As winter approaches, our minds cannot help but wander to the most joyful time of the year-Christmas. The very thought of winters without Christmas and cozy festive sweaters may not be appealing at all. Most people live in anticipation of the Christmas season. To indulge in some sweet plum cakes. Listen to lively carols. And enjoy the crisp winter air filled with saccharine tunes and sugary scents. 

Spending Christmas time with loved ones is a beautiful way to enhance the enjoyment of this season. A Christmas vacation in that dream place where we can lie cozy under a blanket with brandy cocktails to keep us warm can refuel the soul.

Bruges, BelgiumBruges, Belgium at Christmas

Twinkling lights. Hot chocolate. And a scenic view. It is what we dream of Christmas. Bruges will make us feel as though we have been transported to a different era altogether. Its beautiful medieval architecture is considered to be the best in Europe. Enjoy the delicious hot chocolates that are a staple in every café and bask in the Christmas lights’ glow. Straight out of a movie scene, we are bound to have a joyful time visiting this city for a Christmas vacation. 

Enjoy a ride on the old-fashioned horse-drawn carriages on the snow-capped roads here with your loved ones. A 30-minute carriage ride where you get to see the major landmarks of the city would cost around 40 euros. Don’t forget to dive deep into the culinary world of Belgium and discover some to-die-for treats.

Nuremberg, GermanyNuremberg, Germany christmas-market

Drawing over 2 million people a year during Christmas, the Nuremberg Christmas Market is a sight to behold. You will find over 180 stalls packed with trinkets, toys, souvenirs, and more. For shopaholics who love themed (or otherwise) trinkets, Nuremberg is heaven. 

Explore the beautiful market in Hauptmarkt after dark to enjoy the Christmas lights. The only acceptable time for late Christmas shopping is if you plan to visit this famous Christmas market. Fans of brandy cocktails can enjoy the mulled wine here. 

The Children’s Market is another not-to-miss attraction on a visit to Nuremberg during Christmas. The double-decker carousels and cute kid-friendly shenanigans will add cheer to your little ones. Snack on some spicy gingerbread while exploring the stunning stalls. Every year, each booth competes for the “Stall with the Best Design” award, and hence this place promises the sight of the best of creativity.

The Vatican, Italy (Midnight Mass)Vatican City

For those who love to embrace their spiritual side during Christmas, the Vatican makes the perfect pick. While the Vatican carries a charm all year round, it blooms during the Christmas time. The midnight mass on Christmas Eve, or at noon on Christmas day is incredible and must be experienced. Christmas is unique as you can explore nativity scenes all around the city. Even a short visit will leave you in awe.

The Piazza Navona Christmas Market in Rome shines its brightest during Christmas. You can shop the best of figurines, toys, and gifts from here. The Christmas Eve Mass celebrated at The Pantheon is another unheard attraction of Rome. With its unique candlelight displays and religious prayers, this church offers a mystical experience for visitors during the Christmas time.

A Christmas trip to the Vatican sounds incomplete without witnessing the Pope’s annual Christmas day address. Popularly termed as Urbi et Orb, this is an event that urges for love and peace for the whole world.

Zurich, SwitzerlandZurich, Switzerland

Snow-capped mountains, chocolate boxes, and themed strolls. If this sounds like the Christmas of dreams, then Zurich is the place to experience them. Fight the chill with some rare brandy cocktails, while you enjoy themed walks, rare Christmas markets, and more. For dear ones with a sweet tooth, gift pack a box or two of assorted chocolate. 

Enjoy Christmas carols sung by youngsters. Lose yourself into the beauty of the glorious singing Christmas tree at Ward Muhlen Platz. Zurich is a place meant for those who love to take part in cheerful carols, look at the Christmas decorations, and enjoy some hot beverage while listening to carols. 

Add a fun quotient for the whole family through candle making at Burkliplatz in Zürich. For around 20 francs, you can make 4 tall and beautiful custom-made candles. A worth try an activity to make your Christmas trip more memorable.

