Best Places To Go For Christmas: Top 30 Cities Around The World

Best Places To Go For Christmas: Top 30 Cities Around The World

Many people prefer to travel to a new place to celebrate holidays. Whether you want a change of pace or a Christmas miracle, embarking upon a trip during the holidays can be stressful. To make sure you know the best places to celebrate the winter holidays, we have consolidated a small guide. Check out the 30 best cities to visit at Christmas and other seasonal holidays. 


Best European Cities to Visit at Christmas

Europe is widely known for its elaborate Christmas markets and holiday traditions dating centuries back. In this section, we will explore the most popular European cities to celebrate Christmas. 


Travel to Salzburg, Austria for Christmas

Salzburg is an Austrian town filled with majestic Baroque buildings, endless musical festivals and concerts and welcoming Christmas markets. The city launches its winter holidays as early as November and continues all the way until late December. You can witness eerie Krampus and Perchten, demons that punish children for misbehavior, running through the streets of Salzburg and creating amazing shows. 

The city of Mozart, Salzburg is home to numerous concert locations and hosts classic music events in December. The culmination of musical events is the so-called Advent Singing that takes place during the winter holidays. The festival was created in 1946 to promote and preserve Austrian folk music and continues to attract thousands of tourists every year. Finally, you cannot miss the Christkindlmarkt, a local Christmas market aging back to the 15th century. Known for numerous celebrations, activities for kids and adults, delicious holiday food and beverages, the Salzburg Christmas market will not leave you without a holiday spirit. 

Salzburg Austria for Christmas

Christmas in Vienna, Austria

Much like Salzburg, Vienna has also been the place that inspired brilliant composers, including Mozart and Strauss to create their masterpieces. In the Christmas time, you can enjoy symphonic concerts at the Konzerthaus as well as local churches and cathedrals. The city is literally filled with markets, big and small, central and far removed, unique and typical. You can take tours in Vienna to taste local delicacies like roasted chestnuts, enjoy Christmas punch and purchase various souvenirs. 

At the Rathaus market, visitors can test their ice skating skills at the local outdoor ice rink. With 9,500 square meters (102,000 square feet), this ice rink offers an amazing experience for tourists and locals of every age and skill level. 

Christmas in Vienna Salzburg Austria for Christmas

Celebrate Christmas in Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is another cozy European city among the places to go for Christmas holidays. The local festive markets are overflown with mulled wine, pastry, roasted chestnuts, sausages and other Christmas treats that will help you get into the Christmas spirit. The central market is located on the Old Town Square and entertains visitors with numerous events and concerts. Tourists traveling with children can take advantage of various painting and crafting workshops as well as animal stables where children can pet goats, sheep and donkeys. 

If you are looking for a spiritual connection, you can head to the light of Bethlehem. The light is brought to the Czech Republic from Bethlehem, Palestine, the birthplace of Jesus Christ and symbolizes hope, peace and faith. Check out the free tours in Prague to learn more about the history of the Czech capital. 

Christmas in Prague

Christmas in Gdańsk, Poland

Gdansk is a Polish town that is famous for fairytale-like Christmas markets. At the beginning of December, the whole town becomes immersed in the Christmas spirit and winter celebrations. Here, you can try ice skating, skiing and even winter swimming. At the focal attraction, Christmas Fair, visitors can taste traditional food, purchase souvenirs and enjoy carol singing. 

A perfect holiday destination for travelers with children, Gdansk is home to the Great Elf Factory. At the Amber Expo center, you can book a 2.5-hour tour of Santa Claus Village, filled with various attractions and fun activities. For example, children will meet Santa Claus and elves, learn elf’s mastery and even receive a diploma. Meanwhile, their parents can enjoy a relaxing time at the restaurant nearby. Parents can also choose one of the free tours in Gdansk to explore this Polish gem. 

Christmas in Gdansk. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Visit Cologne, Germany for Christmas

Known as a Cathedral city, Cologne invites tourists and locals to visit numerous festive Christmas markets spread across the town. Right in the center of the city, you and your children can enjoy a tour around St. Nicholas Village that will help you get into the Christmas spirit. It is a place that truly encompasses the atmosphere of the holiday season with various winter activities, colorful decorations, tasty treats and various free tours in Cologne. At night, you can head out to Heavenue, locally known as the Gay Christmas market, and enjoy shows, music, dancing and alcoholic beverages. 

Cologne for Christmas |

Christmas in Strasbourg, France

The French call Strasbourg the capital of Christmas as the tradition dates back to 1570. In this small town, you can enjoy an eco-friendly market that focuses on sustainability and recycling products, a food Christmas fair filled with truffles, gingerbread and award-winning Bredele cookies as well as the oldest market in the city. Dating back to the 16th century, 

Christkindelsmärik is the most historical place in the entire city. Take in the baroque beauty accompanied by delicious scents of cinnamon and traditional Christmas carols and later embark on Strasbourg tours to discover more about its history. 

