Find Some Christmas Magic
‘Tis the season! While we all call different places home (for the holidays), these places really know how to bring the Christmas magic.
Christmas is a magical time of year and if you’re dreaming of spending it in a picture-postcard perfect town there are A LOT to choose from. Here are just a few:
This historical City offers a delightful old-fashioned Christmas, twinkling holiday decorations covering imperial architecture and three outdoor Christkindlmarkts. Visitors can have their pick of a wide variety of artisan wares and ornaments as well as that wonderful spiced mulled wine, and the Vienna Boys’ Choir concerts through the season.
Quebec City, QC
Starting at the end of November, Old Québec is transformed into a real Christmas village, just like out of Charles Dickens’s novel. Every year, residents and visitors eagerly await the beginning of December when the city lights up for the Holidays. Entire neighborhoods and iconic buildings form a dazzling itinerary you can easily complete in a night…and save time for the ice sculptures
Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland
Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland may be the best place on earth to celebrate Christmas. Located just north of the Arctic Circle, Finns argue that it makes a much likelier home for Santa than even the North Pole. Highlights during this time of year include husky-dog rides, tobogganing in the deep, pristine snow, viewing the Northern Lights, or even taking a sled-led reindeer safari at the Sirmakko reindeer farm. Also, the the Arctic Snow Hotel is here!
Strasbourg offers a series of themed Christmas villages that transform the city into a fantastic wonderland of holiday sights and foodie delights, from the of Alsace Farmhouse to the nearby Village of Bredle, you’ll find its namesake traditional Christmas biscuits and endless flow of mulled Alsatian wine.
Medieval Bruges is stunning all year round, but it truly comes alive in winter, with its center transformed into a Christmas parade, partially sliding on its large ice rink. Visitors who arrive just before Thanksgiving through New Year’s, can also enjoy the spectacular Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival.
North Pole, Alaska
The North Pole may be the most obvious Christmas town of all. Here in this community of 2,200 residents, it’s always Christmas with holiday decorations up 365 days of the year. You can drive down streets like Kris Kringle Drive, Mistletoe Lane or Santa Clause Lane and even stay the night at Santaland RV Park. It’s all about Santa here.
The capital of Iceland offers a spectacular Yule Town Christmas and all sorts of rather unique holiday traditions, like the 13 “Yuletide Lads,” or scruffy Santas, that bring gifts to kids who’ve been good for the 13 nights leading up to the big day. The highlight of a winter excursion to Reykjavik is the chance to see the brilliant northern lights flash across the night’s sky with the city covered in snow.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is well-known for its magnificent architecture and folkloric traditions, and at Christmas, its famed Christmas markets transform the City – in the Old Town Square, you’ll find a stable, complete with goats, donkeys and sheep set around a traditional nativity as well as lots of holiday lights and music.
This old-meets-new Swedish town dishes up an incredible smorgasbord of Christmas markets, holiday concerts and twinkling trees. Slip on some skates and take a whirl around the open-air ice rinks at Folkets Park or Raoul Wallenberg.
Author: Carrie Mitchell
Carrie A. Mitchell is the founder of L’Aventure Travel, the host of the Suitcase Sojourn Podcast, and author of the children’s travel book “To Be We”. Carrie is a global travel and hospitality expert who works with publications, brands and entertainment outlets on a number of travel related projects, from marketing consulting to editorial coverage to hosting & producing content for the web, TV and podcasts. She is always seeking to learn from people and places around the world, and share through her cultural exploration (40+ countries and counting)