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Where are the Best Cities to Celebrate Christmas?

Even though I have a list with a few favorite cities to celebrate Christmas based on research and personal experience, I would still like to create my own personal 'Christmas Bucket List' for years to come!

Here are the two I have so far: 
- Spend Christmas in Lapland, Finland 
- Spend Christmas in a Log Cabin in Canada 

Since you are the experts in travel, I'd love to know where your secret places would be!  Where are your favorite cities to celebrate Christmas?

10 Answers

top answer by
Mei & Kerstin from Larochette

Hi Jenna,

We've spent Christmas in many places, but to be very honest, no place is better than home to spend Christmas day. Because in the end, it's the people you spend it with who matters, not really the place. Besides, either in the Americas or in Europe, most shops, restaurants and tourist places are closed at Christmas Day. In Asia it's a bit different of course… but then you might not get the Holidays atmosphere (snow, Christmas markets, etc.)

So basically, it's better to travel either before or after Christmas Day. If you want to immerse yourself in the cold, cold winter wonderland, then Finland and Canada are perfect destinations! So are NorwayDenmark and Sweden (we're heading to Denmark and Sweden right after Christmas Day!).

If you like Chirstmas markets, you might want to go to Germany. One of the best places would be Nuremberg

If you're a food lover, then you might want to go to FranceStrasbourg in Alsace (we're going there tomorrow for a long weekend!! :) is certainly one of the best cities in France for food lovers!! There you get the French quality and the German portions! Besides, the oldest and largest Christmas market is also in Strasbourg (open until December 31st). Brussels, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are also nice places to spend a day or two, to enjoy breathtaking snowy landscapes, such as those painted by Brueghel! :)

Happy travels, wherever you decide to go! :)


Mei and Kerstin (from

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Finland (attraction)
  2. Canada (attraction)
  3. Norway (attraction)
  4. Denmark (attraction)
  5. Sweden (attraction)
  6. Germany (attraction)
  7. France (attraction)
  8. Strasbourg (city)
  9. Alsace (attraction)
  10. Brussels (city)
  11. Netherlands (attraction)
  12. Luxembourg (attraction)
  13. Nuremberg (attraction)
10 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Mary Ann from La Jolla

Florence is absolutely magical; not a lot of tourists; stores, boutiques, shops and restos ready to welcome you; the streets alight in Christmas decor; renaissance parades and pageants through the streets; all manageable; walk everywhere; weather cooperative...perfetto!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Florence (city)
3 thanks

answered by
Heidi from Colorado

Denver, Colorado is a fabulous Christmas town. The city lights up, plus the Denver Christkindl Market is an traditional European Market in Skyline Park that shouldn't be missed. I love Denver during the holidays! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Denver Christkindl Market (attraction)
  2. Skyline Park (attraction)
  3. Denver (city)
3 thanks

answered by
Jüri from Tallinn, Estonia

Ancient Tallinn with its Christmas Market :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tallinn (city)
3 thanks

answered by
Kim from Canada

I've always wanted to visit London for Christmas. I imagine walking thought the old streets while it's lightly snowing - very Dickens-y. 

Although I am Canadian and have spent every Christmas in the snowy north, I've never been in the mountains at Christmas and always imagine places like Banff and Whistler would be pretty stunning around the holidays.

Oh and thought Russia isn't on my bucket-list at the moment I would imagine Christmas in Red Square would probably feel like you were inside a snow globe :) 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
  2. Banff (city)
  3. Whistler (city)
  4. Red Square (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Rory from Taupo

Lapland is awesome, although I went in February rather than at Christmas. We stayed in a log cabin at Sallatunturi which was really cool, right next to a small ski field, frozen lake for ice fishing and a reindeer park.

Christmas in Austria is great - especially the Christmas markets in Salzburg and Vienna. Just beautiful, and I'd recommend a scenic train ride through the mountains to end up at Graz.

Otherwise, Norway is also a good choice for Christmas, visit the scenic town of Bergen and then take the train through the snow across the Hardangervidda National Park to Geilo for some skiing. On the way stop in the town of Voss which is beautiful, and take an excursion to the Flåmsbana railway and the fjords - jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lapland (attraction)
  2. Sallatunturi (attraction)
  3. Austria (attraction)
  4. Salzburg (city)
  5. Vienna (city)
  6. Graz (attraction)
  7. Norway (attraction)
  8. Bergen (city)
  9. Hardangervidda National Park (attraction)
  10. Geilo (attraction)
  11. Voss (city)
  12. Flåmsbana (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Rishabh from Wellington

Most of us have spent Christmas during the winters where it is either snowing or freezing cold. If you are looking for something different and exhilarating you should definitely consider visiting New Zealand where it is summer time during Christmas.

Christmas in New Zealand is less about snow and sleigh bells and more about sun, sand and barbecue in the backyard. Pools, beaches are a favorite places to chill around on this day.  There are many festive season experiences only to be seen in New Zealand:

  • Hangi - the Kiwi version of a traditional roast dinner is cooked in a pit under the ground, typical fare for a cultural Christmas with large groups of family and friends.
  • Kiwi ‘barbie - barbecuing is a popular option on Christmas Day when groups gather at home, the park or the beach for a casual cook up and to eat out of doors. 
  • Pohutukawa / New Zealand Christmas tree - this coastal species produces dramatic bright red blooms throughout December. For many Kiwis, lazing at the beach on a sunny day, under the shade of these natural New Zealand Christmas trees, is all they want for Christmas.
  • Santa at the beach - spare a thought for the jolly man when he arrives down under and has to endure temperatures of up to 30C. It's hardly surprising that he often sheds the heavy woollen suit and boots in favour of speedos, jandals and sunglasses and heads to the beach. Santa’s been spotted surfing, jetsking, paragliding and sailing, and even doing deliveries by water in a canoe.
  • Christmas first and last - New Zealand is the best place in the world to get the most out of Christmas Day. After the Chatham Islands, New Zealand is the first place in the world to see the sun and with the country on summer time or daylight saving, there are maximum daylight hours to enjoy Christmas. In parts of the South Island it's light by 5am and doesn’t get dark until 10pm.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. New Zealand (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by

Funchal is one of the best plces to experience christmas.

I have been to many places around the world but few places celebrate christmas more than this little portuguese island.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Funchal (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Alejandro from Medellín, Antioquia

Medellin!!!! or in general, in Colombia!!! The energy, the home warm, but also the parties and Christmas street lights....  all is perfect for Christmas there!!! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Medellin (attraction)
  2. Colombia (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Lyn from Manhattan Beach

I have spent two weeks in both London and Paris during the Christmas season and both were spectacular!

London takes you back to the Dicksonian days with their decorations and festivities.  On the Sunday before Christmas, even though most of the stores are closed, Brits throng to London to look at the windows, watch the Salvation Army band parade through the city, and eat (literally) "chestnuts roasting on an open fire."  So much fun.  

Shopping was easy and storekeepers gladly wrapped your gifts for you.  Be sure to spend Boxing Day at a fun place.

Paris was also spectacular!  We bought a little tree from a florist shop (no tree lots there) and decorated it with what we had.  The nice lady who owned the boutique hotel on the Isle where we stayed contributed bows and other things to make it pretty.  The lights seem even more spectacular than at other times of the year.  There are no crowds as most Parisians leave the city during the holiday.

We weren't quite sure what to do on Christmas Day so we decided to go to the Jewish Quarter.  There business continued as usual and it was really interesting to explore this area.  

We tried Midnight Mass at Notre Dame but it was a mob scene.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
  2. Paris (city)
1 thanks

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