- New York, United States
Christmas in New York is timeless and beautiful. The entire city is decked up with ornate Christmas trees, hollies and twinkling lights that makes it look like a winter wonderland! The world-famous Christmas tree of Rockefeller Center covered in 50,000 LED lights is the biggest attraction of New York during the holidays. You can also enjoy a carriage ride through Central Park which is such an amazing experience. Lovers of snow, glitter, fairy lights and everything magical will be absolutely smitten with NYC’s Dyker Heights Christmas Lights and Radio City Music Hall’s sparkling Christmas tree. You can shop for your loved ones at some of the best Christmas holiday markets in the city – namely Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, Union Square Holiday Market and the Grand Central Holiday Fair.
- Vienna, Austria
Vienna is such a perfect place to celebrate Christmas the old-fashioned way. Get lost into the aroma of delicious frying sausages, the sweet tang of toffee apples and the fragrance of countless scented candles. Immerse yourself in the glittery holiday decorations covering the imperial architecture and three outdoor Christkindl Markets wherein visitors can choose from a wide range of artisan wares and ornaments, watch the amazing displays of artists, cooks and shopkeepers as well as savour some wonderfully spiced Glühwein or mulled wine. Listening to The Vienna Boys’ Choir concerts is also legendary experience that you should not miss. The best places in Vienna to experience charming Christmas lights are Kohlmarkt, Graben where you can walk beneath giant chandeliers containing around 200,000 LEDs, Stephansplatz and Kärntner Straße which has shimmering cascades of lights with around 550,000 LEDs and 48 km of crystals to create a fairytale-like feel. The traditional Christmas markets to enjoy in Vienna are Christkindlmarkt on the Rathausplatz (the biggest one), Spittelberg, Karlsplatz, Freyung and Schönbrunn (in front of the palace).
- Goa, India
Christmas in Goa is celebrated like no place else in India. During Christmas in Goa, all the streets are lit up and the market places are all decorated with tinsel and buntings. Christmas trees are decorated with dainty ornaments and holly wreaths adorn pretty little Goan homes. Since Goa is home to over 400 churches, the best thing to do is attending a midnight mass service on Christmas Eve, and immerse in the beautiful harmony and melody of Christmas hymns and carols that fill up the air. Church bells ringing also add in a historic charm to the ambience. You can also witness an array of beautiful fireworks on beaches such as Baga and Calangute or treat yourself to a grand traditional Goan Christmas feast.
- Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg is a spectacular sight to witness during Christmas as a series of themed Christmas villages transform the city into a fantastic wonderland filled with scenic delights. The old-world charm can be experienced here as this place has a rich history and culture. The famous Christkindelsmärik, the oldest Christmas market in Europe was held in Strasbourg in 1570, and the tradition has been followed ever since, thus crowning it the “Capital of Christmas” since 1992. People in Strasbourg put up Christmas trees, make a nativity scene, bake spiced bread and prepare hot wine. The vast Christmas Tree – the 28-metre-tall centrepiece at the heart of the city – is an iconic symbol of Strasbourg. Other pretty illuminated places around the city are The Porte de Lumières, Place Kléber and the façade of the Aubette building. If you are a foodie, you should definitely visit the Christmas food market and discover traditional products from Alsace.
- Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland
Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland may be the best place on earth to celebrate Christmas as Finns argue that it makes a much likelier home for Santa than even the North Pole. This place draws more than 300,000 annual visitors from all around the world. Rovaniemi received the status of the Official Hometown of Santa Claus in 2010. You can enjoy husky and reindeer rides, snowmobile tours, ice and snow constructions here. Santa Claus Main Post Office is also a must on any visit to Santa Claus Village. Santa Claus is also said to have a group of elves that can be seen here in the village, and there is also something called an Elf School! Rovaniemi is truly a traditional Christmas place.