year are celebrated with great pomp and show. The Hong Kong WinterFest, Nutcracker Ballet and Disneyland’s themed shows are few of the major highpoints.