To get ready for Christmas, I’ve decided to do 12 blog posts every day leading up to Christmas.  Here they are!  Check back each day for a new post or go HERE to see what’s been posted already.

Christmas is a great time to travel with your family.  Most places around the world seem to come alive in a whole knew way during the holidays. So even if you’ve been somewhere before, you feel like you’re in a whole new world during Christmas.  Everyone has a different opinion on where is the best places to go for Christmas, but I’ve put together a list of places I’ve personally been or places I’ve been told I NEED to visit.

Best Places to Spend Christmas Around the World

1. Germany

German Market

When most people think of Christmas they think of buying presents. And maybe that’s in a department store. But you should experience the magical Christkindlesmarkt (Christmas Market), in Nuremberg’s Hauptmarkt. With over 180 stalls offering toys, trinkets, candles, gingerbread and sweets to shoppers warmed by sizzling bratwurst and mulled wine you will definitely feel the Christmas spirit. Visit after dark, when the colored lights create an amazing fairy-tale feel that will bring you back to your childhood.

2. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Illuminations

Christmas in Tokyo is a fairy-lit sight to behold. Traditionally, celebrating New Years is more important in Japan than Christmas because Japan is not Christian but the non-religious aspect of Christmas means over-the-top decorations and lights. Tokyo turns the voltage up each year with its winter illuminations, with different districts competing with each other to create some truly sensational displays. While the lead-up is dazzling, Christmas Day itself is a fizzer as it’s not a holiday. Christmas Eve is the big deal, resembling Valentine’s Day in activity — a night for couples and romance. Christmas meals in Japan mean fried chicken from KFC (yes you read that right) followed by sponge cake topped with cream and strawberries. You can read more about Christmas in Japan in the next few days!

3. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Christmas

Edinburgh is like a picture-perfect Christmas card. There is something extra special about Edinburgh during the festive season. The streets are laced with markets, parties pop up everywhere, indescribable seasonal aromas are around each corner, and spirits are high.

4. Santa Claus Village, Finland

Santa Claus Village

In Finland’s Arctic Circle. The jolly man in the red suit is this neighborhood’s most famous resident. Still, the deep wintertime snow and reindeer-dotted forests go a long way toward off-setting the touristy atmosphere, though there’s an amusement park called Santa Park not far from the village. You’ll need deep pockets, but you’d have to be pretty Grinch-like to leave without a smile.

5. New York City

New York at Christmas

I’m sure you know what Christmas in the Big Apple looks like, thanks to countless movies: Christmas lights, cheesy music, preferably a light dusting of snow. The world’s tallest Christmas tree is lit at the Rockefeller Center in early December. Ice skating below it is a must for wintertime visitors, as is checking out the window displays in New York’s largest department stores. You can round of your trip with a performance of “The Nutcracker.”

Family Travel Resource Guide

6. Sydney, Australia

Sydney Christmas

You haven’t seen Christmas lights until you’ve seen Sydney’s Christmas lights. Plus, the holiday season lasts an entire month herewith “Sydney Christmas,” an aptly-named festival taking place from November 24 through December 25. The celebrations start with a tree lighting at Martin Place, and continue with Christmas markets and nightly concerts.

7. Prague, Czech Republic

prague at Christmas

The Christmas markets in Prague are some of the best in the world and run a full month, with locals and travelers passing through for a bit of mulled wine, sticky pastries, and roasted ham. The main markets take place in the Old Town and Wenceslas Squares, just five minutes apart by foot—and set to the backdrop of some of the best Gothic architecture around.

8. Bruges, Belgium

Bruge Christmas

Bruges is Europe’s best-preserved medieval city. It radiates charm year-round, but is especially charming during the holidays. It’s hard to imagine a place more magical as you wander the cobblestone streets, admire the shimmering lights, and warm up with mugs of Belgian hot chocolate in cafes.

9. Reykjavik, Iceland

reykjavik at christmas

Reykjavík shines on the streets and in the sky in December. Strings of glinting Christmas bulbs illuminate the city during its very long nights; and on the clearest evenings, the Northern Lights can be seen from the city’s darker streets.

10. Rome, Italy

rome at christmas

The streets around town will be festively alight, sure, but the home to the seat of Catholicism is an excellent option for folks seeking a more sacrosanct Christmas experience.

And that’s our list! Let us know if we should add anything to our list for the future!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at you extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links. You can also see my full Disclosure and Terms and Conditions (you know, the real boring stuff).

Pin It!

Best Places to Spend Christmas Around the World
Best Places to Spend Christmas Around the World