This is What You Need to See for the Best Christmas Destinations

Published: 6 October 2023



Get ready to experience the most magical holiday season ever! Explore our guide to the best Christmas towns for travel advice, tips, and recommendations to make your festive getaway unforgettable.

The holiday season is just around the corner, and if you’re dreaming of a magical Christmas getaway, you’re in for a treat! Whether you’re a snow enthusiast, a lover of festive lights, or a fan of charming small towns, this guide is tailored to help you discover the best Christmas towns that promise to make your holiday season memorable. From enchanting European destinations to cozy American gems, we’ve scoured the globe to bring you the top recommendations for your Christmas adventure. So grab your warmest coat and coziest scarf and embark on a journey through the most enchanting Christmas towns.

1. Strasbourg, France: Christmas Life

The “Capital of Christmas,” Strasbourg, should be at the top of your 2024 holiday vacation wish list. This charming French village in the Alsace region is transformed into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. The perfume of mulled wine, the sparkling lights, and the enchanting sounds of carolers at Strasbourg’s Christmas Market, one of Europe’s oldest and most well-known, will captivate your senses.

Why You Should Visit Strasbourg: It is a must-visit for its enchanting Christmas ambiance. The city’s Christmas markets, dating back to the 16th century, offer a timeless charm. Explore the historic Strasbourg Cathedral, savor Alsatian delicacies, and immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere that makes Strasbourg the “Capital of Christmas.”

Travel Advice: Be sure to sample local Alsatian specialties such as bridal cookies and foie gras at the market stalls and explore the towering Strasbourg Cathedral illuminated with stunning Christmas lights.

2. Lapland, Finland: Santa’s Home

If you’ve ever wanted to go to Santa Claus’s official home, Lapland in Finland is the place to go. Many families and lone visitors can enjoy various unique adventures in this Arctic wonderland every year. Imagine visiting Santa Claus Village, experiencing thrilling husky safaris through the cold tundra, and seeing the captivating Northern Lights.

Why You Should Visit Lapland: There is no shortage of winter sports to get your pulse flowing, from exciting husky sledding and snowmobiling to peaceful reindeer carriage rides through snow-covered woodlands. Ice fishing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing are a few more activities available in Lapland’s winter paradise. Stay in glass igloos, where you can see the Northern Lights from your bed. For the ultimate Arctic hideaway, choose a snug log cabin with a private sauna. After a day of winter activities, nothing beats curling up by the fireside.

Guide: To make the most of your Lapland adventure, book a stay in an enchanting glass igloo for a chance to witness the auroras from the comfort of your own cozy haven.

3. Nuremberg, Germany: Market Magic

If you genuinely want to experience a traditional German Christmas, take advantage of Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt when planning your 2024 holiday itinerary. This well-known market has been around for centuries and is renowned for its authentic wooden stalls, where you can find all kinds of handcrafted goodies such as ornaments, toys, and delicious gingerbread.

Why You Should Visit Nuremberg: Nuremberg, Germany, should be your top choice for a memorable Christmas experience. Immerse yourself in the time-honored traditions of the Christkindlesmarkt, where you can shop for exquisitely handcrafted gifts and savor authentic bratwurst. The city’s historic charm, festive lights, and culinary delights make Nuremberg a must-visit destination during the holiday season.

Tips: Arrive early to beat the crowds, and don’t forget to try Nuremberg’s famous bratwurst while sipping on a warm cup of mulled wine.

4. Quebec City, Canada: Old World Appeal

Quebec City is well known for its lovely Old Town, which is even more charming at Christmas. Your holiday excursions will be set against a picturesque backdrop of cobblestone streets, old houses, and horse-drawn carriages. One of the highlights is the German Christmas Market in Quebec City, where you can indulge in delectable sausages and find unusual presents.

Why You Should Visit Quebec: Quebec City’s enchanting Old Town transports you to a bygone era during Christmas. The historic district, adorned with twinkling lights and colonial architecture, offers a unique old-world charm. Explore the charming Christmas market for handcrafted ornaments and indulge in the rich flavors of French-Canadian cuisine in cozy surroundings.

Travel Advice: While in Quebec City, don’t miss the opportunity to take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the cobblestone streets of Old Town. It’s a romantic and picturesque way to immerse yourself in the city’s holiday magic. Stay at one of the cozy boutique hotels within the Old Town walls for an authentic experience, and don’t miss the nightly sound and light show at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.

5. Vienna, Austria: Imperial Holiday Charm

Thanks to its imperial grace, Vienna outdoes itself every Christmas with an awe-inspiring celebration that never fails to leave an impression on anyone who experiences it. The centerpiece of these breathtaking festivities is the magnificent Christmas markets, where visitors get treated to a tasty array of delicate treats, delicious pastries, and the infamous Austrian punch that is unmatched anywhere else.

