December 19, 2017

While being home for the holidays with family and friends may seem quite common, people are increasingly traveling to amazing destinations to further enjoy such a pleasant time. Many people have extra days off during Christmas and families are typically spread across several states or countries. This is the perfect time to enjoy being together in a winter wonderland for Christmas. Use this list to plan out your Christmas vacation!

1. Vienna, Austria

Vienna is known to decorate every tree and building in sight! They are known for their Christmas markets where vendors sell their hand crafted gifts as well as yummy street food. There is a massive skating rink at Rathausplatz plaza that you can enjoy with a spectacular view of the town hall. Christmas Mass is held at the Hofburgkapelle Chapel where the renowned Vienna Boys Choir performs. 


2. New York City, New York, USA 

During the holidays, New York City becomes a tourist’s dream destination. Not only are there countless things to do in the Big Apple, but the lights, snow, and festivities make it an extra special stop. During your visit you can shop till you drop, see a holiday theme show such as the famous Rockettes, view the holiday themed windows in famed department stores, go ice-skating, see the tree lighting ceremonies, or do several other family fun filled activities. 


3. Nuremburg, Cologne, and Munich Germany

Several cities in Germany make it to the top of the list every year due to the mass amounts of travelers to each city to enjoy the famous Christmas markets. The Nuremberg Christmas Market hosts over 200 vendors and over 2 million visitors stop by each year! Munich has about 17 Christmas markets including one of the oldest in Germany. Cologne has a large Christmas market held just in front of the Cologne Cathedral. There is a nice stage for live performances and vendors that circle around a huge Christmas tree. 


4. Reykjavik, Iceland

It might be freezing but Reykjavik surely will enhance your Christmas spirit. The city will light a large Christmas tree at Austurvollur square and celebrate as choirs sing various carols. There are several Christmas Markets in Reykjavik including the main one in Ingolfstorg Square. At the Reykjavik City Museum you will find a nice Christmas exhibition where you will learn how fried bread is made and learn traditional songs and dances. There are 13 Santas who will appear throughout the city during Lent as well so be on the look out! 


5. Quebec City, Canada

For the more religiously inclined, you can explore a lovely exposition of nativity scenes from around the world in Old Quebec. The Sentier Des Caps de Charlevoix offers hiking and skiing as well as a snowmobile experience. There is a Christmas village where you can browse through the German Christmas markets while enjoying roasted chestnuts and sausage. 


6. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona has a little bit for everyone during Christmas. There are fairs, shopping, markets, concerts, and nativity scenes. La Misa Del Gallo is a popular midnight mass for Christmas. Placa De Catalunya hosts the Christmas festival that is great for families and includes concerts and various activities. The Magic Fountain called Montjuic is a popular part of Christmas in Barcelona, which includes a free water and music show in December. 


7. Chicago, Illinois, USA

It might be a bit chilly in Chicago, but it certainly makes for a beautiful wonderland! Each year people flock Chicago to see the millions of lights displayed on the Magnificant Mile as well as the popular Christkindlmarkt, a German Christmas market. There is also a giant Christmas tree in Daley plaza that is lit up during an annual inauguration. 


8. Prague, Czech Republic 

While Christmas markets are also a popular tradition in Prague, be sure to see St. Nicholas visit the children on December 5th to see who have been good and who have been misbehaving. Typically, the children will read a poem or sing a carol. For sightseeing, be sure to visit the Charles Bridge and St. Vitus Cathedral. In Prague, you may also enjoy skiing, ice-skating, or a nice cozy café decorated with lights. 


9. Amsterdam, Netherlands 

Enjoy riding through Amsterdam by bike to enjoy the lovely lights and decorations or take a boat cruise through the canals. Make sure to visit the annual Light Festival where Dutch and International artists transform the city. Amsterdam also hosts the largest Swan Lake Ballet in December. Shopping, Christmas markets, ice-skating, and delicious Dutch treats are also quite popular!


10. Santa Claus, Indiana, USA

In the city of Santa Claus, volunteers are busy responding to thousands of letters from children trying to reach good ole’ St. Nick for Christmas. This volunteer group was set up back in the 1930’s. There is a 1-mile Land of Lights display that goes around Lake Rudolph Campground that you can enjoy as well. During the weeks that lead up to Christmas, Santa’s Lodge provides a lovely buffet with Santa himself.

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