A distinct festival rooted in the tunes of carolers and European traditions, the Christmas season which is also dubbed as the most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner. From the ultimate winter wonderland experience in the Himalayan highlands to making your way to the New York Times Square for the big celebrations, December holidays are the perfect embodiment of the festive spirit.
Whether you are planning to travel domestically—staying as close to home as possible, or planning to enjoy the merriment of the occasion with a safe trip abroad, here’s our top 20 places to celebrate Christmas in the world.
20 Popular Places to Celebrate Christmas in the World
From sparkling castles to vibrant escapades, the following are the best places in the world to celebrate Christmas:
1. Bethlehem, West Bank
Bethlehem, a cultural homeland and the biblical birthplace of Jesus is an iconic destination nestled south of Jerusalem. Glancing the celebrations at Manger Square and capturing the impeccable sights of the Old City during the time of Christmas is truly an experience of a lifetime. The festivities at St. Catherine Church, including the midnight mass, attracts travellers from across the globe to witness the massive celebrations of the birth of Christ.
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2. New York City, USA
New York City is known for its vibrant Christmas lights, featuring musical ambience and dust of snow covering the region. Being one of the best places to celebrate Christmas in the world, the city hosts numerous events and live performances where one can witness world-class artists. The charm of the tallest Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center is unmatchable, and wandering across the local streets, checking out the exclusive flea markets installed during the festival are amongst the most popular things to indulge in.
3. Lapland, Finland
The city features exquisite scenes of Christmas where you can see a joyful local in his red and white attire traversing through the streets with his reindeer sleigh. He is the most admired resident in the city, and one can witness him recreating Christmas Day for everyone. Santa Park, located in the city centre, is a fun place that hosts various activities, especially for kids.
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4. The Vatican, Italy
The Vatican City is the place that remains charming throughout the year, and when it comes to celebrations, the experience is beyond words. During this time, pilgrims visit Vatican City to attend the Midnight Mass at St Peter’s Basilica. Many observe it as a day of remembrance and cherish being part of this celebration. The Vatican Christmas Tree placed in Saint Peter’s Square is a popular site to visit during this time.
5. Bondi Beach, Australia
It is an ideal place for adventure freaks to plan their Christmas vacay. Being a hub of backpackers, Bondi Beach features incredible celebrations full of colourful people around. You can expect electrifying bands and DJs performances. If you wish to have a vacation beyond sparkling lights and melodious carols, then Bondi Beach might be a perfect place for you!
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6. Munich, Germany
Munich is known for its enticing winters, and when it comes to Christmas celebrations, the place remains the best to sneak peek at the pious beliefs and customs. Walking down the glittering streets to reach the 100-foot tall Christmas tree placed at Marienplatz gives you a chance to be a part of the festivity. You can check out collections at the dozens of Christmas markets installed across the streets. The trams that connect the old city serve delicious mulled wine and gingerbread during this time. Savour the delicacies if you wish to check out the authentic taste that has remained unchanged for decades. The city hosts live holiday music at the town hall, where you can glance at the festivity.
7. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is another best place to celebrate Christmas in the world. Here, the sagas of Santa Claus are melodiously versed, and locals celebrate the festival in their traditional ways. The city observes the rituals introduced almost 400 years ago, and the neighborhood gets sparkled with synchronized lighting. Christmas celebrations here are extended until New Year’s Eve when you can witness electrifying fireworks at Dam Square. The Dutch capital features Christmas celebrations with enormous trees of the city twinkling in festive colors.
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8. Dublin, Ireland
Dublin is an ideal place to plan your Christmas vacation as the experiences purveyed by the city are truly enchanting. Dublin hosts numerous festival markets, workshops, and exhibitions, where travelers can have a good time with their loved ones. The 12-days exclusive Christmas Market at Docklands is the best place to catch the festival vibe. The streets of the city glitter throughout December, where one can attend workshops and live acts by Elves. The colorful vistas of Dublin promise a holiday that will remain in your memory for a lifetime.