From pretty sights to beautiful melodies and sweet treats, could Christmas not get any better than this.

Reykjavik, IcelandMajestic Iceland

Witness twinkling Christmas lights paired with Northern Lights in Iceland. That is what adds to the allure of Reykjavik during Christmas. People here celebrate Christmas in varied styles. Being a part of Christmas celebrations here is a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture. 

Have fun exploring the 13 trolls legend who leave gifts for kids instead of our beloved Santa. If you are lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of them on the streets. The Christmas market gives ample opportunities to stock up on gifts for your loved ones or yourself. 

With some vendors only putting up a stall for a day, the Christmas market looks different each time we visit. Have a wonderful time parsing through handcrafted items. Stay in beautiful and elegant hotels, which adds to the glinting Christmas lights’ scenic atmosphere during ling nights.

Prague, Czech RepublicPrague Castle

What better way to experience the wonders of Christmas than looking at Prague’s beautiful gothic and baroque architecture? Christmas is enticing no matter where you are. But the twinkling lights of Prague paired with its beautiful architecture makes any trip worthwhile. Even the Christmas markets, which run for a month, have beautiful backdrops that you do not want to miss. 

Grab some mulled wine, roasted ham, or sticky pastry, to satisfy your tummy as well. You may be out of luck finding rare whiskey, but you can enjoy the taste of mulled wine as you traipse through the market where tourists and locals indulge in some Christmas shopping. 

Also, Prague promised Christmas fun in tons. Grab yourself tickets to The Nutcracker’s annual performance at the National Theatre to have a magical time. Christmas vacation to Prague is hence an exciting way to spend Christmas and to enjoy yourself thoroughly.

Santa Claus Village, FinlandSanta Claus Winter 2018 in Rovaniemi Lapland Finland

Fulfill the lifelong dream of meeting Santa Claus by visiting this place. Visit Finland, where Santa is the most famous resident of them all. It is not just the promise of meeting the jolly old man which will lure you to Finland, though. 

Visit the Ranua Wildlife Park where you can coo at baby polar bears, moose, and wolverines. Let your kids have fun trying to bake gingerbread cookies with Santa Claus. They can also have fun learning how to write tier Christmas lists using a traditional quill, or even learning calligraphy. They can participate in Elf school and even look into filling in elf positions at Santa’s post office. 

The Berry Nice Day packages start at 77 euros. They let you enjoy the fun of handpicking berries and also teach some basics of making berry-based superfoods. The merriest place during Christmas, Santa Claus Village will feel like heaven on earth for children. If you love the cold a bit too much, you can stay at the Arctic Snow Hotel made out of ice. But do not worry if you are freezing, there are hot tubs and saunas available too. We are wondering whether Elsa is the mastermind behind this spectacular hotel.

Conclusion

The most wonderful time of the year can be made special with the right atmosphere and the right company. Everyone is dying for a vacation, and Christmas is the perfect time to indulge without feeling guilty. Get your loved ones together and spend some time indulging in Christmas traditions in a foreign land. 

Although Christmas is a universal experience, the way each culture celebrates them is unique. It can be a fun learning experience for you, and for kids to witness the different ways in which people all over the world enjoy Christmas time.  

Whether you love to visit the theatre or only have a love sleeping in and enjoying tasty treats during Christmas, you are bound to enjoy yourself in these places. They promise a lot more in addition to new sights and great food. Once experienced, these places will want us to keep coming back for more.

https://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2014-09-08/10-things-you-should-eat-in-belgium?verso=true 

https://www.christkindlesmarkt.de/en/ 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/expert-traveller/holiday-types/tours/christmas-holidays   

https://travel.usnews.com/rankings/best-christmas-vacations  

Author’s Bio:

Rebecca Siggers is a passionate writer & guest blogger. Writing helps her to improve her knowledge, skills & understanding about the specific industry. She loves writing & sharing her knowledge mostly in the Travelling Industry. She believes traveling is the key to a peaceful life & wants to spread her belief across the world. Apart from writing, She loves Traveling and Reading.

7 best places to spend Christmas