If you’re looking to combine a holiday with a good dose of Christmas cheer, look no further than these destinations where the holidays truly come alive.
From Christmas markets and spectacular lights displays to storybook streets dusted with snow, these festive towns and cities deliver the goods.
New York City, United States
This iconic city lights up at Christmas, and you won’t know where to look. The themed window displays at Bergdorf’s, Macy’s, Saks, and Bloomingdales (among others!) take the better part of a year to plan, and are all worth visiting. Look for your own miracle on 34th street, marvel at the Dyker Heights holiday lights displays, and take in the Empire State Building’s holiday musical light show.
Don’t Miss: Ice skating at Rockefeller Center, home to one of the largest Christmas trees in the city.
Whether or not Love, Actually is played on repeat at your house during the holidays, you’ll find merriment in spending your Christmas in London. Toast the holidays in any number of lively pubs in the city, and take in the displays on Oxford and Carnaby Streets, and find the perfect holiday-themed souvenirs at Covent Garden. Finally, enjoy a traditional Christmas roast with all the fixings.
Don’t Miss: The Winter Wonderland Market in Hyde Park.
Touted as “the Capital of Christmas”, Strasbourg is home to France’s oldest Christmas markets, dating back 450 years. Over two million visitors flock to this quaint French town over the holiday season, frequenting its twelve markets and reveling in grand light displays.
Don’t Miss: The renowned Christkindelsmärik market, resting in the shadow of the stunning Strasbourg Cathedral.
The charming city of Vienna drips with seasonal charm. Visit one of its many markets, and indulge in chocolate-covered fruit, roasted & caramelized nuts, and a lebkuchen. Wash it all down with Weihnachtspunsch (Christmas punch), which is offered in a variety of flavors, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.
For a dizzying display, tour the “Ring”, a wide ring boulevard that encircles the old city and is home to luxury hotels, shops, parks, and two holiday markets. Take in the lights by hop-on/hop-off bus or with the comfort of a private car and driver.
Don’t Miss: The Viennese Christmas Market at City Hall and holiday tree at Rathausplatz.
Leavenworth, United States
Step back in time a mere two and a half hours east of Seattle, Washington, with a visit to Leavenworth. Known as one of the best Christmas towns in the United States, Leavenworth boasts displays featuring over half a million lights on and around its Bavarian-inspired buildings, giving you the feeling of being on the inside of a snow globe or strolling the set of a Hallmark movie.
If that’s not enough, you can meet a real, live, reindeer at the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm, with the option for an educational tour and a chance to feed these Christmas creatures. Dash through the snow courtesy of a horse and sleigh, visit the Nutcracker Museum or sample some suds at the Icicle Brewery.
Don’t Miss: Sledding at Front Street Park, under the glow of holiday lights.