Last updated on: Apr 16, 2021
The holiday season is here and as we shake off the Thanksgiving tryptophan slumber, our thoughts move to yuletide carols, Christmas lists, and decking the halls. But what about seeking exciting places to visit during the holidays?
With so many wondrous places in the world, don’t spend your holidays or the weeks leading up to the holidays, sitting in front of a fake tree watching “Scrooged” over and over again.
Take a look at these magical holiday destinations and add them to your trip wish list.
If you’re looking for the real Christmas experience, then the city of Tromso is about as authentic as you can get. Located in the Arctic Circle, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Northern Lights and take part in several activities including dog sledding for those that are more adventurous. One thing you won’t see much of is the sun as the city is under the cover of darkness for most of the day. That just makes it easier to see the Northern Lights.
A trip to Europe wouldn’t be complete without visiting the amazing Christmas market of Heidelberg, Germany. It’s truly a winter Wonderland as travel to seven different locations in the old quarter seeing their wares and bathing in the lights and sounds of Heidelberg. The Winter Woods are a peaceful and romantic holiday spot when the hustle and bustle of the markets wears you out. The courtyard of Heidelberg’s castle is adorned with lights and an advent calendar.
For many Europeans, Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen is an amusement park that includes everything from a concert hall to Asian pagoda, but during Christmas time it becomes an eclectic winter wonderland. Created in 1843, it features many attractions that are decorated for the holiday season including the previously mentioned pagoda. The kids can ride the roller coaster while mom and dad sip on mulled wine. Copenhagen, in general, is a fabulous city to visit during the holidays, and you can bike around the city for some added fun!
Anyone who has been to Hong Kong knows everything that happens goes above and beyond the norm. The bustling metropolis is normally awash with bright lights, but during Christmas and the Chinese New Year, it becomes something else. Much like your local neighborhood Christmas lighting feuds, the businesses of Hong Kong try to outdo each other every year. There are lights and music everywhere.
Vienna is one of the most amazing places to visit during the holidays. During the holidays, the city is lit up with thousands of bulbs culminating in mammoth chandeliers leading to St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
The entire city is a glow with lights and the shops and streets are festooned with traditional Christmas decorations. When you take the culture and architecture of Vienna and add in the Christmas spirit, you get something magical.
Is there anything more festive than a Christmas from “down under”? Many people may not think of Sydney, Australia as a holiday destination, but the city and its residents take go crazy for Christmas. You can avoid the cold and experience one of the most festive cities in the world.
The Queen Victoria Building has a 24-meter Swarovski crystal Christmas tree with 85,000 crystals and 65,000 lights. Choirs sing through the streets and shops are decked out in their holiday finest. It also has one of the strangest Christmas attractions, a 7-meter Santa Claus made out of milk crates.
Aspen has long been a winter wonderland for the business and Hollywood elite and for good reason. The town goes all outfor Christmas with spectacular holiday displays, cookie exchanges, carolers and hotels serve holiday-themed meals and several New Year’s parties.
Be prepared to bring your wallet though as these thrills don’t come cheap.
Nantucket is rife with history and residents and business owners come out in full force for the holiday season.
The annual Christmas stroll is an event that includes caroling, ghost walks, wine tasting and more. Shops are decorated with lights and Christmas trees to add even more holiday cheer to the celebration.
If you’re looking for some serious holiday lighting, then head out to Park City, Utah for the annual Electric Parade down Main Street. You might see Santa Claus on the slopes and don’t forget about the life size Gingerbread House made from more than 10,000 cookies.
If the name sounds familiar, Park City also hosts the annual Sundance Film Festival in January.
This one is for all those last minute shoppers who want to not only get Christmas shopping done all at one place, but also want to have fun while doing it.
With more than 520 stores, 50 restaurants and an indoor theme park, you’ll be taking shopping to a whole new level. It’s perfect for adults and children, and there’s no sales tax!
What would you suggest as places to visit during the holidays?
Got kids? Check out our tips for traveling during the holidays with kids.