Decorated Christmas market in Germany

The Best Christmas Holiday Destinations in the World

Each Christmas destination has its own unique charm and traditions. From the beautifully crafted ornaments to the festive music and entertainment, this article offers a glimpse into the rich Christmas heritage of each destination.

8 min read

Christmas is a magical time of year, filled with joy, cheer, and festive celebrations all around the world. If you're looking to experience the true essence of Christmas, there are several destinations that will take your breath away. From the enchanting European Christmas markets to the unforgettable Christmas experiences in North America, and the snowy wonderland of Scandinavia, this article will guide you through the best Christmas holiday destinations in the world.

Christmas market with waffles in Germany

Exploring the Magic of European Christmas Markets

One of the highlights of the holiday season in Europe is the charming Christmas markets that pop up in cities and towns across the continent. These markets offer a unique and enchanting experience, where visitors can immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere and indulge in traditional treats.

Strasbourg, France

Among the most enchanting Christmas markets in Europe is the market in Strasbourg, a small town in France. This market has been taking place since 1570, making it one of the oldest in the world. As you stroll through the cobblestone streets adorned with twinkling lights, you'll be surrounded by the scent of delicious gingerbread and mulled wine. The market is a feast for the senses, with beautifully decorated stalls selling handmade crafts, ornaments, and local delicacies.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna in Austria also offers a magical Christmas experience. The city's squares transform into winter wonderlands, with beautifully decorated stalls selling handmade crafts, traditional treats, and hot punch. Don't miss the stunning Christmas tree in front of the City Hall, adorned with thousands of sparkling lights. The atmosphere is filled with joy and excitement as locals and visitors gather to celebrate the holiday season.

Nuremberg, Germany

In Nuremberg, a picturesque town in Germany, you'll find one of the oldest and most famous Christmas markets in the world. The market dates back to the 16th century and is known for its festive atmosphere and traditional wooden stalls. As you explore the market, you'll be tempted by the aroma of freshly baked gingerbread, known as Lebkuchen. Be sure to try this local delicacy, which has been a staple of the Nuremberg Christmas market for centuries. For a touch of nostalgia, take a ride on the carousel and feel like a child again.

Unforgettable Christmas Experiences in North America

Across the Atlantic, North America offers its own unique Christmas celebrations.

New York, USA

In New York City, USA, the holiday lights brighten the city streets, creating a magical atmosphere. Take a stroll through Central Park, where you'll find ice-skating rinks and charming holiday markets. The crisp winter air fills your lungs as you wander through the park, admiring the intricate ice sculptures that adorn the pathways. The scent of roasted chestnuts wafts through the air, tempting you to indulge in this seasonal treat.

As you make your way to the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, you can't help but feel a sense of awe as you gaze up at its towering height, adorned with thousands of twinkling lights. The joy and excitement of the holiday season envelop you, making this experience truly unforgettable.

Quebec, Canada

For a true winter wonderland experience, head to Quebec City in Canada. The city's historic district, Old Quebec, is transformed into a fairytale setting with its cobblestone streets dusted in snow. As you walk along these picturesque streets, you can't help but feel like you've stepped into a storybook. Quebec Christmas market offers a wide range of artisanal crafts and local delicacies, enticing you to explore each stall and find the perfect gift for your loved ones.

The sound of carolers fills the air, their harmonious voices echoing through the narrow alleys. As you sip on a steaming cup of hot chocolate, you marvel at the intricate ice sculptures that line the streets, each one a masterpiece in its own right. The magic of the season is palpable, making Quebec City a destination that will leave you with cherished memories for years to come.

Experiencing a White Christmas in Northern Europe

For those dreaming of a white Christmas, Northern Europe is the perfect winter wonderland destination.

Lapland, Finland

In Lapland, Finland, the awe-inspiring Northern Lights create a breathtaking spectacle in the Arctic sky, offering a magical experience to its visitors. This unique phenomenon paints the night with swirling colors, best enjoyed from the comfort of cozy cabins or specially designed glass igloos. Beyond the celestial display, Lapland invites you to embrace the Arctic spirit with activities like reindeer sleigh rides, connecting you to the indigenous Sami culture, and exhilarating adventures like snowmobiling and husky sledding through the snowy landscape.

The enchantment continues at Santa's Village in Rovaniemi, where the Christmas spirit thrives year-round. Here, visitors can indulge in festive cheer with quaint shops, the Santa Claus Post Office, and meet-and-greets with Santa Claus himself. Whether you're seeking the natural wonder of the Northern Lights or a festive holiday escape, Lapland offers a range of activities and unique accommodations, ensuring a memorable Arctic adventure.

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, transforms into a magical Christmas wonderland, often overlooked but truly worth visiting. The city's medieval Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, becomes a picturesque backdrop for the festive season, with its cobblestone streets and historic buildings dusted in snow. The heart of the celebration is the Tallinn Christmas Market, located in the Town Hall Square, where a majestic Christmas tree, dating back to 1441 and claimed to be one of the first to be displayed in Europe, takes center stage. The market brims with warmth and cheer, offering handcrafted gifts, traditional Estonian holiday foods, and the sweet scent of mulled wine that fills the air.

Tallinn's Christmas allure extends beyond the market. As night falls, the city lights up with twinkling decorations, creating a cozy and enchanting atmosphere. From choir concerts in centuries-old buildings to ice skating in Harju Street, Tallinn offers a unique blend of historical charm and festive joy, making it a hidden gem for a magical Christmas getaway.

These are just a few of the best Christmas holiday destinations in the world. Whether you're looking for enchanting Christmas markets, unforgettable experiences, unique traditions, or a white Christmas, there's a destination out there that will make this holiday season truly magical. Happy travels and Merry Christmas!


Lizzie Z.

As a top level corporate executive, Lizzie embarked on a soul-searching journey of adventure and slow living, passionately sharing her insights as the founder of RLM.


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