The most magical time of the year transforms destinations around the world by way of delightful decorations, authentic local traditions, and festive markets galore. While many may think of Christmas as the time of year you fly home and cozy up with your loved ones – a plan we totally stand behind – it should not be discounted as an incredible time to travel and see how cities around the world celebrate this joyous holiday.
Magical Christmas destinations abound, from European cities oozing classic Christmas charm to extravagant Asian displays of holiday cheer, and even sunny southern hemisphere spots that turn the ‘White Christmas’ storybook image on its head. Read on to find out our Delectable Destinations picks for 8 of the merriest Christmas destinations around the world!
1. New York City, USA
New York City is undoubtedly one of the world’s most iconic holiday destinations, and with good reason! Strolling the streets of the Big Apple at Christmastime means an endless array of festive scenes to observe and activities to partake in. Some of our suggestions?
- Check out the tallest Christmas tree in the world at the Rockefeller Center as you glide across the ice rink beneath it.
- Let yourself be awed by the city’s epic window displays, including the classic Macy’s Christmas window.
You’ll easily be transported to a movie scene should you decide to spend your next Christmas soaking up all that New York City has to offer during this wonderful time of the year!
2. Lapland, Finland
It doesn’t get more Christmassy than Finnish Lapland – think of a snowy winter wonderland just north of the Arctic Circle, where you can visit Santa’s hometown in Rovaniemi and get a chance to see the Northern lights! Immerse yourself in the landscape by going on a reindeer ride and visiting Santa Park before you head back to your glass igloo accommodation for the night. This is a once-in-a-lifetime destination to celebrate Christmas that we’re certain you won’t regret visiting!
3. Sydney, Australia
While the land down under doesn’t necessarily come to mind right away when you think of Christmas destinations, Sydney is magical in its own right and not to be written off. Enjoy sun, sand, and surf as you bask in the toasty temperatures so different from those found in many other destinations on this list. Don’t fear, festive cheer is still to be found in great measures, from splendid light displays to decked-out Christmas trees and opportunities for ice skating. The best part? Christmas dinner on the barbie!
4. Copenhagen, Denmark
Christmas in Denmark is all about having the coziest time – it’s the peak of hygge season! At yuletide, when the days are at their shortest, there are thousands of twinkling lights in the darkness, festivities, delightful Christmas delicacies, naughty elves, and long-standing traditions to be found in one of the world’s happiest countries.
Some must-do’s in this glittering city over the holidays include:
- A visit to Tivoli Gardens, one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. The Christmas spirit at Tivoli is alluring, consisting of a mix of twinkling lights, Christmas goodies, wooden stalls, Christmas trees, and joyful festive tunes.
- Exploring quintessential European Christmas markets, from merry market squares to extravagant castle affairs.
If you’re interested in a truly authentic and immersive Danish Christmas experience, join us on our first Delectable Destinations Christmas trip to Denmark from November 27th to December 4th, 2023!
5. London, United Kingdom
If you’re looking for a traditional destination to get your holiday cheer on, look no further than London. From the city’s glittering lights, quaint holiday markets, numerous ice skating rinks, and fantastically themed pop-up bars, it doesn’t get much better than this!
6. Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong is home to extravagant Christmas celebrations galore, from over-the-top window displays to illuminated skyscrapers, a wide variety of concerts featuring the best holiday music, and the city’s very own Santa Con. Check out the Symphony of Lights, a multi-media show that symbolizes this destination’s dynamic energy and contrasting culture.
7. Montreal, Canada
Montreal is a one-of-a-kind city, blending North American and European influences to create a vibe that is entirely unique. It’s a magical destination to visit for Christmas, where you can enjoy a beautiful skating rink in the Old Port during the day and take in a stunning fireworks display at night. Another festive attraction is the annual parade of Santa Clauses that has been held in the city since 1925!
Fun fact: Montreal is Delectable Destinations founder Carol’s hometown.
8. The Maldives
Bask in a unique white Christmas experience in the Maldives as you take in endless white sand beaches surrounded by clear blue skies and the radiant sun, with average temperatures around 28-30°C. Holiday cheer is abundant in this island nation, from festive feasts and gala dinners to tree-lighting ceremonies and more!
Here you have our picks for 8 of the merriest Christmas destinations around the world. Wishing you and your loved ones very happy holidays, and exciting trip planning for the 2023 holiday season!