9. Prague, Czech Republic
Christmas markets in Prague are the iconic places to check out the festival magic of the Czech Republic. Lightened up with thousands of twinkles, this spectacular ‘heart of Europe’ turns into a ‘winter wonderland’ during Christmas. Ornate wooden huts beside the streets serve authentic Christmas meals that add spellbinding flavors to the celebrations. Prague is undoubtedly one of the best places to celebrate Christmas in the world, and you get a chance to explore the historic site of Mala Strana and capture the vistas of Gothic architecture. You can attend an opera performance or be part of the live events hosted at the city square.
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10. Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich is known for its chocolates, cobbled streets, snowy mountains, and Christmas celebrations. Travelers from across the world visit Zurich throughout the year, and the city welcomes visitors warm-heartedly. However, Christmas brings in a spree of excitement, and grand exhibitions and shows are organized that allure art lovers and designers from near and far. You can also go on a guided Christmas walk that takes you to the singing Christmas trees. Visiting the Christmas village at Sechseläutenplatz near Bellevue and attending local celebrations can be added to your plan if you wish to interact with locals. The Christmas markets in Zurich offer plenty of local delicacies including punch, mulled wine, raclette, etc.
11. Valkenburg, Netherlands
The Christmas celebrations at Valkenburg are famous among globetrotters. Those interested in witnessing the iconic castle ruins that turn majestical during Christmas plan their expeditions here and unravel the hidden escapades of Valkenburg with an ardent spark of festivity. The rustic medieval streets get illuminated with dazzling lights and light music. The exotic caves of MergelRijk that feature old-world charm get enchanted with nativity scenes. Shopping from Christmas markets that offer authentic Polish handicrafts is a popular thing to indulge in here during the festival. Home to an enormous and oldest Christmas Market, Valkenburg is a paradise for shopaholics who wish to kick-start their new year in style.
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12. Vienna, Austria
Vienna hosts one of the best Christmas celebrations in the world with a picture-perfect snowy backdrop. A Christmas trip to Vienna evolves around colourful sights, mystic sounds, authentic recipes, and cultural interactions. If you wish to have a vintage-style Christmas celebration, then you can plan a trip to Vienna. The essence of Mulled Wine in the environs, majestic imperial architecture glistening up with soothing lights, and classical melodies retreating your ears are some unique experiences that make Vienna a popular place to spend Christmas week with your mates.
13. Copenhagen, Denmark
The Christmas vibe in Copenhagen is related to the concept of hygge, which is the feeling of contentment or well-being. The locals believe in staying around good company and spend time with family and friends during Christmas. Every family indulges in Christmas shopping which sums up with a warm cup of glogg. The Tivoli Garden, which is the heart of the city, features the ultimate setting during this time with around a million sparkles and innumerable Christmas trees. Restaurants host culinary fiestas, giving you a perfect chance to savour the authentic flavours of the region.
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14. Riga, Latvia
Riga, the largest city of the Baltic states, features an enormous variety of traditional, stylish, and innovative Christmas trees. The magnificent architecture with splendid festival decorations, synchronized markets setting, live music scenes, and mega feasts makes Riga one of the best places to celebrate Christmas in the world. The city also organizes numerous events for kids, and one can enjoy taking pony rides and a horse-drawn carriage. Christmas in Riga is the perfect time to enjoy local delicacies and check out handmade items such as woolen socks, wooden candlesticks, and woven mittens.
15. Berlin, Germany
Berlin, the capital city of Germany, is known for its spellbinding Christmas scenes. One can attend classical Christmas concerts, and various theatre artists recreate Christmas stories with an amalgamation of local beliefs and customs. The city hosts over 50 exclusive markets during the time of Christmas. Indulging in historical rides is a perfect thing to catch the festival vibe.