Christmas in Strasbourg. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Christmas Vacation in London, UK

One of the best European cities to visit at Christmas, London is a large city in England famous for its musical shows, amazing architecture and grandiose festivities. In December, you can watch one of the seasonal shows like The Nutcracker and Elf The Musical and later hop on the London Christmas lights tour to explore the entire city. Take a stroll through the plentiful Christmas markets to enjoy a carol concert, taste local street food and shop for unique crafts and art. If you are looking for winter activities, head to the Hampton Court Palace, a former residence of Henry VIII and his many wives, to spend a few hours ice skating with this gorgeous view. Explore tours in London to get to know this amazing city with ancient history. 

Christmas in London. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Go to Dublin, Ireland for Christmas

When you arrive at Dublin, get a glass of hot toddy, or grog which is whiskey with hot water and sugar to warm you up. Then you can head to Grafton Street to listen to the tunes of talented local musicians, take a glimpse of beautifully decorated houses and try street food delicacies. If you are on the search for Christmas holidays market experience, this place might not be for you. Check out our Dublin travel guide to learn the ins and outs of the city. However, the Irish capital has a lot to offer, including numerous pubs, delicious food vendors and incredible history. While in town, visit the Trinity Library to witness a 7th-century old book and the Guinness Storehouse to learn all about the brewery. Even though the city cannot be called cheap, you can nonetheless hop on one of the free tours in Dublin

Christmas in Dublin. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Visit Bruges, Belgium during Christmas

Belgium is a known waffle capital of the world and Bruges is at the center of this tasty treat. The small town will greet you with abundant Christmas market stalls that serve delicious waffles, chocolates and cookies as well as a local alcoholic drink called genever. The main square, Grote Markt is covered with market vendors accompanied by live music, singing and other festive performances. If you get cool outside, stop by The Old Chocolate House to indulge in an exquisite hot chocolate treat that would leave no one unsatisfied. Visit various tours in Bruges to learn more about the town’s background. 

Christmas in Bruges. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Spend Christmas in Copenhagen, Denmark

The bicycle capital of Europe, Copenhagen is illuminated with lights and decorations throughout the entire city center. You will encounter multiple Julemarked (Christmas markets) along the way, offering mulled wine, flæskesteg (a roast pork sandwich) and one-of-a-kind local crafts. Another common attraction is the Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park where you can enjoy fun rides and activities as well as gaze at festive Christmas decorations. Despite the steep prices in Scandinavian countries, there is still a chance to embark on free tours in Copenhagen

Christmas in Copenhagen. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland

The home to the Santa Claus himself, Lapland is one of the best European cities to spend Christmas. The exact location of Santa Claus’s residence is kept secret from the general public but the official hometown of the man himself is Rovaniemi. This village is an actual winter fairytale, filled with reindeer rides, snowmobile tours, ice constructions, igloo hotels and plentiful entertainment for children and adults. Ever wondered where all the letters to Santa end up? Right here, at the Santa Claus Main Post Office which has received nearly 20 million letters since 1985. To learn more about this amazing and unique place, hop on one of the tours in Rovaniemi

Christmas in Rovaniemi. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Reykjavík, Iceland

A mishmash of modern European traditions and medieval customs, Reykjavik is one of the most unique holiday places to spend Christmas. Instead of Santa, you will be greeted by 13 Yule lads who bring gifts to the local children. Even though you will see the Sun for only four hours a day, you will not be left in the darkness as the entire city is glowing with lights. Tourists who prefer active holidays will enjoy ice-caving tours, snowmobile rides and hiking tours in pursuit of witnessing the northern lights. If you want to learn about the old traditions of the country, visit the Arbaejarsafn Open-Air Folk Museum. 

Christmas in Reykjavik. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Best Christmas Towns in the USA

The US takes the Christmas festivities very seriously and will definitely not disappoint you. Read our list of cities that turn magical during the winter celebrations and check out the tours in USA to explore beyond the winter holidays. 


Christmas in New York City

One of the best places to visit during Christmas in USA, New York is a huge city that offers unique cultural experiences all year long. If you are visiting the city in December, you will be met with a European-style Christmas market at Bryant Park. Here you can enjoy street food, delicious beverages and various crafts and souvenirs. Head out to the Saks 5th Avenue to witness a musical Light Show accompanied by Christmas jingles. For delicious apple cider and pastry, visit the Union Square Holiday Market to find amazing presents for your family and friends. Finally, take a peek at the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree that traditionally lights up Manhattan throughout November and December since 1933. Want to know more about this vibrant megapolis? Check out tours in New York and become an expert. 

