‘Tis the season to be jolly, so plan for an unforgettable family vacation to holiday-centric destinations across the world. From the famous holiday bonanza of New York to Germany’s Christmas markets, we’ve rounded up the world’s most festive cities to spend the holiday season.
- Reykjavik, Iceland
It’s impossible not to feel the Yuletide spirit when you visit Iceland in December. The city goes festive for Christmas from the end of November onwards. The celebration begins with the lighting of the town’s giant Christmas tree at Austurvӧllur square and includes holiday spectacles like the Christmas Village in Hafnarfjörður town, which opens a chockfull of shops and boutiques selling traditional foods and holiday gifts.
- Vienna, Austria
Vienna turns all shiny and shimmery as the holiday season approaches. Twinkling Christmas lights adore every imaginable building and tree, while the city’s signature markets come to life with each of them selling hand-crafted souvenirs and gifts. Spend time with the family by going ice skating at the famed ice rink of Rathausplatz plaza, set right in front of the town’s beautiful town hall bedecked in vibrant strings of Christmas lights.
- Nuremberg, Germany
The sprawling Christmas markets of Europe continuously grow in popularity among globetrotters, but Nuremberg Christmas Market is hands down the most epic among all of them. Hundreds of vendors flock into Hauptmarkt Square to sell traditional items, from gingerbread and mulled wine to Christmas ornaments, gifts and jewelleries. Bring the family and be among the two million visitors that tour the market each year. Check out the stores for gift ideas and let the kids have fun at the children’s rides, which includes carousel, Ferris wheel and steam train.
- Taos, New Mexico
For a unique and amazing Christmas vacation, set a visit to Taos. The town’s Hispanic and Native American influences will bring multi-cultural twist to your holiday season with interesting activities like the lighting of Ledoux Street—when the street’s shops, studios, museums and galleries offer food and drink, bonfires and music to passersby—and the Taos’ Christmas tree lighting, which takes place at the end of November and is celebrated by singing Christmas carols and the arrival of Santa Claus in a fire truck.
- New York, USA
For Americans, the beginning of the Yuletide season is synonymous with the Christmas tree lighting in Rockfeller Center Plaza, New York’s veritable Christmas hub. Bring the family to the plaza, where you and the kids can go ice skating or simply bask in the glorious view of the enormous Christmas tree, adorned with over 30,000 bulbs of LED light.
December is a wonderful time to travel (as long as you don’t choose to travel on Christmas eve, which is one of the worst days to travel). Whether you’re flying with friends or family—or even alone—your options are limitless. Other than those mentioned, there’s a whole bunch of places you can visit to make this year’s Christmas extraordinary.