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16. London, England
Christmas in London is such an experience that features almost everything that makes your holiday memorable. From stunning Christmas markets to serene mass prayers, ice-skating rinks, to enthralling live events, the encounters of London are one of its kinds. Strolling through the charming Oxford Street with glittering lights showering festivity is admirable. The exclusive Christmas markets in London give you a gorgeous window to check out products from high-end fashion boutiques, local bookshops, and more. ZSL London Zoo, Royal Albert Hall, WWT London Wetland Centre, and Rainforest Café are the prime places to visit in London during Christmas.
17. Edinburgh, Scotland
The festivity begins in Edinburgh with the commencement of December. One can indulge in browsing through the traditional Christmas markets and attend local celebration ceremonies hosted across the city. Amusement rides such as Star Flyer purveys the best idea of capturing the festival vibe of Edinburgh. Christmas afternoon teas with locals followed by attending a performance at the majestic theatres on Christmas eve is an exquisite experience that winds the sense of culture and customs. You can relish local recipes while glancing at the skies lighten up by electrifying fireworks. Edinburgh celebrates Christmas in its unique style that lures travelers from across the world.
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18. Tallinn, Estonia
The Christmas celebrations in Tallinn can be traced back to 1441. If you wish to encounter the unparalleled mystics of Christmas, then you can plan to unravel the traditional setups of historical markets dusted with fresh snow. Tallinn gets covered under a blanket of snow during the time of Christmas. The lightened lanterns glorify the cobblestone streets that lead to the vibrant celebrations full of contentment and togetherness. The first Christmas tree of the world was established here in the city in the year 1441. The tree still stands in Town Hall Square as the legendary tree.
19. Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg is home to themed Christmas villages that turn into a fairytale location during the time of Christmas. Events such as live concerts, theatres, exhibitions, storytelling, etc., are organized during this time across the city. Hosting the oldest Christmas market in France, Strasbourg is an ideal place to understand European culture. You can walk around the streets with your significant other and taste local delicacies served exclusively during Christmas to catch the festival spirit.
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20. Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong is amongst the best places in Asia to celebrate Christmas. Sparkling skyscrapers, glittering shores, and dazzling Christmas markets featuring musical ambiance all around the city make Hong Kong city one of the best places to celebrate Christmas in the world. Disneyland, Hong Kong Ballet, Hong Kong Philharmonic, WinterFest, and the Grand Symphony hosts grand Christmas celebrations.
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So, where are you planning to go on your Christmas trip? Don’t forget to consider the above-mentioned best places to celebrate Christmas in the world before planning your future tour. Check out the best international holidays with TravelHub and enjoy the festival like never before. You can also get your itinerary customized by mentioning your preferences.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Places to Celebrate Christmas In The World
Is it safe to travel during Covid times?
You need to follow all the mandatory travel guidelines prescribed by the respective authorities to ensure a safe travel experience. Remain masked at public places and maintain social distancing. It is advised to sanitize your hands after touching surfaces and carry disinfectant sprays. Check the official website of the place you are visiting and don’t forget to carry your negative RT-PCR report as you may have to produce it at various entry and exit points.
What are the best places to visit in the world during Christmas?
Bethlehem, New York, Tallinn, London, Hong Kong, etc. are known for hosting some of the best Christmas celebrations. However, it depends upon you what you want to explore on your Christmas holiday. Whether a vintage style celebration with an orthodox vibe or electrifying city fiestas is in your mind!
Where is the oldest Christmas tree?
The first Christmas tree of the world was established in the city of Tallinn in the year 1441. The tree still stands in Town Hall Square as the legendary tree.
What are the best places to celebrate Christmas in India?
Goa, Pondicherry, Shillong, Kerala, Mumbai, Bangalore, etc. are known for amazing Christmas celebrations in India. You can also attend exclusive events hosted across the country which includes mass prayers, live band performances, DJ parties, and more.