With the New Year and Christmas holidays approaching, we have prepared for you a selection of most of the most festive places on earth. From the California coast to snowy mountain towns, these are the 10 most Christmas attractions on the planet.
Local legend says that Santa’s hometown is in Rovaniemi, Lapland. Worried that his secret was finally out, Santa’s elves decided to build a village where Christmas lovers could visit and meet Mr. Claus face to face. Here, visitors can visit Santa’s main post office, as well as the Christmas Museum, which details many of the world’s different Christmas traditions. Nearby is Santa’s Park and a magical cave.
Step back in time and experience the medieval atmosphere of this charming place where Christmas lasts almost all year. The Rothenburg der Tauber on the Romantic Road in Bavaria opens its annual Christmas Market in November, where visitors can shop, sample traditional cuisine, or simply stroll along the cobbled streets taking in the sights. Read more about Christmas in Germany in a separate article on LifeGlobe.
Every year, this Danish-born California town celebrates a month-long winter festival dedicated to Christmas. Come to the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and stroll around the city twinkling in beautiful bright lights. Sip a cup of hot cocoa while enjoying the festive musicians playing all over the place. Check out the Nativity Theatrical Show as well as many other fun shows.
Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville
For an all-inclusive holiday experience, book yourself a weekend at the Gaylord Opryland and experience their annual Christmas celebration tradition. This popular hotel has been named the most Christmas in the country, including in the list of the top ten places in the world to spend this holiday. From the millions of garlands adorning this old country retreat to exciting carriage rides, theater shows and great food, you’re sure to find what you’ve been waiting for all your life this Christmas.
Old city of Quebec. Canada
Each year, Quebec City undergoes a festive makeover to become a true Christmas city, capturing the hearts of even the most notorious fun-haters. To continue talking about unusual holiday events, take a walk along the Jacques-Cartier Valley, go skiing in the Abraham Plains, take part in the GeoRally geocaching, or enjoy one of the many holiday concerts and shows that take place every night in December. There are so many exciting events going on here to make Quebec an unforgettable holiday wonderland. Quebec hosts one of the best Christmas festivals in the world, about which we also have a separate selection.
Regardless of your faith, you can’t deny Bethlehem as one of the top Christmas attractions. Being the subject of many holiday songs and stories, this small town really captures the spirit of the holiday, with lots of Christmas markets and concerts.
Tivoli Gardens. Copenhagen
Tivoli Gardens in Denmark is a beautiful place throughout the year, but it never shines more brightly than during the holidays. From meeting Santa Claus at the Pantomime Theater to sleigh rides and strolls along the Christmas market, Copenhageners have been following the Tivoli tradition for generations. Vintage rollercoasters, ice sculptures and plenty of food and drink options make this a great choice for your winter getaway.
If the sight of snow and the scent of Vermont firs aren’t enough to entice you to Woodstock this Christmas, what about a parade of 50 horses in holiday costumes? December at Woodstock means it’s weekend time and a celebratory festival based on a 19th century Norwegian tradition.
Every year the city of Salzburg opens its Christmas market. Here, eager holiday goers can sing Christmas carols in the city’s Cathedral Square, feast on freshly baked apples and warmed mulled wine, and even see a real live reindeer. The market is especially famous for the huge amount of handicrafts for sale. In addition, the sights of Salzburg will please any tourist, at any time of the year.
Krakow has an interesting array of unique holiday traditions. Starting from the end of November and throughout December, the city has a Christmas market on the city square Rynek Glowny, where you can watch and participate in folk dances, listen to traditional, centuries-old Polish hymns and enjoy traditional food. You will surely enjoy the local traditions, and the sights of Krakow are especially good at this time of the year.
Further, read also about the best Christmas markets in Europe in a separate selection.