Best Cities to Spend Traditional Christmas

By ola, December 23rd 2011 in Vacation Ideas Comments (13)

People are starting to come up with more and more extraordinary destinations to spend Christmas. Barbados, Maldives and Morocco have been on the standard list for a while now. Well, there's no accounting for tastes, they say. But if you're dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones you used to know, ”where the treetops glisten and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow”, consider the following cities.  

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague's Old Town is fabulous at any time of year, but Christmas transforms it into an unearthly performance of light, colors and scents. Every year the Staroměstské náměstí (Central Square) turns into a bustling stage for hand-made puppets, wooden toys, children dancing in traditional costumes and visitors who eagerly become part of this magical performance. Whatever the weather, the markets throughout the Old Town are always open, crowded and buzzing with energy. But it's more about a special a atmosphere than pure shopping. A shot of Becherovka (traditional spicy liquor), a bite of Trdelník (cinnamon sugar pastry) and you're all set for one of the best Christmas experiences one can imagine.

Christmas market on Old Town Square in Prague

Christmas market, Old Town Square in Prague. By Rich pick

A morning walk

A morning walk. By Edgar Barany

 

Quebec City, Canada

Christmas in Quebec City means home cooking, traditions passed on from generation to generation, and a lot of merrymaking. Plus it's so unbelievably beautiful. Narrow streets lined with tiny, sparkling firs, buildings dusted with snow, music and live street theater exude Old World charm captured in a winter fairy tale. At the famous Marche de Noel (Christmas market), both recreational and shopping conscious visitors will find a myriad of treats for themselves, from hand-crafted toys, hand-knitted winter accessories and ceramics to maple products, liquors and traditional baked goods.

Champlain Street in Québec City

Champlain Street in Quebec City. By pfala

A calèche

A calèche. By Imapix

 

Vienna, Austria

If there's one city in Europe that combines sophisticated elegance with cozy warmth, it must be Vienna during Christmas time. On the one hand, there's the splendid Schönbrunn Palace, lavish City Hall building and numerous classical concerts to give the holiday some pathos, and on the other, there's the reputation for one of the best Christmas markets in Europe, with beautifully decorated wooden stalls lining market squares, hand-crafted gifts, impossibly good apfel strudel, cheer-inducing Glühwein, and a lot of singalong fun.

Christkindlmarkt in Vienna

Christkindlmarkt in Vienna. By -12°C

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations. By seandalai

 

Rovaniemi, Finland

Rovaniemi has all the makings of a truly magical Christmas: heaps of snow, Christmas trees decorated with sparkling lights, reindeer walking past your window, Christmas carols, nativity scenes, and the outstanding beauty of Lapland, with the awe-inducing Aurora Borealis to lit your way to the manger. It's exactly what you remember from the fireside tales told in your childhood days. And hey, that's where Santa has his residence. Christmas in the Arctic Circle? You bet!

A trip to Luosto

A trip to Luosto. Leo Cheung

Rudolf?

Rudolf? By roomman

 

Cologne, Germany

Celebrate Christmas in Cologne, where the extravaganza of culture, gastronomy, traditions and history flares up every December, backdropped by the mighty cathedral, the Kölner Dom. Streets are flooded with lights, music, puppet theaters and holiday cheer, with the magic of Christmas best captured in the legendary Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market). After all, what’s Christmas without goodies? Stuff on traditional sweet delicacies and wash them down with aromatic mulled wine to warm your frostbitten limbs. Then watch artisans at work, take a ride on the merry-go-round and go skating on Heumarkt. Great fun guaranteed. 2 million visitors a year cannot be wrong.

Christmas market in Cologne

Christmas market in Cologne. By kölnerweihnachtsmarkt

Ice skating in Cologne's Heumarkt

Ice skating in Cologne's Heumarkt

 

New York, USA

Christmas in New York is much more than just holiday shopping spree and strolls in the blizzard. The city is amazing in itself at any given time of year, but this festive season is all about iconic sights and the feeling of togetherness that they generate in the crowd. The giant Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, Macy's window display, fabulous decorations on Sixth Avenue, skiing in Central Park – they may all be cliché, but there's something about them that makes the horrendously huge city a cozy place with a family-like feel to it. If New York is normally called a city that never sleeps, then what name could possibly describe it in the Christmas season?

