7 Best Cities In The World To Celebrate Christmas
Tis’ The Season for Celebration!
It’s that time of year again, family gatherings and holidays, presents and the joy of the occasion fills the air. It’s Christmas! My favorite time of year.
You may be looking to travel somewhere nice for Christmas and spend the time basking in the merry atmosphere of a different city. So, here are some of the best cities in the world for the season's celebration!
1. New York, USA
I don’t know about you, but whenever I think of Christmas in a big city, I think "Big Apple". Home Alone may have something to do with it, but either way, Christmas in New York is a must for this list.
We all know the images of New York during the season: bright lights everywhere, the tall Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center (the tallest ever was 100 feet, in 1999), the Christmas window displays of department stores, and ice skating in the city.
You can even head over to the New York City Theater to catch one of their many seasonal shows.
If you really want to see all the window displays of the season during your stay. You can take a motorcoach tour of it here, or alternatively use one of the many maps provided online for a self-tour.
Image: Christmas Window Display Map NYC
2. Sydney, Australia
If you’re looking for something different. Check out Sydney during this time of year. It’s definitely different! Sun, sea and sand is the definition of Christmas in Sydney. Head over to Bondi Beach to make the most of the celebration with other travelers and locals alike.
Hit up some waves and soak up the warmth. There will also be bands and DJs rocking up the festivities at the Pavilion at Bondi. Don’t forget your swimsuits and sunblock, and enjoy the one-of-a-kind multi-cultural Holiday Celebrations at Bondi Beach.
If you are in Sydney for Christmas, hang around for the New Year's celebrations. Sydney puts on some spectacular fireworks for the festivities.
3. Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich goes all out for Christmas! The backdrop of mountains and snow coupled with the beautiful architecture and festive atmosphere will have you singing along to carols with the local choir.
There are many Christmas markets to peruse during your vacation. The market in Zurich Old Town is beautiful and romantic and the market in the main station has a Christmas tree decorated with 7,000 Swarovski crystals. Indulge yourself in this enchanting city and don’t forget to pick up some presents for friends and family.
4. Tokyo, Japan
Image: Starlight Garden, Midtown, Tokyo
Experience Christmas the Japanese way, “Kurisumasu” in Japanese. Tokyo truly has spectacular displays for this time of year. Most of the city is lit up in bright lights, illuminating the Christmas spirits throughout the city.
In the district of Shiodome, the Caretta Shiodome complex displays an ocean of lights for seasonal cheers. The world famous shopping district of Ginza is also illuminated throughout making it as colorful as ever.
5. St. Barth (Saint Barthélemy)
The Island of St. Barth is located in the Caribbean, and is a popular winter getaway for both Europeans and American alike. The warmth of the sun will keep you happy during your stay on this chic island.
St. Barth is Alex’s favorite place to spend the holidays because of the lively party scene. You can find live entertainment at places such as La Bête à Z'Ailes, La Plage, "Nikki Beach" and Le Ti St. Barth, that will often go on until 1 am. Or you can hit up the dance floor at the “Yacht Club” or “Casa Nikki” on Gustavia Harbor.
Fun Fact: Saline Beach in St. Barth was ranked No. 5 on CNN’s 100 best beaches in 2014.
6. Monte Carlo
Andy’s favorite place for Christmas is Monte Carlo. The city's Christmas decor will have you in awe and feeling like you were in a fairy-tale. Casino Square will be illuminated in lights and decorated in red, white and gold.
Image: Casino Square, Monte Carlo
There is a Christmas market from 4th December to 3rd January held in Port Hercule as well as an ice-skating rink, parades, workshops, panoramic big wheel and vendors selling regional products and crafts, all of which make up the Christmas Village during this time of year.
There are also many places to eat, such as Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, which has the gala Christmas dinner in its Belle Epoque Room. The Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort also has a dinner at the Blue Bay and evening entertainment at Salle des Etoiles.
7. The Vatican, Italy
A little more traditional than the others on this list, the center of Catholicism is extra special this time of year. The first thing you will notice, and always remember, is the rich scent of roasting chestnuts sold on every corner.
The biggest draw to the city is Christmas Eve's Midnight Mass as well as the Pope’s address at noon on Christmas day in St. Peter’s Basilica. There is also a huge tree in St. Pete’s square and life-size nativity scenes on display. If you get a chance, head over to Piazza del Popolo to check out over 100 nativity scenes on display there, that start going up in late November.
Christmas at a ski destination? Yes, please! Although Christmas is not as commercial in Courchevel as compared to other locations on this list, it’s still great for a holiday destination this time of year. Of course, they do have festive decorations that lends itself to the atmosphere, and the snow never hurt the holiday spirit!
Spend the days skiing and enjoying the activities in Courchevel, and enjoy the nights sitting back and relaxing with a glass of vin chaud (mulled Wine), or hot chocolate.
There will be Christmas markets and live music around the area as Christmas gets closer. You'll also find street parades on Christmas Eve, a caroling concert in front of the Tourist Office and even a visit from Father Christmas.
Have a favorite city for the holidays? Let us know! Share with us your favorite Christmas destinations in the comments below!