Christmas in New York. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Go to Washington, D.C. for Christmas

The capital of the nation, Washington D.C. will surprise you with festivities, fun activities and delicious food. You can enjoy an afternoon of ice-skating, glance at the National Christmas Tree that lights up every year since 1923 and partake in the ZooLights festival. The festival takes place at the National Zoo and offers daily performances and an elaborate Christmas market. A city on the water, Washington also celebrates the holidays with a boat parade. Finally, United States Botanical Garden prepares an exciting holiday display with different themes like National Parks or Pollinators. 

Christmas in Washington D.C. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Alaska for Christmas

The coldest state in the entire country and one of the best places to go for Christmas in USA, Alaska is a fitting location to celebrate this winter holiday. Here, you can take a reindeer ride, visit the North Pole and enjoy a variety of gorgeous ice sculptures. You can surprise your child with a Santa letter that you can purchase at the Santa Claus House. The Alaskan capital, Juneau, hosts a small Christmas market with local delicacies and exciting activities for young and old. If you get tired of the cold weather, take a Holiday Train that runs throughout the state and entertains the passengers with Christmas music and food. 

Christmas in Alaska. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Christmas in Santa Fe, New Mexico

The winter holidays in Santa Fe begin right after Thanksgiving with the lighting of the Christmas tree. If you are lucky enough to be in town on Christmas Eve, join the Canyon Road Farolito Walk. This local tradition entails a long stroll through the city that starts late afternoon and goes until 10 pm. Another interesting local custom is called Las Posadas and involves a reenactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for a room in Bethlehem. Being one of the places to go look at Christmas lights, Santa Fe residents take their time to decorate the city and create a magical cheerful atmosphere for the holidays. 

Christmas in Santa Fe

Mystic, Connecticut

This little town offers a truly unique Christmas experience by preparing a progressive play. Every year, local actors and artists work on the script to deliver a new storyline to the play and keep the locals and tourists intrigued. The city is full of cute traditions such as meeting Santa who arrives at 2 pm on Christmas Eve by boat. Visit Olde Mistick Village to meet Santa, witness live music and performances as well as purchase gifts for your family. 

Mystic Connecticut

Visit Solvang, California during Christmas

Despite the warm climate, this small Californian town is an adorable place to celebrate Christmas. Founded in 1911 by Danes, Solvang offers a Danish Christmas experience to locals and visitors. Take a walk through the town to see vintage-looking houses, the Hans Christian Andersen monument and a windmill, a local landmark. On Christmas Eve, one of the best US Christmas destinations turns into a magical town that offers a candlelight walk tour, tree lighting ceremony and even a parade. 

Christmas in Solvang. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Best Places to Spend Christmas in Canada

Canada is a Winterland full of gorgeous cities and Christmas traditions. Especially if you are looking for an authentic snowy experience, this northern country might be a nice choice. Explore incredible tours in Canada with our extensive guide. 


Quebec City for Christmas

If you are looking for European charm in Canada, visit the Christmas market located in the Le Marché de Noël Allemand de Québec. The market was created in line with German traditions and offers food and drinks, numerous crafts vendors and entertainment. The city itself conveys a European atmosphere as it was founded in 1608 and still holds colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. Quebec also has plentiful winter activities like ice skating, skiing, snowshoeing, etc.

Christmas in Quebec City. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Christmas in Toronto

Every year, Toronto kicks off the holiday season with a Christmas parade that includes musicians, clowns, various performers and Santa Claus himself. The parade is followed by a tree lighting ceremony and an ice skating party at Nathan Phillips Square ice rink. Enjoy a European market experience at the Distillery Winter Village covered with numerous vendors and stalls and accompanied by various entertainment. Visitors with children might also be interested in the pantomime performances at the Elgin Theater. 

Christmas in Toronto. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Visit Montréal for Christmas

Visitors of Montreal in December can head out to Jacques Cartier Square to partake in the local Christmas festival. Here you can taste delicious holiday treats, listen to Christmas songs and gaze at the local performances. The Mont-Royal Park also offers an array of fun activities and entertainment for adults and children. The almost hundred years old tradition of hosting a Christmas parade will excite everyone who visits the town. If you decide to walk through the town in the evening, you will witness the Luminotherapie, interactive light installations created by local artists. 

 Christmas in Montreal. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Christmas in Vancouver

Christmas Vancouver is known for its award-winning Canyon Lights, an installation of nearly half a million lights and decorations on the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Much like other big Canadian towns, Vancouver also hosts an annual European-style Christmas market. Anyone who is still in the spooky season mood, head to Cougar Creek’s House of Horrors to experience a scary tour in the haunted house featuring live actors and animatronics. Finally, visitors with children can take a photo with Santa at the Britannia Mine Museum. 

Christmas in Vancouver. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Christmas Holiday in Asia

Although most countries in Asia do not practice Christianity, they have still adopted Christmas as an exciting and romantic holiday. 


