It’s the most wonderful time of the year, with cold winter nights that bring snowy, picturesque mornings, drinking hot cocoa by a warm fire, and listening to age-old tunes that bring back memories from your childhood. It is also the perfect time to start thinking about your where to travel for your next winter vacation! With the holiday season already upon us, it can be difficult to find just the right place to celebrate all your wintery festivities. However, look no further! Here is a list of the 7 best cities to visit around the world.
1. New York City, New York, USA
The first place on our list is the city that never sleeps, New York City. During this time of year, you can find streets and shops decorated with bright, gold and red lights cementing the sense of Christmas glee to warm your heart. As for what to do, there are a plethora of activities for families, couples, and singles alike. From the beautiful Central Park to the extravagant shopping on Fifth Avenue, from the famous Wollman Ice Rink to the magical Botanical Gardens, there truly is an endless amount of Christmas festivities.
2. Vienna, Austria
This next city is one of the most recommended places to visit during the holidays by the Travel Channel. Located in Austria, the phrase “the more the merrier” rings true as this city is the largest in the country with a whopping 1.9 million residents. Don’t let its size scare you – Vienna is a beautiful and quaint city with attractions that will bring out your inner child. While you’re there, don’t forget to visit the cozy outdoor Christmas markets or the Rathauspark, which is home to the famous Christkindlmarkt: a four-week long historic, German celebration. To make things even better, you can also roast chestnuts on an open fire on just about every street corner.
3. Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is a city like no other! Upon arrival, many vacationers have said it felt like they stepped into a fairytale. After seeing its untouched, medieval buildings with your own eyes, it’s hard not to agree. When visiting Bruges, keep in mind that Belgium is known for being the chocolate capital of the world, which is why you must never miss out on sampling some of the finest-tasting hot chocolate known to mankind! If you are ever running low on Christmas ornaments or want to pick up some traditional German Christmas decorations, Käthe Wohlfahrt is the place to go.
4. Leavenworth, Washington, USA
Christmas in Leavenworth in Washington state is one of America’s most festive holiday cities. The most notable attraction in this winter wonderland is the Christmas Lighting Festival, which can be defined simply as a symphony of lights. During this festival, you can witness the lighting of over half a million bulbs! Leavenworth is the epitome of a Christmas village, as holiday enthusiasts can ride on horse-drawn sleighs, listen to the sounds of favorite songs at the Village Voices Christmas Concert, or go sledding at one of the many ski resorts.
5. Lapland, Finland
Have you ever wanted to travel to Santa’s workshop and meet the big guy himself? Well, look no further because Lapland, Finland is home to Santa Claus Village. Here you can take a tour of the toy shop, look around Old St. Nick’s office, and even send a letter directly to the North Pole! And the fun doesn’t stop there. Just around the corner from the Santa Claus Village is Santa Park amusement park, complete with elf shows, sleigh rides, a Christmas carousel and much more.
6. Hong Kong, China
Though Christmas may not be a traditional holiday in Chinese culture, Hong Kong has adopted this merry day in its own unique way. At this time of the year, Victoria Harbour is filled to the brim with enchanting decorations and lights. To truly get the best out of this experience, you want to make sure you take a ride along the harbor to see the elaborate and incredible designs cascading down buildings that line the water’s edge.
7. Washington D.C., USA
Last, but especially not least, is the U.S. capital of Washington D.C. There is no shortage of activities to do during the most wonderful time of the year. Start off with an early morning tour of the various monuments and memorials, leading to a massive 30-foot tall Christmas tree! If that’s not enough fun for you, then you can always visit the Smithsonian National Zoo at night for the seasonal ZooLights. At this free, seasonal event, environmentally-friendly Christmas lights are placed all throughout. If this still isn’t enough Christmas for you, then you can watch the marvelous Septime Webre’s The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre in historic Georgetown.
Whichever place you choose to visit this holiday season, from New York to Washington, Hong Kong to Finland, or any place in between, the Christmas spirit will surely be there right beside you – filling you and your loved ones with experiences that will never be forgotten.