Are you looking for a traditional Christmas — whether that’s meeting Santa Claus in Lapland or visiting an authentic German market — or are you in the mood for some winter sun, say in the Maldives or Dubai? Here are some ideas on how you might want to spend this festive season.
Spending your Christmas in Rovaniemi is like visiting a Christmas snow globe, the official home of Santa Clause including his post office where letters from all over the world arrive and are sorted into country locations.
An immersive Christmas experience with the themed attractions from Santa’s holiday village and Santa’s park or visit the enchanted forest on a husky sled and learn to become an elf and decorate trees in the woods. Better yet jump on a snowmobile to find the magical northern lights under the dark sky.
Paris is a wonderfully festive and romantic city, perfect for Christmas, a magical experience with the streets, squares, and shop fronts lit up by thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights, a walk on the avenue trees decorated in their festive apparel with the Arc de Triomphe at one end and a giant Ferris wheel at the other.
Pay a visit to the Place du Tertre in Montmartre, enjoy a beautiful scene at dusk with the Christmas lights gently swaying in the breeze while you have your portrait drawn, or enjoy a nice walk while admiring the beautiful art displayed.
Make sure to explore the stylish department stores that vie for the best seasonal displays each year. Or explore the stalls of gifts, crafts, and no end of edible and drinkable delights along the Champs-Elysée.
Sip a glass of mulled cider and soak it all in.
Seoul, South Korea
In Seoul, there’s a place for everyone, the free outdoor all-in festivities along the Cheonggyecheon Stream in central Seoul from Cheonggye Plaza to the Jangton bridge, or the more casual Christmas celebrations in samcheong dong where you can sit on the second or third-story of the many waffle shops.
If you’re up to doing some activities in the chilly weather, ski destinations are only a bus ride away from Seoul, or better yet you can trek one of the hiking-friendly mountains that cover the city. notably, the 3 hours hike up the 836m Bukhansan, just north of the Han River.
If you like your Christmas cozy and chill you will not be missing out either, Seoul sure knows how to create a magical atmosphere, storefronts and streets lamps are showered in beautiful white lights, grab the fashionable seasonal puffy jackets and silken scarves and stroll the festive streets and you’re always close to a warm coffee shop where you can enjoy watching the crisp winter scenery pass by.
Dubai may not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think about Christmas festivities, however, they sure know how to celebrate. During the holiday season, malls, shops, restaurants, and offices are tastefully decorated with a lit Christmas tree, lifelike snowmen, and vibrant lighting.
For a cozy chill night out, you can enjoy the festive enthusiastic music and sing along with a holiday concert in the musical performance by the Dubai Opera Big Brand followed by the delightfully festive dine-around at Atlantis The Palm, which allows visitors to savor the gourmet flavors of ten of the resort’s best restaurants while enjoying free-flowing beverages and top-notch entertainment.
Dubai Garden Glow is unique if not the world’s biggest themed park, every year is decorated with new and inventive ideas, gigantic statues, breathtaking displays, ice carvings, lit models, and environmentally aware animated dinosaurs that were made from recyclable materials.
If you’re in the mood for some winter activities consider skiing, Ski Dubai transforms into an idyllic winter wonderland nothing short of a visit to Santa Clause.
The weather is so fascinating during December, the entire city is coated with snow and bling, the bright Christmas decorations perfect for Christmas calibrations and the most memorable holiday vacation, and you will not run out of ideas and activities to do, you can visit Trafalgar Square to admire the biggest Christmas tree, attend the finest midnight mass at Westminster Abbey on Christmas eve, the magnificent church of Westminster Abbey is one of the historical churches in London which serves as a hyped venue for the royal wedding, coronation ceremonies, and grand midnight mass celebrations.
Sign in sync with the best voices in the country at the Carol concert, and head to Royal Albert Hall in Kensington Gore to see the amazing Carol Concert.
For more fun activities you can visit The Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, like a fantasy carnival with crazy rides, endless food stalls, mind-blowing games, and wonderful people.
If you are a Harry Potter or not you still have to visit Hogwarts In The Snow, you can’t miss the breathtaking experience to explore the architectural marvels of the Gryffindor common room, the Great Hall, and the majestic Hogwarts castle.
