Christmas has become a global festival, regardless of religion or location between the glittering decor and the cheerful vibes, it’s the season to be jolly for everyone.
Here are 25 cities around the world that do Christmas the right way
WEST BANK, BETHLEHEM
SANTA CLAUS VILLAGE, FINLAND
When too much Santa is never enough, rug up and head north to Finland’s Arctic Circle. The jolly man in the red suit is this neighborhood’s most favorite.
NEW YORK CITY, USA
Surely you know what Christmas in the Big Apple looks like, thanks to countless movies, the lights, cheesy music and the joy spread by people makes for a light dusting of a very Merry Christmas
The most spectacularly lit city which sparkles throughout will leave you in a state of awe as you experience this breath-taking moment over-looking the Sydney Harbor Bridge as the fireworks light up that sky.
MIDNIGHT MASS, THE VATICAN, ITALY
This Eternal City is magical at any time of year, but December has an extra frisson, midnight Mass in St Peter’s Basilica on Christmas Eve, or at noon on Christmas Day, is an affair to remember.
In the lead-up to the biggest day, there’s life aplenty on Dublin’s streets and the craic flows. The 12 Days of Christmas Market at the Docklands- pantos, Christmas lights, ice skating and seasonal cheer and you definitely don’t want to miss the carols at St Patrick’s Cathedral
The magical Christkindlesmarkt (Christmas Market), in Nuremberg’s Hauptmarkt has stalls, trinkets; candles, gingerbread and sweets for shoppers warmed by sizzling bratwurst and mulled wine. When you visit after dark, the colored lights create a fairy-tale spectacle. Christmas shopping never looked this enchanting.
All those famed chocolate-box attractions, snow and cobbled streets make Switzerland extra-appealing during Christmas. A guided Christmas-themed city strolls and the Christmas tree that comes alive on Werdmuhleplatz covered in assorted greenery and fairy lights.
Christmas in Tokyo is a fairy-lit, religion-free sight to behold of. This spectacularly over-the-top decorations and lights lead-up to a dazzling Christmas holiday. Feasting Japanese-style involves fried chicken followed by sponge cake topped with cream and strawberries.
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO
A small island with a big personality, Puerto Rico serves up a sunny Christmas delight. Festivities last from early December to Three Kings Day on 6 January. Christmas carols and travelers visit houses and make merry by carol singing.
The holiday season is so magical in Austria’s capital that if you visit any other time of the year, you’re not really experiencing it. Throughout December, Vienna’s town squares is decorated with enormous, illuminated trees and is truly glitzy.
This Alsatian city is called the “Capital of Christmas” for a reason. Strasbourg is home to Europe’s first Christmas tradition that began in 1570 in the Cathedral Square. This holiday destination comes alive with storytelling, caroling and live performances and the city lit up, wafting the festive smells of spices and cinnamon.
QUEBEC CITY, CANADA
The snowy cobblestone streets and 17th-century stone-and-brick buildings are converted into a fairytale-like Christmas village during this magical season. Everything is decorated with bright lights and the entryways are adorned with golden Christmas trees and wreaths.
Holiday craft markets are with beautiful shops along the Main Street which are illuminated in golden string-lights. But the holiday spirit doesn’t end with Christmas. Perhaps the most anticipated event is the New Year’s Torch Light Parade, when skiers and snowboarders cascade down the mountain carrying flaming torches.
SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, MEXICO
San Miguel de Allende knows how to celebrate Navidad. Throughout the entire month of December, the warm-weather holiday destination comes alive with feasts, parades, musical performances and fiestas, colorful lights and tinsel fill the streets and people sing and dance in town squares.
Christmas by the Sea celebration is the way to kick off in Kennebunkport with an annual tree-lighting ceremony and Christmas prelude. Ogunquit comes alive with beach bonfire fireworks, crafts fair, chocolate fest and chowder fest. Oh, and we should mention the polar plunge into the Atlantic. A holiday to remember.
The Christmas season in the iconic Cologne Cathedral is the largest and most impressive. Complete with an ice rink, live music and bright lights galore where chalets sell traditional Bavarian foods, decorations and hot-spiced wine.
Naturally, Christmas becomes more magical the closer you get to the Arctic Circle. In Reykjavik, the most exciting times of the year is Christmas. Around the city, a handful of villages sell traditional Icelandic food like cured herring, smoked meats, gingerbread cookies and mulled wine.
Just before Christmas, the entire town transformed into a glistening winter wonderland, the children will be especially happy to find that the caves even include Santa himself, along with his sleigh and reindeer.
Vermont is one of the best places to celebrate Christmas, with the ground typically covered with at least a light dusting of snow and the scent of pine needles wafting through the air. Visitors enjoy a wassail feast, and all the local shops, with beautiful holiday window displays.
Medieval Bruges is stunning all year round, but it truly comes alive in winter, with its center transformed into a Christmas parade, partially sliding on its large ice rink. You can also enjoy the spectacular Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival.
The Old Riga Christmas Market awaits visitors in a unique architectural setting. The lovely Town Hall Square and people who enjoy a tasty glazed gingerbread as well as locally crafted items like warm, handmade socks, wooden candlesticks, Latvian honey and patterned mittens. You can even learn about various Latvian traditions like log dragging, stitch-craft and traditional holiday cooking.
NORTH POLE, ALASKA
The North Pole may be the most obvious Christmas town of all. In December, North Pole really comes alive with its annual North Pole Christmas in Ice Contest attracting ice sculptors from across the globe. Of course, this is also the place where you’ll have the chance to mail your postcards from Santa’s official zip code so that friends and family receive mail postmarked from North Pole, Alaska.
The Estonian capital is known for its wonderful Christmas spirit, with its medieval old town dusted in snow and lanterns lit after dark providing a glow to the cobblestone streets. The world’s first Christmas tree started here in 1441 till date. Tallin’s holiday traditions still include the legendary tree on Town Hall Square. Not to forget, Estonian food and drink, and a mini-zoo for some more excitement.
PRAGUE, CZEC REPUBLIC
During Christmas this city is beautifully decorated with wooden huts filled with festive treats including everything from craft gift items and ornaments to fantastic delicacies like spit-roasted hams and a traditional hot sugar coated pastry and Christmas carols playing throughout.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas time!!!