Why You Should Visit Vienna: Austria beckons with its imperial holiday charm. Don’t miss the chance to glide on the Rathausplatz ice skating rink, where the backdrop of Vienna City Hall’s stunning architecture creates an enchanting atmosphere. Experience the festive spirit as you twirl on the ice in this regal European capital.

Travel Advice: Take a stroll along the Rathausplatz ice skating rink, surrounded by the stunning architecture of Vienna City Hall, and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

6. Bruges, Belgium: A Fairytale Christmas

Witness the majesty of Bruges, Belgium, as it transforms into a winter’s fairytale only rivaled by the North Pole itself. Meander through the town’s intricate canals and experience the contagious festive spirit at this time of year. Adorned in a spectacular light display, the holiday season illuminates the city; centered around the Belfry, the Bruges Christmas Market boasts an abundant collection of exquisite gifts and delectable Belgian chocolate.

Why You Should Visit Bruges: Bruges, Belgium, is a charming holiday resort noted for its canals and medieval charm. The town’s historic buildings and cobblestone streets are wonderfully decorated with festive lights, giving them a distinctly old-world feel. Discover artisan items and excellent French-Canadian food in a warm atmosphere at the Bruges Christmas Market.

Guide: Consider an evening boat ride through the canals for a wonderfully romantic experience. This fantastic tour lets you see the town lighted by thousands of lights, making Bruges the ideal setting for an unforgettable Christmas holiday.

7. Aspen, Colorado: A White Christmas Eden

If you want to spend Christmas surrounded by icy heaps of snow and breathtaking hilltop views, go to Aspen, Colorado, in 2024. This internationally known ski area transforms into a festive wonderland during the holidays, with shimmering lights and colorful Christmas décor along its thoroughfares.

Why You Should Visit Aspen: Aspen, a quintessential winter wonderland, beckons you with open arms. This city delivers spades for the skiing enthusiast and the seeker of cozy holiday vibes. Whether carving through the slopes or embracing the snug atmosphere, a steaming cup of cocoa by the roaring fireplace in one of Aspen’s opulent lodges is an absolute must. It’s the perfect way to warm your heart in this alpine paradise.

Tips: Whether hitting the slopes or enjoying the cozy atmosphere, indulge in hot cocoa by the fireplace at one of the town’s luxurious lodges.

8. Edinburgh, Scotland: Hogmanay Magic

Edinburgh, Scotland, is renowned for its Hogmanay celebrations, and the Christmas season is no different. The city’s Christmas markets, with their unique crafts and delectable Scottish fare, are a must-visit. Join the torchlight procession through the historic streets and watch the sky come alive with fireworks over the iconic Edinburgh Castle.

Why You Should Visit Edinburgh: Edinburgh, Scotland, is a must-visit during the Christmas season. Its enchanting Christmas markets and captivating torchlight procession create a magical atmosphere. But the real highlight is celebrating Hogmanay, where the city welcomes the new year with a spectacular fireworks display over the iconic Edinburgh Castle. For an unforgettable start to 2025, consider extending your stay and immersing yourself in the renowned Hogmanay New Year’s celebrations. It’s an experience that will leave you with cherished memories for years.

Recommendations: Consider extending your stay to experience the famous Hogmanay New Year’s celebrations for an unforgettable start to 2025.

9. Prague, Czech Republic: European Fairytale

Prague, also known as the “City of a Hundred Spires,” takes on a storybook character during Christmas. The Old Town Square is transformed into a Christmas market, with wooden kiosks selling handcrafted ornaments, traditional Czech fare, and hot beverages. With Christmas rolling around, the Old Quarter or Stare Mesto adapts into a merry marketplace that hosts varied wooden stalls. These serve handmade trinkets echogenic with Christmas spirit, locally woven sustenance styles thriving on Czech culinary nuances, and an enticing selection of steaming micro-warmth poured right off kettle spouts.

Why You Should Visit Prague: Prague’s Old Town Square undergoes a magical transformation during the holiday season, becoming a bustling Christmas market adorned with handcrafted ornaments and brimming with delectable local delicacies. The captivating astronomical clock show further enhances the enchanting atmosphere, a centuries-old tradition that leaves visitors spellbound. Additionally, a stroll across the iconic Charles Bridge, illuminated by festive lights, adds charm to your Prague Christmas experience.

Travel Advice: Do not miss the mesmerizing astronomical clock show at the Old Town Hall. This hourly show is a moment of sheer enchantment that attracts crowds eager to witness this timeless spectacle.

10. Reykjavik, Iceland: The Land of Ice & Lights

Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, offers a unique Christmas experience that combines Nordic traditions with enchantment. The city’s Christmas markets showcase local goods and foods, while Hafnarfjörur’s yearly Christmas Village brings folklore characters to life.

