9 places to visit if you want to feel truly Christmassy
By Emily Waddell
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… at least it does in these destinations…
It’s not hard to describe how the perfect Christmas holiday destination should look. It has to be cosy, fantastical and if it’s snowy then all the better.
So without further adieu, we’ve found the nine destinations that fit the description of the ultimate Christmas getaway. And if this list leaves you feeling festive, then getting searching for flights there on KAYAK.co.uk.
We all know Bruges looks like it’s a fairytale town, so where better to spend Christmas than a place where you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into your own personal Christmas card. Bruges hosts its Christmas Market from 24th November – 2nd January, but if you don’t fancy the crowds, immerse yourself in Bruges history by walking its cobbled streets, drinking its excellent beer, and trying some of its finest chocolate. The perfect Christmas getaway and only a few hours from the UK – oh no, we rhymed.
Although famous for its Christmas Market, which has been running since 1570, there’s a whole host of cosy winter things things to do in Strasbourg. We recommend taking a peek at ‘Little France’, a beautiful and historic section of Strasbourg, and trying out Alsatian delights at the food market.
New York City, USA
New York is one of the best cities to visit for Christmas – period. There are plethora of movies, TV shows, and books set in New York for Christmas, and it’s easy to see why. There’s almost too many things to do, but some must-sees include the Bergdorf Goodman holiday display on Fifth Avenue, wandering to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn to see the rival lighting displays of houses, and finally ending up at Rolf’s for their traditional German Christmas extravaganza.
Nestled between the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal in the heart of Bavaria is the historic city of Nuremberg. It’s an impressive display of medieval fortified buildings and Gothic brick architecture surrounded by plush, rich forest – perfect for a Christmas getaway. Generally agreed as one of the best European cities for Christmas, the market is its star attraction. Chow down on bratwurst and drink mulled wine until your heart’s content.
Nothing says ‘quintessential Christmas break’ than a quick jaunt over to Finland to visit the famed grotto of St. Nicholas himself. Feeding snowy reindeer in one of the most gorgeous landscapes in the world is definite FOMO-inducing material to send to your friends experiencing another snowless Xmas. Stay at the Lapland Hotel Ounasvaara Chalets for an essential log cabin experience, complete with roaring fire at this 4-star gem.
Inventors of the Hygge concept (the idea that being cosy makes you happier), Copenhagen is awash with things to do at Christmas. The Tivoli Gardens are well known for hosting the best Christmas market around, complete with rollercoasters, crafts, beer, cabaret, and foodie goodies – what’s not to love?
Okay, it’s a tad cliché, but if you haven’t experienced Christmas in London, you haven’t truly experienced Christmas. Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, Harrods, Hyde Park – the list of legendary London hallmarks that pull out all the stops around the Christmas period goes on and on. It might get a tad crowded, so head further out to Stratfords Roof East for retro chic ‘80s ski lodge bars, warm cider, and a game of sliders.
This picturesque corner of France is the perfect Christmas holiday destination for those who want to get away from the crowds in the more touristy destinations. The historic town of Colmar is completely pedestrianised, perfect for walking around taking in the churches, museums, and alleys all bursting with that cosy Christmas spirit. Relax in the evening for a wine and bread tasting beside the fire.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Fancy a second Christmas? You can have it in Russia where they celebrate Christmas in early January. St. Petersburg is the ideal Christmas vacation for those looking for something a little different, where the landscape of the city still looks like it’s been plucked from an idyllic Christmas card with snow aplenty. Book yourself a troika ride around Pavlosk Park to feel like you’re in a steely Russian novel.
Note: These rates are based on the most recent data pulled from KAYAK.co.uk, the cheapest prices are always displayed first, regardless of specific dates mentioned. The prices are quoted in GBP. Flight prices are based on results for a return economy flight search. Hotel prices are for double occupancy, are per night and include taxes and fees. Prices are subject to change, may vary, or no longer be available.