 

Snowing in New York

Snowing in New York. By Keith Barlow

Radio City Music Hall during Christmas season

Radio City Music Hall during Christmas season. By Gary Burke.

Central Park

Central Park. By Edzone

 

Bruges, Belgium

It’s easy to combine Christmas celebrations with sightseeing in Bruges. Wandering through the medieval town, Belgium's undeniable crown jewel, with its historic buildings, picturesque canals, winding streets and charming bridges is a treat in and of itself. Add to it Belgian chocolate and a whole flurry of special events that take place at this time of year, including the Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival, and you've got Christmas to remember for a lifetime.

Restaurants with Christmas lights at

Restaurants with Christmas lights at "Grote Markt" Square. By Bruno Misseeuw

White Christmas at sunset

White Christmas at sunset. By gbatistini

 

Wherever you land this year, don't forget to spread some serious dose of love! Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Scottish Cottages Dec 17, 2010 11:49 AM

    Awesome pictures.Looks a great place to celebrate christmas.

  2. Marian Feb 14, 2011 11:08 PM

    Thats Not a true One of Most cosy and Beautiful Christmas market is in Bratislava.Slovak Republic ,there u can faind a original Slovak Gifts and i. Prag u faind a russian Gifts which is total redicolous .

  3. clair_030508 Dec 22, 2011 2:10 PM

    nice pictures...but it really don't matter what place you are....its with whom you celebrate christmas with that truly counts....cheers! to all the lonesome souls like me this holiday season...

  4. TLM Dec 24, 2011 1:25 PM

    Beautiful pics! I would take any one of those places.
    Best to all! Clair your not the only lonely soul. Keep the spirit!
    NY this year, I'm thinking Quebec City next year.

  5. Lusy Jan 27, 2012 10:12 AM

    Yes. You are definetly right. I was with mu husband this year. I spent a wonderful time.
    I am so happy...

  6. Christian Feb 7, 2012 3:55 PM

    Beautiful photos! Paris is also beautiful during Christmas!


  7. Herirod Jul 26, 2012 3:23 PM

    Back to NYC again, no better place to spend Christmas

  8. christianto Aug 12, 2012 3:56 PM

    New york......i'll be there someday!!

  9. avatar Mable Sep 10, 2012 8:16 AM

    It looks really nice place in these pictures. I would surely celebrate the Christmas at this place now.

  10. liz Sep 17, 2012 3:30 AM

    all is truly beautiful.... i definitely want to meet New York before any other... :sigh:

  11. Jo Sep 21, 2012 12:56 AM

    I have lived many places, but always visit NY at Christmas. Can't find a better place to feel alive and celebrate the holidays, even for the lonely soles.

  12. LerrySteve Oct 29, 2012 5:59 PM

    A beautifull saying is:
    "There are three stages of a man's life: He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn't believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus."

    In Edinburgh every year, before Christmas, there is an event called ‘The Great Scottish Santa Run’ where thousands of people get together for a noble cause of granting wishes of children suffering from life threatening illnesses. It usually takes place in late November or early December and attracts both children and adults equally for participation.

    You can stay in Holiday Apartments in Edinburgh provided by Dragon Apartments Ltd. which deals in providing a vast range of immaculately designed apartments at affordable rates.

  13. Leon Thind Nov 5, 2012 4:10 PM

    Another option to spend christmas would be to spend it with the local and less fortunate communities. Many people these days prefer to go on a volunteering holiday. Volunteering gives you a chance to not only connect with the the people in need share their sorrows and your happiness.

    If you would like to spend your christmas while working with the local one of the options is to Volunteer in India (www.volunteeringindia.com)

  14. Name: Oct 1, 2014 2:13 PM

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