Why You Should Visit Reykjavik: Experience Reykjavik’s unparalleled Christmas charm as you wander through a folklore-inspired Christmas Village, where Icelandic traditions come to life. But the magic doesn’t stop there; Reykjavik offers the chance to witness nature’s spectacle with the mesmerizing Blue Lagoon and the ethereal Northern Lights, making it a Christmas destination.

Guide: Take a tour to see the mesmerizing natural phenomena of the Blue Lagoon and the Northern Lights, which will make your Christmas in Iceland unforgettable.

11. Charleston, South Carolina: Hospitalit

Charleston, pointed out for its historic charm, goes all out for Christmas. The historic mansions along the Battery are magnificently decorated with lights and decorations, and the annual Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park is a must-see.

Why You Should Visit Charleston: The Christmas charm of Charleston is intoxicating. The old residences on the Battery are decked out in Christmas decorations that transport you to another era. You can experience the season’s enchantment while strolling along its cobblestone streets. Take advantage of the Christmas Festival of Lights at James Island County Park for a stunning display of Christmas enthusiasm. During the holidays, Charleston is the ideal spot to feel the warmth of Southern hospitality.

Tips: Take a carriage ride around Charleston’s historic area to admire the holiday decorations and learn about the city’s rich history.

12. Salzburg, Austria: Mozart’s Christmas

Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is a city steeped in music and culture. The city comes alive during Christmas with festive markets, musical performances, and a delightful Christmas market on Residenzplatz.

Why You Should Visit Salzburg: Austria is a must-visit for its rich musical heritage and enchanting atmosphere. Explore the birthplace of Mozart, attend classical concerts, and immerse yourself in its Baroque architecture. During Christmas, the city comes alive with festive markets, making it a magical destination for holiday travelers seeking culture and charm.

Recommendations: Attend a traditional Advent concert to experience the magic of Mozart’s music in his hometown.

13. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: festal Fiesta

For a Christmas celebration with a vibrant twist, head to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. This charming town is known for its colorful architecture, and during the holidays, it’s adorned with traditional Mexican decorations and lights.

Why You Should Visit San Miguel de Allende: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, beckons with its unique charm and vibrant culture. From its colourful streets to its rich traditions, this town offers a one-of-a-kind experience. Immerse yourself in its artistic community, witness traditional festivals, savour Mexican cuisine, and enjoy a warm and festive atmosphere perfect for a memorable visit.

Travel Advice: Attend the La Posada procession, a reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter, followed by a festive fiesta with piñatas and traditional Mexican food.

14. Dublin, Ireland: A Celtic Christmas Tale

Dublin, the capital of Ireland, offers a cozy and charming Christmas experience. Explore the city’s Christmas markets for unique Irish gifts, and warm up with a hearty bowl of Irish stew or a pint of Guinness in one of Dublin’s historic pubs.

Why You Should Visit Dublin: Experience the vibrant spirit of Christmas in San Miguel de Allende. The town’s colorful architecture takes on a magical hue with traditional Mexican decorations. Be part of the heartwarming La Posada procession and immerse yourself in the joyous festivities, making it a unique and unforgettable holiday destination.

Guide: Consider taking a day trip to nearby Glendalough to witness the stunning beauty of the Wicklow Mountains dusted with snow.

15. Williamsburg, Virginia: Colonial Christmas

Step back to Colonial America with a visit to Williamsburg, Virginia, during the Christmas season. The historic district is transformed into a winter wonderland with traditional decorations, costumed reenactors, and candlelit tours.

Why You Should Visit Williamsburg: Williamsburg’s Colonial Christmas offers a unique journey into America’s past. Marvel at the historic district’s candlelit tours, where the streets come alive with reenactors portraying colonial life. Don’t miss the breathtaking Grand Illumination, a dazzling fireworks and music display that transports you to a bygone era of holiday magic.

Tips: Don’t miss the Grand Illumination, a spectacular fireworks and music display that marks the start of the holiday season in Williamsburg.


Prepare to experience the most magical holiday season ever! Our guide to the best Christmas towns is filled with travel advice, tips, and recommendations to make your festive getaway unforgettable.

As the holiday season approaches, you’re in for a delight if you’re dreaming of a magical Christmas escape! Whether you’re a fan of snowy landscapes, festive lights, or charming small towns, this guide is crafted to help uncover the best Christmas towns that promise to make your holiday season special. From enchanting European spots to cozy American gems, we’ve explored the globe to bring you the top recommendations for your Christmas adventure. So put on your warmest coat and coziest scarf, and let’s embark on a journey through the most enchanting Christmas towns.

Written by TravelPartnerVa


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