Zurich is decorated in Christmas lights and apparel a great time to take the kids for a stroll down the Bahnhofstrasse to get into the Christmas spirit, you can have a blast at ILLUMINARIUM FOOD COURT and LIGHT SHOW as the Swiss National Museum is transformed into a light festival every year for six weeks, with thousands of lights covering the courtyard walls and filled with delicious food stands.
Make sure to give ZAUBERBERG ZÜRICH a shot it’s held in Zurich airport, enjoy the art installations, the music concert, and storytelling for the kids, and take a late-night walk ticket to enjoy the beautiful installations after the concert. Give your kids a magical Christmas experience with JEMOLI MÄRLITRAM, who drives the kids downtown while Santa and his angel helpers tell stories to children.
Don’t miss the big Christmas parade on the first advent, with lots of Santas and other Christmas characters waving from floats and passing out treats. For your friends and loved ones, make sure to get beautiful souvenirs and Christmas delights, at Zurich’s oldest Christmas market, at the urban “Wienachtsdorf” Christmas village on Sechseläutenplatz near Bellevue, or next to the 15-meter-tall sparkling Christmas tree at the Christkindlimarkt at Zurich Main Train Station: In Zurich, there is a Christmas market to suit each and every taste, a huge choice of gifts and gift ideas.
A perfect destination for architecture, nature, and fashion admirers, to spend Christmas enjoying literature, art, music, theater, and cuisine, and pay a visit to the amazing museums, beautiful art galleries, and breathtaking historical parts of the city. You will be able to enjoy the gothic style and some awesome architects with their brilliant designs. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is an 18th-century iron and glass-covered gallery and it is the best place for many beautiful cafes, shops, and restaurants.
Milan is decorated in Christmas attire and magic serenity, the city hosts many events like fairs, free concerts, and cultural functions as the cultural hub of Italy you can find different customs and traditions, for Christmas shopping you certainly are in the right place, every year Milan arranges a market full of delights and authentic local products make sure to visit the famous “Oh Bej! Oh Bej!” fair.
You can’t visit Milan at Christmas without enjoying the traditional programs taking place in the elegant cathedral, the Duomo, the third largest church in the world with 3,500 statues and 52 enormous columns inside.
A unique destination for Christmas indeed, nothing like the snowy or the fairy deep dark wintery skies, the Maldives offer beautiful endless white sand with radiant blue sky, the temperature varies between 28°C to 30°C and rarely below 27°C, and you can soak up all the sun and enjoy the Christmas bonfires, pool parties, and outdoor soirées.
The Maldives sure knows how to celebrate Christmas with festive feasts, gift-giving, or activities for kids to ramp up the excitement, there are plenty of celebratory events for all the family to enjoy. Sumptuous gala dinners are essential in the Maldives at Christmas time, especially on Christmas Eve.
Meeting Santa on Christmas day surely is a delight for younger guests, his appearance is always a true treat for children, bringing all the mystery and magic of Christmas to them on their holidays. You will also treat your palette with a taste of traditional Maldivian food. The top three dishes include Garudhiya, a fiery fish broth ideal for fans of spice, Fihunu mas, fish fried in chili and coated in tasty coconut oil, and Kulhiboakibaa, a delicious, salted tuna pie.
Make sure to explore the Azure waters at banana Reef for a beautiful diving and sightseeing experience, if not in the mood for diving go snorkeling roam around the waters, and take a sneak peek into the beauty of the marine life. For more water sports make sure to set sail on the lagoons and try your hand at wind and kite surfing or, if you don’t mind the greater likelihood of getting wet, surfing, and fun boarding.
Moscow is a magical place to be in during the holiday season and to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s.
It is essential to pay a visit to Red Square, especially in the evening, and enjoy the fairy atmosphere made even more beautiful with all the lighting and Christmas decoration. Visit the Ice Theatre at Novopushkinsky Public Garden to watch the wonderful ice ballet performances, the authentic Christmas restaurants, and the beautiful Ded Moroz Parade, sip some mulled wine and enjoy the beautiful festivities.