The holiday season is well and truly upon us. For many, that means trips to see the family, sipping on mulled wine and unwrapping presents. But some want a break from the norm and the chance to spend this winter on holiday. So, whether you’re planning on rocking around a Christmas tree or want a nice quiet one in a winter wonderland, we’ve got the best places for you to spend the festive season abroad. 🎅 🤶
The Germans really do know how to celebrate Christmas, and you can get in on the action with a festive trip to remember. The big cities like Munich, Koln and Dusseldorf are famous for their Christmas markets, while Berlin puts on its funfair at the Alexanderplatz show. Then there’s Bavaria with its magical castles that feel extra Christmassy at this time of year. Plus, you’ve got a higher chance of snow during the festive season in Germany, as temperatures often drop below zero. The weather outside might be frightful, but spending Christmas in Germany is rather delightful.
The Dominican Republic 🏖️
Who said you need to be in a winter wonderland at Christmas? Many of us are tired of the chilly temperatures and quite like the idea of opening our presents under a different type of tree – a palm tree on the beaches of the Dominican Republic. Go forth and have a very Merry Christmas basking in 29c temperatures while clinking glasses with Santa after he returns from all that hard work delivering presents. The Dominican Republic offers winter sun in the form of eight hours of sunshine a day, and there are plenty of excursions if you somehow tire of the beach. From safari rides to whale spotting, there’s plenty to do and see.
Bruges, Belgium 🇧🇪
We recommended narrowing your visit down to Bruges if you find yourself in Belgium for Christmas. It’s one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities and is jam-packed full of charm – especially during the holidays. Wander the cobblestone streets, look up at the Christmas lights in awe and get in the festive mood by going for a walk along one of the canals. Cap your Christmas visit off with the Winter Glow light trail, which stops at 10 installations through the historic part of the city centre.
Edinburgh, Scotland 🏴
If you don’t fancy jumping on a plane but want to escape to somewhere enchanting at Christmas, hop on a train to Edinburgh. There are markets galore, museums, restaurants and the North Sea bringing all the Christmas vibes with its icy winds. Edinburgh looks like your typical Christmas city with its historic buildings and lit-up cobblestone streets during the winter months, and it’s an easy-to-get-to city where you can enjoy a magical Christmas.
La Palma 🇪🇸
Head to Spain and enjoy a visit to La Palma on the Canary Islands, where temperatures reach a very pleasant 22c at this time of year. Small villages put on nativity plays if you want to get in the Christmas spirit. Plus, there are beaches, where you can enjoy a pleasant stroll on Christmas morning.
Tokyo, Japan 🗼
Tokyo turns into its own winter wonderland during Christmas, with the city going all out for festivities. Each district competes to put on the best Xmas showing, and the result is truly imaginative and spectacular illuminated displays. There’s a 10-foot-tall snow globe with falling snow in Tokyo Midtown or a huge Baccarat crystal chandelier at Yebisu Garden Place. The bright lights are up in Tokyo all year round, but they take it to another level at Christmas.
New York 🗽
You could argue that New York is the spiritual home of Christmas. It’s the scene for many iconic festive movies, and the New York Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center is quite the sight. The whole city just feels different at this time of year, as the shops of 5th Avenue go all out with their decorations, New Yorkers get a little bit cheerier, and restaurants showcase their extravagant Xmas menus. You’ll feel like you’re in your own movie as you walk around the streets of Manhattan and soak up the festive vibes.
Finnish Lapland 🦌
It would be rude not to visit the home of Santa at Christmas. A trip to Lapland is the real deal, with snowmobiling, skiing, and reindeer rides very much on the agenda. Hit the resorts or stay in a quaint village to experience an authentic Christmas. There’s everything from Elf schools to Santa’s Village. Lapland is a place that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
The best places to visit at Christmas
If you’re after a Christmas getaway, then head to one of the destinations on this list. There’s everything from Christmas classics to winter sun, meaning you can find a holiday that meets your festive needs. All that’s left to do is wrap up the presents, pack the suitcases and go on a Christmas adventure.