Europe

8 Awesome Christmas Destinations

Festive places, places drunk with the yuletide spirit (and, presumably, plenty of liquid cheer), places that embody Old World, traditional Christmasy vibes: our 8 awesome December destinations are the perfect antidote to Grinchitude.

The quintessential Big Apple yuletide scene – Photo credit

New York City

Thanks to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Rockettes, Miracle on 34th Street and Rockefeller Center, the Big Apple is as Christmas as the North Pole.

What for: Rockerfeller Center Christmas tree, Rockerfeller Center Ice Rink, New York City Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Fifth Avenue Christmas window displays, FAO Schwartz

Where to stay: Eventi A Kimpton Hotel

New York City Guide

Amsterdam

The colour red is commonplace in Amsterdam (red-light district, bloodshot eyes in cannabis coffeeshop windows) but takes on a different spin come December. Despite a general ambivalence toward religion, the Dutch do it up big for Christmas, especially in the national capital.

What for: Museumplein Christmas Market, Mass at Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, Leidseplein Ice Rink, Rembrandtplein holiday food carts, Sinterklaas

Where to stay: Eventi A Kimpton Hotel

New York City Guide

Cologne

Big cathedral towns just look better, somehow, at Christmastime. Thanks to the grand and austere Kölner Dom and, indeed, manifold markets and gems like the Deutz Bridge, Great St. Martin Church and Hohenzollern Bridge, Cologne is a standout for the holidays.

What for: Christmas Market at the Cologne Cathedral, Fairytale Christmas Market at Rudolfplatz Square, Christmas Market at Stadtgarten, Cologne Old Town Home of the Gnomes, Angel’s Christmas Market at Neumarkt Square

Where to stay: Eventi A Kimpton Hotel

New York City Guide

Boston

Boston is lit up like, well, a Christmas tree come December, from Faneuil Hall to Cambridge, Back Bay streets to the Charles River.

What for: Boston Common Tree, Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Downtown Crossing Holiday Market, Candlelight Carols at Trinity Church, Harvard Square Holiday Craft Fairs

Where to stay: Eventi A Kimpton Hotel

New York City Guide

Rovaniemi

The “Official Home of Santa Claus” and gateway to the Arctic Circle is about the most authentic Christmas spot in the world. Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, Finland, knows how to celebrate the holiday in style.

What for: Santa Claus Village at Central Plaza, Santapark, Lapland Safaris

Where to stay: Hotel Santa Claus Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi City Guide

Copenhagen

This just in: Denmark loves Christmas. The traditional smorgasbord Christmas lunch, or julefrokost, is sacrosanct. Just be sure to save room for risalamande and snaps.

What for: Christiania Christmas Market, Christmas at Kronborg Castle, Christmas at the Royal Theatre, Concerts at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Christmas in Tivoli Gardens, Christmas Market at Avedøre, City Hall Christmas Tree, Danish Art and Christmas Shop in Knabrostræde

Where to stay: Stay Apartment Hotel Copenhagen

Copenhagen City Guide

Vienna

Few places host more Christmas markets at one time than Vienna. The Baroque capital of Austria is flush with yuletide stalls – and in all the most photogenic parts of town too.

What for: Christmas Eve at Weikersdorf Castle, Rathauspark Christmas Market, Christmas Village Belvedere Palace, Christmas Village Maria-Theresien Platz, Art and Christmas Market Schönbrunn Palace, Divina Art Christmas Market on Karlsplatz, Freyung Old Town Christmas Market

Where to stay: Hotel Imperial Vienna

Vienna City Guide

Rome

Why not visit the place where it all began? No, not Bethlehem silly – Rome. In a way, the modern notion of Christmas took root in the Eternal City and home of the Vatican. At minimum, you can browse the nativity scenes on a stomach full of pandoro and red wine.

What for: The Vatican Christmas Tree, Mass at the Pantheon, Piazza Navona Christmas Market, Church Nativity Scenes, Panettone, Castel Sant’Angelo Ice Rink

Where to stay: Iq Hotel Roma

Rome City Guide

Where do you like to travel to on Christmas? Drop us a comment below and make your case.

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