Tokyo, Japan

Although only 1.5% of the Japanese population practices Christianity, they do offer some holiday entertainment to the locals and tourists. Christmas Day is mostly celebrated at parties with friends, whereas New Year is a largely family holiday. Don’t be surprised to encounter a lot of couples and generally romantic events as Christmas Eve day is a local equivalent of St. Valentine’s Day. Across Tokyo, you will see various Christmas markets and other festivities with holiday treats and gifts. However, the celebration is almost entirely secular and does not depict any religious connotations. Learn more about the local culture and history by taking tours in Tokyo

Christmas in Tokyo. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Taipei, Taiwan

Much like Japan, Taiwan also is not a Christian-majority country but does provide a Christmas celebration. Take tours in Taipei to visit the Christmasland and immerse yourself into the holiday atmosphere with music, dancing, food and souvenirs. If you are looking for a less commercialized Christmas experience, you will fall in love with the Ji-Qing Village. A small alley, it’s voted one of the most romantic Christmas destinations in the country. The initiative came from the locals when they decided to autonomously decorate their houses with lights and ornaments which has kickstarted an adorable tradition. 

Christmas in Taipei. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong is also not a Christian city and celebrates Christmas for the fun of it rather than for religious reasons. Disney fans can head to the local Disneyland to take in the nostalgic Christmas experience and relive their childhood memories. Hong Kong has accumulated a few prominent Christmas traditions, including markets and entertainment at the Winterfest, winter activities at Noah’s Arc and decorations at Ocean Park. Discover tours in China to visit other astonishing cities like Shanghai, Beijing and more. 

Christmas in Hong Kong. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Seoul, South Korea

With almost a third of the South Korean population practicing Christianity, Christmas in Seoul has a lot more religious meaning compared to other Asian cities. However, the holiday is still geared towards couples and focuses on the romantic aspect rather than religion. As a local Christmas dish, you can try famous Korean BBQ and other winter delicacies. If you are looking for exciting activities, you can choose from ice-skating, sledding, taking rides at the amusement park, Seoul tours and of course amazing parties. 

Christmas in Seoul. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Where to Spend Christmas in Australia

Australia is a great choice for tourists who would like to celebrate Christmas within the tradition but without freezing temperatures. December is a summer month in Australia so you can enjoy the festivities wearing a t-shirt. Not sure where to spend Christmas in Australia? Hopefully, our short guide to tours in Australia will give you some ideas and point you in the right direction. 


Christmas in Melbourne

A beautiful cosmopolitan city, Melbourne will not disappoint you during the Christmas holidays. Enjoy celebrations and a 16 meters tall tree at Federation Square and stop by Santa’s workshop to greet the busy elves and the man himself. Another Christmas activity that Melbourne has to offer is the Christmas Carnival filled with various rides, holiday sweets and gorgeous views from the Ferris Wheel. Unfortunately, the Australian winter climate does not allow for outdoor ice skating but you can indulge in rollerskating in Argyle Square.

 Christmas in Melbourne. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Sydney for Christmas

Sydney is a gorgeous coastal city that will guarantee amazing Christmas holidays to any tourist. The focal point of the celebrations is the Christmas festival at Darling Harbour with fireworks, decorations and ornaments and local food vendors. The State Theatre will astonish you with exuberant Christmas shows that include ballet, carols and musical performances. If you are looking for a unique experience and Instagram-worthy pictures, stop by the miniature Christmas Village that depicts the most iconic institutions of the area. 

Christmas in Sydney. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Christmas in Canberra

One of the best places to spend Christmas in Australia, the nation’s capital is brimming with markets and festivals for any taste. This year, you can enjoy beautiful Christmas tunes from the Luminescence Chamber Singers as well as blues jam sessions. Join the adult workshop to create your own unique and colorful designs to gift to your loved ones. Finally, you can participate in the annual Christmas Walk that allows you to explore the magnificent decorations, a 16 meters tall Christmas tree and a ton of local businesses with crafts, food and souvenirs. 

Christmas in Canberra. Best cities to visit at Christmas

Perth for Christmas

The largest city in Western Australia, Perth will astonish you with the cheerful Christmas spirit at the Elizabeth Quay Fun Fair. The fair is full of fun rides, colorful clowns, sideshow games and tasty treats. If you are looking for more relaxing activities, visit the Alinta Energy Christmas Pageant. This annual event takes place on the bank of the Swan River and includes multiple food vendors, Santa Claus and various activities for children and adults. 

Christmas in Perth. Best cities to visit at Christmas


Christmas is a magical holiday that brings people together and allows them to be kind to one another. No matter if you are traveling with family or friends, you will find a Christmas spot almost anywhere in the world. We wish you great winter holidays and a happy new year!
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